Conducting Effective Internal Investigations

Conducting effective internal investigations is crucial to ensuring compliance with the many laws, regulations, and other obligations facing today’s institutions of higher education. The circumstances that prompt an investigation arise in many contexts, including student misconduct, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, academic or research misconduct, financial improprieties, and more. No matter the context, when properly conducted, an internal investigation can help an institution to identify risks and remedy potential issues.

Join instructors Katherine Allen, Natasha Baker and Howie Kallem as they lead this six-module online course, designed to teach participants how to conduct effective internal investigations from start to finish.

Topics covered will include:   

  • Introduction and Pre-Investigation Considerations
  • Investigative Preparation and Planning
  • Interviewing and Information Gathering
  • Reaching a Conclusion and Credibility Determinations
  • Writing an Investigation Report
  • Post-Investigation Considerations and Appeals

This informative and convenient course is a blend of self-study and instructor-facilitated learning. Participants can access materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The course features:

  • Access to six narrated PowerPoint presentations, self-assessments, and extensive resources. 
  • Access to two live webinars with the course instructors (recordings are made available to those who were not able to attend live). 

The course costs $299 for all participants. Register today

Questions? NACUA at with questions about CLE credits or content. For technical support questions, contact For more information, visit NACUA’s Online Learning Center Support Page.


Course Schedule

Introduction and Pre-Investigation Considerations

  • Types of Investigations
  • Value of Good Investigative Practices
  • Pre-Investigation Considerations
  • Choosing an Investigator
  • Confidentiality vs. Transparency

Investigative Preparation & Planning

  • Receiving and Evaluating the Complaint
  • Notice
  • Interim Measures
  • Developing an Investigative Strategy or Plan
  • Public Relations Considerations

Interviewing and Information Gathering

  • Interviews: Logistics, Who to Interview, and How to Interview Effectively
  • Participation by Parties and Witnesses 
  • Conducting the Interview – Tips for Good Questioning
  • Post-Interview Considerations
  • Interviewing High-Level Employees and Police

Reaching a Conclusion and Credibility Determinations

  • Types of Evidence: Corroborating; Direct, Circumstantial, and Other Types
  • Weight of Evidence
  • Inconsistencies, Plausibility and Motives
  • Demeanor of Parties and Witnesses
  • Effects of Trauma


Writing an Investigation Report

  • The Elements: Key Components; Style/Audience/Tone
  • Disclosure of the Report Document Retention and Use of the Attorney-Client Privilege

Post-Investigation and Appeals

  • Notifications
  • Final Decision
  • Post-Decision Considerations
  • Appeals
  • Consultation with in-House Counsel



May 22, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET
Covering Modules 1 – 3

  • Opportunity for Q&A with instructors
  • Recording is available for all registrants


June 12, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET
Covering Modules 4 – 6

  • Opportunity for Q&A with instructors
  • Recording is available for all registrants


Katherine Allen

Natasha Baker

Howie Kallem

Katherine Allen PHOTO FINAL

Katherine M. Allen is Associate General Counsel at the Pennsylvania State University, focusing on faculty and employment issues, including research misconduct investigations. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Katherine represented ...

Natasha Baker Headshot

Natasha J. Baker is a partner with Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP, in the firm's San Francisco office. Ms. Baker advises private and public institutions of higher education on a broad range of legal matters, including labor, employment, student affairs and compliance ...

Howard Kallem Headshot

Howard Kallem is the Director of Title IX Compliance for Duke University.  He had previously held a similar position as Title IX Compliance Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Before that, he was Chief Regional Attorney for the Office ....

About Online Courses

NACUA's online courses give participants in-depth coverage of important issues in the practice of higher education law. Each course features webinars that enable participants to ask questions to...

CLE Credit Information

You may be eligible to receive CLE credit for participating in a NACUA online course. MCLE credit is subject to each state's rules and regulations. States differ in their definition of "CLE"...

Frequently Asked Questions

This eight-week course contains narrated PowerPoint presentations (like pre-recorded virtual seminars), self-assessment quizzes, and reading assignments. In addition, this course...