UM Investigation Process

A UM investigation evaluates whether it is more likely than not that a student or employee has violated the University’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation Policy. The Trained EOAA staff serve as unbiased, thorough, impartial investigators. Every attempt is made to conduct an investigation within 60 days. The investigator will gather as much evidence as possible before making a determination about whether there was a policy violation.

A University investigation begins when:

  1. a person reports a potential policy violation such as sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator and
  2. the EOAA staff determines there is jurisdiction and
  3. the reporting person states that they would like to begin a formal University investigation. In some rare instances, the University may begin a formal investigation without the reporting party requesting a University investigation. This would occur if, for example, the University received a third-party report indicating that someone may be perpetrating misconduct on multiple victims and that there is a danger to the campus community.

The University investigation is an administrative process and is not the same as a legal civil or criminal process. The University investigation looks into whether the University Discrimination policy has been violated. Under the policy, individuals are presumed not to have violated the policy unless the investigator finds a preponderance of evidence that the policy was violated. A preponderance of the evidence standard weighs whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.

A criminal process looks into whether a crime has been committed. A criminal trial begins with a presumption of innocence and requires evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is guilty of a crime.

Equitable Rights of Parties to an Investigation

  • Both parties have the right to provide their description of events, to name witnesses and to provide evidence. Both parties will be given the opportunity to review relevant evidence gathered, to respond, ask questions, provide feedback, additional evidence or witnesses.
  • Both parties have the right to have a “person of support” accompany them at meetings with the investigator. This may include a supportive friend, a trusted faculty member, a SARC employee, a parent, a union representative (if applicable) or an attorney.
  • Both parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation. The investigator makes every effort to complete the investigation within 60 days.
  • Both parties have the right to appeal the finding to the UM Grievance Panel.

Find out more about Title IX and the UM Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policy & Grievance Procedures.