Formal Procedure

When filing a report of sexual misconduct and requesting that the College take action, employees and students may choose to pursue either an informal or formal procedure.

Formal Procedure

A formal complaint of sexual misconduct can be made to the Title IX Coordinator. This complaint may be filed in place of an informal procedure or during or after an informal process is completed.

  1. Once a formal complaint of sexual misconduct is made, an investigation of the report shall be commenced within ten business days and completed within 60 calendar days, absent of any extenuating circumstances.
  2. To ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, the complainant should provide as much of the following information as possible:
    • The name, department, and position of the person or persons allegedly causing the sexual misconduct.
    • A description of the incident(s), including the date(s), location(s), and the presence of any witnesses.
    • The names of other students or employees who might have been subject to the same or similar sexual misconduct or retaliation.
    • If appropriate, any action that has been taken to date to try to address the sexual misconduct or retaliation.
    • Any other information the complainant believes to be relevant to the sexual misconduct, or retaliation.
  3. An investigation into the report shall be conducted by a trained team of Title IX Investigators.  The investigation shall be concluded as quickly as possible, typically within 60 calendar days or within a reasonable amount of time required to complete the investigation. The investigation will be conducted in a manner so that it is adequate, reliable and impartial.
  4. The complainant and the respondent may be accompanied during the course of the investigation by an advisor of their choice.  Advisors are restricted from speaking during the investigation; their role is purely supportive and advisory.
  5. The investigation may include any of the following: interviews of the parties involved, including witnesses, and the gathering of other relevant information.  Separate interviews will occur with the complainant and alleged respondent in order to insure the safety and security of all parties involved.
  6. Parties to the complaint may present witnesses and other evidence.
  7. At any time during the investigation, the investigators may recommend that interim protections or remedies for the parties involved or witnesses be provided by appropriate College officials. These protections or remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, suspension, or making alternative workplace or student learning arrangements. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections may be considered a separate violation of the Policy on Academic and Professional Standards Governing the MD, the Graduate Policy on Academic and Professional Standards or the Staff and Executive Management/Faculty Handbook.
  8. The College shall take reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of sexual misconduct or  retaliation in any form.  If the reoccurrence takes place, those responsible for such behavior may be subject to disciplinary action under the Policy on Academic and Professional Standards governing the MD Program and/or Graduate Policy on Academic and Professional Standards or Staff and Executive Management/Faculty Handbook if the person is an employee or third party. For examples of the range of potential disciplinary sanctions see the Policy on Academic and Professional Standards Governing the MD, the Graduate Policy on Academic and Professional Standards and the Staff and Executive Management/Faculty Handbook.
  9. At the conclusion of the investigation a full report of findings, as well as a recommendation for disposition, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, shall be rendered to the Vice Dean for final decision and action if the respondent is a student, or to the Vice President Finance and Administration/Vice Dean if the respondent is an employee/faculty member, based on the preponderance of evidence. Parties involved will be given simultaneous notice, in writing, of the conclusion of the investigation and any next steps.
  10. In cases involving students, the Investigation Team will compile a comprehensive report and, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, either make a recommendation for sanctions that will be referred to the Vice Dean for review and disposition or, determine that, based on the outcome of the investigation, there was no finding of violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Policy on Academic and Professional Standards Governing the MD Program Program or Graduate Policy on Academic and Professional Standards. In cases involving staff, Human Resources will review the Investigation Team’s report and recommendation for sanctions which will be referred to the Vice President for Finance and Administration for review and disposition or, determine that, based on the outcome of the Investigation, that there was no finding of violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct or Staff and Executive Management Handbook. In cases involving faculty, the Investigative Team/s report will be sent to the Vice Dean for review and disposition, or, determine that, based on the outcome of the Investigation, that there was no finding of violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct or Faculty Handbook.  Sanctions may include but are not limited to censure, disciplinary probation, counseling, educational experiences, community service, no contact directive, no trespass directives, suspension or expulsion from the College or corrective action up to and including discharge.
  11. Geisinger Commonwealth will take all necessary steps to remedy the discriminatory effects on the complainant(s) and others falling within the scope of this Policy, as set forth in the “Scope” section above.  Examples of such remedies may include, but are not limited to: order of no contact, classroom re-assignment, or other appropriate remedies.