Title IX and Sexual Harassment

“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…” 

20 U.S.C. § 1681 

What is Title IX? 

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender-based discrimination and harassment in educational programs or activities at institutions that receive Federal financial assistance. Learn more from the U.S. Department of Education. It also prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status and protects a student’s right to take necessary medical leave and to be free of harassment, intimidation, or other unfairness because of pregnancy-related conditions. More information can be found on the Pregnancy and Parenting webpage

Sexual Harassment 

Sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment and is prohibited. The College has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment (per 34 CFR Part 106, §106.3), in order to address the special environment of an academic community, which consists not only of employer and employees, but of students as well.   

Sexual harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: 

  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment; and/or 
  • Hostile environment sexual harassment; and/or  
  • Sexual assault; and/or 
  • Domestic violence; and/or 
  • Dating violence; and/or 
  • Stalking

Learn more in Madison College’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy (PDF)

Reporting Discrimination/Harassment 

The College does not permit sexual harassment. If you believe that you have been discriminated against or harassed, you may follow the complaint procedure without fear of retaliation. All parties are assured a prompt investigation. To receive information about informal and formal options and complaint procedures available, you are encouraged to consult with Conflict Management Services if your complaint is related to a student or a guest, or Human Resources if your complaint is related to an employee.

  • Informal Grievance Process

    Informal options include receiving coaching on how to most effectively speak directly to the person(s) with whom you have a concern; talking to the appropriate administrator; or participating in mediation, which is facilitated by a neutral third party and is designed to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution between the parties involved. It is used only if the appropriate parties agree to participate. Mediation is private and expedient. If informal attempts to resolve matters of harassment/discrimination fail or are not advisable, a formal complaint may become necessary. 

  • Formal Grievance Process

    Madison College’s Title IX / Sexual Harassment Grievance Process seeks to ensure a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation and resolution. 

    The standard of evidence used in adjudication of sexual misconduct cases is the preponderance of evidence standard; it is more likely than not that a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy has occurred. When a violation is determined, Madison College will provide resources to any person who has been a victim of sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment. Appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied to those who violate the Policy. The College complies with federal, state and local laws, including the reporting of certain crimes to law enforcement authorities.

    Madison College Title IX / Sexual Harassment Grievance Process* (PDF)
    *If you have difficulty opening the document, try saving it to your computer first and then open it with Adobe Reader.

    1. Report an allegation using the Harassment/Discrimination Report Form 
    2. Initial Title IX Review and Preliminary Assessment
    3. Written Notice of Sexual Harassment Complaint
    4. Initiate Resolution Action
    5. Investigation
    6. Notice of Formal Hearing
    7. The Formal Hearing
    8. Notice of Outcome
  • Roles in the Grievance Process

    The individuals involved in the resolution of complaints of sexual harassment are listed below. They receive annual training to support their fulfillment of these responsibilities. 

    • Title IX Coordinator(s)
      • Coordinate Madison College’s efforts to carry out the requirements under Title IX and all associated regulations including the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prohibited under the approved policy.  
    • Informal Resolution Facilitator
      • Assist in the resolution of Title IX complaints when the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) agree to pursue an informal resolution.  
    • Advisor
      • The Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) are each entitled to have an advisor of their choice to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process.  
      • At minimum, an Advisor must be identified for the limited purpose of conducting any cross-examination in the Formal Hearing Proceedings following the Formal Investigation.  
        (NOTE: Witnesses are NOT entitled to Advisors within the process.)
    • Investigator(s)
      • Conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. 
      • Act as a neutral party in the investigation.  
      • Prepare a detailed, unbiased report regarding the findings of the investigation.  
    • Hearing Facilitator
      • Provides logistical support of the Formal Hearing Process by securing rooms, ensuring technology is set up and functioning, etc.  
      • Provides administrative support of the Formal Hearing Process by providing participants will necessary materials, accessing items upon request, etc.
    • Hearing Panel Chair
      • Facilitates the Formal Hearing Process by providing order and inviting individuals to speak at the Formal Hearing.  
      • Approves / denies questions asked by the Hearing Panel and Party Advisors.  
      • Signs determination decision notification to the Parties.  
    • Hearing Panel Member(s)
      • Analyze the investigation, ask clarifying questions, and make a finding of responsibility of policy violation.  
      • If a finding of responsibility is made that the policy was violated, the Hearing Panel will also determine sanction / remedies in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator.  
    • Appeal Officer
      • Makes determination decision upon receipt of a request for an appeal.  
      • Decision by Appeal Officer is final.  
  • Rights of the Parties
    • The right to an equitable investigation and resolution of all credible allegations of prohibited harassment or discrimination made in good faith to Madison College officials.
    • The right to timely written notice of all alleged violations, including the identity of the parties involved (if known), the precise misconduct being alleged, the date and location of the alleged misconduct (if known), the implicated policies and procedures, and possible sanctions.
    • The right to timely written notice of any material adjustments to the allegations (e.g., additional incidents or allegations, additional Complainants, unsubstantiated allegations) and any attendant adjustments needed to clarify potentially implicated policy violations.
    • The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the allegation(s) or underlying incident(s), whenever possible.
    • The right NOT to have any personally identifiable information released to the public without consent provided, except to the extent permitted by law.
    • The right to be treated with respect by Madison College officials.
    • The right to have Madison College policies and procedures followed without material deviation.
    • The right NOT to be pressured to mediate or otherwise informally resolve any reported misconduct involving violence, including sexual violence.
    • The right NOT to be discouraged by Madison College officials from reporting sexual misconduct or discrimination to both on-campus and off-campus authorities.
    • The right to be informed by Madison College officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities and the option(s) to be assisted by Madison College Public Safety Services in notifying such authorities if the party so chooses. This also includes the right NOT to be pressured to report, as well.
    • The right to have allegations of violations of this Policy responded to promptly and with sensitivity by Madison College officials.
    • The right to be informed of available interim actions and supportive measures, such as counseling; advocacy; health care; legal, student financial aid, visa, and immigration assistance; or other services, both on campus and in the community.
    • The right to a Madison College-implemented no-contact order [or a no-trespass order against a non-affiliated third party] when a person has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing, or other improper conduct that presents a danger to the welfare of the party or others.
    • The right to be informed of available assistance in changing academic, living, and/or working situations after an alleged incident of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, if such changes are reasonably available. No formal report, or investigation, either campus or criminal, needs to occur before this option is available. Such actions may include, but are not limited to:
      • Changing an employee’s work environment (e.g., reporting structure, office/workspace relocation)
      • Transportation accommodations
      • Visa/immigration assistance
      • Exam, paper, and/or assignment rescheduling or adjustment
      • Receiving an incomplete in, or a withdrawal from, a class (may be retroactive)
      • Transferring class sections
      • Temporary withdrawal/leave of absence (may be retroactive)
      • Campus safety escorts
      • Alternative course completion options.
    • The right to have Madison College maintain such actions for as long as necessary and for supportive measures to remain confidential, provided confidentiality does not impair Madison College’s ability to provide the supportive measures.
    • The right to receive sufficiently advanced, written notice of any meeting or interview involving the other party, when possible.
    • The right to ask the Investigator(s) and Decision-maker(s) to identify and question relevant witnesses, including expert witnesses.
    • The right to provide the Investigator(s)/Decision-maker(s) with a list of questions that, if deemed relevant by the Investigator(s)/Chair, may be asked of any party or witness.
    • The right NOT to have irrelevant prior sexual history or character admitted as evidence.
    • The right to know the relevant and directly related evidence obtained and to respond to that evidence.
    • The right to have a fair opportunity to provide the Investigator(s) with their account of the alleged misconduct and have that account be on the record.
    • The right to receive a copy of the investigation report, including all factual, policy, and/or credibility analyses performed, and all relevant and directly related evidence available and used to produce the investigation report, subject to the confidentiality limitations imposed by state and federal law, prior to the hearing, and the right to have at least ten (10) working days to review the report prior to the hearing.
    • The right to respond to the investigation report, including comments providing any additional relevant evidence after the opportunity to review the investigation report, and to have that response on the record.
    • The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses whose information will be used to make a finding, in advance of that finding, when relevant.
    • The right to regular updates on the status of the investigation and/or resolution.
    • The right to have reports of alleged Policy violations addressed by Investigators, Title IX Coordinators, and Decision-maker(s) who have received at least eight hours of relevant annual training.
    • The right to a Hearing Panel that is NOT single-sex in its composition.
    • The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and permitted by law.
    • The right to meetings, interviews, and/or hearings that are closed to the public.
    • The right to petition that any Madison College representative in the process be recused on the basis of disqualifying bias and/or conflict of interest.
    • The right to have an Advisor of their choice to accompany and assist the party in all meetings and/or interviews associated with the resolution process.
    • The right to have Madison College compel the participation of faculty and staff witnesses.
    • The right to the use of the preponderance of the evidence to make a finding after an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence.
    • The right to be present, including presence via remote technology, during all testimony given and evidence presented during any formal grievance hearing.
    • The right to have an impact statement considered by the Decision-maker(s) following a determination of responsibility for any allegation, but prior to sanctioning.
    • The right to be promptly informed in a written Notice of Outcome letter of the finding(s) and sanction(s) of the resolution process and a detailed rationale therefor (including an explanation of how credibility was assessed), delivered simultaneously (without undue delay) to the parties.
    • The right to be informed in writing of when a decision by Madison College is considered final and any changes to the sanction(s) that occur before the decision is finalized.
    • The right to be informed of the opportunity to appeal the finding(s) and sanction(s) of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by Madison College.
    • The right to a fundamentally fair resolution as defined in these procedures.
  • Faculty and Staff Responsibilities

    All employees, except for counseling staff, have a duty to report allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator, or other appropriate College designee. Those observing or receiving reports of a potential violation of the Policy must promptly file a report. This report should include the name of the alleged Respondent (if known), the individual who experienced the alleged incident, possible witnesses, as well as relevant details such as date, time, and location.    

    If no complaint is filed, but discriminating or harassing behavior is discovered, the Title IX Coordinator may investigate and take appropriate steps to ensure that the harassment/discrimination ceases. 

Madison College's Title IX Coordinators

These Title IX Coordinators are responsible for coordinating Madison College’s efforts to comply with and carry out the requirements under Title IX and all associated regulations. Sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, may be reported by any person at any time (including during non-business hours) using the following mechanisms:

  1. Submit the Harassment/Discrimination Report Form.
  2. File an incident report with Public Safety Services. (All campuses - 608-245-2222; Truax Campus - Room B1240; Goodman South Campus - Room 101)
  3. Reach the Title IX Coordinators directly by telephone, e-mail, or postal mail using the provided contact information. 

Title IX Coordinator - Students & Community Members (Guests)
Geraldo VilaCruz, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
Dean of Students Office
1701 Wright Street, Room D1618AL
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-6442

Title IX Coordinator - Employees, Vendors & Third Parties
Lisa Muchka, MS
Compliance Coordinator
Human Resources Department
1701 Wright Street, Room AB121, Cubicle K
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-5221