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How to File a Complaint

The Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) is responsible for implementing and monitoring Duke University's harassment and discrimination policies that ensure and support an environment free of harassment and discrimination. It is important to know the policies and procedures.

You have the right to raise a concern or complaint regarding harassment or discrimination. You also have the right to utilize available resources, such as the Office for Institutional Equity (for harassment or discrimination committed by employees; for harassment and discrimination committed by graduate and professional students, except for sexual misconduct) or the Office of Student Conduct (for sexual misconduct committed by undergraduate, graduate or professional students; for other types of harassment committed by undergraduate students), and do not have to follow any “chain of command” to raise a concern or submit a complaint of harassment or discrimination.

Our policies prohibit retaliation against anyone for coming forward with a concern or submitting a complaint. If you believe you have experienced prohibited retaliation, you may contact the Office for Institutional Equity or the Office of Student Conduct to address this concern.

Of course at any time during the process, you have the right to consult individuals or agencies external to or outside of Duke University.


Harassment of any individual for any reason is not acceptable at Duke University. Harassment is a form of prohibited discrimination and may arise in situations unique to a given interpersonal relationship or in actions rooted in an attitude toward a group. Sexual harassment (including sexual violence) is perhaps the most commonly understood form of harassment, but it is important to note that harassment on any demographic basis—including age, color, disability, national origin, sex, genetic information, gender identity, race, religion, or sexual orientation—also occurs. In all cases, harassment undermines the University's commitments to excellence and to respect for the dignity and worth of all individuals. Duke’s Harassment Policy and Procedures applies to harassment committed by employees, students (except for sexual harassment), and third parties (such as vendors, contractors, and visitors to campus); You can find the information regarding the policy and its complaint-handling procedures here. Duke’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) committed by undergraduate, graduate and professional students; you can find information regarding that policy and its complaint-handling procedures here.


Duke University has adopted a grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination based on the denial of accommodations for disability. You can find the information regarding the procedures for seeking resolution here.


Duke University is committed to ensuring an environment that is free of prohibited discrimination and has policies in place to encourage an inclusive community that respects and values all of its community members. In support of this commitment, Duke University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity in its employment practices or educational programs and activities. Duke University complies with applicable federal laws addressing discrimination. If you feel you have been subjected to prohibited discrimination, you can find information regarding both policies and procedures about filing a complaint here. This grievance procedure applies to complaints arising in the context of both employment (employees or applicants) and education (students).

Special Notice for International Students

International students, whether complainants or respondents, should contact Duke Visa Services for assistance in determining how their actions will affect their visa statuses in the U.S. This office will provide regulatory guidance for any complainant or respondent considering a reduced course load, leave of absence or change to a nonimmigrant status. Respondents will also receive guidance on how any disciplinary actions by the institution could affect their visa status and/or referral to a qualified immigration attorney.