Complaint Process

The Office of Institutional Equity is an administrative office, not a judicial or legal office. Our role is to assist campus community members in understanding the University's policies and procedures in the area of discriminiation and harassment and to assist in resolving complaints of discrimination and harassment. We are impartial administrators who are neither advocates nor adversaries with respect to the parties and witnesses in a complaint-related matter. 

Complaints of discrimination and/or harassment are treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible. In all situations, confidentiality is maintained on a strict need-to-know basis; however, confidentiality can only be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct that require it to take corrective action.

Our office handles both Informal and Formal Complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. The complaining party selects whether to pursue an Informal or Formal Complaint. A Complainant may choose to first file an Informal Complaint. If, however, the parties are unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the Informal Complaint, a Complainant may then file a Formal Complaint provided that the complaint is within the time limitations set out in the Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment.

Informal Complaint

The goal of the Informal Resolution Process is to attempt to reach a resolution to the complaint that is acceptable to both the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s). Purdue does not make a determination as to whether a Respondent(s) has violated University policy. Instead, Office of Institutional Equity staff will use conflict resolution techniques to attempt to resolve the concern(s) brought forward. The Informal Resolution Process is flexible and invites active participation of all the parties in order to resolve the complaint. Moreover, Office of Institutional Equity staff members will only speak to those people whose involvement is necessary to facilitate a resolution to a complaint. At times, this might include only the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s). The Office of Institutional Equity attempts to reach a resolution to an Informal Complaint within thirty days of the filing of the complaint.

Formal Complaint

The goal of the Formal Resolution Process is to reach an official determination as to whether a Respondent(s) has violated the University’s Anti-Harassment Policy and/or Nondiscrimination Policy. As part of the Formal Resolution Process, a University Investigator will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations of the complaint and prepare a report of the investigation. Following the investigation, the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity will convene a panel composed of the Director and three members from the Advisory Committee on Equity. Each party has the opportunity to attend the panel meeting, as does the Investigator. The Advisory Committee members will make recommendations, and the Director will ultimately issue a determination as to 1) whether a University policy concerning discrimination and/or harassment was violated; and 2), if so, what the appropriate sanction should be. There is available a written appeal to the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance if either party wishes to appeal the Director’s determination. This process ordinarily takes approximately sixty days to conclude.Timeframe to File

Timeframe to File 

Individuals wishing to report a concern or file a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment are encouraged to do so as soon as possible following the incident(s). Any complaint must be filed within 120 calendar days of the incident of discrimination and/or harassment or, where the behavior is of an ongoing nature, within 120 calendar days from the most recent incident. The time limits for filing complaints cannot be extended.

If an employee leaves the University, the employee must file a complaint relating to alleged discrimination and/or harassment occurring during that individual’s employment with the University within ten (10) calendar days following the employee’s termination of employment from the University.


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