1. What does an Adviser do?
An Adviser accompanies a party to meetings related to the resolution process, advises the party on that process, and conducts cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if one is held.
2. Do both the Complainant and the Respondent in a Title IX case get an Adviser?
Yes, both parties have the right to an Adviser of their choosing. Each party may select whomever they wish to serve as their Adviser, as long as the Adviser is eligible and has no institutionally conflicting roles (such as being a Title IX Coordinator, a supervisor who would implement sanctions in the event of a finding of responsibility, or a witness in the process).
3. Who can serve as an Adviser?
The Adviser may be a friend, family member, attorney, neighbor, or other individual. Northland Pioneer College (NPC) has a list of trained Advisers who stand ready to serve if selected by a party. Trained Advisers are familiar with the NPC resolution process as well as how to best serve in their Adviser role. If a party chooses an Adviser from outside the pool of trained NPC Advisers, they would not have been trained and may not be familiar with NPC’s policies and procedures. Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Adviser in the initial stages of the resolution process, but at the hearing stage, the party without an Adviser would be appointed an Adviser to conduct the cross-examination during the hearing. The party can reject the appointed Adviser in favor of selecting their own Adviser, but the party cannot proceed in the hearing without an Adviser present. This is the case because the parties are not permitted to directly cross-examine each other or any witness.
4. What is an Adviser’s role in the investigative process?
The parties may be accompanied by their Adviser in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present. Advisers should help the parties prepare for the meetings and interviews. Advisers are expected to Advise ethically and with integrity (i.e., not permitting a party to lie or to present false evidence).
NPC cannot guarantee equal Advisory experiences, meaning that if one party hires an attorney to serve as their Adviser and the other party does not hire an attorney, NPC is not obligated to provide an attorney Adviser for the other party. Also, if one party selects an Adviser from the NPC's list of Advisers and the other party selects a family member as an Adviser, the NPC Adviser would have received training in order to serve in this capacity while the family member Adviser would not have received such training. NPC is not obligated to train the family member Adviser.
All Advisers are subject to the same NPC policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not. Advisers are expected to advise without disrupting proceedings. Advisers should not address the NPC officials in a meeting or interview unless they are permitted to do so by the investigators—for instance, to ask procedural questions. Advisers are not permitted to make presentations or opening/closing statements during any meeting or proceeding (including during a hearing). Advisers are also prohibited from speaking on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or the Decision-maker (at a hearing), except during the cross-examination at the hearing.
Although the Adviser generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Adviser may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Advisers should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.
5. What happens if an Adviser breaks the rules outlined in Question #4?
Any Adviser who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the Adviser continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Adviser role, the meeting will be ended and the Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Adviser’s non-compliance moving forward. The Title IX Coordinator may prohibit the Attorney from continuing to act in that capacity in future meetings/proceedings. The party will be allowed to select a new Adviser.
6. Is my Adviser allowed access to information collected as evidence during the Title IX case?
NPC expects that the parties may wish to have documentation and evidence related to the allegations of Title IX sexual harassment with their Advisers. Parties may share this information directly with their Adviser or other individuals, if they wish. If the party wants NPC to share documentation and evidence with Advisers, NPC will provide the party with a FERPA authorization to disclose consent form to sign. The authorization will remain in the Title IX file.
If a party requests that all communication be made through their Attorney Adviser, NPC will not comply with that request.
7. Can an Adviser schedule a meeting with the Title IX Coordinator?
It is permitted for an Adviser to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator in advance of these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows Advisers to clarify and understand their role and NPC's policies and procedures.
8. Can a party change Advisers during the Title IX resolution process?
Yes. If a party changes Advisers, the party is expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX Coordinator if they change Advisers at any time during the proceedings. It is assumed that if a party changes Advisers, consent to share information with the previous Adviser is terminated, and a release for the new Adviser must be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the identity of the new Adviser at least two (2) college business days before a meeting where the party and their Adviser is to be present. If a party changes Advisers before the hearing, the party is expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of that change at least two (2) college business days before the hearing.
9. Are there any other expectations of an Adviser?
NPC expects Advisers to adjust their schedules to allow them to attend scheduled meetings and proceedings. NPC may make reasonable provisions to allow an Adviser who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient, but only if the advisee agrees to the provision.
- See a complete list of NPC Trained Advisors.