Anti-Bullying/Harassment Policy

Policy Subject: Anti-Bullying/Harassment

Cabinet Division: Human Resources/Chancellor

Policy History: New

Effective Date: July 2017

Purpose

The UW-Superior prohibits bullying and/or harassment in the campus community. Bullying/harassment is unacceptable in all working, learning, and service interactions. This policy applies to the University community including all employees, students, individuals using University resources or facilities, volunteers, and representatives acting as agents of the University.

It is the intention of this Anti-Bullying/Harassment policy that nothing herein interfere with other applicable laws, policies or regulations that cover or inform professional and personal conduct at the University. This policy should be interpreted as being in concert with rather than in conflict with other law, policy and regulation whenever possible, and in particular these standards are to be construed within the context of the University’s historical and enduring commitment to academic freedom, freedom of expression, and the conception of the University as a place that fosters the free exchange of ideas.

I. Constraints

Code  of  Ethics

University staff work rules

UWS Adm. Chapter 17 – Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures

University Pledge

UW-Superior Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

Respectful Campus Statement

Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy

Board of Regents resolutions on free expression and academic freedom

Faculty Personnel Rules Chapter 4 & 6

ASPP 6, 7 & 8

II. Definition

Bullying/Harassment is defined as a continuous, unwanted malicious behavior which undermines an individual or group through persistent negative verbal, physical or psychological abuse. There is typically an element of vindictiveness and the behavior is calculated to threaten, undermine, patronize, humiliate, intimidate, or demean the recipient. Bullying is not about occasional differences of opinion, employee performance, conflicts or problems in workplace relationships. Though Harassment is defined in State Statute 947.013, act of physical or verbal harassment may be bullying even if it is not Discriminatory Harassment.

Unacceptable bullying or harassing behavior may include, but is not limited to:

  • Abusive expression directed at another person that is outside the range of commonly accepted expressions of disagreement or critique
  • Unwarranted physical contact
  • Sabotage of another person’s work.
  • Abuse of authority

III.Procedures for Addressing Bullying/Harassment Actions Informal Process

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to bullying/harassment behavior may choose to go through the formal process in the next section, or strive for resolution through an informal process.

Students are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office for guidance with the informal process.

All university employees can contact their Supervisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Director, Human Resources or Dean of Academic Affairs for guidance with the informal process. It is recommended any information such as documents, email, conversations, etc. be maintained if needed for future reference.

Visitors or other members of the campus community should contact the Office of Human Resources Office to report bullying/harassing.

Formal Reporting

All University Employees- An individual who believes he or she has been the subject of bullying/harassment, or an individual who believes a University Employee or student has engaged in bullying/harassment behavior, should report the behavior to his or her Supervisor, the Department Chair, Dean of Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor, Provost or Human Resources using the Incident Reporting Form. The complainant should select the individual he or she is most comfortable with and who is most appropriate to the situation. If the bullying/harassment is based on protected class status as defined in the University of Wisconsin-Superior Equal Employment Opportunity policy, it should be reported to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Director.

Students- A student who believes he or she has been the subject of bullying/harassment, or an individual who believes a student has engaged in bullying/harassment behavior, should report the behavior to the Dean of Students Office. If the bullying is based on protected class status as defined in the UW-Superior Equal Employment Opportunity policy, it should be reported to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Director.

IV. Formal Reporting Investigative Procedures for Allegations

  • 4.1 Notice/report/information received – Any Incident Reporting Form or in person complaint received from a Complainant and received by any individual outlined in section III.
  • 4.2 Meeting with Equity Diversity and Inclusivity Director, Human Resource Director, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dean of Students or designee(s) – If a formal investigation is deemed appropriate after receipt and review of the Incident Reporting Form,or an in person complaint, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Director, Human Resources Director, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dean of Students or designee(s) will conduct a formal investigation. The Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Director, Human Resources Director, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dean of Students or designee(s) will:
    • Interview the complainant. Provide written information including: rights, campus and community resources, and student conduct process (UWS Chapter 17). Complainant is also notified of their right to have a victim’s advocate or other support person with them throughout the process.
    • Determine if section 4.2.1, 4.2.2 and 4.2.3 are necessary. This may take place before or after interview with respondent.
    • Request a meeting and provide a letter of allegation(s) to the respondent to discuss the allegation(s).
    • Interview other parties as identified by the complainant and respondent.
    • Determine preponderance of the evidence and recommended sanctions.
  • 4.2.1 Emergency Suspension – The report is assessed on a case by case basis internally and an emergency suspension may be imposed for the respondent if necessary.
  • 4.2.2 Duty to warn, timely warning, or emergency notification – The situation is assessed on a case by case basis by Campus Safety Office or Chancellor/Officer of the Day. A notice to campus will be sent via email if it is found to be necessary.
  • 4.2.3 Remedial Actions and Interim Measures - The Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Director, Human Resources Director, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dean of Students or designee(s) will decide upon remedial actions and/or interim measures to address safety and confidentiality of the complainant and overall campus safety. The appropriate Administrator(s) will be involved in the decision making process when remedial actions and/or interim measures are being made outside of an emergency situation. A report of the information and remedial actions delivered to the respondent and, at times, to the complainant as well. This may include but is not limited to no contact directives, change in class schedules, etc.
  • 4.3 Findings- When Formal Investigation is completed a determination will be made using a preponderance of evidence. These findings will be communicated to the complainant and respondent either verbally or in writing.

    Preponderance of Evidence Standard Met - Finding of Responsibility:
    • If the respondent does not agree with the recommended sanction the respondent will be referred to the Chancellor for an appeal.
    • If the respondent accepts recommended sanction, a settlement is signed.
    Preponderance of Evidence Standard NOT Met
    • Complainant has the option to appeal to the Chancellor.

V. Sanctions

  • 5.1 Students - The disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed for nonacademic misconduct, in accordance with the procedures of ss. UWS 17.11 to 17.13.
  • 5.2 University Employees - Sanctions that may be imposed for a violation of Anti- Bullying/Harassment policy by University employees can range from a written warning, change of work location and/or duties, educational remediation, suspension, and/or up to termination of employment contract. All applicable policy constraints will be recognized if sanction are recommended.

VI. Retaliation

State and federal laws and university policy protect against retaliation. University policy prohibits retaliation against an individual who has reported sex discrimination or misconduct, filed a complaint, participated in the investigation of a complaint, or assisted others who raised a complaint. Retaliation is a serious offense which will result in disciplinary action and will be considered a form of discrimination and will be treated as such. This protection exists even if a complaint is dismissed or found lacking in merit.

VII. Evaluation

This policy will be evaluated on an ongoing basis by the Chancellor, Provost, Dean of Academic Affairs, Human Resource Director, Dean of Students and the Equity Diversity and Inclusivity Director.