Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Individuals who have experienced Sexual Misconduct may make a report to Methodist University’s Title IX Coordinator: Debra Yeatts, at (910) 630-7385 or dyeatts@methodist.edu.

Complaints involving students will be forwarded to the Dean of Students’ office for processing.  Students may also file a report with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator: Todd Harris, at (910) 630-7155 or toharris@methodist.edu.

Reports made after business hours and on weekends are reported to Security (910) 630-7577 or (910) 630-7098. An administrator on call will be notified as soon as possible.

Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence, and Title IX Policy and Adjudication Procedures

The procedures of this section apply only to complaints made against a Methodist University student for engaging in some form of sexual discrimination.  The person making the report of sexual discrimination is known as the “Complainant.”  The person whose conduct is complained about is known as the “Respondent.”

General Procedure

a.  Receiving a Complaint:  Complaints of sexual discrimination may be made to the Director of Human Resources at 910-630-7385, who is Methodist University’s designated Title IX coordinator. Complaints against students will be forwarded to the Dean of Students for further processing. Complaints of sexual violence will be forwarded to campus police and to the Dean of Students. Concurrently, after an initial investigation with the complainant, the Respondent will be given written notice that a complaint has been made against him or her, and given a copy of these Procedures. Confidential reporting is available online through the “Silent Witness” report on the Methodist University Public Safety webpage.

b.  Police investigation separate: A Complainant may make a report of sexual discrimination, including sexual violence, to the campus police or another law enforcement agency, to the Director of Human Resources, or both.  The fact that a police investigation is ongoing does not relieve Methodist University of its obligation to investigate reports of sexual discrimination as provided herein.  Furthermore, administrative hearings may proceed even if a criminal matter is pending.   If campus police receives a report of sexual discrimination, campus police shall promptly notify the Director of Human Resources.

c.  Investigation:  Upon receiving a complaint, the Dean of Students or designee shall fully investigate the facts alleged in the complaint.  The Complainant will be afforded the opportunity to choose if they desire may request to pursue student conduct proceedings, interim measures or both, however the final decision regarding how to proceed with the complaint will remain with the Dean of Students or designee and the Title IX Coordinator.  If student conduct proceedings are not pursued and the Complainant desires to informally resolve the issue, the Respondent may still need to be contacted a Title IX Investigation may still be completed.  Depending on circumstances and safety concerns, the Dean of Students or designee may at any time determine that a full investigation and/or conduct proceedings are required.  At any time, the Complainant may also decide to change the process from an informal resolution to a formal investigation at any time.  In cases where sexual violence is alleged, a full investigation with the Respondent will be required.  A full investigation involves, , including, at a minimum, an interview with the Complainant, an interview with the Respondent, and an interview with any witnesses to the conduct complained of.  A Respondent shall not be required to be interviewed, and the Dean of Students will draw no negative inference from the Respondent’s refusal to be interviewed.  The interviews shall be recorded, and any relevant documents or other evidence gathered by the Dean of Students or designee will be preserved. All Title IX related investigations and complaints will be communicated to the Title IX Coordinator, who may at any time request additional information or investigations.  The Dean of Students or designee shall make all reasonable efforts to conduct a full and fair investigation within thirty calendar days from receipt of a complaint.  Throughout the process, every effort will be made to keep complainants and respondents separated and will not be allowed to cross-examine each other.

d.  Interim Measures:  The University will not automatically restrict a student from attending classes or participating in other University activities on the basis of a complaint of sexual discrimination.  However, Methodist University reserves the right to impose interim remedial measures at any time upon receiving a report of sexual discrimination, if the University has concerns about the safety of the Methodist community, including, without limitation, the Respondent. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, restrictions regarding movement on campus, removal from University housing and/or removal from campus. The decision to impose interim measures is made by the Dean of Students. The University will also enforce any court order.  At the time of the initial meetings, students will be notified in writing of interim measures and sources of counseling and support.

e.  Retaliation prohibited:  Retaliation against anyone who brings forward a complaint of sexual discrimination is strictly prohibited. Anyone responsible for retaliation or threats of retaliation, whether that person is the accused party, someone affiliated with the accused (i.e. a friend or family member), or any other party, will be subject to disciplinary action by the University. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Dean of Students.  Retaliation by a person not affiliated with the University may be addressed by the police.

Adjudication

a.  Dean of Student’s Referral:  Upon completion of his or her investigation the Dean of Students or designee shall:

i.   If, in the interview with the Dean of Students or designee, the Respondent denied committing the conduct complained of or if the Respondent refused to be interviewed, the Dean of Students or designee shall refer the case to the Administrative Hearing Board.

ii.  If, in the in the interview with the Dean of Students or designee, the Respondent admitted committing the conduct complained of, the Dean of Students or designee  shall order an appropriate sanction, and shall consider a range of sanctions from no sanction to expulsion.

b.  Administrative Hearing Board:  The Hearing Board shall be made up of five members of the Methodist University community and shall be comprised of faculty and staff. Hearing Board members whose participation in the hearing may represent a conflict of interest will recuse themselves from the process, and a replacement member shall be appointed to the appropriate Hearing Board. The Hearing Board shall convene within five calendar days of the Dean of Students or designee referring his or her report to its Chairperson. The proceedings of the Hearing Board shall be recorded or memorialized, and the recording or memorialization shall be preserved.  Attorneys shall not be permitted at the proceedings, and the proceedings shall not be open to the public.

i.   The Hearing Board shall consider the investigation of the Dean of Students or designee, including recorded interviews, documents, and other evidence, and the submissions of the Complainant and Respondent, if any.  The Hearing Board will not draw an inference of responsibility from the Respondent’s refusal to submit materials for its consideration or refusal to be interviewed by the Dean of Students.  The Hearing Board may decide the case based solely on the record presented to it.

ii.  If the Hearing Board believes further investigation is necessary, it may:

(1)      Send a written request or email to the Dean of Students asking him or her to conduct further recorded interviews or attempt to obtain other evidence, which request the Dean of Students shall make every effort to comply with within five calendar days; and/or,

(2)      Recess and gather additional documents and evidence on its own, and then reconvene to consider it; and/or

(3)      Recess to make arrangement to question witnesses, and reconvene to do so.  Witnesses may be questioned, in-person or through other means, except that the Respondent may not be required to testify in front of the Hearing Board and no negative inference may be drawn by the Respondent’s refusal to do so.

iii. When the Hearing Board has satisfied itself that it has fully considered the facts alleged in the complaint, it shall, by a simple majority vote, make a determination that more likely than not the Respondent committed sexual discrimination as defined herein, or more likely than not the Respondent did not commit sexual discrimination as defined herein.  Evidence of past consensual sexual relationships or previous Title IX complaints will not be considered when making a determination regarding a current complaint.

iv. The Hearing Board shall promptly inform the Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students or designee, in writing or by email, of its determination. [TM2]

c.  Sanctions: If the Hearing Board determines that the Respondent committed sexual discrimination as defined herein, the Hearing Board shall order an appropriate sanction, and shall consider a range of sanctions from no punishment to expulsion. The Dean of Students shall promptly inform the Respondent of the Hearing Board’s determination and of the sanction imposed, if any, and shall promptly inform the Complainant of the Hearing Board’s determination and of any sanction imposed which relates directly to the Complainant (e.g., a transfer of the Respondent to another residence hall or out of the Complainant’s classes). Furthermore, as part of this process and within the broad authority granted to the Dean of Students or designee additional measures may be imposed on the Respondent and/or accommodations provided to the Complainant to meet the University’s Title IX obligations. Decisions will be provided to the Complainant and Respondent verbally as well as in writing.

Appeal: The Complainant or Respondent may appeal the Hearing Board’s determination, the sanction, or both within two business days of being informed of the Hearing Board’s determination.  Appeals must be in writing and are made and adjudicated by the Appeal Board pursuant to the procedures of that body. However, notwithstanding any provision of the Student Handbook to the contrary, when adjudicating an appeal of sexual discrimination, the Appeal Board shall simultaneously consider whether grounds for an appeal exist, and adjudicate the appeal.  When so proceeding, the Appeal Board may consider only the record of the case, including any written submissions by the Complainant, and its proceedings are closed.  Its proceedings, however, shall be recorded or memorialized and the recordings or memorialization preserved. The decision of the Appeal Board is final. When adjudicating cases of sexual discrimination, the Appeal Board may, in its sole discretion and if it deems doing so is necessary to prevent a manifest injustice, receive and consider new evidence not previously considered in a matter, if such new evidence was not available at an earlier stage of the investigation and adjudication.  The Appeal Board shall make all reasonable efforts to render its decision within ten calendar days of receiving an appeal.

Notice to Complainant: After the Appeal Board determines the appeal, or after the time for an appeal lapses if no appeal is filed, the Dean of Students or designee shall inform the Complainant that no appeal was filed, or if an appeal was filed, of the determination of the Appeal Board and of any sanction imposed which relates directly to the Complainant (e.g., a transfer of the Respondent to another residence hall or out of the Complainant’s classes).

Timeline and Communication: Only under extraordinary circumstances will resolution of complaints be finalized in more than 60 days. Otherwise, students should expect that cases will be concluded within the Federal recommendations of no more than 60 days.  Timelines apply equally to both the complainant and the respondent. Both parties will be given regular updates in writing until the process is complete.

Campus Resources Available:

Reporting Resources

Debra YeattsDr. William H. Walker, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of StudentsDr. Todd Harris
Ms. Debra Yeatts
Dr. William Walker
Dr. Todd Harris

Emergency Contacts

  • Methodist University Public Safety/Welcome Center, (910) 630-7098 (24 hours)
  • Methodist University Police, 7577 (24 hours)

Confidential Resources Available:

Medical Care

Lynetta GeddieDave Baggett
Ms. Lynetta Geddie
Director, Health Center
Mr. Dave Baggett, PA-C
Physician Assistant

Support Services

Dr. Deirdre JacksonValarie McCantsElizabeth WarrenRev. Kelli Taylor
Dr. Deirdre Jackson
Director/Counselor
Ms. Valarie McCants
Counselor
Ms. Elizabeth Warren
Counselor
Rev. Kelli Taylor
Chaplain
  • Methodist University Counseling Center: (910) 630-7150
  • Vice President for Religious Life & University Chaplain, Rev. Kelli Taylor: (910) 630-7515