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DEI Reporting Process

This document describes CSD’s process for reporting, recording, and handling incidents of bias and other inappropriate behavior experienced by any member of CSD.

Process Overview

This process is intended to serve as an informal means of resolving DEI incidents that do not constitute a violation of law or university policy.  

This is not 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.).  

The Reporting Chain section gives an overview of the process, and describes who each member of CSD should report to.

The process is designed to be as friendly as possible for the reporter: it handles a wide variety of incidents that do not constitute violation of law or university policy (Reportable Incidents). For such incidents, this process gives the reporter transparency and control over what information is collected and stored (Incident Recording Protocol), and offers several possible paths toward a solution (Incident Response Process). It also includes information about what issues are subject to mandatory reporting, and describes a procedure for handling retaliation (Incident Response Process).

How this process differs from existing processes

In contrast to existing channels for reporting incidents at the school (SCS) or university levels, this reporting process is at the department (CSD) level. As such, it offers multiple potential benefits over higher-level reporting processes:

  • While the school and university-level processes are mostly directed at violations of law or university policy, this reporting process is designed to handle a broader set of incidents that do not necessarily constitute a violation of law or university policy.

  • This reporting process allows the department to be aware of and keep data on such incidents so that repeated issues can be tracked and quickly remedied, so broader departmental issues can be addressed with new policies, and so the department can assess the effectiveness of our policies.

  • This process is managed directly by the department, and thus it can offer reporters greater control over how their information is being handled. It may also be less intimidating than school-level reporting mechanisms, and it can lead to more targeted solutions.

  • This process offers a potential means to informally resolve a concern without requesting or imposing disciplinary action.

However, please note that this process is limited in scope:

  • This process applies only to incidents of bias and other inappropriate behavior that do not violate the law or university policy.

  • As described in the Incident Response Process, if the reported incident could constitute a violation of law or university policy, the Computer Science Department may have an obligation to share the report with the appropriate university officials for review under the applicable university policy. Disciplinary action and/or punitive sanctions are not available through this process.

Handling of reports of implicit bias or biased behavior

Implicit bias and/or biased behavior is often subtle and difficult to conclusively “prove”. As a result, it can often be dismissed as an isolated incident, or as behavior that is problematic but unrelated to bias. Such responses can make victims feel invalidated and unsupported, and moreover, leave issues of underlying bias unaddressed.

The reporting process takes a holistic approach resolving these types of issues on a case-by-case basis (see Incident Response Process), allowing issues of suspected bias to be addressed through open conversation in which the reporter is supported and taken seriously.

Incidents of bias that constitute a violation of the law and/or the university’s policies against discrimination should be referred to the appropriate university office for review under the applicable university policy.  This process can help in identifying appropriate university contacts.

On the importance of reporting

Reporting is an important part of cultivating a more equitable and welcoming environment for everyone in CSD. By reporting incidents that you experience or witness, you help the department’s leadership learn of ongoing issues, allowing them to better address patterns of un-inclusive behavior and to create targeted policies and practices to improve the culture of our department. By reporting incidents, you are helping to prevent such incidents from happening to you or others in the future.

Statement on Confidentiality

To the extent possible, CSD will protect the confidentiality of the person reporting an incident. In particular, if there are details that the reporter would like to keep private, this process is designed to ensure that is done, where possible. 

The only caveat to this policy is that there are certain incidents that constitute a violation of law or university policy that must be referred to the appropriate university officials for review (e.g. criminal activity, suspected child abuse, sexual misconduct under Title IX, unlawful discrimination/harassment, etc.).   

For a description of incidents that fall into these categories, see Incident Recording Protocol and for a description of what will happen when such an incident is reported, see Incident Response Process. Consistent with the university’s Policy Against Retaliation, any form of retaliation against someone reporting an incident is strictly forbidden, and will be handled as described in the Incident Response Process.

Any student records generated via this process are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  All records generated by this process may be disclosed as required by law, court order or subpoena.