What happens when a report is made?

When a report is made, the Office of Equity (OE):

  • Follows up with the Referring Party (person who made the report) to gather more information about a reported incident on behalf of them or someone else. 
  • Contacts the person impacted by the behavior (the Reporting Party).
  • Provides information to the Reporting Party about confidential resources.
  • Discusses options for possible interim remedies, such as changes in academic and working situation. Also, the OE may direct the person accused of the allegations (the Responding Party) not to have contact with the Reporting Party.
  • Explains to the Reporting Party the process for resolving a report informally and what is involved in formally investigating potential policy violations.
  • Even if the Reporting Party chooses not to report formally and/or chooses not to participate in an investigation process, through the OE or law enforcement, they can contact the OE for information and assistance accessing on/off-campus support services and available remedial and/or protective measures.

The OE has an obligation and jurisdiction to conduct at least a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the alleged conduct occurred in the context of, or has continuing effects on, the campus community. The OE investigators act as neutral, objective fact finders when investigating a complaint. When someone has concerns about behaviors that are potential policy violations, the OE can either conduct a formal investigation or resolve the issues through an informal resolution process. 

The informal resolution process provides remedies, or solutions, that are specific to the circumstances of the incident, but does not make a determination as to whether a policy has been violated. In these cases, the OE may do one or more of the following:

  • Provide targeted or broad-based educational programs or training.
  • Meet with the Responding Party to:
    • Discuss the behavior as alleged and provide an opportunity for a response.
    • Review prohibited conduct as defined in the policies.
    • Discuss appropriate behavior moving forward and how to avoid retaliation.
    • Follow-up with the Reporting Party regarding the discussion with the Responding Party.
    • If the Responding Party is an employee, the OE may notify the Responding Party's supervisor of the allegations, who will determine whether any disciplinary action is needed.

Review the OE's reporting and resolution options in full related to each specific policy here.

The OE may resolve a report of alleged misconduct under the policy through the formal investigation process when the alleged misconduct, if true, would be prohibited under the policy. The OE may decline to pursue a formal investigation if 1) a complainant has requested that a formal investigation not be pursued, and 2) the OE has determined that the complainant’s request can be honored consistent with the University’s obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment.

The OE is committed to providing a prompt, fair, and impartial resolution of all complaints referred for formal investigation. A formal investigation can include three stages: investigation, sanction and appeal, as applicable and described below. Investigators interview the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) separately and provide each party the opportunity to be heard and to respond. Investigators also review additional evidence as available including, but not limited to, conducting witness interviews, gathering documentation, and reviewing video surveillance footage.

Review the OE's reporting and resolution options in full related to each specific policy here.