DEI Incident Response

Incident Response Process


Important: Unless the reported incident falls into a Mandatory-Reporting category (see Reportable Incidents), no action will be taken without the reporter's approval.

In response to an incident, the reporter has the following actions at their disposal:

  • Take no action.
  • Work with their reporting contact to make a plan of action.
  • Request that a specific person of their choice check in with them at a later date about the incident. Examples of such a person include their reporting contact, their faculty advisor (if applicable), the DEI chair, the department chair, their program coordinator, or another trusted member of the department.
  • Request that the reporting point person organize a meeting between the reporter and a team of experts, leadership, and/or advocates that the reporter helps choose. This team would meet (along with the reporter) and create a comprehensive plan for handling the issue. Examples of potential members of this team include their reporting contact, their faculty advisor (if applicable), the DEI chair, the department head, their program manager or administrator, a DEI expert at the university, a chosen advocate, or another trusted member of the department. 
  • Refer the report to the university-level Bias Reporting and Response Process.
  • Refer the report to the appropriate university-level process for review.

The reporter and reporting contact should agree on a plan for following up (e.g., in N months) to ensure the problem is resolved and to check for any indications of retaliation against the reporter.

This process is intended to serve as an informal means of resolving DEI incidents.  It is not intended to serve as a disciplinary process and no punitive sanctions or remedies are available under this process.  If the reporting party wishes to seek disciplinary action or other punitive sanctions and remedies, the reporting party must follow the appropriate university-level process (e.g. student conduct process, employee disciplinary procedures, sexual misconduct policy process, etc.).  

If a Mandatory-Reporting incident is reported:

The reporting contacts listed below are required to promptly (within 48 hours) share  all details they receive about incidents with the appropriate university official listed below  

  • Violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy
    • Refer report to the Office of Title IX Initiatives (TIX@cmu.edu or 412-268-7367)
  • Violations of the Statement of Assurance (unlawful discrimination/harassment)
    • Refer reports concerning students to the Office of Community Standards and Integrity
    • Refer reports concerning employees to Human Resources
  • Criminal Activity
    • Refer report to University Police (412-268-2323);
    • Alternatively, if the reporting party does not wish to involve the police, reports may be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Title IX Initiatives.
  • Suspected Child Abuse
    • Refer report to either University Police (412-268-2323) or contact the Office of the General Counsel
  • Threats of Harm to Self or Others
    • Refer reports concerning students to the Dean of Student Affairs Office 
    • Refer reports concerning employees to Human Resources 
  • Other violations of university policy
    • Violations of should be referred to the Policy Owner identified in the formal policy set forth on the University Policies website.

Other violations of university policy may include, but are not limited to, violations of the University’s Community Standardsacademic integrity violationsresearch misconduct, violations of the Computing Policyalcohol and drug violations, violations of COVID-19 mitigation protocols, etc.

Retaliation:

Consistent with the university’s Policy Against Retaliation, any form of retaliation against someone who makes a good faith* report of an incident (or contributing to a report) is strictly forbidden. For the purposes of this Computer Science Department policy, retaliation will be considered any substantive action that might deter a reasonable person from engaging in a reporting activity and/or punish a person for filing a report.

Some examples include responding to a report by: giving the reporter a lower grade or a negative performance review; threatening the reporter verbally or physically; knowingly making false statements about the reporter; taking the reporter off a project; or removing or attempting to remove the reporter from their position (e.g., seeking to have a student removed from their program or from a TA position).

Note that participating in the reporting process does not exempt the reporter from the normal consequences of their conduct outside the reporting process (e.g., skipping the exams in a class may still result in a failing grade).

As part of the Incident Response Process, one or more departmental parties will be responsible for following up with each reporter to check for any indications of retaliation against the reporter. It is ultimately the Department Chair’s responsibility to ensure that these follow-up steps are taken and retaliation is prevented.

Because this is not a disciplinary process and no punitive sanctions or remedies are available under this process, allegations of retaliation should be reported to the University for investigation and appropriate remedial action.


 *Reports must be made in good faith (i.e. not intentionally false or misleading) to be protected from retaliation