The University of Iowa strives to create a respectful, safe, and welcoming environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy sets forth resources available to students, describes prohibited conduct, and establishes procedures for responding to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and related retaliation.

When a student is found responsible for sexual assault, the following guidelines will be utilized by the Sanctioning Administrator, which in student cases is typically the Director of Student Accountability. In all cases, the sanctions assigned to a student found responsible will depend on the full context in which the offense takes place. The Sanctioning Administrator is expected to use judgment in applying these sanctioning guidelines.

Respondents who are found responsible for multiple policy violations in a single incident or who have previously been found responsible for sexual harassment or sexual misconduct can expect to be assigned more severe sanctions.

These guidelines address status sanctions (whether a student may continue their education at the university). In some cases, additional sanctions may be assigned (e.g., a requirement to complete educational programming, like the UI-CERB program, which is aimed at increasing the use of respectful, adaptive, healthy behaviors in relationships).

Sexual Assault Sanctioning

Students who are found responsible for committing sexual assault as defined in the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy will experience serious repercussions.

The Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy defines “sexual assault” as “an offense classified as forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” including sex offenses, fondling, incest, statutory rape, and rape, each of which is further defined in the policy. (OM, II-4.)

Rape, Statutory Rape, and Incest

Sanctions for rape, statutory rape, and incest will normally range from multi-semester suspension to expulsion from the university, with expulsion being the most likely sanction.

Attempted Rape, Statutory Rape, and Incest

Sanctions for attempted rape, attempted statutory rape, and attempted incest will normally range from probation to expulsion.


Sanctions for fondling or attempted fondling will normally range from probation to expulsion from the university.

Additional factors for consideration

Depending on the specifics of the incident, more or less severe sanctions may be imposed. In determining the appropriate discipline, the University will also consider the following factors:

  • use of force, use of a weapon or display of a weapon
  • isolation, intentional incapacitation or other indications of predatory behavior;
  • evidence that the conduct was unintentional;
  • the wishes of the Complainant or other individuals impacted by the conduct as determined to be appropriate in the discretion of the Sanctioning Administrator;
  • prior misconduct by the Respondent, including the Respondent’s relevant prior discipline history, both at the University or elsewhere (if known), including criminal convictions;
  • whether the Respondent accepted responsibility for the conduct;
  • maintenance of a safe and respectful educational and employment environment;
  • protection of the University community; and,
  • any other mitigating, aggravating, or compelling circumstances to reach a just and appropriate resolution.

In some instances, completion of all academic credits necessary for conferral of a degree may weigh in favor of multi-semester suspension rather than expulsion.

For further information about sanctions, see Section 4.23(ah) of the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.