Formal Complaint Process

Text-only version

This document is a text-based representation of a flow chart. At the decision point, activate the link to your choice to be brought to the next step.

Process Begins with a Notice to OEO

When OEO receives notice, they will reach out to the individual who experienced the conduct about supportive measures and reporting options. That individual may have the option to choose to become a Complainant and initiate a formal complaint.

Step 1: Formal Complaint Initiated

Complainant (person bringing the complaint) provides information to OEO and a written complaint is created. University can also initiate an administrative complaint under certain circumstances.

Step 2: Notice to Respondent

Respondent (person responding to the complaint) receives written Notice of Formal Complaint. Will then have the opportunity to meet with OEO to discuss the process.

Decision point — the responding party has two options at this point:

Option 1: Proceed with Process

Respondent can provide a statement in response to the complaint.


Option 2: Accept Charges

Responding Party has the option to accept the charges and proceed to question of sanctions.

Alternative Route: Informal Resolution Process (Optional)

Complainant and Respondent can voluntarily agree to engage in an informal process to reach a resolution. Can result in a final Resolution Agreement that ends the process.

Step 3: Investigative Procedure

An OEO assigned investigator will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint. The investigator will work with the parties to identify relevant information. The investigator will interview parties and witnesses, and review documents relevant to the allegations. At the conclusion of the investigation, an Investigative Report will be prepared. Both parties can review and comment on the report before it is final.

Investigation leads to Step 4: Process Determination

OEO will determine which process will be used for the adjudication of the Formal Complaint based on information from the investigation. There are two options:

Option 1: Title IX Grievance Process

Used when the conduct falls into the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment/ Violence AND meets 3 jurisdictional requirements: (1) occurred in U.S., (2) occurred in a University program or activity, and (3) the Complainant is participating in University program.


Option 2: Formal Resolution Process

Used when the conduct does not fall into the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment/Violence OR does not meet the 3 jurisdictional requirements, but still may be a violation of policy.

Both processes lead to Step 5:


Both parties have the right to appeal a panel’s decision (filed within 7 business days of the notice of outcome).


Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) at 781-736-4806 or