What to Expect When an Incident is Reported?

After Equal Opportunity and Access/Title IX staff receive a report, they will promptly begin a process to address the concern. Below is a step-by-step description of what happens next.

1. Assess Safety

Assessment of Immediate Safety Concerns: May include UMass Police Department (UMPD); Center for Women and Community (CWC); and/or the Massachusetts Court System.

2. Determine the Appropriate Follow Up

If a Harassment Prevention Order is Granted OR a Law Enforcement Proceeding Underway (arrest, charges), etc. then the Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) - Title IX (TIX) Coordinator will put appropriate Supportive Measures and Interim Restrictions in place, which can include no-contact directives, housing or campus restrictions, and emergency removals.

3. Consult with Campus Partners

The Title IX Team may consult with Campus Partners. They may include Student Life and Campus Life (SACL), Academics, Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), Dean of Students Office (DOSO), Human Resources (HR), et 

4. Promptly Outreach to the Reporting Party and Offer an Intake Meeting

Title IX staff will conduct an initial assessment to assess safety concerns during the intake meeting and discuss your desired outcome. You will be informed of your rights per UMass Policy and State and Federal Law. Together, you will discuss what sorts of supportive measures you need, such as academic accommodations, changes to living arrangements, a no-contact order, or changes to work schedule. Arranging supportive measures does not require other parties to be involved.

Once supportive measures are arranged, possible resolutions will be discussed. This could involve an informal resolution—such as training, informational meetings, or education—with the accused. There could also be mediation, which requires all parties to agree to the terms. The matter may proceed to a formal investigation.

If you don’t wish to move forward, or if there isn’t enough information to conduct an investigation, the matter may be closed. 

If the Reporting Party declines an intake or does not respond to outreach, EOA will send the Party an closure email with Resource Information. Possible outcomes from the intake meeting are: supportive measures only or a formal complaint filed.

5. Possible Outcomes

A. Supportive Measures Only

EOA Intake assists and facilitates supportive measures for the Reporting Party and affected individuals.

  • May include no-contact directives, academic, housing, parking, and accommodations.

  • May be interim restrictions if not punitive.

  • May include referrals or facilitating access to health providers on and off campus.

When finalized, EOA Intake will transmit final updates to party(s).

These supportive measures may continue or be updated while the parties are enrolled or employed.

B. Formal Complaint Filed

Reporting Party submits Complaint Form or states their desire to file an Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) or Title IX (TIX) complaint.

  • EOA Assigns Investigator who will then follow up with the parties and assist with complaint processing.

    Additional supportive measures and interim restrictions may be required.
    Supportive or other measures may be permanent following outcome.

  • Investigation 

    The investigator will gather evidence from all parties and interview witnesses the parties have identified. All parties will have an opportunity to review the evidence submitted. The investigator will prepare a draft investigative report summarizing the relevant evidence, which will be shared with all parties to review and provide a written response. The investigator will then issue a final investigative report to all parties. A hearing will be scheduled at least 10 days later.

  • Hearing

    A Hearing Panel will have at least three diverse and representative hearing officers. During the hearing process, all parties have the right to be represented by an advisor. They can choose to be physically present or to participate virtually with technology enabling participants to see and hear each other simultaneously.

    All parties will have the opportunity to present their positions to the panel. In making a determination of responsibility, the panel can only rely on whatever relevant evidence is available through the investigation and presented in the hearing.

    The panel will issue a written determination of responsibility based upon the preponderance of the evidence standard (proof that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that the allegation is true), including any disciplinary sanctions that are imposed on a respondent.

  • Decision on Responsibility

  • Appeal and Final Outcome

    All parties have the right to appeal a determination of responsibility (within 10 days of receiving the hearing panel’s determination). Appeals are heard by an appeals panel. Appeals are confined to a review of the record and must state the basis for the appeal and include all relevant information to support the appeal.
    More About Title IX Policy and Grievance Procedures.