Appendix F Hearing Information


Student Hearing Procedures (Appendix F) 

Below you will find an overview of the hearing procedures that guide student hearings that fall within Appendix F. Please refer to the Interim Interim Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Student Investigation and Adjudication Framework for DOE Covered Conduct (Appendix F) for more information. The following procedures must be followed during a hearing:

General Procedures Guiding the Hearing

  • The hearing will be conducted in a respectful manner that promotes fairness and accurate factfinding and complies with the rules of conduct. The parties and witnesses will address only the hearing officer, and not each other. Only the hearing officer and the parties’ advisors (or Readers if they do not have advisors), may question witnesses and parties. 

  • The hearing will be conducted remotely, with any modifications the hearing coordinator has made in response to a party’s request for assistance.

  • The University will audio record the hearing and make the recording available for the parties’ review at their request.

Individuals Present at the Hearing

  • The parties may have their advisors and support persons present throughout the hearing. 
  • Parties will be able to see and hear (or, if Deaf or hard of hearing, to access through auxiliary aids for services) all questioning and testimony at the hearing, if they choose to. 

  • The hearing officer will allow the parties and/or witnesses to be visually separated during the hearing. This may include, but is not limited to, videoconference and/or any other appropriate technology.
  • To assess credibility, the hearing officer must have sufficient access to the Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses presenting information; if the hearing officer is sighted, then the hearing officer must be able to see them.
  • The hearing officer will implement measures they deem appropriate to protect the well-being of parties and witnesses. For example, the hearing officer will allow separation of the parties, breaks, and the participation of support persons in accordance with these procedures.

  • Witnesses (other than the parties) will attend the hearing only for their own testimony.
  • If a party does not have an advisor to ask questions at the hearing, an individual will be provided to that party by the University to pose questions on the party's behalf (this role is referred to in the policy as a "Reader").

Presenting Information at the Hearing

  • The investigation file will be entered as evidence at the hearing. The hearing officer generally will rely on any finding in the report that is not disputed.

  • The parties will have the opportunity to present the evidence they submitted, subject to any exclusions determined by the hearing officer. 

  • Generally, the parties may not introduce evidence, including witness testimony, at the hearing that they did not identify during the pre-hearing process. However, the hearing officer has discretion to accept or exclude additional evidence presented at the hearing.

  • The parties are expected not to spend time on undisputed facts or evidence that would be duplicative. 

Questioning at the Hearing

  • The hearing officer may ask questions of all parties and witnesses that are relevant, including those that are relevant to assessing credibility. 

  • Each party’s advisor may ask questions of the other party (not their party) and witnesses that are relevant, including those that are relevant to assessing credibility. 

  • The University will assign a person to ask a party’s questions whenever a party does not have an advisor at the hearing. 

  • The hearing officer will determine the order of questioning of the parties and witnesses. For each party or witness, the hearing officer will ask their own questions first. 

  • Each party will prepare their questions, including any followup questions, for the other party and witnesses, and will provide them to their advisor. The advisor will ask the questions as the party has provided them, and may not ask questions that the advisor themselves have developed without their party. 

  • If a party does not attend the hearing, the hearing will still proceed, and they may still have their advisor - or if they do not have one, a University assigned Reader – ask the questions that they have prepared. 

  • When a party’s advisor is asking questions of the other party or a witness, the hearing officer will determine whether each question is relevant before the party or witness answers it and will exclude any that are not relevant or unduly repetitive, and will require rephrasing of any questions that violate the rules of conduct. If the hearing officer determines that a question should be excluded as not relevant, they will explain their reasoning. 

  • At any time, the hearing officer may ask followup questions of the parties and witnesses. 

  • Any expert witnesses identified during the investigation will be subject to these same questioning procedures.

Determinations Made by the Hearing Officer

  • Courtroom rules of evidence and procedure will not apply. The hearing officer will generally consider, that is rely on, all evidence they determine to be relevant and reliable. The hearing officer may determine the relevance and weigh the value of any witness testimony or other evidence to the findings.

  • Throughout the hearing, the hearing officer will: 

    • Exclude evidence including witness testimony that is, for example, irrelevant in light of the policy violation(s) charged, or relevant only to issues not in dispute, or unduly repetitive, and require rephrasing of questions that violate the rules of conduct, 

    • Decide any procedural issues for the hearing, and/or 

    • Make any other determinations necessary to promote an orderly, productive, and fair hearing that complies with the rules of conduct.