Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination (Title IX)

Sexual Misconduct is a violation of Title IX, and Simpson University takes its responsibilities under Title IX (Searched also by: "Title 9" / "Title Nine" / "Sexual Misconduct" / "Sexual Assault" / "Sexual Harassment" / "Sexual Exploitation" / "Sexually Inappropriate Behavior" / "Sexual Consent" / "Coercion" / "Retaliation" / "Gender Discrimination" "Discrimination" / "Incapacitated Sex") seriously. Therefore, those who have questions about Title IX, or wish to file a complaint under Title IX may contact one of our Title IX coordinators.

SU is committed to an educational and work environment free from any form of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The SU Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy provides definitions, reporting, and complaint resolution procedures.


The university’s Title IX Administrator is Dr. Mike Schill, Director of Wellness Center. The administrator’s responsibilities include overseeing the university’s process related to all complaints of sexual misconduct and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the process of investigation. Dr. Schill can be reached at mschill@simpsonu.edu or (530) 226-4179.

There are five Title IX Deputies:

What is Title IX?

The federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in educational institutions is Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 (amending the Higher Education Act of 1965). This act is codified as Title 20, United States Code, Chapter 38, Sections 1681-1686. The act was also amended by the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 ("Title IX").

The law states that "no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” The amendment in 1987 expanded the definition of program or activity to include all the operations of an educational institution, governmental entity or private employer that receives federal funds.

Title IX forbids sex discrimination in all university student services and academic programs including, but not limited to, admissions, financial aid, academic advising, housing, athletics, recreational services, college residential life programs, health services, counseling and psychological services, Registrar's office, classroom assignments, grading and discipline. Title IX also forbids discrimination because of sex in employment and recruitment consideration or selection, whether full time or part time, under any education program or activity operated by an institution receiving or benefiting from federal financial assistance ("recipient").

Following the passage of Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education (the "Department") issued its regulations for compliance with Title IX. The Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") in the Department is responsible for enforcing Title IX. OCR's responsibility to ensure that institutions that receive federal funds comply with Title IX is carried out through compliance enforcement. The principle enforcement activity is the investigation and resolution of complaints filed by those alleging sex discrimination. In addition, through a compliance review program of selected recipients, OCR is able to identify and remedy sex discrimination which may not be addressed through complaint investigation. OCR has discretion to select an institution for review in order to assess its compliance with Title IX even absent the filing of a complaint. If the investigation indicates there has been a violation of Title IX, OCR will attempt to obtain voluntary compliance and negotiate appropriate remedies. Title IX also protects people from discrimination on the basis of sex in employment and employment practices in educational programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. The prohibition encompasses, but is not limited to, recruitment, advertising, hiring, upgrading, tenure, firing, rates of pay, fringe benefits, leave for pregnancy and childbirth, and participation in employer sponsored activities. Because employment discrimination is not a part of the Title IX Administrators (Title IX officer) duties, we will focus here on its application to the SU student population.

OCR requires each recipient to issue notices of nondiscrimination. It recommends using one statement to comply with the requirements of Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 regulations. This combined notice must contain two elements: a statement of nondiscrimination on the basis of which OCR enforces civil rights statutes; and the identity by name or title, address and telephone number of the employee(s) responsible for coordinating the agency's compliance efforts.

Following its passage, Title IX has been interpreted by the federal government to cover all activities and programs of educational institutions receiving federal funds and all education programs of institutions whose primary mission is not education. In 1984 however, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Grove City College v. Bell ruled that Title IX was restricted to only those specific programs or activities funded with federal money. As a result, discrimination in many programs or activities was no longer prohibited. On March 22, 1988, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 over President Reagan's veto. This act overturned the Supreme Court's earlier decision and restored Title IX coverage so that once again it applies to the entire institution regardless of where federal funds are utilized.

Although some schools are exempt from coverage with regard to admissions, all schools must treat their students without discrimination on the basis of sex. Courts have interpreted Title IX to prohibit institutions from, on the basis of sex: (1) denying any person aid, benefits or services in all areas, including course offerings, extracurricular activities such as student organizations and competitive athletics, financial aid, facilities and housing; (2) providing different aid, benefits, or services or provide them in a different manner; (3) subjecting any person to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or treatment, including rules pertaining to appearance; (4) providing significant assistance such as facilities or act as a sponsor to any organization or person which discriminates on the basis of sex in providing any aid or benefits to students or employees; and (5) limiting any person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage or opportunity. In sum, schools cannot use sex as a category to classify students.

Early Case History:

Case law relevant to an institutions treatment of students is limited and theories explaining this are endless. There is much more case law dealing with an educational institution's discrimination in employment on the basis of sex. Some of the more famous cases are Melani v. Bd. of Education of the City of New York (1983); Zuboric v. Cornell University (1984); Sweeney v. Board of Trustees of Keene State College (1979); and Jew v. University of Idaho (1990).

Following are some precedent setting cases and their holdings regarding student rights under Title IX.

Mississippi University of Women v. Hogan, 102 Supreme Court 3331, (1982). Private single-sex undergraduate institutions can be exempt from the admissions requirements of Title IX but they must comply with constitutional equal protection requirements in admissions;

Canon v. University of Chicago, 710 F. 2d 351. In 1977 the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals gave an individual student the right to bring suit against an educational institution for discrimination;

Cockburn v. Santa Monica Community College District. A faculty member was dismissed for embracing and kissing his student laboratory assistant once and attempting to do so at other times. The Court held that the behavior created a hostile environment for the student.

Two cases addressed the "welcomeness" of sexual advances:

Naragon v. Wharton. The Court addressed the issue of consent in a lesbian relationship between a student and a teaching assistant. The university was found to be within its rights when it changed the duties of the assistant.

Korf v. Ball State. Testimony suggested that "submission" rather than consent or welcomeness characterized the relationship between a professor and a student. The Court of Appeals found the University had acted properly in dismissing the professor.

Alexander v. Yale University, 631 F. 2d 178, 2nd Circuit (1980). This case presents an example of quid pro quo sexual harassment in academia involving a student's allegation that she received a poor grade after rejecting her professor's offer of an "A" for compliance with his sexual demands. The Court recognized that Title IX affords relief for sexual harassment that deprives an individual of educational benefits but held that students must prove a distinct and palpable injury, thus rejecting the hostile environment theory.

Moire v. Temple University School of Medicine, 3rd Circuit (1986). The District Court allowed a claim for sexual harassment based solely on environmental harm (opposite of Alexander). The Court's explicit recognition that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC") guidelines are equally applicable to Title IX suggests that the courts will continue to decide claims of sexual harassment brought by students under Title IX using reasoning similar to that established under Title VII cases.

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Under Title IX regulation, an institution that is controlled by a religious organization is exempt from those sections of the regulation that are inconsistent with the religious tenets of the organization. Thus, Simpson University, an affiliated enterprise of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or veteran status. Simpson University does not discriminate on those bases in its educational programs or activities, including, but not limited to: admissions, recruitment, housing, athletic and extracurricular activities, discipline, financial assistance, hiring practices, employment, promotions and other institutional policies.

Policies and Procedures

Statement of Philosophy

Simpson University is a residential college committed to providing a safe and healthy environment that supports student development. To this end, Simpson University will not tolerate sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexually inappropriate conduct in any form, as it interferes with and disrupts the educational environment of the campus and interferes with the rights of other students.

Title IX Information

Sexual Misconduct is a violation of Title IX, and Simpson University takes its responsibilities under Title IX seriously. Therefore, those who have questions about Title IX or wish to file a complaint under Title IX may contact one of our Title IX Officers.

The Title IX Administrator will respond to issues arising from this policy when students are involved. The College has designated Dr. Mike Schill, Director of Wellness Center, as the Title IX Administrator who will handle student complaints. He is located in the Owen Center in suite 208 and can be reached at (530)226-4179. In addition to Dr. Schill, other Title IX Deputies have been appointed who can also be reached to discuss Title IX alleged violations. They are: Professor Cherry McCabe, J.D., Assistant Professor Political Science, 530-226-4154,room 212 of Grubbs Center; Dr. Ann Stamp Miller, Ph.D., Associate Provost, 530-226-4152, Owen Center 302; Kori Oechsli, Director of Human Resources, 530-226-4941, Owen Center 308; Derrick Pringle, Assistant Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball coach, 530-226-4731, Athletic Offices in Heritage Student Life Center; and Jessica Christian, Coordinator of Student Life, 530-226-4708, Owen Center 206.

Policy Definitions

Simpson University prohibits all sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and sexually inappropriate behavior. This includes, but is not limited to: sexual misconduct, including sexual assault; incapacitated sex and/or sexual contact; sexual harassment; sexual exploitation; coercion for sex and/or sexual contact and retaliation. Each of these prohibited behaviors is defined below. Incidents which a student considers to be a violation of this policy should be reported as outlined in this policy. The University will investigate and adjudicate as outlined in this policy.

  1. Sexual Misconduct: Any sexual behavior that rises to the level of a policy violation and under this policy includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and sexually inappropriate conduct.
    1. Sexual Assault: deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature of another person without that person’s consent.
      • Non-consensual sexual contact: Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching, with any object, by a man or a woman upon another person without consent or making any person touch you or them in a sexual manner.
      • Non-consensual intercourse: Non-consensual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), with any object, by a man or woman upon another person without consent.
    2. Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or to benefit others. Examples include, but are not limited to, non-consensual audio or video recording of sexual activity, streaming, voyeurism, and prostitution of self or others.
    3. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances or threats, deliberate or careless use of offensive or demeaning terms that have sexual connotations or are gender-based, repeated and unwelcome requests for sexual favors or a romantic relationship, repeated and unwelcome letters, phone calls, or e-mails of a sexual or romantic nature, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal, electronic, or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.
    4. Sexually inappropriate behavior: Includes behaviors which may not rise to the level of sexual harassment but is still sexual in nature. For example conduct that may be an isolated occurrence or rude, obscene or sexually suggestive gestures or communication. Disrobing or exposure of one’s self to another person without that person’s consent is another example.
  2. Consent: All sexual interaction between two people must be consensual. Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given, using mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical or perceived physical force, if there is intimidation or coercion, or if the recipient party is incapacitated. Silence or non-communication should never be interpreted as effective consent. The initiator of the sexual activity will be found in violation of the policy if he or she did not receive effective consent.
  3. Initiator of Sexual Contact: The initiator of sexual contact will be found in violation of this policy if it is determined that he or she knew or should have known that the other person could not give effective consent as defined by the policy. If someone is unable to give verbal consent because he or she is sleeping or unconscious at the time of the sexual activity, the initiator of the sexual contact with that person will be found in violation.
  4. Incapacitated Sex: Incapacitated means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, without limitation, sleep, blackouts, and flashbacks. Where alcohol [or other drug] is involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. Rather, incapacitation is determined by how the alcohol consumed affects a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. The question is whether the accused student knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the accused student should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated. Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume that another person is incapacitated and, therefore, unable to give effective consent. Being intoxicated or drunk is not a defense to a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this policy.
  5. Coercion: Coercion exists when a sexual initiator engages in sexually pressuring and/or oppressive behavior that violates the norms of the community, such that the application of pressure or oppression causes the recipient of the behavior to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. Coercion may be differentiated from seduction by the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, environmental factors such as isolation and the initiator's knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.
  6. Retaliation: Retaliation or intimidation against anyone involved in the Complaint process or anyone who pursues legal action, including the Complainant, Respondent, or anyone participating in the investigation. Such behavior may also violate the College's Harassment Policy and will be adjudicated.
  7. Complainant: Any person filing a complaint with the University Title IX Administrator regarding an incident of an alleged violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors.
  8. Respondent: Any person who allegedly violated the University’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors and is responding to a complaint.
  9. Investigator: The Title IX administrative official called an "investigator" will be responsible for coordinating any investigations of an alleged violation pertaining to the policy on Sexual misconduct, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Inappropriate Behaviors. The Investigator will then prepare a report for the purpose of adjudicating a complaint.
  10. Title IX Administrator: The university administrative official, the Title IX Administrator, who will be responsible for oversight of the investigation, disposition and resolution of a Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors complaint.

Process

For violations of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors; students who would like to report an incident should carefully review the following information on where to report an incident, the investigatory process, the complaint resolution process and the appeals process.

The university will take prompt action to investigate and adjudicate the complaint. Our goal is to complete the investigation and adjudication within 60 calendar work days. In most instances, the process will be resolved sooner. However, there may be times where the process may take longer (i.e. when requested by law enforcement authorities to wait until they complete their investigation), if that occurs, the university will communicate on an on-going basis with the complainant and respondent parties in a realistic timeline, and the circumstances regarding the same.

  1. Students should report incidents that they consider violations of this policy to the Title IX Administrator, Title IX Investigator, or any of the five (5) Title IX Deputies on campus. All faculty, staff and university administrators are identified by the university as reporting authorities, or official on-campus resources, and shall report any incidents or allegations to the Title IX Administrator who will determine if a preliminary investigation into the incident is necessary. If a determination is made that an investigation is warranted, the Title IX Administrator will initiate, and so instruct the investigator to proceed with an investigation. This may include notification of the Redding Police Department, and/or the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department.
  2. Members of the universities Health and Counseling Center and their staff are confidential resources and do not investigate incidents, nor do they make identifiable reports of incidents to Official On-Campus Resources unless the student requests them to do so. All faculty, staff and administrators outside of these two areas are not deemed confidential resources and must report all allegations.
  3. Investigations will be conducted under the authority of the Title IX Administrator, and performed by a Title IX Investigator designated by the Title IX Administrator. Investigation by the university will begin promptly and may be concurrent with any investigation by Simpson University, the Redding Police, or Shasta County Sheriff’s Departments. As otherwise stated, all reasonable efforts will be made to keep all information private during the universities investigation and adjudication of said complaint.
  4. Students charged with violating this policy may be subject to an interim suspension or other temporary adjustments to living arrangements, class schedule, etc. until the complaint is fully resolved. These actions are not however, meant to be a presumption of responsibility for said violation(s) of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors. Please see the interim suspension policy in the student handbook for more information.
  5. The investigation will commonly include an interview with the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses reported by either the complainant or respondent, and anyone else deemed by the Title IX Investigator as having important information the related to the incident. The complainant and respondent are permitted to have an advisor present during this interview(s) as well as during any meetings with the Title IX Administrator during the adjudication of stated charges. Advisors must be faculty, an administrator, staff member or student of the Simpson University community. The role of an Advisor is to support the complainant, respondent, but the Advisor may not represent the respondent or complainant in any way. The student and Advisor may speak quietly to one another during the interview(s), or request a short break in order to speak to one another.
  6. Oversight of the adjudication of Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behavior complaints will be conducted by the Title IX Administrator or her/his designee. The Title IX Investigator will prepare a written report of the investigation including recommendations and any possible sanctions to the Title IX Administrator at the conclusion of his/her investigation.
  7. Upon the rendering of his/her report to the Title IX Administrator, the Title IX Investigator will produce written charges to be delivered to the respondent. The charge letter should indicate the potential elements of this policy that may have been violated. In addition to the formal charge letter, the respondent will receive copies of written statements provided by witnesses during the inquiry process. The respondent will have five (5) calendar days from receipt of the charge letter and statements to submit a response to the Title IX Administrator.
  8. The Title IX Administrator will determine if a violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors occurred and, if so, will further determine any necessary sanctions.

    The Title IX Administrator will base her/his decision on the information available in the written report, interviews with the complainant, respondent, and all witnesses interviewed, and any other information that is deemed relevant and pertinent to the case. Additional investigations may be conducted at the discretion of the Title IX Administrator.
  9. The Title IX Administrator will resolve a complaint of a violation of this policy by:
    1. Determining that the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors has been violated and assigning appropriate sanctions.
    2. Determining that there was not a violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and/or Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors, and therefore dismissing the complaint.
    3. Determining that there is insufficient information to find the respondent responsible for violation of the policy. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, students who are found not responsible due to insufficient information may still be required to relocate and/or have no contact with the complainant. Other educational sanctions may also be required.
  10. The respondent(s) and complainant(s) will be notified in writing of the decision made by the Title IX Administrator.
  11. A student found responsible for violating this policy may be assigned sanctions that include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, probation, residence reassignment, or no-contact.

Appeal Process:

For the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors:

  1. Reasons for Appeal: The respondent or complainant may appeal a decision in a case for the following reasons:
    1. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed was inappropriate for the violation of policy for which the student was found responsible;
    2. To determine procedural error or absence of conformity with prescribed procedures during the investigative stage preventing either the complainant and respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present information to the investigator; and
    3. To determine that new information was discovered which was not available at the time of the investigative process, and which could have affected the outcome of the case.
  2. Appellate panel: Appeals of Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors complaint decisions adjudicated by the Title IX Administrator will be heard by an appellate panel. The panel will consist of one voting faculty member who will serve as chairperson; one voting administrator; and one voting staff member. Members of the panel will be appointed for one to two year terms, and will be trained on issues related to sexual misconduct policy and process.
  3. Process:
    1. A student wishing to appeal should submit his/her written appeal to the Title IX Administrator within 7 calendar working days of receipt of the original decision. Appeals are due by 5:00pm on the seventh day following the original decision.
      • Once a panel has been convened, the original appeal letter will be submitted to the chairperson of the Appeals panel.
      • Contact information for the chairperson is available in the Title IX Administrators office.
      • If the respondent submits an appeal, the complainant will be informed that an appeal has been submitted; if the complainant appeals, the respondent will be informed that an appeal has been submitted.
      • Once all parties have been notified that an appeal has been submitted, the complainant or respondent will then have 3 calendar working days of the receipt of the appeal notification to respond to the appeal.
      • The complainant would have the right to appeal in the case that the respondent was found “Not Responsible”, if there was a procedural error, or if new information has been discovered.
    2. All appeals submitted on the grounds of process error, inappropriate sanction(s), or on the grounds of new information will go through the Title IX Administrators office to be submitted to the chairperson. The Title IX Administrator may determine that the new information has no influence on the original decision, that the original decision should be amended, or that there needs to be a new hearing. She/he will send the final recommendation to the Chairperson for approval. All information may be referred back to the appellate panel for further clarification, discussion and recommendations.
    3. The appellate panel will be convened and the appellate panel will review the relevant materials and vote on whether or not there are grounds for an appeal. A non-voting administrator may be appointed by the chairperson to assist with the process.
    4. The Respondent or Complainant may request the removal of a member of the appellate panel, including the non-voting administrator, if the student feels that the member may not be fair or impartial. This request, including rationale, must be submitted to the chairperson in writing at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. In cases where the student would like the chairperson removed, this request, including rationale, must be submitted to the Title IX Administrator or their designee in writing at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. The final decision as to the removal of a member of the panel will be solely at the discretion of the Title IX Administrator.
    5. The panel will have access to all reports, statements by the complainant, respondent, all witnesses and any other materials gathered during the investigation relevant to the appeal.
    6. If, and only if, the panel decides that one of the three grounds for an appeal are met, the panel at a subsequent meeting will vote on whether or not the original findings and/or sanctions should be amended. Amendment of the sanctions may include an increase or decrease in severity.
    7. Prior to the "subsequent meeting" referred to in (f) above, the panel may, in its sole discretion, meet with the complainant, respondent, investigator, or adjudicator and/or other individuals in order to assist it in determining whether the original findings and/or sanctions should be amended. During any meeting with the complainant, respondent and/or other individuals, the Panel will not revisit the entire matter, but will limit its discussion to the "ground(s) for appeal" previously identified.
    8. The decision of the Appeals panel will be final.

*Language adopted from University of Virginia and Gettysburg College


To File a Complaint: Reporting Misconduct

Reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking should be reported to the following:

  • If there is an alleged student perpetrator: call the Title IX Office/Wellness Center (530) 226-4179 or Student Conduct Office (530) 226-4708
  • If there is an alleged employee perpetrator: call the Director of Human Resources, (530) 226-4941
  • If there is neither a student or an employee perpetrator: call the Title IX Office (530) 226-4179
  • Unsure of whom to report Contact any Title IX Deputy above

SU takes immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence. Retaliation against individuals reporting sexual harassment and/or sexual violence will not be tolerated and will be addressed through the appropriate university process (Title IX, Student Conduct, Human Resources). Questions about SU’s Title IX policy and protocol can be directed to: Dr. Mike Schill, Director of Wellness Center at mschill@simpsonu.edu, (530) 226-4179, Suite 208 Owen Center.

The U.S. Department of Education, OCR oversees Title IX compliance. Questions may be addressed to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).