Guidance for Complainants

The information below is provided for all Complainants, or the individuals who have alleged the occurrence of one or more policy violations under the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Chapter 600.  For any questions regarding these steps, please contact us (link).

STEP 1: You’ll want to read the Notice of Allegations and the mutual No Contact Directive in their entirety as well as the policy applicable to the complaint, if you have not already done so.  You may also be interested in reviewing the relevant process flowchart, information on your rights during the complaint resolution process, FAQs, and suggestions to consider in providing evidence and determining witnesses.

Policies (link)

Process Flowcharts (link)

What Are My Rights? (link)

FAQs for Complainants & Respondents (link)

Providing Evidence and Determining Witnesses (link)

Do not attempt to contact the Respondent (the individual you filed a complaint against) directly or through others as outlined in the No Contact Directive; you should also inform your close contacts (family members, friends) that they should not attempt to contact the Respondent directly or through others, as this could also be a violation of the No Contact Directive, resulting in sanctions against you.

STEP 2: You may request Supportive Measures, even if you choose not to participate in the complaint resolution process.

Supportive measures (link) are available to you before, during, and following the complaint resolution process.  Supportive measures are individualized services offered without fee or charge and must be reasonable, non-disciplinary, and non-punitive. These measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to UMKC’s educational programs and activities and employment opportunities. The University will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to you, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair UMKC’s ability to provide the supportive measures.

To find out more about the availability of supportive measures, contact us (link).  For a list of possible options, see Supportive Measures (link).

STEP 3: We encourage you to seek support and to connect with others.

For anyone who is navigating a difficult situation, the ability to connect with others for support, advocacy, and assistance is vital.  For more information on confidential support resources, visit Support (link).  To access a list of additional sources of support, advocacy, and assistance, visit Connections (link).

STEP 4: You must decide whether you wish to participate in the complaint resolution process.

This is a personal decision, and our team cannot provide guidance on whether to participate in any aspect of the process.  However, we do want you to make an informed decision and are providing the following information for your consideration.

  • The complaint may proceed regardless of whether you choose to participate.
    • This is true for both employees and students, even if a student chooses to withdraw from classes.
  • Any finding will be rendered based on the information made available to investigators during the course of the investigation. 
  • Any testimony or evidence that would have been available had you participated would not be considered new evidence for purposes of an appeal. 

For more on making a choice regarding participation, visit FAQs for Complainants & Respondents (link).  

STEP 5: Next is the selection of a Support Person/Advisor.

Support Persons
You may select one Support Person of your choice to accompany you to any meetings as part of the complaint resolution process; this applies to all interviews and any subsequent meetings.  If you do not have a Support Person available to you, UMKC will provide, without fee or charge, a trained Support Person of the University’s choice to provide assistance to you related to participating in the complaint resolution process.  You are not required to have a Support Person, but it is strongly advised.  For more information, visit Support Persons (link).

Advisors (Title IX)
If your complaint is being resolved under Title IX, you have the right to choose an Advisor to be present at the hearing.  If you do not have an Advisor available to you, UMKC will provide, without fee or charge, an Advisor of the University’s choice to conduct questioning on your behalf. You may not require that the assigned Advisor have specific qualifications, such as being an attorney.  You must have an Advisor for any hearing under Title IX.  For more information, visit Advisors (link).

STEP 6: You should decide whether you would like to request an informal resolution to your complaint.

Both parties have the option of requesting an informal resolution to the complaint.  If either party makes this request, the other party will be notified and has the option to agree to participate in the informal resolution process.  For more information on your options, visit Informal Resolution (link).

STEP 7: If you do not wish to attempt an informal resolution and are planning to participate in the investigation, you have the option of contacting your witnesses to let them know you’ll be sharing their name and contact information with our team. 

If you do choose to reach out to your witnesses, we encourage you to provide them with the links below for their review.

What Are My Rights? (link)

FAQs for Witnesses (link)

STEP 8: If you have concerns about the possibility of disciplinary action being taken against you or others for minor student conduct violations that may have occurred around the same time as the conduct you allege was a policy violation, you should share this concern with the investigator or Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer so our team can consider whether amnesty is appropriate.

The health and safety of every student at the University is a top priority of UMKC. With that in mind, and with the intent to encourage students to participate in the complaint resolution process, students, including Complainants, Respondents, and witnesses, may be granted amnesty from disciplinary action under 200.010 Standard of Conduct (link) for minor student conduct violations at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer.  For more information, contact UMKC’s Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer (link).

STEP 9: You will be interviewed by an investigator from our team at least once and should come prepared.

Prior to your interview, we encourage you to review the following information:

FAQs for Complainants & Respondents (link)

Providing Evidence and Determining Witnesses (link)

Role of an Investigator (link)

Support Persons (link)

STEP 10: Once the investigator has tentatively completed the investigation, they will provide you with a draft report detailing the testimony and evidence gathered during the course of the investigation.  You will want to review this report carefully and may provide a written response to the investigator within 10 business days for their consideration prior to the completion of the investigation.  You may also request additional steps be taken by the investigator to collect evidence or obtain testimony.

It is vital that you make any requests and provide any feedback to the investigator at this stage in the process in order to ensure a thorough investigation.  To note, the written response will not be included in the final investigative report as a standalone document, but rather the information may be incorporated within the report itself.  For more information, visit Investigative Report & Review Period (link).

STEP 11: Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will provide you the final investigative report and evidence for your review.  You again have the option to submit a written response to the investigator within 10 business days; this response will be shared with the Respondent and the decision-maker.  At this point, any written response will be added as an addendum to the final investigative report and will not modify its contents.

This will be the report used by the decision-maker to determine whether the Respondent has violated University policy, and in your written response, you should address any aspects of the investigative report that you believe are concerning, irrelevant, or misleading.  

STEP 12: Once the report is finalized and any written responses have been received by the investigator from the parties, you will receive notice of the next phase in the process, the resolution.  

If the complaint is being addressed under Title IX, the decision-maker will be a panel consisting of a hearing officer and two faculty/staff hearing panelists.  For more information on this method of resolution, visit Title IX Hearing Panel Resolutions (link).

If the complaint is being addressed as an Equity matter, the parties have the option as to the decision-maker.  The default method of resolution for resolving complaints against students or faculty is a Hearing, with the decision-maker being three faculty/staff hearing panelists.  If both parties would rather pursue an Administrative Resolution or the complaint is against a staff member or the University, the decision-maker will be the Equity Officer.  For more information, visit Equity Hearing Panel Resolutions (link) or Equity Administrative Resolutions (link).

For information on possible sanctions should the decision-maker determine that the Respondent violated University policy, visit Possible Sanctions – Title IX & Equity (link).

STEP 13: After the decision-maker has issued their determination, you will receive notice of the finding and any sanctions, if applicable.  You have the option of accepting the determination or appealing to the appropriate Equity Resolution Appellate Officer as indicated in the notice.  The Respondent may also appeal to the ERAO.

For more information on the how a decision-maker determines their findings and sanctions, visit Determining Findings & Sanctions (link).  For information on the appeals process, visit Appealing a Decision (link).

STEP 14: If the decision-maker found the Respondent in violation of University policy and both parties either accept the determination or are unsuccessful in any appeal, the Respondent must meet the parameters of all sanctions within the timeline specified.

Failure to follow through on these sanctions by the date specified for any reason may result in additional sanctions and/or suspension or expulsion of a student or termination of an employee through the appropriate process. 

If an appeal submitted by either party is granted, you will receive notice of next steps from the Equity Resolution Appellate Officer.

Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final. Further appeals are not permitted.