UCIRO investigates complaints that a University employee has violated the University’s non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies. The following is a summary of the investigation process.

Assignment to Specialist

Once UCIRO has formally opened a complaint investigation, the matter is assigned to a UCIRO Investigation and Resolution Specialist. The Specialist acts as a neutral, objective fact-finder under the procedures outlined in Administrative Policy Statements 46.3 (Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees). The Specialist is neither an advocate nor an adversary with respect to the person raising the concerns, the person(s) accused, the witnesses and/or the department(s) involved in the matter.

Investigation of Complaint

The Specialist will interview the person who has raised the concerns to ask him or her more detailed questions about the complaint allegations. In addition, he or she will interview the person(s) accused, interview witnesses, examine relevant documents, and gather related factual information. 

Conclusion of Investigation

At the conclusion of an investigation, typically, the Specialist orally reports the findings to the complainant, the subject, and often, to the department.  These oral reports are made in separate meetings.  During these meetings, the participants may ask questions and learn about the investigative process and the reasoning for the investigation's conclusions.  Also, the Specialist will issue a closure notice.  The closure notice will include a conclusion that the University’s non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies either have or have not been violated.

Once the closure notices are issued, the UCIRO matter will be closed. Per UW policy, there is no internal appeal process. Individuals who are dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint investigation may contact state or federal agencies.


At any point during an investigation, the Specialist may work to resolve the complaint with the person who has raised concerns and the department involved in the matter. (Please see “Resolution Options” for more information.) Information about UCIRO investigations is provided only to those who have a “business-need-to-know,” such as the person(s) accused, the administrative head of the University organization involved, the appropriate Human Resources Consultant and/or the Provost’s Office. UCIRO asks all persons who are interviewed as part of the investigation not to discuss either the fact of the interview or the substance of their interview with others. Because the University is a public institution, after a UCIRO investigation is concluded, information contained in UCIRO files may be subject to disclosure under the State Public Disclosure Act. Some information, such as medical information, student records, or information that is otherwise exempt from the Public Disclosure Act, will not be subject to disclosure under that Act. Other information obtained by UCIRO may be disclosed if otherwise required by law, for example, pursuant to a subpoena or court order.