Information for Respondents

A Complainant is an individual who is alleged to be the victim of prohibited conduct under AD 85 (Title IX Policy) or AD 91 (Discrimination & Harassment & Related Inappropriate Conduct Policy). A Respondent is an individual who is alleged to be the perpetrator of such prohibited conduct.


If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, this may be a confusing and overwhelming time. Penn State provides a number of resources to help you understand the investigation process and provide support.

Some common Respondent Resources include campus services, community assistance, legal services, and advising. The Respondent Support Office can help you find an advisor, continue your studies, and participate in the Penn State community while your case is in process.

    Your campus’ Resource Person can also help you identify resources specific to your needs.


    Under University policies AD 85 and AD 91, parties have certain rights.


    If a Complainant chooses to meet with us about a report, there are three basic pathways they can choose:

    1. Request for no action
    2. Informal resolution
    3. Investigation

    Requests for no action are reviewed by the University.

    Informal resolutions can be adaptive to the Complainant’s needs and may include Respondent education, restorative justice processes, shuttle negotiation, and/or a no-contact directive. Once complete, informal resolutions typically close a case.

    Navigate to Policies and Procedures for more information about the Report Response Process.

    Intake Process

    At intake, the Complainant will learn about rights and resources available. They may also make a request to proceed with a University process.


    When the Complainant or the University requests an investigation, an investigator is assigned to the case. The investigator conducts interviews, gathers documentation and other evidence, and compiles an investigative report. Information shared with the investigator may be used for the investigative report. The Complainant and Respondent each have the right to review the report.

    Parties’ participation may affect the outcome of the case.

    Navigate to the Policies and Procedures for more information about the Report Response Process.