Respectful Campus Policy

Respectful Campus Policy
UNM Faculty Handbook

(Approved by the Faculty Senate March 22, 2011; Approved by President David Schmidly June 16, 2011)

Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Complaints of Faculty Bullying

1. General

The University of New Mexico promotes a working, learning, and social environment where all members of the UNM community, including but not limited to the Board of Regents, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and volunteers work together in a mutually respectful, psychologically-healthy environment. UNM strives to foster an environment that reflects courtesy, civility, and respectful communication because such an environment promotes learning, research, and productivity through relationships. Because a respectful campus environment is a necessary condition for success in teaching and learning, in research and scholarship, in patient care and public service, and in all other aspects of the University’s mission and values, the University is committed to providing a respectful campus, free of bullying in all of its forms. This Policy describes the values, cornerstones, and behaviors that delineate a respectful campus and applies to all members of the UNM community, including, but not limited to students, faculty, and staff.

2. Values

A respectful campus exhibits and promotes the following values:

  • displaying personal integrity and professionalism;
  • practicing fairness and understanding;
  • exhibiting respect for individual rights and differences;
  • demonstrating harmony in the working and educational environment;
  • respecting diversity and difference;
  • being accountable for one’s actions;
  • emphasizing communication and collaborative resolution of problems and conflicts;
  • developing and maintaining confidentiality and trust; and
  • achieving accountability at all levels.

3. Cornerstones of a Respectful Campus

The commitment to a respectful campus calls for promotion of an environment where the following are upheld:

  • All individuals have important contributions to make toward the overall success of the university’s mission.
  • UNM’s mission is best carried out in an atmosphere where individuals at all levels and in all units value each other and treat each other with respect.
  • Individuals in positions of authority serve as role models in the promotion of a respectful campus. Promoting courtesy, civility, and respectful communication is consistent with the responsibility of leadership.
  • Individuals at all levels are allowed to discuss issues of concern in an open and honest manner, without fear of reprisal or retaliation from individuals above or below them in the university’s hierarchy. At the same time, the right to address issues of concern does not grant individuals license to make untrue allegations, unduly inflammatory statements or unduly personal attacks, or to harass others, to violate confidentiality requirements, or engage in other conduct that violates the law or University policy.
  • Bullying is unacceptable in all working, learning, and service interactions.

4. Destructive Actions

Actions that are destructive to a respectful campus will not be tolerated. These actions include, but are not limited to:

Sexual harassment–refer to “Sexual Harassment Policy,” 3780, UBP;
Retaliation– refer to “Whistleblower Protection and Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Retaliation Policy,” 2200, UBP;
Conduct which can affect adversely the University’s educational function, disrupt community living on campus, or interfere with the right of others to the pursuit of their education or to conduct their University duties and responsibilities–refer to UNM Faculty Handbook, Section C05, “Rights and Responsibilities at the University of New Mexico.” “Visitor Code of Conduct,” “Student Code of Conduct,” and “Freedom of Expression and Dissent” 2220, UBP;
Unethical conduct–refer to UNM Faculty Handbook, Section B, Appendix V, “Harassment and Professional Ethics Policy”; and Bullying behavior which is defined in Section 5. herein.

5. Definition of Bullying

Bullying can occur when one individual or a group of individuals exhibits bullying behavior toward one or more individuals. Bullying is defined by the University as repeated mistreatment of an individual(s) by verbal abuse, threatening, intimidating, humiliating conduct or sabotage that creates or promotes an adverse and counterproductive environment, so as to interfere with or undermine legitimate University learning, teaching, and/or operations. Bullying is not about occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and problems in workplace relationships as these may be part of working life. Bullying can adversely affect dignity, health, and productivity and may be grounds for corrective disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The University Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Services (CARS) Department and the University Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services for Faculty and Staff can provide guidance for determining whether behavior meets the definition of bullying. Examples of behaviors that meet the definition of bullying above include, but are not limited to:

5.1. Physical Bullying: Physical bullying is pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, and/or tripping; assault or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property; damage to or destruction of a person’s work product.

5.2. Verbal Bullying: Verbal bullying is repeated slandering, ridiculing, or maligning of a person or persons, addressing abusive and offensive remarks to a person or persons in a sustained or repeated manner; or shouting at others in public and/or in private where such conduct is so severe or pervasive as to cause or create a hostile or offensive educational or working environment or unreasonably interfere with the person’s work or school performance or participation.

5.3. Nonverbal Bullying: Nonverbal bullying can consist of directing threatening gestures toward a person or persons or invading personal space after being asked to move or step away.

5.4. Anonymous Bullying: Anonymous bullying can consist of withholding or disguising identity while treating a person in a malicious manner, sending insulting or threatening anonymous messages, placing objectionable objects among a person’s belongings, leaving degrading written or pictorial material about a person where others can see.

5.5. Threatening Behavior, a Person’s Job, or Well-Being: Making threats, either explicit or implicit to the security of a person’s job, position, or personal well-being can be bullying. It is not bullying behavior for a supervisor to note an employee’s poor job performance and potential consequences within the framework of University policies and procedures, or for a professor or academic program director to advise a student of unsatisfactory academic work and the potential for course failure or dismissal from the program if uncorrected.

6. Reporting Destructive Actions: The destructive actions described in Section 4. herein should be reported in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures listed herein; however, extreme incidents may be reported directly to UNM Police in accordance with “Campus Violence” Policy 2210, UBP. Bullying behavior should be reported as follows:

6.1 Students

An individual who believes a student has engaged in bullying behavior should report the behavior to the Dean of Students Office. Students in the School of Medicine who believe that a faculty member has engaged in bullying behavior towards them should follow the procedures in the UNM School of Medicine “Teacher Conduct and Learner Complaints.” All other students who believe that a staff or faculty member has engaged in bullying behavior towards them may follow the procedures listed in Sections 6.2. and 6.3. below. Students may also report bullying behavior by: · contacting the Dean of Students Office, · calling the UNM Hotline 1-888-899-6092 (call may be anonymous, but doing so may limit the University’s ability to conduct a full investigation), or · contacting the University Internal Audit Department. If the bullying of students is based on race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, ancestry, medical condition, or spousal affiliation, it should be reported to the University Office of Equal Opportunity.

6.2 Staff

An individual who believes a staff member has engaged in bullying behavior may report the behavior using any of the options listed in Section 4 of “Whistleblower Protection and Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Retaliation” Policy 2200, UBP. The individual should select the reporting method he or she is most comfortable with and is most appropriate to the situation. Although bullying behavior may not meet the definition of misconduct in Policy 2200, suspected bullying behavior will be reported and investigated in the same manner as misconduct.

6.3. Faculty

An individual who believes a faculty member has engaged in bullying behavior should follow the procedures listed on the Faculty Handbook website maintained by the Office of the University Secretary. These procedures were approved by the Faculty Senate and all subsequent changes must be approved in accordance with processes defined by the Faculty Senate.

7. Monitoring: An annual survey will be undertaken by the Faculty Senate Policy Committee in collaboration with the Staff Council and the Division of Human Resources to measure the effectiveness of the Respectful Campus Policy. The survey should provide ongoing monitoring of faculty and staff attitudes concerning the campus climate and culture. The survey results will be distributed to the Faculty Senate, Staff Council, President of the University, and executive vice presidents.

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