After discussing the basic information about a concern, OIEC makes an analysis to determine if the formal adjudication or an educational resolution process is most appropriate. Generally, it is the decision of the complainant (person subjected to misconduct) to move forward or not.

If the complainant chooses not to move forward with any resolution process, OIEC must weigh that decision against the university’s obligation to protect the community. In rare cases, OIEC may have an obligation to take action, regardless of a complainant’s wishes, in order to ensure campus safety. However, the complainant is not required to participate in or cooperate with an adjudicative process.

There is no statute of limitations for addressing a complaint under university policy. Whether the individual chooses to move forward with a complaint or not, confidential resources are made available to provide support.

In a formal adjudication, OIEC staff interview the complainant (person alleging misconduct) and the respondent (person accused of misconduct) separately and provide each person notice and the opportunity to be heard throughout the process. The adjudication process also includes interviews with relevant witnesses and the identification, solicitation, and review of any documentation relevant to the investigation. Both a complainant and a respondent have the right to identify witnesses and provide other information relevant to the investigation.

Read information regarding tuition/fees refunds and housing charges for student respondents.

In a formal process, the complainant and respondent each have the right to:

  • A process conducted by trained officials who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the complainant or respondent.
  • Supportive measures, as reasonably appropriate and available, before or during a formal process. Such measures are intended to maintain the educational or employment environment for involved parties.
  • Receive notice before they participate in a meeting, interview, or hearing with sufficient time to prepare for meaningful participation.
  • Present relevant information, including evidence and identifying witnesses, and the right to inspect or review any evidence obtained.
  • Have an advisor of their choosing accompany them.
  • If applicable to the process, a hearing where each party has an advisor of their choosing, or one provided by the university at no cost, to conduct cross-examination. Live hearings will be conducted virtually, with parties located in separate rooms. Hearings are closed to the public.
  • The option to appeal the investigative findings or sanction as applicable.

Making a report to OIEC is different than filing a formal complaint. Individuals may report to OIEC and learn about resolution options before filing a formal complaint. Upon making a report to OIEC, an Investigator will contact the complainant to discuss resolution options, including a formal grievance process. Individuals can receive supportive measures regardless of whether they choose to initiate a formal grievance process. Please note that the person accused of the misconduct (the respondent) will be notified if a formal complaint is filed. If you are unsure if you would like to file a formal complaint, please contact OIEC at 303-492-2127 to speak with an Investigator to learn more about the process. The formal complaint form is required in order to initiate a formal grievance process.

In most cases, OIEC will not wait until a criminal case is resolved before proceeding with the case. In addition, if a CU Boulder official has a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed, they may be obligated to report that to law enforcement if police have not already been notified. CU Boulder’s fact-finding investigation may be delayed for a short period of time upon a request from law enforcement, but OIEC will promptly resume the investigation as soon as possible.

For more detailed information on the formal adjudication process, please review Section H(6) of the OIEC Resolution Procedures.

The educational process provides a remedies-based approach specific to the circumstances of the incident but does not make a determination as to whether a policy has been violated. This process does not involve a written report. This approach allows the university to tailor responses to the unique facts and circumstances of an incident, particularly in cases where there is not a broader threat to an individual or campus safety. In these cases, OIEC may do one or more of the following when appropriate:

  • Determine supportive measures available to the complainant that do not punish or penalize the person accused of the misconduct.
  • Provide a remedies-based resolution tailored to the circumstances to help prevent the behavior from continuing.
  • Provide targeted and/or broad-based educational programs or training.
  • If the respondent is a student, OIEC may notify Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

Because the university’s primary concern is safety and to encourage reporting, minor infractions by individuals involved in an incident, such as personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs, will not be addressed through any disciplinary action against an individual who reports a concern or who participates in an adjudication process, whether as a complainantrespondent, or witness. Intoxication resulting from the intentional use of alcohol/drugs, however, is not a defense against allegations of misconduct.

CU Boulder prohibits retaliation against any employee or student who reports a concern or who testifies, assists, or participates in a proceeding, investigation, or hearing related to a potential policy violation. All parties and witnesses are informed of the prohibition on retaliation, and any behavior that feels retaliatory should be reported immediately to OIEC. Retaliation is addressed by OIEC in the same way we address other policy-related concerns.

In cases where the formal adjudication results in a finding of a policy violation, disciplinary action will be based on whether someone is a student or employee and on the applicable policy.

Factors considered in sanctioning may include severity and/or pervasiveness of the conduct, the relationship between the parties, whether force/violence, weapons, or threat of violence were used, whether the complainant was incapacitated (if applicable), impact on the complainant(s) and respondent(s), prior history of related conduct, and ongoing risk to safety for the complainant(s) or the university community.

Sanctions for respondents, whether a student or an employee, are determined by the factors in each case and may include educational sanctions, probation, letter of reprimand or corrective action, restrictions or denial of university services, suspension, exclusion from campus, expulsion, demotion, dock in pay, or dismissal.

For more information regarding sanctions as applicable, please refer to Sections (H)(6)(e) and (f) of the OIEC Resolution Procedures.

An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Associate Vice Chancellor of OIEC or designee within five business days after the Notice of Sanction (or Notice of Finding if no sanction) is issued.

For cases involving student respondents, either the complainant or respondent may file a written appeal of the investigation and/or the sanction as applicable.

For cases involving employee respondents, either the complainant or respondent may file a written appeal of the investigation. Any rights of appeal of a sanction shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure for appeal, if available to the employee, such as the State Personnel Rules or rules governing proceedings before the Faculty Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure.

For more information regarding appeals as applicable, please refer to Section VII(D)(1) for Sexual Misconduct, Domestic and Dating Violence, and Stalking, Section VIII(D)(1) for Discrimination and Harassment, and Section IX(C)(2) for Conflict of Interest in Amorous Relationships of the OIEC Resolution Procedures.