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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions received by the Office of Title IX.

Use the links below to jump to a section:

Reporting

Supportive Measures

Formal Complaints/Investigations

Respondent Resources

Reporting to Law Enforcement

Pregnancy

Reporting


You can make a Title IX report several ways. If you tell a mandatory reporter (faculty or staff member who is not a confidential resource) that you are experiencing sexual harassment or other prohibited conduct, then they are required to report that information to the Office of Title IX, and a Title IX staff member will reach out to you to offer resources.

You can also self-report to the Office of Title IX by either calling the office at 865-974-9600, emailing at titleix@utk.edu, or coming to the Office of Title IX in person to report information.

After the Office of Title IX receives a Mandatory Report a Title IX staff member will reach out to the identified complainant (the person experiencing the behavior, also known as the victim) to provide resources, offer assistance, and offer a meeting with the complainant to help the complainant understand their options. A complainant is never required to meet with the Office of Title IX, and the complainant always has the right to decide whether to respond to outreach and/or meet with a staff member.
The Office of Title IX will typically attempt to contact a complainant three times, and if the complainant does not respond, the Office of Title IX will respect the complainant’s right not to respond to contact.
The Office of Title IX typically does not follow up with the mandatory reporter who has made the initial report to respect the privacy of the parties and due to FERPA protections. If a mandatory reporter completes the Online Mandatory Reporter Form, they will receive a confirmation email for their records confirming that the mandatory report has been made. Once you have made a mandatory report, there is nothing further you need to do.
If you have made a report to the Office of Title IX and have concerns about follow-up, please feel free to call the Office of Title IX directly at 865-974-9600.

It is always your choice whether you make a report to the police or pursue a criminal process. The Office of Title IX does not make reports to police without the participation of the complainant, nor can we pursue a criminal process on your behalf without your participation. If you want to report to law enforcement, the Office of Title IX will help you connect with police depending on the jurisdiction of the crime. If a crime has occurred on campus, the University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) has jurisdiction. You can report to UTPD by calling 865-974-3114 or 911 during an emergency.

The Office of Title IX is not a confidential resource, but we do make every effort to keep student information as private as possible. There is a small group of administrators on campus who are privy to Title IX-related information. The Office does not provide information to parents, other students, faculty, or staff members without your permission through a FERPA release.
If you want to speak with a confidential resource on campus, the Office of Title IX can help you connect with the Student Counseling Center. Staff members at the Student Counseling Center are completely confidential and are not required to make a mandatory report if you disclose prohibited conduct.

Yes! A complainant can make a report to the Office of Title IX and request supportive measures even if the respondent is not affiliated with the University of Tennessee. Supportive measures are available regardless of whether a complainant chooses to file a formal complaint or report to law enforcement.
If a respondent is not affiliated with the University, the University is limited on what actions can be taken against the respondent. A formal complaint can only be initiated if the respondent is affiliated with the University, either as a student or an employee. If a respondent is not affiliated with the University, the complainant would still have the option to report to law enforcement within the jurisdiction in which the conduct occurred. If an incident has occurred on campus, the University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) has jurisdiction.

For more information about when and why Safety Notices are sent for some reports of prohibited conduct, please see the University of Tennessee’s Clery Act FAQ page.


Supportive Measures


We encourage students to report as little or as much information as they feel comfortable providing. You are not required to provide details of the incident to receive help and support from the Office of Title IX. Staff members may ask questions related to safety, medical needs, or concerns, but you always get to decide how much information you provide.

The Office of Title IX is not a confidential resource, but we do make every effort to keep student information as private as possible. There is a small group of administrators on campus who are privy to Title IX-related information. The Office does not provide information to parents, other students, faculty, or staff members without your permission through a FERPA release.

If you want to speak with a confidential resource on campus, the Office of Title IX can help you connect with the Student Counseling Center. Staff members at the Student Counseling Center are completely confidential and are not required to make a mandatory report if you disclose prohibited conduct.

The Office of Title IX can provide several supportive measures for both the complainant and the respondent including, but not limited to, the following:

  • assistance with academic supports, such as sending absence notifications for Title IX related absences
  • assistance with scholarship appeals, individual course withdrawals, or total term withdrawals
  • connection to medical care on or off campus
  • connection to counseling resources on or off campus
  • assistance with housing relocation or change
  • connection to off-campus supports, such as the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee or the Knoxville Family Justice Center
  • assistance with filing a formal complaint through the University or reporting to law enforcement
  • assistance with safety planning
  • assistance with a No Contact Directive

For more information about complainant resources, please see the complainant resource guide called You Are Not Alone.

Yes! A complainant can make a report to the Office of Title IX and request supportive measures even if the respondent is not affiliated with the University of Tennessee. Supportive measures are available regardless of whether a complainant chooses to file a formal complaint or report to law enforcement.

If a respondent is not affiliated with the University, the University is limited on what actions can be taken against the respondent. A formal complaint can only be initiated if the respondent is affiliated with the University, either as a student or an employee. If a respondent is not affiliated with the University, the complainant would still have the option to report to law enforcement within the jurisdiction in which the conduct occurred. If an incident has occurred on campus, the University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) has jurisdiction.

Yes! Even if the prohibited conduct occurred in another semester, in a different academic year, or at an off-campus location, a complainant could still provide information to the Office of Title IX and request supportive measures.

If the prohibited conduct occurred in another semester or year, the complainant could also file a formal complaint, either through the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Equity and Diversity, as long as the respondent is still affiliated with the University either as a student or an employee.

If the respondent is no longer affiliated with the University, the University is not able to investigate a report of prohibited conduct. However, the complainant can still request assistance with supportive measures.

A No Contact Directive (NCD) is a written directive offered through the Office of Title IX and issued either by the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Equity and Diversity. The purpose of the NCD is to stop all communication between two or more parties, with the goal of helping parties move forward in a helpful and successful way. NCDs are often issued when one party wishes to have no further communication with another party, or when the University determines that two or more people need to have no further communication due to alleged prohibited conduct or other safety concerns. A NCD is not a finding of responsibility, and it does not mean that either party is in trouble. If one party reports a violation of the NCD, the University (Student Conduct) will investigate the report and recommend some type of sanction if it determines a party violated the directive.

An Order of Protection (OP) is a legal order given by the court system when there has been a determination of some type of safety risk posed by one person against another person (e.g., if there is a report of domestic violence, and one party has been arrested). The University cannot issue an OP, as it must be sought through the court system and obtained by going to an OP hearing (court). An OP has criminal legal consequences if it is violated.

If a student or employee has an OP against another party, the Office of Title IX encourages the complainant to notify the University of Tennessee Police Department since they have jurisdiction over the campus. The Tennessee State Court Website has information about Orders of Protection, including links to paperwork and a link to an FAQ’s page. If you need help obtaining an OP, the Knoxville Family Justice Center located off campus can assist. You can reach the Knoxville Family Justice Center at 865-521-6336. Learn more about additional services offered through the Family Justice Center.


Formal Complaints/Investigations


Depending on the respondent’s affiliation with the University, either the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Equity and Diversity will oversee the investigation after a formal complaint is signed by the complainant and received by the Office of Title IX. If the respondent is a student, the Office of Student Conduct will oversee the investigation, but if the respondent is an employee, the Office of Equity and Diversity will oversee the investigation.

The Office of Student Conduct oversees the Student Code of Conduct and handles Title IX-related investigations for potential violations of the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking involving a student respondent.

The Office of Equity and Diversity investigates a variety of discrimination complaints, including complaints of employment discrimination (HR Policy 0220), sex-based harassment (HR Policy 0280 and/or the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking), and other discriminatory harassment (HR Policy 0280). Complaints submitted to OED generally allege discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, parental status, and other categories protected by state or federal law.

The Office of Title IX will assist the complainant in filing a formal complaint to the appropriate office.

To initiate a formal complaint, you must provide the following information to the Office of Title IX:

  • Your name
  • The name of the respondent
  • The incident date (if known)
  • The incident location (if known)
  • A description of the prohibited conduct

A formal complaint is required to begin an investigation under the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking.

Once the University receives a signed formal complaint, the Office of Student Conduct will notify both parties of the investigation within three business days through their respective UTK email addresses. This is called “simultaneous notice of the formal complaint.” The Office of Student Conduct will then schedule separate meetings (called an initial meeting/interview) with both parties. Both parties will have the opportunity to provide evidence, share their experiences, provide any witness information, and ask questions.

For a complete timeline of the investigation process, please see the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking.


Respondent Resources


Yes! If you are a respondent in a Title IX case, you can get support and resources through the Office of Title IX, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Issuing a mutual No Contact Directive between the complainant and respondent
  • Providing referrals for medical and counseling services
  • Exploration of changes in class and extracurricular schedules
  • Exploration of changes in living, transportation, dining, and working arrangements
  • Appointment for follow-up support services on or off campus
  • Assistance communicating with faculty members
  • Requesting academic support and academic accommodations such as rescheduling exams or retaking a course

For more information about respondent support, including a link to the Respondent Guide, please visit our respondent support page.

Learn more about your fundamental rights as a respondent.


Reporting to Law Enforcement


A report to Title IX means that you are giving the University information about something that occurred in order to prompt some type of university action. For example, you may want the University to know that you have experienced prohibited conduct (prompting the university to make a record of the information or share resources for support), but you do not want to initiate a formal complaint to either the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED). You can make a report to the Office of Title IX to prompt the university to implement supportive measures, to connect you with resources, and/or to share information about reporting options, and all of these university responses are available to you without a requirement that you make a formal complaint to either Student Conduct or OED. If a complainant chooses to file a formal complaint, they will sign a formal complaint form, which is then submitted to the appropriate office (either Student Conduct or OED) by Title IX staff. Staff members in the Office of Title IX will assist complainants in filing a formal complaint.

When you contact the Office of Title IX, you will receive information about reporting options, including information about reporting to law enforcement. You can make a report to the Office of Title IX with or without reporting to law enforcement or pursuing a criminal process. It is always your choice whether you file a formal complaint and/or report to law enforcement.

Reporting to the police is always your choice. The Office of Title IX will never force a complainant to report to the police. A complainant can choose to report to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the incident took place.

If an incident occurs on University property (space that is controlled or owned by the University), a complainant can choose to report to the University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD). UTPD can be reached by either calling 911 or via the non-emergency dispatch line at 865-974-3114. Additionally, there are over 150 Blue Light Phones around campus that can be used to connect to UTPD in an emergency.

If an incident occurs off-campus (not on University-controlled or owned space, such as the Fort), a complainant can choose to report to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.

Knoxville Police Department:
800 Howard Baker Jr. Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37915
865-215-7000

Knox County Sheriff’s Office:
400 West Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
865-215-2243

Knox County Jurisdiction Map


Pregnancy


Yes. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to creating and maintaining a non-discriminatory learning environment for all students, which includes students who are pregnant. The Student Pregnancy Accommodations Policy provides information about pregnancy-related supports including medically necessary recovery time after childbirth.

A student can request an accommodation related to pregnancy through the Online Request Form. Accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Accessible seating (e.g., a larger desk)
  • Appropriate restroom breaks
  • Excused absences related to medically necessary appointments
  • Academic adjustments related to childbirth
  • Mobility support, including temporary access to the T-Van on campus

Students will be given the opportunity to make up any missed work due to medically necessary absences related to the pregnancy. If you have a concern related to pregnancy or medically necessary recovery time after childbirth, please contact the Office of Title IX at 865-974-9600 or complete the online request form above, and a staff member will contact you to follow up. For additional information, please visit our resources for pregnant students page.