The Office of Professionalism and Ethics (OPE) serves as a centralized clearinghouse for complaints and the subsequent tracking of those complaints at USC for both campuses and all university programs and affiliates. The office also provides oversight of investigations.
Individuals are encouraged to report complaints directly to OPE through the university’s Help & Hotline reporting portal, which is available 24 hours a day through this secure online form or by speaking with a representative at 213-740-2500. Individuals have the option to submit complaints anonymously.
When OPE receives a complaint, the staff reviews the information provided and assigns it to the appropriate investigative office (such as the Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX, Human Resources, or Faculty Affairs), to ensure a timely resolution is reached in accordance with established procedures. Complaints may also be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are instances when OPE will be charged with conducting formal investigations. OPE only investigates cases in specific instances at the direction of the OPE vice president or university senior leadership.
When OPE investigates a complaint, like other university investigative offices, it is an impartial fact-finder of policy violations. Discipline is handled by a separate entity with the power to issue sanctions when warranted (such as a faculty committee, Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, human resources and a medical executive committee.). Additionally, investigative units that receive complaints directly notify OPE and provide updates and resolutions.
What can be reported through this site?
There are numerous examples of inappropriate conduct listed within various university policies, all of which may be reported through OPE. These include safety and security issues (non-emergency), harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace, code of conduct and compliance breaches, theft and/or fraud, unprofessional conduct and conflict of interest violations. See the Offices That Investigate Complaints tab and FAQ.