The investigation process

The goal of each investigation is to:

  • seek the truth
  • maintain a compassionate and sensitive approach to all
  • be fair, impartial, reliable and thorough
  • preserve the dignity of all parties
  • maintain professionalism and consistency in the process, procedures and communications

Confidentiality/privacy is very important.  All parties, witnesses and persons reporting are requested to maintain the confidentiality of the complainant and respondent and are encouraged not to discuss an investigation with other witnesses or persons.

Amnesty for alcohol and other drug use: an individual who reports sexual misconduct, as either a complainant or a witness, will not receive disciplinary action by the University for using alcohol or other drugs around or during the incident.

With every investigation, the burden is on Wayne State, not on the parties, to gather sufficient evidence to reach a fair, impartial determination as to whether sexual misconduct has occurred and, if so, where a hostile environment has been created that must be redressed.  Wayne State will make every effort to ensure that there are no actual or perceived conflicts of interest and biases for or against any party; will make every effort to ensure that institutional interests do not interfere with the impartiality of the investigation; and will make every effort to ensure that sex or gender-based stereotypes or generalizations will not be used. 

All investigations conducted at Wayne State will be done by a trained investigator who will analyze and document the available evidence to support reliable decisions; objectively evaluate the credibility of parties and witnesses; evaluate all available evidence, including evidence that is both favorable and unfavorable to both the complainant and the respondent, and take into account the unique and complex circumstances of each case. 

All rights or opportunities that Wayne State makes available to one party during the investigation will be made available to the other party on equal terms.

Once Wayne State decides to open an investigation that may lead to disciplinary action against the responding party, it will provide written notice to the responding party of the allegations constituting a potential violation of Wayne State's sexual misconduct policies, including sufficient details and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. 

Each party will receive written notice in advance of any interview with sufficient time to prepare for meaningful participation.

The investigation will result in a written report summarizing the relevant evidence, with findings of fact and conclusions as to whether the facts support a finding of responsibility for violation of the relevant Wayne State policy. The parties will be given an opportunity to respond to the report in writing for the purpose of correcting what he/she believe may be inaccuracies with regard to the evidence provided.

The University prohibits the issuance of differing reports to complainants, respondents, and administration and instead requires that identical reports be issued to them.

In all Title IX investigations, the University prohibits the use of medical experts that have an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

If it is determined that there is sufficient evidence, based upon the preponderance of the evidence standard, that a violation has occurred, the matter will then proceed under the Student Code of Conduct process (where the offender is a student) or under the University's Discrimination and Complaint Process (where the offender is a faculty or staff member). All parties are guaranteed appropriate due process under either of these two procedures, which includes having access to the case file before any informal or formal hearing.

Wayne State will provide written notice of the outcome of disciplinary proceedings to the reporting and responding parties at the same time, along with notification of any applicable appeal rights.

In addition, the Title IX Director will take appropriate steps to address any violation of university policy/Title IX by a contractor, vendor, partner, or other affiliate engaged in sexual misconduct, up to and including termination of that contractor, vendor, partner or other affiliate.

Title IX Office