Carnegie Mellon University

What Happens After a Report is Made?

The University's response to a report of sexual misconduct is largely driven by the wishes and preferences of the person affected by the sexual misconduct (the "reporting party"), to the extent consistent with the University’s commitment to protecting the broader welfare of the University Community. It is important to note that the information provided below relates only to Carnegie Mellon University's internal response to any report of sexual misconduct. 

A reporting party may choose to pursue resolution through civil and/or criminal processes in addition to or instead of pursuing the University's internal process.  The Office of Title IX Initiatives will gladly assist a reporting party in reporting sexual misconduct to University Police or external law enforcement, if the reporting party wishes to do so.

The University investigation and resolution process for students is also available in a visual schematic format [PDF].

  • The Office of Title IX Initiatives ("TIX") will review the report and will evaluate whether there is an urgent safety concern requiring immediate action.
  • TIX will create a file and enter data into private database for tracking and analysis.
  • TIX will meet and/or communicate with the reporting party in order to:

    • help identify a support person/advisor;
    • connect the reporting party to resources, including:
      • mental health and counseling services;
      • health services;
      • law enforcement; and
      • community resources such as PAAR, Women's Center and Shelter, and Center for Victims;
    • determine and provide appropriate and reasonably available safety and support measures, including, for example:
    • explain University process and procedures;
    • ascertain the reporting party's preferences regarding further investigation and possible resolution**; and
    • explain the reporting party's options to notify or decline to notify law enforcement (University Police and/or local police), and how TIX can assist in notification if the reporting party so chooses.

It is important to note that support and safety and support measures will be provided regardless of whether further investigation and/or possible resolution are pursued.

**In most cases, the University will be able to honor the reporting party's preferences as to whether further investigation and/or possible resolution are pursued, except in rare cases where there is an overriding community interest.

  • TIX considers the community impact associated with the report. 

    • TIX analyzes the report to determine whether there are urgent safety concerns that require immediate action.
    • TIX will consider whether there any interventions or safety measures that can be taken to stop, respond to or prevent future incidents, including campus wide or targeted educational programs.
    • TIX will determine whether there is an overriding community interest that requires further investigation and/or resolution, even if contrary to the reporting party’s preferences.
      • Such a circumstance would be rare, as TIX will make all reasonable attempts to comply with the reporting party’s preferences, consistent with the University's obligation to safeguard the campus community.  Examples where an overriding community interest may be found would include:
        • significant violence and/or use or threat of use of weapon;
        • repeated allegations against or findings of policy violations by the same individual;
        • multiple individuals participating in incident; and/or
        • reporting party is a minor.
  • Further investigation will proceed only if reporting party elects or if there is a recognized overriding community interest.

    • Investigation will usually be conducted by University Police, TIX or jointly by both departments depending on the nature of the allegations, the nature and scope of the investigation that is required, and the reporting party's wishes.
    • As noted above, in most cases, the University will be able to honor the reporting party's preferences as to whether further investigation is pursued, except in rare cases where there is an overriding community interest.
    • When further investigation is undertaken, the University is dedicated to providing reasonably prompt, fair, and impartial investigations. 
  • TIX will engage responding party if, and only if:

    • Interim measures impact responding party (for example, a no contact agreement);
    • If further investigation will take place; and/or
    • If the matter will proceed to a resolution.
  • If TIX meets with the responding party, TIX will:

  • Based upon reporting party wishes and presence of any overriding community interest, any of the following may be pursued:

    • No resolution;
    • Informal resolution; or
    • Formal resolution (hearing process).

When formal resolution is pursued, the University is dedicated to providing reasonably prompt, fair, and impartial proceedings. 

It is important to note that options for internal resolution may be limited depending upon the responding party's relationship (or lack thereof) to the University.  Additional information about resolution options may be found in Carnegie Mellon University's Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault, and the Community Standards Section of The Word [Student Handbook].

The University investigation and resolution process for students is also available in a visual schematic format [PDF].