Process for the Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy

NEC encourages community members who have experienced any potential sexual misconduct, regardless of whether the incident occurred or whether the conduct is prohibited under Title IX, to inform the Title IX Coordinator, so that the Title IX Coordinator can offer appropriate supportive measures and information regarding available reporting options under applicable policies.

NEC can address reports of violations of this Policy most completely when the Conservatory is able to identify and communicate with the people reporting policy violations. The benefits of direct reporting include a greater ability for NEC to follow-up on the information in the report and to provide resources, support, and options to those reporting. However, NEC also provides individuals with the option to submit an anonymous report to NEC’s Title IX Coordinator without disclosing their identity or the identity of others or requesting any action. Those wishing to submit a report anonymously may submit the online form titled Violations of Title IX and Gender-Based Misconduct Policies (available on NEC’s website here: without personal identifying information. Students and employees may also file an anonymous report through EthicsPoint, a third-party service party that permits the submitter to submit an anonymous report and to exchange anonymous messages with NEC. EthicsPoint can be accessed by students by logging into “My NEC” and navigating to the Security & Safety tab. For employees, EthicsPoint is accessed via the ADP website, available through the OneLogin webpage:

If a report is submitted anonymously, NEC will review the information in the report, but may be limited in its ability to take action with regard to the information that is shared.  

Reports that fall within the federal Title IX regulations will follow the below process.  

  1. Informal Reports

Reports of conduct that may fall within this Policy can be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator regardless of where they occurred. After receiving an informal report of conduct that could fall under the Title IX Policy, the Title IX  Coordinator, or their designee (the “Title IX Officer”), will take a number of initial steps; these initial steps are not an investigation.  Rather, these initial steps will enable NEC to assess the need to take any immediate action to address the safety and health needs of the parties involved in a matter and to help the parties determine the next appropriate steps, whether under this Title IX Policy or a referral to another Conservatory policy, including, without limitation, the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.  These initial steps may include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. The Title IX Officer will contact the Complainant (if known) and encourage them to meet virtually or in person to discuss the nature and circumstances of the report, review relevant documentation that is available, and describe the various options available to them.  

B. Regardless of whether a Complainant decides to participate in an adjudication process, they may be entitled to supportive measures, as defined in the Definitions section of this Policy. 

The decision to implement supportive measures will be communicated by the Title IX Officer in writing.  NEC will seek to be transparent with regard to supportive measures that impact both parties.  The Conservatory may be limited in certain situations when student or employee privacy issues prevent disclosures.  

C. The Title IX Officer will review the processes, options, and protections in this Title IX Policy.  The Title IX Officer will also explain the right to submit a formal complaint,  and the right to delay or decline to submit a formal complaint to NEC. Depending on the nature of the report, the Title IX Officer may also advise the Complainant of the opportunity to make a report to local law enforcement. Such a report will not change any obligation of NEC to investigate the matter, but it may briefly delay the timing of the investigation, such as if a law enforcement agency requests that NEC delay its process for a reasonable amount of time to allow it to gather evidence of criminal conduct. NEC does not use the same process or standard of proof as a criminal process. Typically, NEC will only inquire about criminal processes if they impact an individual’s ability to access or use NEC’s process. In no instance will a concurrent criminal proceeding, by itself, lead to an adverse inference against the Respondent. 


  1. Formal Complaint

A Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator may submit a formal complaint at any time by preparing a written document that is physically or electronically signed by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator, alleges Title IX Prohibited Conduct as defined in this Policy, and requests that NEC investigate the allegation. A formal complaint can be submitted regardless of where the incident occurred, and the Title IX Coordinator will review the content of the complaint to determine if it should be investigated, whether under this Policy or another NEC policy. The formal complaint may be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator in any of the following ways:

A. By delivering, mailing, or otherwise transmitting the formal complaint to the Title IX Coordinator;

B. By emailing the formal complaint to;

C. By completing a Title IX and Gender-Based Misconduct Reporting Form ; or

D. Through any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s signed formal complaint.

If the Complainant declines to proceed with a Title IX investigation and does not submit a formal complaint, the Title IX Officer will weigh that request against NEC’s obligation to address any risk of harm to the community based on the allegations in a report and may sign a formal complaint against another party if deemed necessary.  In such situations, the Title IX Officer and/or NEC is not a party and will provide notice, as set forth below, to both the Complainant and Respondent.

As soon as practicable after receiving a formal complaint, and with sufficient time to prepare for any interview or meeting, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a written notice to all known parties that will include: a description of the allegations as they are understood at the time, including, to the extent known the name(s) of the parties, the date, time, and location of the conduct in question, the allegations and the portions of the policy that are alleged to have been violated, any interim measures in place that either party must be made aware, and a statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct.  This written notice does not constitute a finding or a determination of responsibility.  The written notice will be updated or amended if new allegations are raised by either party and accepted for investigation.  

In appropriate circumstances, to address imminent threats posed to any person’s physical health or safety as a result of the allegations in a formal complaint, NEC may evaluate whether to remove a Respondent from its Education Program and Activities on an emergency basis or to place an employee on leave during the Title IX Investigation Process.

A. Emergency Removal. NEC may remove a Respondent from its Education Program or Activity on an emergency basis following an individualized safety and risk analysis that determines there is an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any individual arising from the allegations of prohibited conduct. The Respondent shall have the opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. 

B. Administrative Leave. NEC may place an employee on leave during the Title IX Investigation Process.

C. Preliminary Review of Formal Complaint

Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Title IX Officer will conduct a preliminary review to determine whether: 

(a.) the conduct is alleged to have occurred in the United States;

(b.) the conduct is alleged in have occurred in an Education Program or Activity; and

(c.) whether the formal complaint alleges facts that, if true, may constitute a violation of the Title IX Policy. 


If the Title IX Officer determines that the formal complaint meets with above criteria, the matter will be referred to the Title IX investigation process. 

If a formal complaint alleges that a Respondent engaged in conduct that potentially violates both NEC’s Title IX Policy and other NEC policies, the Title IX Officer may within their discretion choose to resolve some or all the non-Title IX charges pursuant to the processes in NEC’s Title IX Policy and will contemporaneously inform all parties of such determinations. This decision will be made at the outset of the notice of the complaint or as soon as reasonably practicable after the allegations become clear.


  1. Dismissal of Formal Complaint

If a formal complaint is submitted that does not allege Title IX Prohibited Conduct, as defined above, it must be dismissed in compliance with the federal Title IX regulations. Any allegation in a formal complaint that is dismissed because it does not constitute Title IX Prohibited Conduct or does not fall within the scope and jurisdiction of this Policy, may be addressed through another NEC policy, such as NEC’s Gender-Based Misconduct Policy. 

A formal complaint may be dismissed by the Title IX Officer, in whole or in part, at any time if: 

• a Complainant notifies the Title IX Officer in writing that they wish to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegation(s) contained in that formal complaint; or 

• the Title IX Officer determines that specific circumstances will prevent NEC from gathering sufficient information to reach a determination on the formal complaint, or any allegations contained in the formal complaint.

If a formal complaint is dismissed under this section, the Title IX Officer will provide a Notice of Dismissal to the Parties and information regarding how to appeal the decision.


  1. Title IX Investigation Process

A. Notice of an Investigation.  If it is determined that an investigation will begin, the Title IX Officer will send a written notice to the parties advising them that the preliminary review has concluded that the matter should be referred to the Title IX Investigation Process. 

B. Advisors.  Each party may have a single advisor or support person of their choice present during any formal disciplinary proceeding, including any related meeting, interview, or hearing, held pursuant to the Title IX Policy, which may include an advocate or counsel. A party may consult with their advisor during any related meeting, interview, or hearing. Except to the extent expressly permitted in the hearing process outlined below, advisors cannot act as a speaking advocate at a meeting or interview. NEC staff and internal/external personnel involved in the Title IX Investigation Process may delay or terminate interviews or meetings, remove or dismiss advisors, and/or proceed with the investigation if an advisor is disruptive or otherwise refuses to comply with the requirements of this policy. An advisor is subject to the same confidentiality expectations applicable to others in attendance.  Accommodations, including scheduling of interviews or reviews, generally will not be made for any advisors if they unduly delay the process. An advisor is not permitted to attend a meeting, interview, or other proceeding without the party they are advising being present unless they receive the advance approval of the Title IX Officer. NEC reserves the right to take appropriate action in response to any advisor who disrupts the investigation and/or hearing process or who does not abide by rules and protocols regarding their participation, including, without limitation to protocols identified in this Policy.  

Any person serving as a party’s advisor is prohibited from publicly disclosing private information learned during this process, including information protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) or other laws. Further, advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of all parties and witnesses to the greatest extent possible. If any advisor is concerned about violating this assurance of privacy to gather evidence, they should raise such concerns with the Title IX Officer immediately so that it can be appropriately addressed to protect the sensitivity of the information without limiting the ability of either party to find and present relevant evidence.  

The Conservatory will typically address communications to the Parties and not to any advisor (even an attorney-advisor or parent-advisor).

C. Designation of Investigator.  The Title IX Officer will designate at least one investigator to conduct a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation of the formal complaint and prepare a report of investigative findings (the “Investigative Report”). The Investigator will be a qualified and trained individual employed by or engaged by the Conservatory for the purpose of conducting investigations under the Title IX Policy, and shall have received training on issues relating to sexual misconduct and investigatory procedures to protect the safety and rights of students and employees within a year of the date that they are designated by NEC to conduct the investigation. 

The Title IX Officer will provide the Parties with the name of the person(s) assigned to investigate the reported conduct.  As soon as possible, but no later than three (3) calendar days after delivery of the identity of the Investigator, the Parties shall inform the Title IX Officer in writing of any conflicts of interest with regard to the selected Investigator(s).  The Title IX Officer will consider the nature of the conflict and determine if different individuals should be assigned as Investigator(s).  The Title IX Officer’s decision regarding any conflicts is final.  The Title IX Officer may consult with other Conservatory personnel to discuss any conflicts of interest.

D. Nature of the Investigation.  The investigation provides an opportunity for fact-finding and, to the extent possible, will include separate interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent, and any relevant witnesses.  The Investigator will provide the Parties with advance notice of meetings at which their presence is required.   

E. The Parties’ Identification of Potential Witness and Documentation. The Parties have the opportunity (and are expected) to provide the Investigator with the identification of potential witnesses who have specific information about the reported conduct and with whom they would like the Investigator to speak.  The Parties also have the opportunity (and are expected) to provide the Investigator with any documentation or other items or questions they would like to be considered.  All information described in this section should be presented to the Investigator in writing and include a brief description as to how the potential witnesses, documents, and/or items are relevant to the reported conduct.  This information must be provided to the Investigator during the Investigation Process and without delay upon becoming aware of it. The Investigator will exercise discretion in their determination of what information to consider and which potential witnesses can provide relevant information to the investigation. The Conservatory reserves the right to limit the submission of evidence and information that was within the Party’s possession or knowledge during the Investigative Process if the Conservatory determines that the information was withheld for strategic advantage, e.g., a surprise witness at the hearing.  Furthermore, the Conservatory reserves the right to interview any member of the Conservatory community that may have specific information about the incident that has been reported.

F. Investigation Prohibitions. At no point will the investigation require the Parties to be in the same room. At no point will either party be permitted to question or cross-examine the other party or any witness directly during the investigation, determination or appeal process.  The Parties may ask questions of another party and/or witnesses at the Determination Hearing through an advisor as described below. The Investigator will not consider information related to either party’s sexual history unless deemed relevant to the incident in question. 

G. Other Informal Processes.  At any time prior to convening a Determination Hearing, either party may request an informal resolution of a complaint rather than an investigation and/or hearing by contacting the Title IX Officer. Under the federal Title IX regulations, NEC is not permitted to offer or facilitate an informal resolution process to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student. The Title IX Officer will assess the request for informal resolution against the severity of the alleged violation and the potential risks to campus community members.  The Parties and the Title IX Officer must agree in writing to informal resolution for this option to be used.  The Title IX Officer will designate a Conservatory representative or outside service provider to facilitate a dialogue with the parties in an attempt to reach a resolution.  The Title IX Officer, in consultation with the facilitator, can end such a process if it becomes unproductive and/or abusive.  The allegation will only be deemed resolved when the Parties expressly agree to an outcome that is acceptable to them and which is approved by the Title IX Officer in consultation with other appropriate Conservatory administrators.  Either party may withdraw from the informal resolution process at any time.  The informal resolution process will be conducted in accordance with procedures specified by the Title IX Officer.


     6. Investigative Report and Determination of Responsibility by Determination Hearing 

A. Content of the Investigative Report.  At the conclusion of the Investigation Process, the Investigator will prepare an Investigative Report, which should include a summary of the factual information presented during the Investigation Process and a separate section where the Investigator points out relevant consistencies or inconsistencies (if any) between all sources of information.  Attached to or made available with the Investigative Report, the Investigator will provide any relevant evidence gathered, whether inculpatory (i.e., proving the responsibility of a party) or exculpatory (i.e., proving that a party did not commit the conduct alleged). The Investigative Report will not include a determination as to whether a party has violated the Title IX Policy or what sanctions may be appropriate. These determinations will be made by the Determination Officer, as described below.

B. Review by the Parties.  The Parties will be given an opportunity to review the entire Investigative Report and to submit written comments and/or questions about the content of the Investigative Report to the Investigator within ten (10) calendar days of the date they are notified that the Investigative Report is available for review. This review will take place at a location and in a manner determined by the Title IX Officer. The time to submit written comments can be extended for a brief period if the Title IX Officer concludes that the additional time is warranted. In circumstances where an extension is provided to one party, it will be provided to the other party. Likewise, the location and manner of reviewing the Investigative Report can be modified if the Title IX Officer deems it necessary and appropriate. Each party may have their advisor present as they review the Investigative Report, but the Conservatory reserves the right to monitor the review or create appropriate procedures to protect the privacy and sensitivity of the materials in question.  

     i. Photographs or any other copies of the Investigative Report are not allowed by a party or advisor. The comments submitted by the Parties may not exceed ten (10) double spaced pages unless the Title IX Officer determines that a higher page limit is necessary and appropriate. After reviewing the submissions, if any, from the Parties, the Investigator may determine that either additional investigation is required or no further investigation is needed.  The Investigator has the sole discretion to determine if any information submitted is irrelevant and therefore not to be considered and/or will be redacted.  If further investigation is conducted, the Investigator will include any additional relevant information in the Investigative Report.  

     ii. If, at any point in this review process or the prior investigation, it becomes apparent that a witness will not take part and subject themselves to examination in the Determination Hearing described in Section II(E), below, the Investigator may revise the Investigative Report to remove that information so as not to impact the Determination Hearing.  If this decision is made prior to the Parties’ review, it will be noted in a cover memo to the Investigative Report.  If the decision is made following the Parties’ review, it will be communicated to the Parties and they will be informed in writing of any information that will be removed prior to the Determination Hearing. 

     iii. The Investigative Report will then be submitted to the Title IX Officer.  Any submissions made by either party pursuant to this section, as well as any other documentation deemed relevant by the Investigator(s), will be attached to the Investigative Report.  


C. The Determination Hearing: Conflicts and Provision of Investigative Report.  The Title IX Officer will inform the Parties of the identity of the Determination Officer. The Determination Officermay be employed by or engaged by the Conservatory for the purpose of conducting determination hearings under the Title IX Policy. The assigned Determination Officer shall have received training within one year of the date they are assigned by NEC on issues relating to sexual misconduct and hearing procedures. The Parties must inform the Title IX Officer in writing of any conflicts of interest in regard to the selected Determination Officer no later than three (3) calendar days after the Title IX Officer sends the notification of the assigned Determination Officer.  If a conflict of interest is raised regarding the individual assigned, the Title IX Officer will consider the nature of the conflict and determine if a different person(s) should be assigned as the Determination Officer.  The Title IX Officer may consult with other Conservatory personnel to discuss any conflicts of interest. The Title IX Officer’s decision regarding any conflicts is final.  Once the process for the Parties to identify a conflict of interest is complete, the Title IX Officer will provide the Determination Officer with the Investigative Report and set a subsequent date for the Determination Hearing to determine responsibility. 

D. Review and Determination by the Determination Officer. The Determination Officer will make a determination as to whether or not the Respondent is responsible for violating the Title IX Policy by having engaged in some or all of the reported conduct. The Determination Officer has the authority to accept the Investigative Report without seeking additional investigation, or to ask the Investigator to conduct additional investigation on specific points prior to the hearing. If further investigation is required, the information learned will be conveyed to the parties at least five (5) days prior to the hearing.

E. Hearing Process.  Any Formal Complaint subject to investigation under this Policy is adjudicated through a live hearing that can be conducted in person or virtually as determined by the Title IX Officer. The Parties will receive copies of policies and/or processes regarding the submission and consideration of evidence that may be used during a hearing. In addition, the following process shall apply:    

     i. The Determination Officer will preside over the hearing and make the decision by a preponderance of the evidence as to whether or not the Respondent violated the policy provisions at issue. The Determination Officer has broad authority to determine the process, timing, and conduct of a hearing. For example, the Determination Officer will determine the order of presentation, timing and overall duration of the hearing, what information and evidence will be heard, what information and questions are relevant to the determination of the matter, and what cross-examination questions will or will not be permitted.  

     ii. Each party may have an advisor of their choice present at a hearing for the limited purpose of conducting cross-examination on behalf of that party.  Advisors may be, but are not required to be, attorneys.  If a party does not have an advisor of their choice present at a hearing, the Conservatory will, without fee or charge to the party, provide an advisor, who may or may not be an attorney.  No later than five (5) business days before the hearing, the Parties must inform the Title IX Officer of the identity of any advisor who will accompany them to the hearing so that the Conservatory will know whether or not it needs to arrange for a Conservatory-provided advisor. 

     iii. At a time and manner deemed appropriate by the Determination Officer, the advisor for each party will be permitted to ask the other party and any witnesses relevant cross-examination questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. Except for that limited role, advisors may not participate actively in the hearing and may not speak or otherwise communicate on the part of a party.  However, the advisor may consult privately in a non-disruptive manner with their advisee during and/or at a recess in the hearing.  The Conservatory reserves the right to take appropriate action regarding any advisor who the Determination Officer determines disrupts the process and/or who does not abide by the restrictions on their participation, which may include exclusion of the advisor from the hearing and the appointment of an alternate Conservatory-provided advisor. 

     iv. There may be restrictions on evidence considered by the Determination Officer, including, without limitation: (1) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless (a) they are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or (b) they concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent; and (2) information protected under a legally recognized privilege (e.g., privileged communications between a party and their physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in a treatment capacity, or privileged communications between a party and their attorney) are not relevant unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege.

     v. At the request of either party, the Conservatory will provide for the hearing to occur with the Parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Determination Officer and Parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions. Live hearings may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at Conservatory’s discretion, any or all parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.

     vi. If a party or witness does not appear and submit to cross-examination at the hearing, the Determination Officer may consider the party’s or witness’s prior statements as allowed by current federal guidance and/or federal case law in Massachusetts in effect at the time of the hearing, such as statements made during the investigation (for example, as set forth in the investigative report), emails, or text messages, or other statements that are deemed relevant consistent with Title IX regulations. The Determination Officer will not draw an inference about a determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions. A party’s non-participation in the process could have a substantial impact on the outcome. 

     vii. If the Determination Officer determines that a party is responsible for violating this Policy, they will also determine Sanctions. The Determination Officer may request from the Conservatory information on prior sanctioning decisions so that the Determination Officer can apply a consistent sanction in the matter at hand.  

     viii. The Conservatory will create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing and make it available to the parties for inspection and review.  It will not be provided for distribution and the Conservatory will provide the same protective measures as used in Section 6(B) of this Policy regarding review of investigative reports.


F. Notification of Investigation Outcome.  Not later than seven (7) business days after the Determination Officer’s final determination of whether there has been a violation of the Policy, unless there is good cause for additional time, the Title IX Officer shall simultaneously provide both parties with written notice of (i) the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding and any sanctions imposed on the Respondent; and (ii) the procedures for either party to appeal the result of the disciplinary proceeding.  


  1. Appeals

A. The parties may appeal: (i) a decision to dismiss the formal complaint; and/or (ii) the Determination Panel’s decision. Any appeals must be submitted to the Title IX Officer in writing within five (5) calendar days of the delivery of the applicable decision. A party may only appeal on the following grounds:

  • Procedural error that materially prejudiced the findings/outcome.
  • Newly discovered material information that was not known/available and which likely could have changed the finding of responsibility or the sanction imposed had it been available.
  • Bias or a conflict of interest with regard to the Title IX Officer, Investigator, or Determination Officer that materially impacted the outcome or the sanction. 

B. The party submitting the appeal must set forth in detail the grounds for review and must attach all materials that they wish to have considered in the appeal process. The Title IX Officer will provide a copy of the appeal to the other party, at which time they may provide a written response if they choose.

C. The Appellate Officer(s): The Title IX Officer will provide both parties with the names of the Appellate Officer.  The Appellate Officer may be an NEC employee or be engaged by the Conservatory for the purpose of conducting appellate review under the Title IX Policy. As soon as possible, but no later than three (3) calendar days after delivery of the identity of the Appellate Officer, the Parties should inform the Title IX Officer in writing of any conflicts of interest regarding the assigned Appellate Officer. The Title IX Officer will consider the nature of the conflict and determine if different individual(s) should be assigned to review the appeal. This decision regarding any conflicts is final. 

D. Sanctions of all types may be imposed while an appeal is pending at the sole discretion of the Conservatory.  


  1. Additional Considerations

A. Disability Accommodations. The Conservatory is committed to ensuring that all community members, and applicants to NEC, have an equal opportunity to participate in an Education Program or Activity. If any person requires an accommodation because of disability to access any part of this process, they may make that request to the Dean of Students and Campus Life or designee (students) or Director of Human Resources or designee (employees or other community members). Any requested accommodations will be provided in consultation with the Title IX Officer to evaluate any impact on the rights or protections of any party or witness. 

B. Duty of Honesty. The Parties and witnesses are obligated to be honest during the course of the entire process set forth in this Policy. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement – either explicitly or by omission – in connection with any part of the process may be subject to separate disciplinary action. A report by a Complainant or others made in good faith, however, is not considered false merely because the evidence does not ultimately support the allegation of violation of the Policy.

C. Duty of Cooperation. The Parties and witnesses are obligated to cooperate with the Title IX Officer and any other personnel charged with implementing the Policy.  Any person who knowingly interferes with the actions taken to implement the reporting, investigation, or resolution of matters under the Policy may be subject to separate and/or additional disciplinary action. The Duty of Cooperation does not apply to an individual’s decision not to take part in this process out of consideration of constitutional rights in a criminal investigation involving the same or similar facts and circumstances.

D. Amnesty. To encourage students to refer incidents involving possible sexual misconduct or safety concerns, NEC generally will extend amnesty for drug and alcohol policy violations to students who report alleged Title IX prohibited conduct and/or gender-based misconduct, who participate in an investigation process, or who are helping someone to obtain support related to alcohol or drug consumption or to sexual misconduct or harassment. NEC may review the appropriateness of amnesty if the conduct at issue significantly harmed others or compromised community safety. A student for whom an alcohol or drug violation is waived may be referred for a meeting with an appropriate provider for substance abuse education.

E. Special Situations.  The Conservatory retains the right to determine, in its sole discretion, if it will address a report of conduct under this Policy administratively and outside of the process described in this Policy when the safety of the Conservatory community is at risk, if there are extenuating circumstances involving either of the Parties, or if the Title IX Officer, in consultation with appropriate administrators, determines it is in the best interest of the Conservatory and/or the Conservatory community to do so.  If the Conservatory alters the process set forth in this Policy, it will contemporaneously communicate changes to the parties. The Conservatory also reserves the right to update the definitions in this Policy, including definitions of Title IX Prohibited Conduct, to create more clarity for our community and/or in response to changes in state and federal laws. If an updated definition changes any of the prohibited conduct, the Conservatory will communicate that to the parties of any pending proceeding. 

F. Delegation.  Where the Title IX Coordinator or any other NEC official or employee is listed as the designated point of contact for any role in the Policy, the Title IX Coordinator may designate another qualified member of the Conservatory community or an external actor to assume the role at issue, as necessary and appropriate.  

G. Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, or Inactive Status While Charges Are Pending. If a Complainant withdraws from NEC or leave’s NEC’s employment, NEC will review the applicable standing requirements and guidance set forth by the U.S. Department of Education and/or other federal and state agencies to determine whether the matter may proceed. Should a student Respondent withdraw, take a leave of absence, or go on inactive status from NEC while charges are pending, the investigative process will typically proceed in the student’s absence to a reasonable resolution absent exceptional circumstances as determined by the Title IX Coordinator. The student will not be permitted to enroll in an NEC program unless all sanctions have been satisfied. The student will not have access to an academic transcript until the allegations have been resolved. Should an employee Respondent decide to resign or take a leave from NEC while charges are pending, the investigation process will typically proceed in the employee’s absence to a reasonable resolution absent exceptional circumstances as determined by the Title IX Coordinator. The employee will not be eligible for employment with NEC unless all sanctions have been satisfied. 

H. Respect for Privacy. NEC values the privacy of individuals involved in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution of matters subject to the Policy. NEC will not disclose the identity of the Complainant and Respondent, except as necessary to carry out the processes and obligations under this Policy or as permitted under state or federal law. The U.S. Department of Education has indicated that there are situations in which it may be necessary for an institution to override a request for privacy or confidentiality in order to meet its obligations under law. In the event circumstances result in NEC overriding a request for privacy or confidentiality to meet its obligations, it will do so with the utmost sensitivity and respect for the circumstances and the individuals involved.

I. Recording the Proceedings. The Parties are not permitted to make individual video, audio, or other electronic, photographic, or digital recordings of any meetings or proceedings held under the Title IX Policy or of the Investigative Report. The Title IX Officer may make exceptions to this prohibition in limited circumstances if they conclude that a recording is warranted based upon advance written request of the Party that explains the need for the recording.  

J. Respondent Voluntary Agreement to Policy Violation.  At any point prior to the conclusion of the investigation, a Respondent may agree in writing to the alleged violation(s) of the Policy and may offer a proposed sanction. It is within NEC’s sole discretion to accept the admission or the proposed sanction or assign a different sanction.