The Formal Student Conduct Process

Every member of the University of Oregon has the right to expect an academic and working environment that is safe and free of harassment and discrimination.

The Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance/Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards strive to provide a fair, balanced, and equitable resolution process for both complainants and respondents.

An investigation is a formal or informal administrative process, not a civil or criminal proceeding. [Employee Grievance Processes: Information regarding the formal processes for complaints against employees may be found here.]

Below are the Standard Operating Procedures cases at a glance. Please click on the applicable section for further detail related to each topic.


Student Conduct Process: Standard Operating Procedures for Prohibited Discrimination or Harassment Allegations

The University of Oregon (“University”) will not tolerate prohibited discrimination or harassment in any form. To make a formal complaint, please visit the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance website or https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofOregon&layout_id=1

The Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards has developed these procedures to implement the Student Conduct Code (“Code”) as it relates to allegations of prohibited discrimination and harassment (including sexual misconduct and unwanted contact).

Section A: General Information about the Standard Operating Procedures

These procedures apply to complaints involving prohibited discrimination or harassment based on protected class when the Respondent is a University of Oregon student, and when parties received Notice of Allegations on or after November 1, 2018. Cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct in which Notice was provided prior to this date are subject to the previous procedures (available upon request from the Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator@uoregon.edu), unless the Director of Student Conduct and Title IX Coordinator determine that there is good cause to use the new procedures and using the new procedures will not result in substantial prejudice to either party. Appeals are subject to the process for appeals described in the Student Conduct Code and in Section G below.

  • Who do these procedures apply to and for what cases?
  • What about cases where there is also a criminal investigation?
  • Where can I find definitions for the terms used in these SOPs?
  • Can I request an exception to these SOPs?
  • Where can I find an accessible version of these?
  • Can I request interpretation or translation services?
  • What information/records can I see and when?

Section B: Glossary of Terms

See: Glossary of Key Terms (as used in these SOPs): Key terms used in the SOPs are defined in the Glossary of Key Terms which links to the Student Conduct Code, and University Policies including V.11.02. Those definitions are incorporated into these SOPs.

The terms “Director of Student Conduct” or “Director” throughout refer to both the Director as well as the Director’s designees, including the Conduct Administrator assigned to investigate the allegations of prohibited discrimination and harassment. 

The term “Title IX Coordinator” throughout refers to the Title IX Coordinator as well as the Title IX Coordinator’s designees.

Section C: When Student Conduct Action is Initiated Based on a Complaint

If the individual who allegedly experienced the harm wishes to have the University pursue a student conduct action, (or in rare cases if the Director and Title IX Coordinator determine that it is necessary to move forward with a student conduct action with a Non-participating Complainant), then that individual (now Complainant) will be invited to provide further information. A determination must still be made as to whether to initiate student conduct action.

  1. A Conduct Administrator will Interview the Complainant 
  2. The Director of Student Conduct, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will decide whether to initiate a student conduct action based on the information received in the formal complaint.
  3. The Director, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and other qualified campus community members, may initiate Emergency Action Procedures where there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of any person or the campus community. (See a visual representation of the emergency action process)
  4. A Notice of Allegations is issued to both parties at the same time
  5. Respondent must contact the Administrator within seven (7) business days of receiving the Notice of Allegations to schedule an Initial Meeting

Section D: Possible Resolutions of the Allegations

If a student conduct action is moving forward, the Director will initiate the Formal Process, which is intended to be a fair, neutral and equitable process for all students involved.

The Formal Process is not a criminal or civil action and is not subject to the rules of evidence, civil procedure, or other rules that apply to court and court-like proceedings. (Click here for a visual representation of the process.)

There are four general ways for a formal complaint of sexual misconduct, prohibited discrimination or harassment to be resolved:

  1. The parties could agree to pursue alternative resolutions (facilitated dialogue, mediation, restorative justice);
  2. Respondent can accept responsibility for the allegations;
  3. The Administrator could dismiss the allegations; or
  4. The Formal Process will continue.

If the charges are not appropriate for an alternative resolution, or either party does not wish to pursue an alternative resolution, dismissal is inappropriate, and the Respondent does not wish to accept responsibility, the Formal Process will continue as described in Section E.

Section E: Steps in the Formal Process

If a student conduct action is moving forward, the Director will initiate the Formal Process, which is intended to be a fair, neutral and equitable process for all students involved.

For further information on each step, click on the title/link.

  1. Initial Meeting with Respondent: The Respondent has seven (7) business days from the receipt of the Notice of Allegations to contact the assigned Administrator. The Administrator will ask Respondent to schedule a meeting with the Administrator as soon as possible to learn about the Formal Process and discuss a possible resolution.

    At this initial meeting Respondent will be able to review a summary of the Complainant’s initial statement and will receive information about witnesses proposed by Complainant.

    Respondent will have five (5) business days after the initial meeting to provide the Administrator with names and contact information for proposed witnesses and proposed questions for Complainant, Complainant’s witnesses and Respondent’s witnesses.
     
  2. Follow up with Complainant: The Administrator will then provide Complainant with information about the witnesses and questions Respondent has suggested.

    Complainant then has five (5) business days to provide the Administrator with proposed questions for Respondent, Respondent’s witnesses, and Complainant’s witnesses.
     
  3. Fact-Gathering: The Administrator will investigate the allegations by interviewing witnesses, gathering information, and following up with the Complainant and Respondent as needed.

    This process is intended to provide an opportunity for both parties to provide information, respond to information that will be relied upon, and ask questions in a manner that effectively substitutes for cross examination.
     
  4. Close of Fact-Gathering: The Administrator will close this phase of the fact-gathering investigation once the Administrator concludes that he or she has gathered the reasonably available relevant information. The Administrator will notify Complainant and Respondent before closing the fact-gathering investigation.
     
  5. Review of the Preliminary Report: The Administrator will create a preliminary report which contains the relevant information the Administrator has gathered up to the close of the first stage of fact-gathering (“Preliminary Report”).  

    The Administrator will make the Preliminary Report available to both Complainant and Respondent to review.
     
  6. Administrative Conference with Respondent: The Administrator will schedule an administrative conference with Respondent typically within sixty (60) business days of the receipt of the formal complaint. This meeting provides the Respondent with the opportunity to respond to all of the information that has been deemed relevant and will be relied upon.

    To allow the Respondent time to review the Report prior to the Conference, the Conference will generally be scheduled at least ten (10) business days after the release of the Preliminary Report.
     
  7. Administrator’s Meeting with Complainant: Following the administrative conference with Respondent, Complainant will be given the opportunity to meet with the Administrator and to respond to the Preliminary Report.
     
  8. Additional Fact-Gathering and Revised Preliminary Report: The Administrator will conduct additional fact-gathering as needed. When the additional fact-gathering is complete, the Administrator will provide Complainant and Respondent with a Revised Preliminary Report. No new information will be received after the Revised Preliminary Report is presented to the parties, unless the information could NOT reasonably and with due diligence have been previously provided.
     
  9. Final Meeting with Administrator: The Administrator will schedule a final meeting with each party. Complainant and Respondent will each have a final opportunity to respond to the Revised Preliminary Report. No new information will be received at this meeting, unless the information could NOT reasonably and with due diligence have been previously provided.
     
  10. Notice of Findings: After the Revised Preliminary Report, and after the final meeting with the Administrator, the Administrator will issue a Notice of Findings.  This should generally be within ninety (90) business days of the receipt of the formal complaint.

    The decision as to whether the Respondent’s behavior, as set forth in the Notice of Allegations, violated the student conduct code will be based on whether information in the Preliminary Report and Revised Preliminary Report demonstrates by a preponderance (more likely than not; greater than 50% likelihood) that the conduct occurred.
     
  11. Impact or Mitigation Statements for SanctioningNo later than three (3) business days after the Notice of Findings (when a finding of responsibility) is issued, the Complainant and Respondent may both submit statements to the Director for consideration during sanctioning.

Section F: Expectations of All Parties in the Formal Process

  • What happens if I don’t check my email?
  • What will happen if I choose not to participate in the process?
  • What will happen if I provide false information during the process?
  • Do I have to provide information or come in if requested?
  • What happens if I destroy relevant information?
  • How will UO protect my privacy during the process?
  • Can I share information that I receive in the Notice of Findings?
  • What do I do if someone retaliates against me?

Section G: After the Formal Process – Sanctions and Appeals

  • What types of sanctions are possible?
  • Who decides the sanctions?
  • Can I submit an impact or mitigation statement?
  • What is considered during the sanctioning decision?
  • When are sanctions implemented?
  • Can I ask for sanctions to be delayed during the appeal?
  • How can I file an appeal of the final decision?
  • What are the reasons that I can appeal?
  • Who decides appeals?

Section H: Frequently Asked Questions about the Formal Process

Many questions about the process, what type of information will be considered and other aspects are answered in the Frequently Asked Questions section.

These procedures apply to sexual misconduct allegations initiated on or after November 1, 2018. Matters already under investigation are subject to the previous procedures, unless the Director and Title IX Coordinator determines that there is good cause to use the new procedures and using the new procedures will not result in substantial prejudice to either student.