Harper College

Investigation Process

Once a formal complaint is filed or when the College has official notice of an incident, a campus investigation will begin. If a law enforcement investigation is also occurring, the campus investigation may temporarily be placed on hold if it could jeopardize the criminal investigation process. The campus investigation and resolution process will not wait for the outcome of a criminal proceeding since the campus policy, possible outcomes, and standard of proof are different than the criminal and legal standards. If the incident also appears to be a violation of the law, you may request that the police and the College take a formal report together to promote a more efficient process for you; however, please be aware that the standards and outcomes of a campus disciplinary process and the criminal process are different and this may not always be possible.

Investigations where students are alleged of misconduct are typically conducted by the Student Conduct Officer. The Dean of Students may appoint other College employees to serve as investigators as needed. Investigations where employees are accused of misconduct are typically conducted by the Employee Relations Manager, but may also be conducted by the Chief Human Resources Officer or a designee. The Title IX Coordinator(s) are kept informed throughout the investigation to ensure appropriate oversight. 

If the College has notice about alleged misconduct that may threaten the health or safety of the campus or any members of its community, the College reserves the right and has the obligation to initiate a complaint and/or investigation. During any investigation or disciplinary process, appropriate interim remedies may also occur such as campus no-contact orders, adjusting class schedules, or limiting/prohibiting access to campus. Investigations are maintained as private and information is only revealed if necessary to ensure adequate investigation occurs. Both the complainant and the accused (respondent) have equitable opportunities to have a support person present at all investigation and resolution meetings. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will provide an investigation summary which will include a finding as to whether or not the alleged misconduct occurred. Investigations are generally completed within 60 days, but the timeframe depends on the circumstances of the case. When evaluating whether misconduct occurred, the standard of evidence used will be a “preponderance of the evidence” or “more likely than not.”

Investigations can also occur at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator(s), such as when there are anonymous referrals, unknown perpetrators, or concerns for climate or cultural issues that may foster a harassing environment.

Resolution Process

Last Updated: 12/14/23