Sexual Misconduct Hearing Committee and Hearing Panels

The Sexual Misconduct Hearing Committee (SMHC) is comprised of trained individuals who serve on hearing panels in sexual misconduct cases. Based on the evidence presented at the hearing and other relevant evidence, SMHC panel members determine whether it is more likely than not that a respondent violated the University’s Administrative Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence.

Hearing panel composition 

Each hearing panel includes a hearing chair and four panel members. The four panel members are University members who have volunteered and been trained for the role. In each case, at least one panel member is of the same University classification (i.e., faculty, staff, or student) as the complainant, and at least one panel member is of the same University classification as the respondent.  Panel chairs are selected for their relevant expertise in the field, are trained, and may be compensated for their service.

Selection of hearing panelists  

Faculty, staff (including civil service, bargaining unit, and professional and administrative employees), and students from all five University campuses serve as panelists on the SMHC. Panelists serve a two- to three-year term (depending on their role on the Committee) and are recruited annually via an application process.

Questions about the SMHC  

For questions about the SMHC, please contact the SMHC Coordinator, Britt Anderson, at smhc@umn.edu. The SMHC Coordinator serves as the primary point of contact on post-investigation procedures for parties, panelists, University decision-makers, and others.

Current Membership

Please see below for current membership information. 

Training

SMHC members are trained annually on issues related to prohibited conduct and on how to conduct a grievance process that protects the safety of complainants and promotes accountability.

Among other things, SMHC members receive training on:

  • the definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence;
  • the scope of the University’s education programs and activities;
  • how to conduct a hearing;
  • how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias;
  • technology to be used at a live hearing, where applicable; and,
  • relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.

Title IX-related training materials can be found here.

Governing Policies