File A Complaint or Report

The Ethics and Compliance Office (ECO) is responsible for responding to reports and investigating complaints involving allegations of unethical conduct, sexual misconduct, unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

If you are unsure which report to file or would like additional information, please contact us at 815-753-5560 or eco@niu.edu. You may also contact the university Ombudsperson or Employee Assistance Program (employees only) for confidential assistance.

Any individual who has experienced discrimination, harassment or retaliation by an employee of the university, in violation of the university's Nondiscrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy and Complaint Procedures may file a complaint with the Ethics and Compliance Office.

The definitions of what constitutes prohibited forms of discrimination, harassment and retaliation are as follows:

  • Discrimination: an employment or academic decision that results in negative or different treatment based on the individual’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class.
  • Harassment: unwelcome verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct, including via electronic means, that is based on the individual’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class and the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to:
    • Unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or academic performance;
    • Limit or deny the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from a university program or activity; or
    • Create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive employment or academic environment.
  • Retaliation: an individual experiencing an adverse action because of their engagement in a protected activity.

Protected categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Age (40 and over)
  • Ancestry
  • Arrest record (for employment/personnel matters)
  • Citizenship status
  • Color
  • Conviction record (for employment/personnel matters)
  • Disability (physical and/or mental)
  • Gender (including gender identity and gender expression)
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • National origin
  • Order of protection status
  • Political affiliation
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex (including sexual harassment, sexual orientation and pregnancy)
  • Veteran/military status
  • Protection as a victim of a crime of violence
  • Work authorization status (for employment/personnel matters)

Complaints may be filed with the Ethics and Compliance Office using the online complaint forms listed below:

Any individual who has experienced sexual misconduct, in violation of the university's Sexual Misconduct Policy and Complaint Procedures, may file a formal complaint with the Ethics and Compliance Office. Individuals who are aware of someone else who has experienced sexual misconduct may file a report with the Ethics and Compliance Office.*

Sexual misconduct includes:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Gender harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Dating violence
  • Stalking

Additional information related to sexual misconduct.

Complaints and reports may be filed with the Ethics and Compliance Office using the online complaint/report form.

*All employees of the university, unless deemed confidential, are considered responsible employees and are required to report actual or suspected sexual misconduct.

Any individual who has learned of or witnessed unethical conduct by an employee of the university may file a report with the Ethics and Compliance Office using the online ethics report form

There are additional university processes (conducted outside of ECO) that are available to resolve disputes and concerns between faculty, staff and students. For assistance in understanding these different processes, you may contact the University Ombudsperson or Employee Assistance Program for confidential assistance. 

Employees

  • Union/Collective Bargaining Grievances – Employees who are members of a union may file a grievance with their union. To learn more information, contact your union representative. Copies of the collective bargaining agreements are found on the Human Resources website for Academic Unions and Civil Service Unions.
  • Grievance Process for Non-Union Faculty and Staff – Employees who are not members of a union may file a grievance to address specific types of unfair treatment in the workplace. For more information, read Article 5 of the University Bylaws and its associated procedures.
  • Research Misconduct – Anyone who believes an employee has engaged in research misconduct may follow these research misconduct procedures to report a violation.

Students

  • Student Conduct General Incident Report – Students must follow the Student Code of Conduct, which prohibits conduct such as disruptive behavior, harassment, hazing, and physical or verbal abuse. To report a violation, use the General Incident Reporting Form.
  • Grievance Procedures for Students – Students who experience unprofessionalism or inappropriate behavior by an NIU employee may file a grievance against that employee. For more information, read Article 6 of the University Bylaws.
  • Grade Appeal Procedure for Undergraduate Students – Undergraduate students who want to appeal a course grade may file a grade appeal using these undergraduate procedures for appeals of course grades.
  • Grade Appeal Procedure for Graduate Students – Graduate students who want to appeal a course grade may file a grade appeal using these procedures for appealing allegedly capricious course grades.