The University’s experience is that most complaints can be resolved through an informal process. By its nature an informal process is less procedurally detailed than a formal process. The informal process provides the maximum privacy and an opportunity for the earliest possible resolution for everyone concerned. Informal resolution is never appropriate in sexual assault cases.
If the Complainant wishes to explore an informal investigation or resolution of the matter the Equal Opportunity Officer will provide assistance without fully investigating the allegation. The objective of the informal process is to seek a resolution to which all parties involved can agree or to otherwise resolve the problem. The Equal Opportunity Officer may suggest that the Complainant speak directly to the Respondent or may act as an intermediary or set up a structured mediation. A Complainant may request that the Respondent not be informed of the Complainant’s identity if this is not essential to resolve the complaint informally. The Equal Opportunity Officer may also gather information from other sources in an effort to resolve the complaint.
A person who files a complaint may choose to withdraw the complaint. Alternatively, a Complainant may decide at any time to stop the informal process and file a formal complaint.
If a Respondent elects not to participate in an informal process, that choice will not be regarded as evidence of anything. However, a Respondent’s non-participation does not alter the University’s responsibility to investigate and to make decisions based on available information.
Attempts to resolve an informal complaint will normally be completed within sixty (60) days from the date of the complaint.
If a complaint cannot be resolved informally, the Complainant or the Equal Opportunity Officer may request a formal investigation.