Policies & Procedures

Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. This law protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title IX applies to any institution receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education, including state and local educational agencies. Educational programs and activities that receive federal funds from the Department of Education must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Any current FranU student or employee may make a Title IX complaint for “any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal educational access” and that occurs within the United States and on the FranU campus or during a FranU sponsored activity.

Title IX Officials

Title IX Coordinator - Coordinates all Title IX activities. This includes serving as investigator, scheduling and overseeing mediation and formal Title IX complaint processes, monitoring outcomes, identifying and addressing any patterns and assessing effects of Title IX related complaints on the campus climate.

Investigator - Investigates and helps ensure timely resolution of assigned reports of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking involving members of the University community.

Decision-Maker - The decision-maker (who cannot be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator) must issue a written determination regarding whether the alleged conduct occurred, rationale for the result as to each allegation and any disciplinary sanction imposed on the accused.

Appeals Officer - Considers appeals requests narrowly, specific to the relevant criterial for an appeal.

Title IX Officials Trainings

University Title IX officials will have annual training on sexual misconduct issues and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Training topics for these officials include relevant evidence and how it should be used during a proceeding, proper techniques for questioning witnesses, trauma informed interviewing and response, basic rules including review of the University's procedures, and avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest and bias. Trainings will be published on the University website.

Procedures for Title IX Complaints

These procedures are implemented whenever a formal sexual misconduct complaint is made by a current student or employee. Complaint resolution is initiated once a written formal complaint is filed with the Title IX Coordinator. To file a formal complaint, complete the Sexual Assault Complaint Form found on the University’s Title IX webpage (link). The complaint form can be submitted electronically, in-person or by U.S. mail:

  • Title IX Coordinator
    5414 Brittany Drive
    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Once a complaint is made, the Title IX Coordinator will commence the investigatory process as soon as practicable, but not later than seven (7) business days after the complaint is made. The Title IX Coordinator and/or designee will analyze the complaint and notify the accused in writing that a complaint has been filed. Students have the right to choose between a formal process or informal mediation. Both options are described below.

  • When an affiliate agency, such as a clinical or service-learning site, is involved, the student is encouraged to provide a written complaint to their program director/chair as. well as the Human Resources (or similar representative) of the involved agency. The program director/chair is expected to follow up with the involved agency and file all documentation to the Title IX Coordinator for record keeping. This document should include all actions taken to address the complaint.

Informal Mediation

In the event a sexual misconduct complaint is made, the complainant and accused may agree to an informal mediation process. The Title IX Coordinator will mediate by bringing both parties together for a meeting. The guidelines are (see flowchart in appendix):

  1. Informal Mediation is not allowed if an employee is accused of sexual harassment of a student.
  2. Informal Mediation may only be used when agreed upon by both parties. Written consent for the process is required.
  3. The process is confidential.
  4. Disciplinary action may not be needed if an agreement between the parties and the University is reached.
    1. Disciplinary action may include, but may not be limited to: warning, reprimand, loss of privileges, educational sanctions, and restriction of eligibility to represent the University at official functions, suspension, separation or termination.
  5. The student or employee or both may withdraw from the Informal Mediation process at any point and resume with the Formal Title IX Hearing process.

Formal Hearing Process

In the event a sexual misconduct complaint is made in which the complainant and accused do not agree on informal mediation, the Title IX Coordinator will oversee and coordinate the formal Title IX complaint process as follows:

  1. The Title IX Coordinator or the designated investigator(s) will review the statements and evidence presented and may, depending on the circumstances, interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint in order to assess if the allegations are substantiated by Clear and Convincing evidence. If Clear and Convincing evidence is presented, a live hearing will be scheduled.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator will oversee the formal hearing proceedings.
  3. The complainant and the accused will be represented by an advisor of their choice. If either party does not have an advisor, the University will provide one at no cost.
  4. Advisors will question and may cross examine involved parties (complainant, accused and witnesses).
  5. The University designated decision-maker will make the final determination, based on the Clear and Convincing evidence standard, whether or not a Title IX infraction has occurred.
  6. A Determination Letter will be prepared and disseminated to the complainant and the accused within five (5) business days of the formal hearing.
  7. The Determination Letter will outline the findings along with any disciplinary consequences and/or any proactive measures that will be initiated by the University to eliminate discriminatory conduct and to prevent reoccurrence.
  8. A Memorandum of Determination that explains the reasoning for the decision will also be prepared. This is a separate document available for review by either party upon request.

Rights of the Parties in an Institutional Formal Process:

During the course of the formal Title IX Complaint process described above, both the complainant and the accused are entitled to a prompt, fair and impartial process. Due process protections to ensure reliable outcomes include:

  1. A presumption of innocence throughout the Title IX complaint process.
  2. Written notice of allegations and an equal opportunity to review evidence.
  3. Live hearings in the higher education context.
  4. A prohibition of a single-investigator model, instead requiring a decision-maker separate from the Title IX Coordinator or investigator(s).
  5. Title IX Coordinators, investigators and decision-makers free from bias or conflicts of interest.
  6. The opportunity for the complainant and the accused to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice.
  7. The opportunity to test the creditability of parties and witnesses through cross-examination. Advisors may cross-examine the complainant, the accused and any witnesses participating in the Title IX hearing. Students may not cross-examine each other.
  8. Have the outcome determined using the Clear and Convincing evidence standard based on the totality of the evidence presented.
  9. Both parties have an equal opportunity to appeal the determination by filing a written appeal (see appeals process below).
  10. Upon closure of the Title IX Complaint case, a de-identified summary report will be shared with parties responsible for Clery reporting as needed.

Appeals Process

  1. Appeals will be accepted only for procedural irregularity, new evidence or conflict of interest. Additionally, the University has discretion to offer additional grounds for appeal, if deemed necessary.
  2. The other party will be notified within five (5) business days if an appeal is submitted.
  3. The notified party will have the opportunity, if requested, to review the original written appeal and submit a written response within five (5) business days of being notified that an appeal was submitted.
  4. The written appeal should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator.
  5. The appeal and all formal hearing documentation will be forwarded to the Title IX designated appeals officer.
  6. The appeals officer will resolve the appeal within a reasonable timeframe.
  7. The appeals officer’s decision on appeal is final, and the parties will be notified of the decision in writing.

Possible Sanctions or Protective Measures that University May Impose in Sexual Misconduct Offenses:

Following a final determination that sexual misconduct has been committed and the evidence meets the Clear and Convincing standard, the institution may impose a sanction depending on the mitigating and aggravating circumstances involved. Possible sanctions include but are not limited to: restitution; loss of privileges; restriction on eligibility to represent the University at any official function, probation, suspension or expulsion/termination. If a suspension is imposed on a student, it may be for a full semester or an entire academic year. An employee may be suspended for any length of time determined appropriate by the University Administration in consultation with Human Resources. By written agreement, Human Resource services are provided to the University by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. Following a suspension, the individual will be required to meet with the Dean of Students (if student) or Director of Human Resources (if employee) to discuss re-entry and expectations going forward. In addition, the University can make available to the victim a range of protective measures. They include, but are not limited to: forbidding the accused from communicating with the victim, security escorts, modifications to clinical or class schedules, and changes in on campus working situations.

Publicly Available Record-keeping:

The University will complete any publicly available recordkeeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosures, without the inclusion of personally identifiable information about victims of sexual misconduct who make reports of such to the University to the extent permitted by law.