Complaint Resolution Process

It is important for any who has experienced Title IX Harassment to understand their available options.  The University recognizes that deciding whether to make a report and choosing how to proceed can be difficult decisions.  The Office of Institutional Equity has both formal and informal resolution processes available under the University's Title IX policy. A Formal Complaint, alleging a violation of the Title IX Harassment Policy against and individual and seeking an investigation, may be filed by requesting and completing the Complaint Information Form. After the filing of a Formal Complaint, either party may request to participate in an Informal Resolution Process, designed to empower the parties to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Investigations are either initiated by the impacted individual (complainant) or, in rare cases, by the University. A third party such as a faculty member, friend, or parent can never initiate an investigation on behalf of the Complainant.  

Complainant Initiated

This process starts when a person who believes they have personally experienced Title IX Harassment files a formal complaint with the Office of Institutional Equity.  If you believe you have experienced Title IX Harassment, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity to request a formal complaint form.

The Complaint should include the names of all people involved (including your own), the location of the incident, a description of the incident or conduct, and the date the incident occurred. In the event of multiple incidents, the report should indicate the date of the most recent incident. The information in the complaint will be used to determine if what is alleged would rise to the level of a policy violation, warranting the initiation of a Title IX investigation. Therefore, it is important to provide a detailed account when submitting a complaint. 

Complaints brought under Title IX may be brought at any time as long as both parties continue to be affiliated with Purdue. However, complainants should understand that delayed filing could impact the investigation. Filing delays could result in the dulling of memories and a loss of relevant evidence and witness testimony.

Please be aware the Complaint will be shared with the accused party (the Respondent) even if the Complaint is dismissed prior to an investigation. The complaint shared with the Respondent will include the name of the Complainant unless the Title IX Coordinator agrees to a Complainant's request for anonymity. 

University Initiated

The University’s obligation, to respond to information of which it becomes aware, may be triggered by a direct disclosure or gaining indirect knowledge of such information. For this reason, the University may initiate an investigation of circumstances that involve potential discrimination and/or harassment even where no complaint has been filed. In those circumstances, the University may elect to investigate and, if warranted, impose disciplinary sanctions pursuant to these or other established University procedures.

The University will only initiate investigations where the behavior poses a threat to the health and safety of the overall campus community. Violence, theft, destruction of property, and assault are examples of behaviors that might prompt a university-initiated investigation.  

OIE will notify impacted individuals if the University is considering a University initiated investigation. Impacted parties will have the chance to provide input that will help the University decide whether to move forward.  If you have been asked for your input because the University is considering an investigation and you wish to discuss the process with a confidential advocate, please click here.

Parties accused of violating the University's Title IX policy (respondents) will be notified of a Formal Complaint upon its receipt and a University Initiated investigation upon its initiation.

Unless the Complaint is dismissed (as described below) the respondent will have no more than ten (10) days to provide a written response to the allegations. A copy of the respondent's written response will be provided to the Complainant.

The Title IX Coordinator shall review a Formal Complaint filed by a complainant to determine if the Formal Complaint is subject to mandatory dismissal and notify the Parties of the dismissal in writing within 14 days of the receipt of the Formal Complaint.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines a Formal Complaint is subject to mandatory dismissal at any other point during the investigation or hearing, the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the parties of the dismissal in writing as soon as reasonably practicable.

A mandatory dismissal does not preclude action under the University’s policies on Anti-Harassment (III.C.1) or on Equal Opportunity, Equal Access, and Affirmative Action (III.C.2) or the Regulations Governing Student Conduct.

In the event, following an initial assessment, the Title IX Coordinator decides the Formal Complaint is not subject to mandatory dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator will assign a University Investigator and notify the parties.

In the event, the Title IX Coordinator decides the Formal Complaint is not subject to mandatory dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator will assign a University Investigator and notify the parties

The Respondent(s) will be requested to respond in writing to the Formal Complaint within 10 days from the date of notification. A copy of the Respondent(s) written response will be provided to the Complainant.

The complainant and respondent will be contacted to arrange individual meetings to discuss the allegation(s) and any Informal Resolution Process for immediately resolving the dispute. The Formal Resolution Process will be explained and any questions the parties may have will be answered. The Investigators will also ask specific and detailed questions about the allegations, your experience, your response, etc. They may ask for specific evidence such as text messages, photos, videos, emails, and screenshots.  At the end of the meeting, Investigators will ask for a list of additional individuals who could contribute to the investigation. 

Parties have the opportunity to have an advisor/support person for all meetings during the investigation; however, they may not speak on your behalf. 

The investigation shall be completed within 60 days from the assignment of the Formal Complaint to the University Investigators, unless an extension of time for a good cause is approved by the Title IX Coordinator.

During this process, it is the Complaint's responsibility to demonstrate to Investigators that the Respondent violated a University Policy. The Respondent is not required to participate in the Investigation but must attend at least one meeting with the Investigators. The purpose of this meeting is to review the process with the Respondent and answer any questions about the process.  If the Complaint alleges conduct that might be criminal in nature, the Respondent is not required to answer any questions.

After completion of the investigation, a live hearing will be held. 

Parties have the right to a Hearing Advisor of their choosing who may actively participate in the Hearing. If the party does not have one, the University will provide a Hearing Advisor.
At the hearing, each party’s Hearing Advisor will conduct cross-examination of the other Party and any adverse witnesses. Such cross-examination must be conducted directly, orally, and in real-time by the party’s Hearing Advisor and never by a party personally.

Within 14 days following the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall make a written determination whether a violation of the Title IX Harassment Policy has occurred and simultaneously send both parties the determination and final outcome of the matter.

The complainant and the respondent each have the right to appeal any mandatory or discretionary dismissal as well as the decision of the Hearing Officer and imposition of any sanction to the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance. Decisions not appealed within such time are deemed final. The Vice President for Ethics and Compliance will notify the other Party in writing when an appeal is filed and furnish a copy of the appeal. Each Party may provide a response to the appeal. The response to the appeal must be received within ten days of the issuance of notification of the appeal.

In addition to the formal process, an informal process is also available for resolving complaints of Title IX Harassment; however, the informal process is not available unless a Formal Complaint has been filed.

After the filing of a Formal Complaint and at any time before there is a determination of responsibility, either Party may submit a written request to the Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Coordinator may offer an Informal Resolution Process. Participation in the Informal Resolution Process is voluntary. Parties must provide their voluntary written consent to the Informal Resolution Process, including the confidential nature of the Informal Resolution Process. A Complainant or Respondent has the right to withdraw from the Informal Resolution Process at any time and resume the process with respect to the Formal Complaint.
The Informal Resolution Process does not require an investigation or Hearing. Possible resolutions by agreement of the parties may include, but are not limited to: an apology to the Complainant; assisting the Respondent to better understand the effects of their conduct and ways in which this behavior could be changed; participation in educational programs about Title IX Harassment; verbal or written reprimands; or other interventions or actions aimed at ending the Title IX Harassment, preventing its recurrence, and addressing its effects. 

The Informal Resolution Process is not available in matters in which a student is a Complainant and a faculty or staff member is a Respondent.