IX. Due Process

All alleged violations of this policy shall be processed according to the principles of due process, for example, allegations should always be investigated by a party other than the accuser. It is the policy of the University to avoid creating unnecessary enforcement mechanisms for technology that are different than for other media. Therefore, the authority that would be responsible for comparable infractions shall also be responsible for enforcing violations that take place via technology. E.g., if sexual harassment occurs via technology, responsibility for enforcement shall reside with the same authority that would handle any other sexual harassment allegation.

In general, when an alleged violation of this policy by a user is encountered, the responsible staff or system administrator shall first notify the user. The user will be expected to take immediate remedial action or respond by indicating that they do not believe they have violated the policy. Depending on the seriousness of the alleged violation, or should the violation persist after notification to the user, further investigation and consequent enforcement action may be initiated.

Allegations of violation of statute or conduct codes will be filed with appropriate internal or external authorities, typically the Dean of Students, Senior Vice President, or legal authorities. If the allegation relates to personal harassment the system administrator should direct the complainant to file their allegation with the responsible authority. System administrators will cooperate fully in duly authorized investigations and should attempt to provide assistance to aggrieved parties. But system administrators are not obligated to file personal complaints on behalf of aggrieved parties since that decision belongs with the complainant.

In cases where the alleged violation relates to endangering the availability or performance of the technology infrastructure (e.g. a denial-of-service attack), authority for investigation and action up to and including suspension of access to University technology resources may be delegated to the senior manager responsible for the impacted technology. Inspection of user files necessary to the investigation should be approved in advance by a dean, director, provost or vice-president. If access to University technology is suspended as a result of the investigation, the alleged violator may appeal their suspension to the appropriate provost, dean or director. Such violations may also be referred to appropriate internal or external authorities or for prosecution as a criminal offense or violation of other code of conduct.

Allegations of misconduct by system administrators should be filed with the responsible dean, director, provost or vice president, who shall be responsible for investigating the situation by drawing on expertise outside the unit as needed.

Regardless of its commitment to due process, the University reserves the right to summarily suspend access to facilities and services or take emergency actions as necessary to protect the safety, integrity and performance of its institutional systems and services. Such actions may be necessary due to inadvertent errors or problems unrelated to misconduct by any individual, but system administrators must be able to take certain actions in times of crisis to preserve and protect the overall services provided to the University community.