Offices That Investigate Complaints

The Office of Professionalism and Ethics (OPE) is a centralized clearinghouse for complaints and the subsequent tracking of those complaints. It also oversees investigations at USC, including both campuses and all university programs and affiliates.

Complaint Categories

There are two categories of complaints: protected class complaints and non-protected class complaints. Multiple offices conduct investigations.

Offices that Investigate Complaints


Protected Class Complaints

  • Office of Equity and DiversityFor complaints related to harassment, assault or discrimination based on a protected category in which the respondent is a faculty or staff member.
  • Title IX. For complaints related to harassment, assault or discrimination based on a protected category in which the respondent is a student.

Non-Protected Class Complaints

  • Faculty Affairs. For complaints that do not meet the threshold of other investigative units and the respondent is a faculty member. Faculty Affairs often works closely with Human Resources and the Provost’s Office.
  • Human Resources. For complaints that do not meet the threshold of other investigative units and the respondent is a
    staff member. There is a Central Human Resources office, as well as numerous local Human Resources offices.
  • Office of Conduct, Accountability, and Professionalism (OCAP). For more egregious complaints, such as hostile work environment or violence in the workplace, that require investigation beyond the normal scope of Faculty Affairs or Human Resources.
  • Office of Internal Audit. For complaints related to internal misappropriation of assets or internal controls.
  • Office of Ethics and Compliance. For complaints related to conflicts of interest, privacy and security laws, health care billing, and misconduct related to research grants, and Code of Ethics violations not within another office’s jurisdiction.
  • Office of Athletic Compliance. For complaints related to athletic policies and procedures, such as NCAA, PAC-12, and USC rules.

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