Investigations & Hearings

Investigators

UNCA faculty and staff who operate as investigators are trained and certified by the Association for Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). These investigators are assigned by the Title IX Coordinator to lead investigations in an effort to determine the facts in any sexual misconduct case and protect the rights of all those involved. Investigators are trained to conduct fair, impartial fact finding investigations and determine if any complaint and the facts surrounding the complaint meet the preponderance of evidence standard required by University Policy in accordance with Title IX guidelines.

Title IX Investigators

  • Jasmine Taylor, Human Resources
  • Madison Merrifield, Residential Education
  • Megan Pugh, Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Dylan Lawing, Residential Education

Training Dates for Investigators:

  • September 1, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 25
  • October 8, 19
  • November 4, 10

Hearing Officers/Resolution Facilitators

  • Dr. Melanie Fox, Associate Dean of Students
  • Blair Jenkins, Associate Director of Residential Education
  • Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board (applies to formal process only)
    • Stan Sweeney, Director of Highsmith Union
    • Cate O’Connor, Assistant Director in the Career Center
    • Patrick Bahls, Professor in Mathmatics
    • Robert Straub, Director of Student Develoment
    • Jordan Perry, Department of Health and Wellness
    • Sarah Smith, Director of Parent and Transition Programs
    • Faculty Position – TBD

Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board

Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board (SMHB) members include faculty and staff members from across the university that are responsible for adjudicating cases of sexual misconduct which go before the board, including recommending sanctions. Only 3 of the above listed members serve in any one hearing procedure. The hearing officer listed with the board, serves as the resolution facilitator but makes no decisions regarding responsibility or sanction. These decisions are left to the board as part of the formal live hearing process for all sexual harassment cases that meet Title IX requirements.

Students involved in a hearing board will be notified of the individuals serving in this capacity and may choose to have individuals removed on the grounds of bias and/or conflicts of interest. The board is specifically trained to hear these type of cases through the comprehension of competencies which include (but are not limited to) familiarity with basic rules of evidence regarding relevance, rights of the reporting party, rights of the responding party, credibility and rape shield rules, they are thoroughly versed in an analytical approach in determining if a policy was violated, comprehension on questioning and deliberation techniques, understand Rape Trauma Syndrome and common rape myths, and sensitization to what the reporting and responding parties may be experiencing. These are all general competencies the board is expected to have in order to hear sexual misconduct cases.

Training Dates for the Hearing Officers:

  • August 25, 28
  • September 4, 11, 14, 18
  • October 6, 23
  • November 6, 13

 

Appellate Officers

Determinations made by the hearing officers, including the Sexual Misconduct Board, under Title IX can be appealled by either party. Appeals must be filed within 5 days of the determination is issued. Sanctions cannot be appealed. There are 3 justifications for an appeal to be considered: new evidence, procedural irrecularity, or bias/conflict of interest that affected the outcome of the matter. Appeals are offered at two levels for either party that can established the aforementioned elements:

  • Level 1: Appeal to the Dean of Students
  • Level 2: Appeal to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

Training for Appellate Officers for Fall 2020:  September 1, 2020

 

The contents of the training provided to those involved in the Title IX Process at UNC Asheville can be accessed here.