- Hearing Officers
Title IX is the federal law protecting students (and in some cases employees) from gender-based discrimination in education. To comply with Title IX, educational institutions’ policies commonly call for investigations of complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Many educational institutions further require a hearing at the conclusion of the inquiry.
The Oppenheimer Investigations Group assists educational institutions in navigating your legal requirements under Title IX, helping you ensure that your campuses are a safe place for students. We offer the following Title IX services:
- Hearing Officers
We provide fair, timely, and thorough investigations into complaints ranging from sexual harassment, sexual violence, and stalking to discrimination, retaliation, and other misconduct allegations. We strive to strike a balance between being sensitive in our treatment of potential victims and respecting the rights of the accused to be fairly heard. Our thoughtful and unbiased investigation reports provide our clients with the information necessary to effectively resolve these sensitive matters.
All of our Title IX investigators have received specialized training in the Title IX legal framework, special considerations when conducting investigations for educational institutions, and trauma-informed interviewing techniques. Being trauma-informed means our investigators not only obtain the information necessary to investigate the complaint, make credibility determinations, and reach well-reasoned findings, but that we also conduct our investigations with an approach that is sensitive to potential victims of sexual misconduct and mindful of the science behind trauma.
We have conducted dozens of Title IX investigations, including:
- Complaints involving students
- Complaints involving faculty
- Complaints involving high-level administrators
- Organizational investigations
These investigations have been conducted for:
- Large universities
- Smaller community and private colleges
- Public and private grade schools
We tailor our approach so that our investigations are conducted in accordance with our clients’ Title IX policies. We also stay abreast of the latest judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments concerning Title IX, so that we can advise clients who might have questions regarding how to approach an issue.
We provide trained Title IX Hearing Officers, who can adjudicate Title IX complaints for colleges and universities. Through a live hearing, our Hearing Officers examine allegations of gender-based harm. They:
- Hear and obtain relevant testimony from witnesses and parties
- Protect the rights of all parties
- Ensure that the educational institution’s policies and procedures are followed
- Make credibility determinations
- Issue a final decision regarding the complaint
Much like our Title IX investigators, our Hearing Officers approach their hearings from a trauma-informed perspective. They obtain the information necessary to reach their final determinations, but do so in a manner that is sensitive to potential victims of sexual misconduct and mindful of the science behind trauma.
Our Hearing Officers also ensure that the accused parties have a fair opportunity to question witnesses and the complaining party, as well as present their evidence.
All of our Hearing Officers have experience conducting Title IX investigations and have also received specialized training and have experience participating in and conducting live hearings.
We provide Title IX training, including training to educational institutions on conducting investigations and meeting Title IX obligations, as well as training on sexual harassment and sexual violence geared toward students and faculty.
For educational institutions needing training for your Title IX Coordinators and those who will be conducting Title IX investigations for your school sites, our Title IX trainers will provide an overview of the Title IX legal framework and teach your administrators how to thoroughly investigate Title IX claims, so that you can implement effective resolutions and remedies.
We also provide sexual harassment and sexual violence training to student bodies and faculty, which covers the law around sexual harassment and sexual violence, definitions and concepts, bystander intervention, and reporting rights and options.
We customize our trainings for each client and can thus tailor our trainings to the specific needs of your educational institution.