» Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer

Chapman University is committed to providing an environment which is free of any form of harassment and discrimination based upon an individual's race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law, so that all members of the community are treated at all times with dignity and respect. It is the University's policy, therefore, to prohibit all forms of such harassment or discrimination among University faculty, students, staff, and administration.

The University's administration, faculty, staff, and students are each responsible for creating and maintaining an environment conducive to work, study, learning, and for cooperating with the University officials who investigate allegations of policy violations. Harassment and discrimination, in any form prohibited by this policy, impede the university's mission to provide an education of distinction in a dignified and respectful learning environment. It is the duty of every member of the faculty, staff, and administration to assure compliance with this policy by promptly reporting allegations of policy violations to the University's Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer. Students are also strongly encouraged to report any alleged violations of this policy, and may do so by contacting the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer, the Dean of Students or one of the Title IX Coordinators listed below. The University will strive to review any charges in a confidential, sensitive, and expeditious manner.

In addition to, or in lieu of the procedures set forth in this policy, any individual who feels he or she has been subjected to unlawful harassment or discrimination may contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, or the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

+ - Harassment and Discrimination Policy

+ - Complaint Procedures

Filing a Complaint

This information applies to anyone (students, faculty, staff, applicants, and all other members of the community) wishing to file a complaint related to harassment or discrimination, sexual harassment, or Title IX as outlined on this webpage. A copy of the University's Harassment and Discrimination Policy is provided for your convenience. 

This webpage describes, in general terms, the process involved in considering and investigating typical complaints brought forward to the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer. Circumstances in individual cases vary and may require different handling, within the discretion of the university. For purposes of our complaint process, the individual alleged to have been subjected to harassment or discrimination is referred to as the "complainant" and the person against whom the complaint is filed is the "respondent."

Complaint Forms

Chapman University Complaint Form

Complaint Process

Initial Interview

If you feel someone has sexually harassed you, or has discriminated against or harassed you because of your membership in a protected class (such as race, gender, sexual identity, military status, marital status, age, national origin or religion), call our office at (714) 997-6686. We will arrange for an investigator to interview you. You may also report the harassment or discrimination you have observed against another member of the community. Although we encourage you to make an appointment, appropriate Human Resources Office staff are generally available for walk-in appointments as well. The Office of Human Resources is located in DeMille Hall, Room 103; for students the Dean of Students Office is located in Argyros Forum, Room 101. To make an appointment with the Office of the Dean of Students call (714) 997-6721.

Prior to the interview, you should complete our complaint form. While doing so is not required, it will greatly assist us in more efficiently handling your concerns. Either bring the completed form to your interview or one will be provided to you for completion when you arrive. Those with disabilities will be assisted by our staff in filling out the complaint form.

While some questions can be answered by telephone, your inquiry may not become an official complaint until our office has conducted this initial in-depth interview. After the interview, we will advise you whether or not our office will investigate your complaint. In some cases, your complaint may be referred to a more appropriate office for handling if it does not fall within the purview of the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer.


Once the investigator assigned to your complaint determines that an investigation is warranted, we will advise the respondent of the allegations against him or her. The respondent will be allowed to answer the allegations. In most cases, we will also inform the respondent's chair or supervisor of the allegations, and the dean or vice president of the appropriate school or department will be advised of the complaint. Although our goal is to limit the number of individuals who may learn about your complaint, we cannot guarantee confidentiality.

Investigators try to meet face to face with respondents, administrators, and witnesses to encourage interactive dialogue. When appropriate, informal resolution procedures may be offered. The procedures for the informal complaint are detailed below.

We investigate complaints by reviewing relevant documents, interviewing relevant witnesses, and viewing other evidence as may be available. While anonymity cannot be guaranteed, witness testimony will be disclosed only as necessary to complete the investigation and implement any findings. The assigned investigator has the discretion to determine how many witnesses will be interviewed, as well as the order of such interviews. The investigator will contact you as needed; for instance, when evidence is disputed or when further information is required. Even after the investigation is underway, you may continue to provide additional evidence to be considered.

The length of time it will take to complete the investigation will vary based on the complexity of the complaint and other factors such as witness availability, although our goal is to resolve all complaints as efficiently and promptly as possible. Absent extenuating circumstances, the university endeavors to complete investigations within 60 days from the date of completion of the intake interview.

Designated individuals, including the complainant, respondent, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer, Vice President of Human Resources and the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (in cases against staff), the Chancellor (in cases against faculty), and Dean of Students (in cases against students) will be notified of the status of ongoing investigations. When appropriate, we will also notify supervisors and the vice president/vice chancellor of the administrative unit or the dean.


We use a "preponderance of evidence" standard for determining whether university policies against harassment and discrimination have been violated. This means that, if the investigator finds it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred; the investigator will conclude that there was a violation of university policy.

Once a decision as to the outcome of the complaint is made, we will send to both the complainant and respondent a letter with a brief summary of the facts and findings, reason for the decision, and evidentiary standard applied.

If the investigator determines that there is an insufficient basis to conclude that harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment, threats or actual retaliation has occurred ("insufficient basis"), that will conclude the university's investigation.


If the investigator determines there is a sufficient basis to conclude that a staff member committed harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment, threats or actual retaliation, the Vice President of Human Resources or a person authorized to act on his/her behalf will report the findings to the appropriate Vice President, Dean or Department Head and that individual will determine what corrective actions will be taken, including disciplinary actions. Any action taken will be in accordance with the University policies governing Staff and Administrators.


If the investigator determines there is sufficient basis to conclude that a faculty member committed harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment, threats or actual retaliation, the Chancellor or a person authorized to act on his/her behalf will determine what corrective actions will be taken, including disciplinary actions. Any action taken will be in accordance with the Faculty Manual.


For students, all actions will be taken in accordance with the Student Conduct Code.

Appeals of determination or disciplinary action

Please note that neither the investigator nor the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer determines what discipline, if any, is appropriate, regardless of whether respondent is staff, faculty or a student. Any disciplinary action which may be taken as the result of findings made in these investigations is made in accordance with university policies, which include but are not limited to, the Staff and Administrative Handbook, Faculty Manual, Student Conduct Code and the Harassment and Discrimination Policy.  Both the complainant and respondent will be advised of the outcome of the investigation in writing and either may appeal the findings of the  investigation by filing an appeal to the Vice President of Human Resources, who makes the final decision on the appeal.  This appeal must be filed within 15 calendar days from the date of the written outcome. 

In regard to disciplinary action against staff, faculty and students, the respondent may pursue an appeal of discipline in accordance with the provisions under the applicable policies. For staff, it will be the Staff and Administrative Handbook, for faculty it will be the Faculty Manual and for students, the Student Code of Conduct or other applicable institutional policies.

Cooperation and No Retaliation

All university faculty, staff and students are required to cooperate in the investigation process and are prohibited from retaliating against anyone who has brought forth a complaint as outlined in our Harassment and Discrimination Policy, or against anyone who has participated as a witness in an investigation by the University. Retaliation will not be tolerated.

Helpful Links

+ - Informal Complaint Procedures

Employee are encouraged to resolve their complaints informally at the lowest possible level. This may occur by discussing the complaint directly with the alleged offender and/or with the alleged offender's supervisor. Supervisors must consult with the Office of Human Resources prior to initiating the informal process.

A complainant may also consult with the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer without making a formal written complaint. In his/her absence, the employee may consult with a Human Resources representative appointed by the Vice President of Human Resources.

The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer will arrange and participate in an informal resolution meeting, either upon his/her own initiative or at the request of any party to the informal complaint. Although not required, a written complaint is preferable. The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer will interview and counsel the employee/student and explain the options available to resolve the situation. He/she will conduct interviews with the parties, if necessary interviews with any witnesses and make any necessary documentation. The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer will facilitate the process to help resolve complaints.

Informal resolution may includes speaking with the respondent, the respondent's supervisor, or the parties together. Informal resolution may be attained through mutual consent of the parties or through other measures including but not limited to an apology (verbal or in writing), training or other appropriate resolution designed to address the particular circumstance.

The complainant may, at any time, decline to continue with the informal process. Use of this informal procedure is not required prior to making a formal written complaint.

In the event one or more of the above informal procedures is pursued and it is unsuccessful, the complainant may initiate the formal grievance/complaint process. Alternatively, a complainant may bypass these informal procedures and may start by initiating the formal grievance/complaint process. While that choice is the complainant's, careful consideration should be given to first utilizing one or more informal processes since these often prove very successful in resolving conflicts.

The Vice President of Human Resources will review the investigation and approve any proposed resolution.

+ - Title IX Coordinators

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."  20 U.S.C. § 1681

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs operated by institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Programs and activities which may be included are: admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, athletics, housing and employment.

Sexual harassment of students is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX and includes acts of sexual violence. Both male and female students are protected from sexual harassment and/or violence in all educational programs and activities operated by Chapman University.

A student who believes that s/he has been discriminated against based on his/her sex or subjected to sexual harassment and/or assault should consult one of the University's Tile IX Coordinators.

The Title IX Coordinators are responsible for coordinating the University's compliance with the responsibilities under Title IX. Major duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Being available to meet with students who believe sexual harassment or assault has occurred
  • Ensuring that complaints are handled in accordance with established practices and standards
  • Personally investigating the incident or overseeing the investigation

Students who believe that they have been or are the victims of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, by another University Student, should freely and without fear of retaliation report such misconduct or file a complaint under Title IX with:

DeAnn Yocum Gaffney
Lead Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Vice Chancellor & Associate Dean of Students
Argyros Forum 101
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
Tel: (714) 997-6721
Fax: (714) 532-6009
Email: gaffney@chapman.edu

Christopher Toutain Kristen Entringer
Program Coordinator, Student Conduct Program Coordinator, Student Conduct
Argyros Forum 101 Argyros Forum 101
One University Drive One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866 Orange, CA 92866
Dean of Students office Dean of Students office
Tel: (714) 532-6039 Tel: (714) 532-6056
Email: toutain@chapman.edu Email :entringer@chapman.edu

Students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, by University faculty or staff or experience any other form of gender discrimination prohibited by Title IX should freely and without fear of retaliation report such misconduct or file a complaint under Title IX with:

Misha Martinez
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer
DeMille Hall 103
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
Tel: (714) 997-6847
Fax: (714) 997-6901


Regardless of the alleged status of the harasser students should feel free to report violations of Title IX to any of the above individuals for investigation.

The University will not tolerate retaliation against any individual who files a complaint under Title IX or who participates in an investigation of a complaint.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is the division of the federal government charged with enforcing compliance with Title IX. Please visit the Office of Civil Rights for more information.