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Reporting and Investigation Process

If you are in immediate threat of harm, immediately call 911 or 6611 from any campus phone.  

Responsibilities in Reporting

All employees and students are responsible for ensuring their work and educational environments are free from discrimination. When alleged or suspected discrimination is experienced by, observed by or made known to an employee in the course and scope of their employment, the employee is required to report that information as outlined in System Regulation 08.01.01, Civil Rights Compliance. An employee's failure to report alleged or suspected discrimination, or knowingly making a false report with the intent to harm or deceive, may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.  We strongly encourage individuals to file a report directly with the Title IX Coordinator and in person.  

Faculty, staff, students, third parties, and applicants for admission or employment may file a formal complaint with the Title IX Coordinator at 903-334-6755, jwhittington@tamut.edu, or in person at the Office of Compliance, University Center, Room 414J.  Anonymous reports may be made via EthicsPoint

Confidential Reports

The University's ability to address sex-based discrimination, harassment, and misconduct claims depends on the ability of all involved to candidly participate in the process.  We recognize that individuals filing a complaint may be concerned about the privacy of information they are sharing as well as retaliation.

The University cannot guarantee unqualified confidentiality.  We must balance the privacy of individuals with the safety of the campus community.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for determining what information must be shared and with whom.  Additionally, administration involved with providing interim measures and other accommodations will also need to know the identity of individuals involved.  

Only certain employees may keep complaints of discrimination confidential, as outlined in System Regulation 08.01.01, Civil Rights Compliance. All other employees informed of possible discrimination should advise the reporter that they cannot keep the information confidential and are required to report it. Employees should inform the reporter that confidential guidance may be obtained at the Counseling Center (for students) or from the Employee Assistance Program (for employees).

A formal complaint does not need to be filed for a reporter to obtain assistance and resources.  Additionally, conduct that does not reach the level of sexual harassment or sex-based misconduct may still be prohibited under university policies and the Student Code of Conduct.  

Retaliation

Anyone who, in good faith, participates in a report or investigation has the right to do so without retaliation.  Retaliation against any participant will be viewed as a separate violation of University Rules, Polices, and Code of Conduct and may result in sanctions or other disciplinary action, regardless of the merits of the original complaint.  Any person who believes they have been subjected to retaliatory actions should report this to the individual(s) investigating the complaint or to the Title IX Coordinator.  

Retaliation is defined as intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured under civil rights laws and regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.  The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute prohibited retaliation nor does filing a mandatory report as required by System Regulation.  In addition, a university official who files a mandatory report or charges an individual with making a materially false statement in the course of an investigation has not engaged in retaliation.  

Retaliation is explicitly prohibited.  Aiding another in the commission of retaliation is also prohibited.  

Process

When the University learns of a report of discrimination on the basis of sex (including sexual harassment or sex-based misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct an initial inquiry, gathering information surrounding the allegations and understanding the complainants needs and wishes.  Even if the complainant does not want to participate or requests that the University does not pursue the matter, the University may be required to conduct an investigation if it is in the best interest of the campus community safety.  

After an initial inquiry is conducted, the Title IX Coordinator will determine if a comprehensive investigation is appropriate.  The person(s) alleged to have committed the sexual harassment or sex-based misconduct (the respondent(s)), will be notified in writing.  

Trained Investigator(s) will attempt to interview all relevant persons.  Both the complainant and the respondent are allowed ot have an advisor of their choosing to accompany them through the process, however, the advisor is not allowed to participate during the investigation process.  

Both parties must have an advisor for the hearing process.  If a party does not have one, the university will appoint one.  During the hearing, the parties may direct their advisors to ask relevant questions of the opposing party, investigators, and witnesses.  

In cases where physical sexual acts are not alleged, an information resolution may be permitted.  Any informal resolution must be approved by the Title IX Coordinator.  In cases involving rape, dating violence, domestic violence, or any case with the threat of imminent harm, mediation cannot be used to resolve the complaint.  

When the person(s) accused of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is not affiliated with the university, the response will vary depending on the level of control the university has over the respondent.  

Simplified Process Flow Chart                 Detailed Process Flow Chart

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