Frequently Asked Questions | University Disciplinary Process

The Title IX Coordinator oversees investigations of alleged violations of applicable university policies, whereas the police investigate alleged violations of the law. These investigations follow different procedures, are conducted by different individuals, and use different standards of proof. The standard of proof in the university disciplinary process is the preponderance of evidence standard, which means whether it is more likely than not sexual misconduct occurred. Criminal trials use a higher evidentiary standard, and the defendant's guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the police and Auburn University may share information discovered in their investigations – unless it's against the wishes of the complainant – they proceed independently, and the decisions reached in one proceeding do not necessarily impact those reached in the other. An overview of the university’s disciplinary procedures can be found in this document.

Yes. The university disciplinary system and the criminal justice system operate independently. The outcome in one does not determine the outcome in the other. In fact, Auburn University may proceed with a case within the university disciplinary system even if the matter is never reported to the police.

Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to receive notification of the charges, to respond to those charges, to identify witnesses and provide relevant information, to review and to comment on the results of the investigation within a specified time period, to receive a timely written decision, and to appeal that decision. In addition, both the complainant and the respondent may have an advisor of their choice accompany them to any meeting with university officials and may choose not to answer any question during the investigation. Title IX Advisors are available to parties involved in cases that fall under Auburn’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy. Information regarding Title IX Process Advisors is available

Auburn University's Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy expressly prohibits retaliation. You can raise any concerns you have about retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. You are encouraged to report any retaliation you experience during or after the investigation. Auburn University takes reports of retaliation very seriously and investigates them as violations of the Title XI Sexual Harassment Policy.

The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether concerns for campus safety require that the investigation proceed without your participation. This decision is based on several factors outlined in Section XII. of the Auburn University Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will communicate the results of that evaluation to you as the complainant.

Any person found in violation of the Policy will be assigned a formal sanction. Formal sanctions range from a university reprimand to dismissal from Auburn University. Further information about sanctions can be found in Section I. of the Policy.

Individuals participating in the university disciplinary process have a right to an advisor of their choice. An advisor provides the advisee with support and guidance throughout the university disciplinary process and may accompany the advisee to any meetings with university officials. The advisor may also ask questions of the other party at a university hearing. However, advisors may not directly participate in the dialogue between the advisees and university officials, they may not speak on behalf of the advisee, and they may not serve as witnesses.

Title IX Process Advisors are available to parties involved in cases that fall Auburn University’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy. Information regarding Title IX Process Advisors is available.

Information regarding alcohol and drug use may be relevant for determining whether consent was provided in a particular case. However, a complainant will not face disciplinary action due to the use of alcohol or other drugs at or around the time of the reported incident. Causing the incapacitation of another person (such as through alcohol or drugs) for the purpose of compromising that person's ability to give consent to sexual activity is a violation of the Auburn University Title IX Policy. Students who are found responsible for sexual misconduct may also be found responsible for alcohol or drug violations under other applicable university policies.

No. The complainant and the respondent will not be required to be in the same room as part of the university disciplinary process.

For formal resolution of sexual misconduct cases, the decision is made by a Hearing Officer. That decision may be appealed to an appeal panel whose decision is final.

The university strives to complete each investigation within thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days of the transmittal of the written notice of Formal Complaint.

Last Updated: April 8, 2021