1) April 2016: The Incident
John and Jane, who met the afternoon before, attended Jane’s sorority formal. Both John and Jane drank before and during the formal and agreed they were both intoxicated on the way back to John’s apartment. Once inside John’s apartment, they agreed to have sex.
2) Days after the incident: The Complaint
Jane filed a complaint to UT’s Title IX office.
3) Within a month of the complaint: The Donation
Jane’s father donated “significant sums” to the University, according to the lawsuit.
4) May–November: The Investigation
Title IX investigators talked to Jane, John and other witnesses involved in the case. Linda Millstone, Title IX interim coordinator, said her office tries to have two out of six investigators on every case. To make a determination, investigators need a “preponderance of evidence,” which essentially means “more likely than not,” Millstone said. The investigators found the evidence supported the finding that John violated the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities.
5) Feb. 3, 2017: The Hearing
If either party, complainant or respondent, disagrees about the findings or the proposed sanctions from the Title IX investigation, Millstone said they may request a University hearing. John requested a hearing. This involves a hearing officer — usually a UT faculty member or administrator — who reviews the evidence, calls witnesses and renders a decision. In this case, the officer did not support the claim that Jane was incapacitated and determined that John should not be punished.
6) April 12, 2017: The Final Determination
Jane appealed the hearing officer’s decision. After this point, the last place the case can go is the UT president’s office. The president’s determination is final. “It ends with the (president’s office),” Millstone said. John and Jane submitted written arguments, and on April 12, UT President Gregory Fenves made his final determination.
7) Summer 2017–Now: The Sanctions
As part of the sanctions, Fenves determined that John would be suspended from UT for five semesters, starting summer 2017.
8) Aug. 8, 2017: The Lawsuit
Attorney Brian Roark and John filed the lawsuit against the University and Fenves. In a preliminary hearing Aug. 11, U.S. Judge Sam Sparks took a first pass at the case. He called a paragraph in Fenves’ determination “absurd” while also criticizing Roark, saying his lawsuit contained more opinions than he would’ve liked, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
9) The Future
With no court dates scheduled, the future of the case is unclear, but Sparks said he would try to find time for a more thorough hearing before the start of the spring semester, according to the Austin American-Statesman.