North Central University Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures
Purpose, Scope, and Policy
North Central University (NCU) is committed to maintaining a Christ-centered community, free of discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct in all of its forms. NCU prohibits domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. NCU will not tolerate sexual misconduct by or against its students, faculty, or staff.
Title IX training for students, faculty, and staff
Annual Title IX training for the prevention of sexual misconduct is provided for students, faculty, and staff. Training can be accessed via the below buttons. (Please note: you will need to login to Skyline with your Skyline username and password in order to access the training tool.)
In addition, visitors, volunteers, vendors, consultants, third parties, or any person that provides services to NCU are required to comply with the provisions of this policy. All community members must comply with this policy, whether on campus or off campus, when engaged in activities sponsored by NCU, or otherwise related to NCU or its business. Such activities include, but are not limited to classes, seminars, meetings, and study abroad programs.
The purposes of this policy include:
- Prohibiting all forms of sexual misconduct
- Creating a work environment that is free from sexual misconduct
- Encouraging good faith complaints when sexual misconduct has occurred
- Providing options for addressing and resolving complaints of sexual misconduct
All incoming students and new employees are required to attend a program on primary prevention and awareness. Persons who believe that they have experienced sexual misconduct or have witnessed sexual misconduct of another community member are expected to bring the conduct to the attention of appropriate individuals so that NCU can take prompt corrective action. NCU will take prompt corrective action against any sexual misconduct by or against its community members. All NCU community members are directed to implement and abide by the procedures outlined in this policy.
All complaints will be taken seriously and no one who acts in good faith to report sexual misconduct, including third parties (e.g., vendors), will suffer actual or threatened retaliation or reprisal. Complaints of sexual misconduct will be treated in confidence to the extent feasible, given the need to conduct a thorough investigation and take corrective action. If it is determined through an appropriate and prompt investigation that sexual misconduct has occurred, effective corrective action will be taken to eliminate the sexual misconduct, attempt to ensure that it does not recur, and appropriately care for those who may have been harmed. Depending on circumstances and the severity of the conduct, corrective action may range from a written warning to dismissal.
Sexual misconduct is a broad and overarching term used to identify the conduct that constitutes a form of sex discrimination which violates federal and state law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972; the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and NCU policy. All sexual misconduct is prohibited and includes, but is not limited to sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, actual or attempted sexual assault, stalking, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, and going beyond the boundaries of consent.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, electronic or digital conduct or communication of a sexual or gender-based nature, when submission to or rejection of the conduct explicitly or implicitly affects a person’s employment or education, unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, learning, or living environment. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment which may also constitute criminal conduct.
There are two kinds of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo harassment, in which the harasser either provides or denies an employment or educational benefit in exchange for sexual favors, or makes an adverse employment or educational decision on the basis of rejection of sexual advances.
- Hostile environment harassment, in which the working or learning environment is made abusive. An abusive or hostile environment is one that is reasonably and actually perceived by the complaining party as abusive by making it more difficult to do one’s job or pursue one’s education. Any act of sexual violence creates a hostile environment in violation of this policy.
Examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: a supervisor granting a promotion to an employee because the employee unwillingly consents to have sexual relations with the supervisor; a supervisor firing an employee because the employee refuses to have sexual relations with the supervisor; a faculty member providing an undeserved failing grade to a student because the student refuses to have sexual relations with the professor; a faculty member giving an undeserved high grade to a student because the student consents to have unwanted sexual relations with the faculty member; or a supervisor providing positive references or evaluations for an employee or student in exchange for sexual favors.
Examples of hostile environment harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: requests for sexual favors, persistent sexual slurs, repeated requests for an unwelcome sexual relationship, continual sexually suggestive jokes, gestures or sounds, a pattern of widespread favoritism based on sexual relationships, pornographic or suggestive materials offensive to others, or unwelcome sexual touching. A hostile environment can exist by virtue of a combination of individual incidents that would not, individually, constitute sexual harassment. In order for these examples or other behaviors to constitute hostile environment harassment, the effect of the harassment must create an abusive or hostile environment, usually over a period of time. Even one serious incident may, however, constitute hostile environment harassment, such as an occurrence of sexual violence.
Both men and women are protected from sexual harassment, whether that harassment is perpetrated by a member of the same or opposite sex. Sexual harassment may be committed by a male or a female toward either a male or a female.
Sexual violence is the most severe form of sexual harassment. Under this policy it is defined as any actual, attempted, or threatened physical sexual act with another person without that person’s consent. It includes, but is not limited to sexual acts perpetrated by force (expressed or implied), or duress, deception, or coercion upon the victim. It includes acts referred to as “date rape” or “acquaintance rape,” and specially includes sexual acts involving a victim who is incapable of giving consent due to age, disability, or intoxication by alcohol or drugs. Sexual violence generally will constitute a crime punishable under Minnesota statutes. Safety is of primary concern in situations of sexual violence. Any other rule violations will be addressed separately from the sexual violence allegation and the use of alcohol or drugs never makes the victim at fault for sexual violence.
Consent means conduct or words that indicate a person freely and voluntarily agrees to engage in a sexual act at the time of the act. A person must be of legal age to give consent. A person who is incapacitated cannot give consent. Consent to a prior sexual act does not imply ongoing future consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Silence, absence of resistance, or the failure to give a negative response does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
The use of coercion, threat, or force takes away a person’s ability to give consent. Sexual coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity through words or circumstances that cause a person to reasonably fear that the other will inflict bodily harm. Force is the use of physical violence to gain sexual access, including threats, intimidation, and actual physical imposition.
An incapacitated person is a person unable to consent to sexual activities due to the use of alcohol or drugs impairing judgment, lack of consciousness, being asleep, developmental disabilities, or lacks full knowledge or information of what is happening. The use of drugs or alcohol by the accused is not a defense against allegations of sexual misconduct.
Intimate or romantic relationships between employees, or between employees and students, even when within the bounds of acceptable Christian conduct, may nonetheless pose potentially serious moral, ethical, and legal concerns to the individuals and to the institution.
Where a power differential between the parties exists, even consensual relationships may constitute sexual misconduct if the effect of such a relationship interferes with an individual’s academic or professional performance or if it creates an intimidating environment. Further, conflicts of interest or breaches of professional ethics may arise if one party to the relationship evaluates the work or academic performance of the other, during the relationship or even after it ends. This includes situations in which a faculty member teaches a student or employee with whom he or she has had a relationship.
Employees are cautioned that such relationships could potentially result in a sexual misconduct charge, and could result in the individual with the power in the relationship bearing the burden of responsibility.
The institution recommends that where such relationships develop, the individual in a position of authority notify his or her supervisor and that he or she surrenders responsibility for evaluation. Further, where an employee is called upon to supervise an individual with whom he or she has had a romantic relationship, he or she should discuss this with a supervisor. The institution discourages romantic relationships between faculty members and students, and discourages faculty members teaching students with whom they have or have had an intimate or romantic relationship.
Sexual exploitation is defined as taking non-consensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples include, but are not limited to (1) prostituting another person; (2) non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; (3) going beyond the boundaries of consent, such as knowingly allowing another to surreptitiously watch otherwise consensual sexual activity; (4) engaging in non-consensual voyeurism; or (5) knowingly transmitting or exposing a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or HIV to another person without the knowledge of the other person.
Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under Minnesota domestic or family violence laws, or anyone else protected under applicable domestic or family violence laws. See Minnesota Statutes Section 518B.01
Dating violence is a form of sexual violence and is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The relationship existence is determined based on a consideration of the following factors (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence and is sexual contact or intercourse without consent. See Minnesota Statutes Section 609.341
Stalking means to engage in conduct which the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim. Stalking behavior includes, but is not limited to a person who (1) follows, monitors, or pursues another, whether in person or through any available technological or other means; (2) repeatedly makes telephone calls, sends text messages, or induces a victim to make telephone calls to the actor, whether or not conversation ensues; (3) makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring; or (4) repeatedly mails or delivers or causes the delivery by any means, including electronically, of letters, telegrams, messages, packages, through assistive devices for people with vision impairments or hearing loss, or any communication made through any available technologies. See Minnesota Statutes Section 609.749
Retaliation means any materially adverse action taken because a person has or is believed to have exercised rights in good faith regarding a sexual misconduct policy violation.
Community member refers to NCU’s students, faculty, staff, visitors, volunteers, vendors, consultants, third parties, and any person that provides services to NCU.
A complaint is an allegation that a student, employee or applicant for admission or employment has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct.
A complainant is an individual or group of individuals who believe that unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct may have or has occurred.
An investigator is a faculty or staff member or administrator appointed by the Title IX Coordinator who is trained to respond to formal and informal complaints of sexual misconduct. NCU’s Investigators are:
Lewis Hatcher, Dean of Students
Student Athlete Incidents:
Allison Meadows, Associate Athletics Director and Sr. Women’s Administrator
Dr. Donald Tucker, Vice President of Academic Affairs
Sue Bentley, Director of Human Resources
A respondent is an individual or group of individuals against whom an allegation of sexual misconduct is made.
Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for oversight, enforcement, administration, and supervision of this policy and procedure, as well as identifying and addressing any systematic problems that arise during the review of complaints. The Title IX Coordinator is also the administrator to whom a complaint is reported. The Title IX Coordinator ensures the complaint is addressed according to policy and procedures and may or may not act with an Investigator in resolving the situation. Complaints may be reported to:
Dr. Douglas M. Graham, Vice President of Spiritual Life and Title IX Coordinator
If you have personally experienced any form of sexual misconduct, tell someone as soon as possible. Immediate notification, ideally within the first 24 hours after any sexual misconduct occurs, helps assure the preservation of evidence. Preserving evidence may be necessary for the proof of criminal sexual misconduct or to obtain a protection order. In an emergency, call 911 (if on campus, dial 9 for an outside line) or call the Office of Campus Safety and Security at 612.343.4445. In order to initiate NCU’s response and resolution process under this policy, you or another person must notify the Title IX Coordinator.
If a member of the NCU community has a concern or has become aware of an instance of possible sexual misconduct involving a student, faculty or staff member, the Title IX Coordinator must be immediately contacted.
It is strongly recommended that any individual involved in resolution of a sexual misconduct complaint seek personal support through relationships with a few trusted family members or friends. Additional support is available for students through the Student Success Center and Student Life, and for employees through Human Resources.
NCU shall train all Investigators appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to assist in responding to informal and formal complaints of sexual misconduct. At least annually the Title IX Coordinator shall review all currently trained and appointed Investigators with the President and ensure their training is current.
NCU shall provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution. The complainant and respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a NCU misconduct proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice. The complainant and respondent shall be simultaneously informed in writing of the outcome of any proceeding, right to appeal, any change in results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final and when such results become final.
There are two procedures to consider for addressing sexual misconduct concerns, the Informal Complaint Procedure and the Formal Complaint Procedure. All proceedings of informal and formal complaints are confidential. All those involved in the process (complainant, respondent, Investigators, Title IX Coordinator and others) are required to keep all information confidential, except as may be required by applicable law or court order. Mental health professionals are generally required by law to protect confidential communications, unless he or she perceives an immediate or serious threat to a person or if there is an allegation of abuse to a person under 18.
Under the Clery Act, NCU is obligated to report annually sexual misconduct and issue a timely warning through the Office of Campus Safety and Security if there exists an ongoing threat to the community. Any publically available notice or recordkeeping will keep the victim’s name confidential and any identifying information will be protected to the extent reasonably possible to take appropriate preventative measures.
In addition to and separate from addressing sexual misconduct concerns within the institution, complainants may notify or decline to notify local law enforcement. NCU will give assistance to any complainant who requests help notifying law enforcement. A report to police is not necessary for NCU to proceed with interim measures, informal procedures, or formal procedures.
Interim protective measures, such as changing the work, transportation, living or academic environment, will be considered immediately, regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report the crime to local law enforcement. NCU will provide a written explanation of the complainant’s rights and options, as well as a copy of this policy. NCU will make information available to complainants on the right to seek orders for protection, no contact orders, or restraining orders.
Informal Complaint Procedure
In the Informal Complaint Procedure, a complainant may discuss a sexual misconduct concern with the Title IX Coordinator without putting the complaint in writing. A complainant may, however, elect to discontinue the informal complaint procedure and commence a formal complaint at any time. The informal complaint procedure will not be employed in cases of sexual assault.
The role of the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Investigators is to assist in resolving the complaint by direct involvement or by assisting the complainant in resolving the complaint. The steps are:
- The complainant should contact the Title IX Coordinator. If the complainant informs any other community member of a sexual misconduct concern, other than the Title IX Coordinator, that community member shall promptly inform the Title IX Coordinator of the concern. The complainant may choose to use the Online Reporting System, which receives complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence from both students and employees. The system permits anonymous reports, however, the institution may not be able to properly investigate a claim with an anonymous report. The Title IX – Online Reporting System is available on Skyline > Campus Services > Security > Student Resources/Staff Resources.
- In order to promptly respond, the Title IX Coordinator, or a designated Investigator, should ensure the following procedure is completed within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the complaint is received:
(a) Either the Title IX Coordinator and/or Investigator along with one additional person assigned by the Title IX Coordinator, shall meet with the complainant to understand the nature of the concern and obtain a complete description of the alleged misconduct;
(b) Provide a copy of and review this policy and its procedures with complainant;
(c) Offer appropriate assistance to the complainant;
(d) If deemed appropriate, meet with the respondent
- If feasible and appropriate, informal resolutions may be attempted to resolve the complaint. These resolutions include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) The respondent being directed, in writing, to cease the behavior;
(b) Third-party assistance to the complainant and/or the respondent to resolve past differences, and/or to establish guidelines for future interactions;
(c) Changing the work, living, transportation or academic environment of the complainant and/or respondent
- If the parties agree, the resolution will be implemented and the informal process will be concluded. If the parties do not agree upon a resolution, or at any time during the informal process, the complainant may initiate a formal complaint.
- Whether or not the complainant files a formal complaint and/or the parties reach a resolution, NCU may at its sole discretion initiate a formal investigation and take appropriate actions to attempt to fully resolve any harm that occurred and prevent any further harm.
The Title IX Coordinator and/or Investigator (as appropriate) shall keep a written record of the investigation and resolution. A letter summarizing the informal investigation and the resolution agreed upon shall be sent to the complainant, the respondent, and senior administrator responsible for the involved student, faculty or staff member (if applicable), and kept as part of the record. A full copy of the record shall be promptly provided to the Title IX Coordinator.
Formal Complaint Procedures
When informal complaint procedures are not possible or appropriate or fail to satisfactorily resolve the concern of sexual misconduct, the complainant may file a formal written complaint with the Title IX Coordinator.
- The complaint should describe in detail the alleged sexual misconduct and the action the complainant requests to resolve the matter. All written complaints must be signed and dated by the complainant and, where known, should contain the name(s) of the individual(s) involved, the date(s) of the event(s) at issue, a detailed description of the actions constituting the alleged unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct, and any other relevant information. If possible, names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses or potential witnesses should also be included. The complainant may choose to use the Online Reporting System, which receives complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence from both students and employees. The system permits anonymous reports, however, an anonymous report cannot be considered a formal complaint. The Title IX – Online Reporting System is available on Skyline > Campus Services > Security > Student Resources/Staff Resources.
- Within five (5) working days after receipt of the signed complaint, the Title IX Coordinator, or a designated Investigator will review the complaint to determine if the complaint sufficiently describes the alleged sexual misconduct.
(a) If the complaint does not sufficiently describe a concern within the definition of sexual misconduct under this policy, the complaint will be returned and other assistance may be recommended.
(b) If the complaint does not sufficiently describe the factual details of the concern so that a determination of sexual misconduct can be made, the complaint will be returned and the complainant may submit an amended complaint providing enough factual details to allow a determination to investigate.
- Within ten (10) working days of receiving a complaint or amended complaint, either the Title IX Coordinator or Investigator, will notify the respondent that a formal complaint has been received and an investigation has begun. The Title IX Coordinator or an Investigator will also give the respondent a copy of this policy.
- Within the next ten (10) working days the Investigator and one additional person assigned by the Title Coordinator will meet with the complainant to review the nature of the complaint and identify the scope and nature of the investigation. The Investigators will also meet with the respondent to present a copy of the complaint and this policy, to receive the respondent’s response to the complaint and to review with the respondent the scope and nature of the investigation.
- The Investigators shall thoroughly investigate the complaint. Prior to completing the investigation, the Investigators shall meet again with the complainant and the respondent separately to give an overview of the steps taken during the investigation, to ask the complainant and the respondent for the names of any others the investigators should speak with, and to request any additional information.
- After completion of the investigation, the Investigators shall meet with the Title IX Coordinator and the senior administrator responsible for the involved student, faculty or staff member (if applicable) to review the Investigators’ report and reach conclusion based on a preponderance of evidence (i.e., more likely than not standard) regarding the allegations and appropriate corrective action(s), if any.
- It is the goal of these procedures that, to the extent possible, the above steps be completed within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving the formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator shall forward to the complainant and respondent all of the following:
(a) a summary of the investigative report including the conclusion reached as to whether sexual misconduct did or did not occur with respect to each allegation in the complaint;
(b) a description of actions to be taken, if any, to resolve any sexual misconduct that occurred, and to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future;
(c) a description of the complainant’s and respondent’s right to appeal either the finding or the appropriateness of the corrective action(s)
Depending on circumstances and the severity of the conduct, corrective action may range from a written warning to dismissal from NCU. Sanctions may be imposed on an individual who knowingly provided false information or initiated in bad faith a claim of sexual misconduct.
Federal and state law, as well as NCU policy, prohibits retaliation, threats of retaliation, suspension, or discharge against persons for raising good faith concerns regarding sexual misconduct. Any retaliatory conduct is subject to disciplinary actions.
- If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the results of the formal procedures and the final determination, the complainant or respondent may submit a written appeal to the University President within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the determination.
- The appeal will be considered by a committee comprised of one Investigator not involved in the formal investigation and 2 other members to be appointed by the President. The complainant and respondent may each propose one committee member for consideration.
- Within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the committee will meet to review and evaluate the investigative report and determination, reach its conclusion by majority vote, and communicate its conclusion in the form of an advisory recommendation to the President. At the discretion of the committee, any party or witness may be asked to appear before the committee to clarify or supplement the record.
- The President shall issue a decision in writing to the complainant and respondent within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the committee’s recommendation. Such decision shall be NCU’s final decision in the case.
Regardless of whether a complaint has been received, NCU may, at any time and at its sole discretion, initiate an investigation of or take action against any sexual misconduct occurring within the NCU community. In the event that the complainant does not wish to pursue the disciplinary process, any response by the University may be hindered by the complainant’s wishes for anonymity and/or inaction. In a case of sexual violence where a criminal investigation has been commenced by law enforcement authorities, the procedures outlined in this policy and stated timelines may be adjusted as reasonably required to avoid interference with the criminal justice process.
911 (dial 9 first if using on-campus phone)
24-Hour Emergency On-Campus
Campus Safety and Security
Office location MH128
Dr. Douglas M. Graham, Vice President of Spiritual Life and Title IX Coordinator
Office location: MH250
Student Success Center
Office location: MH227