Formal Investigation and Hearing Process and Procedures

The Director of Community Rights and Responsibilities ensures that CalArts responds to all reports of misconduct and retaliation in a timely, effective and consistent manner. The responding team is trained to coordinate the review, investigation and resolution of all reports to ensure consistent responsiveness. Team members pursue interim remedies and accommodations to support the people involved, to protect the CalArts community and to build a culture of respect and accountability.

The Institute recognizes that reporting allegations of sexual misconduct — or not — is a personal decision, and that there are many barriers, both individual and societal, to reporting. Not every individual will be prepared to make a report to CalArts or to law enforcement, and individuals are not expected or required to pursue any specific course of action. 

Complainants have specific rights at CalArts, including the rights to be treated with dignity and to receive support where available; to be free of any suggestion that they’re at fault for conduct violations; and to describe alleged misconduct to as few CalArts representatives as practicable. Complainants may choose to report to local law enforcement or state police instead of reporting to the Institute. Further, complainants have a right to be free from retaliation, to have an impartial investigation and to have an advisor of their choosing.

Upon receipt of a report, CalArts may impose reasonable and appropriate supportive measures designed to eliminate the hostile environment throughout the investigation. Supportive measures are available to both the complainant and the respondent. The Institute maintains consistent contact with the parties to ensure that all safety, emotional and physical well-being concerns are addressed. Supportive measures may be provided regardless of whether formal conduct charges or corrective actions are sought by the complainant or the Institute. 

Early in the review process, the Title IX Coordinator schedules an intake meeting with the complainant. The goal there is to provide the complainant a general understanding of the policy and process; determine if the complainant wishes to address the matter through the process available at the Institute; and to identify forms of support available and appropriate for the complainant. 

Title IX Investigation FAQ’s

Yes. Both the complainant and the respondent may have a support person of their choosing, inside or outside of CalArts with them during meetings with the Title IX Coordinator. The support person may attend for purposes of observation, but will not be permitted to participate in the interview.

 If someone attends a meeting as a support person, this may affect whether or not they will be able to be a witness in the investigation.

Formal investigation 

A formal investigation follows a prescribed process and will conclude with a formal finding and outcome.  In nearly all cases, discipline and sanctions can only occur after a formal investigation is complete.   

Informal resolution

Preponderance of Evidence Standard

The preponderance of the evidence standard is the required standard of proof in CalArts investigation procedures for Title IX and Sexual Misconduct cases. It is also referred to as “more likely than not” and is equivalent to 50.1% or “50% plus a feather.” 

The Institute will find an individual responsible for violating the Title Sexual Harassment Policy or Sexual Misconduct Policy when the evidence supports the finding based on a preponderance of the evidence. If the evidence is 50/50, there will be no finding. This standard of evidence aligns with CalArts other discipline policies when determining violation Institute policies.

Yes! Both parties will have the opportunity to present witnesses and the investigator will make every effort to speak with every witness. The investigator may also develop additional witnesses. Both parties may also provide any relevant evidence. 

Evidence is often comprised of text messages, emails, photos, videos, or other documents. Evidence can be any information that corroborates or contradicts the allegations, and both parties will have equal opportunity to present evidence and witnesses.

Both parties will be kept informed on the status and outcome of the investigation by the investigator and/or Title IX Coordinator. If ever one party has questions, they can contact the investigator and/or Title IX Coordinator at any time for an update. Although the investigator will not be able to comment on the potential conclusion or finding prior to the final report, both parties may know what is happening at all times.

No. Participation in a formal investigation is up to you. However, the investigator will be required to come to a finding at the conclusion of the investigation based on all the available evidence and information. If you decline to participate, whatever information you may have but did not share will not be considered when the investigator determines the finding. 

Additionally, and per the Institute’s policy, it's important to note that this information will NOT be able to be submitted once the final outcome is determined if it was reasonably available but you chose not to submit it.