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.
The office is led by Vice President Michael Blanton, who has a direct line of access to the president and to the chair of the audit and compliance committee of the Board of Trustees. This structure gives OPE independence and transparency and ensures that any complaint or report registered by a member of the university community will be investigated, tracked and adjudicated fairly and as quickly as possible.
Individuals are encouraged to report complaints directly to OPE through this website 24-hours a day, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (213) 740-5755. When OPE receives a complaint, the staff reviews the information provided and assigns it to the appropriate investigative office (such as Title IX, the Office of Equity and Diversity, Human Resources and Faculty Affairs), ensuring a timely resolution is reached in accordance with established procedures.
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.