Bias Incident Reporting Procedure

November 2016

Lawrence University is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive learning environment in which all students, faculty and staff can thrive. In accordance with our mission statement, we are “devoted to excellence and integrity in all of [our] activities and committed to the development of intellect and talent, the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, the cultivation of sound judgment and respect for the perspectives of others.” Achieving the mission of the University requires us to learn through discussion, consideration of complexity and confronting challenging issues. The open intellectual inquiry at the heart of our learning environment is underpinned by our commitment to academic freedom, which is a core value of this institution. 

As a community, we share in the work of building a more inclusive university. Bias incidents run in opposition to the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and the cultivation of respect for the perspective of others. Bias incident reports will aid us as we work to learn more about and address the intentional and unintentional ways members of our community are marginalized. We encourage direct communication and reconciliation among parties in conflict. However there are times when this is not the most effective course of action. Reports are intended to foster communication and to serve as an educational tool for all members of the Lawrence community.  

The bias incident reporting program is intended to provide educational opportunities to address bias incidents and help members of the community develop greater respect for others and for the ideals of learning and justice that are at the core of the Lawrence Community.

 

File a Bias Report

 

What is a Bias Incident?

A bias incident is a disrespectful, hostile or harassing act that has a negative impact on individual’s educational and/or work experience and is directed at an individual or group because of their actual or perceived membership in a particular identity group. These acts often are rooted in and perpetuate stereotypes while reinforcing institutional and cultural barriers to the success of individuals from groups historically underserved by higher education. To be considered a bias incident, the act is not required to be a crime, nor does it have to violate university policy.

 

What is the Bias Response Team?

The Bias Response Team (BRT) is comprised of administrators who are available to support and guide community members seeking assistance in determining how to handle bias incidents. The Chair of the BRT receives individual reports, follows up with those making reports, and summarizes the incidents on a regular basis to be shared with the BRT and other appropriate University groups. The team advises the Chair on actions to be taken. The team may consult with the President’s Committee on Diversity Affairs, the LUCC Committee on Diversity Affairs, the Diversity Center and Faculty Governance Committee to determine the areas of greatest need for future professional development and community education sessions. 

 

Members of the BRT:

VP for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Dean of the Faculty (Chair)
Dean of Students
Associate Dean of Students for Diversity 
Director of Athletics
Director of Human Resources
Dean, Conservatory of Music
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

 

Reporting an Incident

If a member of the Lawrence University community experiences or witnesses a bias incident, filing a bias incident report is encouraged. Reports are received by the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Dean of the Faculty. Reports serve as a means for initiating individual conversations as well as identifying areas for potential educational/developmental intervention.  If reports are attributed (as defined below), further procedural options based on the specific situation, will also be discussed with the reporter. Information regarding these reports will be shared with individuals not directly involved in the incident only in aggregate form. No disciplinary action will be taken without a complaint being adjudicated through the appropriate grievance procedure in order to ensure due process. 

There are two options for filing a report: Attributed (reporter provides name and contact information) and Unattributed (reporter elects to remain anonymous).

 

 

Attributed Reports

 

By selecting “For Follow-Up and Referral,” the reporter can expect:

• To be contacted by a member of the Bias Response Team, who will provide an opportunity to further describe the incident and discuss desired outcomes 
• To be informed of further procedural options (including but not limited to mediation, a consultation for the parties with a member of the Bias Response Team, Title IX procedures, Judicial Board proceedings or the Grievance Procedure) for follow-up and/or information on university support resources and what to expect
• That the report will provide statistical data for the university (and municipality when reports involve the broader community)
• To be notified of follow up when appropriate

 

The person(s) about whom a report is made can expect:

• To be notified by a member of the Bias Response Team that a report has been submitted and to be provided with information about the report
• To be informed about the intentions of the reporter to move forward with mediation, Grievance Procedure, Title IX procedures, or Judicial Board proceedings
• That the report will provide statistical data for the university (and municipality when reports involve the broader community)
• That no sanctions or formal disciplinary action will be taken as the result solely of submissions through the Bias Incident Reporting System

 

Unattributed Reports

 

By submitting without reporter’s name or contact information, the reporter can expect:

• That the report will be received and reviewed
• That they will not receive feedback or information about the outcome of their report
• That the report will provide statistical data for the university (and municipality when reports involve the broader community)
• That there may be contact from a member of the Bias Response Team with the person about whom a report is made

 

The person(s) about whom a report is made can expect:

• To be notified by a member of the Bias Response Team that a report has been submitted and to be provided with information about the report when appropriate
• That no sanctions or formal disciplinary action will be taken as the result solely of submissions through the Bias Motivated Incident Reporting system

As has always been the case, reports can be submitted to university officials via email, anonymous letters or meetings. Patterns of issues or reports of particularly egregious incidents submitted through any means may lead to an investigation.

 

Emergencies

In the event of an emergency, regardless of suspected involvement of bias, contact Campus Safety (920-832-6999) or dial 911.

 

Confidentiality

The university will strive to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the confidentiality of persons reporting bias incidents and of those involved in the reported incidents. Because the university may have an obligation to address certain reported incidents, however, the university cannot guarantee complete confidentiality where it would conflict with the university’s obligation to investigate meaningfully or, where warranted, take corrective action. Even when some disclosure of the university’s information or sources is necessary, it will be limited to the extent possible.

 

Summary Reports

On an annual basis, the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Dean of the Faculty will issue a summary report of submissions through the Bias Incident Reporting System. Summaries will describe the nature of incidents reported, but in the interest of confidentiality, will not include any identifying details of individuals involved. These summaries will be available on the university’s Diversity and Inclusion page. Summary reports will be used to identify trends and/or areas for continued community education and engagement.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube