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EthicsPoint Reporting

What is EthicsPoint?

EthicsPoint is an online system for reporting activities that may involve misconduct or violations of University Policy. You can also use it to ask questions anonymously (make an inquiry), or raise a concern that may not rise to the level of misconduct.

EthicsPoint is an additional method of reporting issues, concerns and suspected misconduct. EthicsPoint does not supersede any existing reporting methods or protocols already in place at Northwestern, and we encourage you to report concerns to our compliance partners directly. When in doubt, when unsure where to go, or when you prefer to remain anonymous, EthicsPoint is always available, and we encourage you to speak up. Any suspected problems or complaints reported via EthicsPoint will be reviewed in accordance with current University procedures, including those described in the Faculty, Staff or Student Handbooks.

Make an EthicsPoint Report

Submit an online report or call the hotline: 866-294-3545

Any member of the Northwestern Community or non-community member is able to submit an EthicsPoint Report.

File a Report Online


Reporters may submit anonymous reports through EthicsPoint. The third-party system also allows for anonymous reporters to correspond with the University Compliance Office while maintaining their anonymity.

University Compliance, and the subject matter experts who we partner with to address issues raised in EthicsPoint reports, maintain confidentiality in accordance with University policies. In circumstances when University policy or law require that a matter be reported to another office or possibly an outside agency, every reasonable effort to maintain confidentiality will be taken.

Support and Resources

Key University Office

Northwestern's central Compliance Office coordinates, encourages and monitors the University's operational compliance activities, including reporting concerns. 

If you are unsure about submitting an EthicsPoint report and would like to speak with someone first, you may contact the University Compliance Office at

Compliance Office Website

Policy on Non-Retaliation

Northwestern's Policy on Non-Retaliation strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting or inquiring in good faith about suspected wrongful or unlawful activity, or participating in an investigation or proceeding related to such activity. The University considers such actions to be protected activities in which all members may freely engage without worry of negative consequences. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Who will see my report?

When a report is made through EthicsPoint, it is received by the University Compliance Office who review the report and determine whether the report falls under the purview / expertise of another office on campus - usually one of the subject matter experts in our Compliance Network. If so, we will refer the report to that office who will follow their own policies and processes to determine what, if any required next steps may be. If the report is complex, we may involve multiple subject matter experts to review and assess the report. When the report is referred elsewhere, the individual(s) who made the report will be notified of that action in the EthicsPoint portal.

If there is no dedicated office, University Compliance will complete an initial review into the matter and conduct or facilitate any necessary investigation. In very rare cases, the issue may be escalated to University leadership and/or the Board of Trustees. Note: If you need to make a report about someone within the University Compliance Office, the EthicsPoint system will not permit that member of the Office to view, or have knowledge of, the report.

What will happen to me after I report?

The University Compliance Office may attempt to follow-up with you via the EthicsPoint system. If the concern you've raised is best handled by another office, you may receive outreach from that office to provide support and collect additional information.

What are the next steps? Will I be told the resolution or outcome of what I shared?

When the reporting party is known, University Compliance will inform the individual(s) who made the report when review of the matter has concluded. The information that can be shared at the conclusion of the investigation may be limited.

Do I need to have evidence of misconduct to make a report in EthicsPoint?

No. Members of the community are encouraged to speak up and bring forward issues or concerns that they may have, regardless of whether they have specific evidence that there was misconduct. The ability to perform an investigation may depend on the availability of evidence and/or the willingness of an individual(s) making the report to identify themselves, but all concerns are reviewed. In some instances, the outcome of such a report may be education, reminders of policy, or development of training on a specific topic.

If/when a member of the community has evidence of policy violations or misconduct, we ask that they provide it so that the matter can be appropriately addressed in accordance with university policies and procedures.