Bias Reporting

The Department of Psychology is committed to actively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all arenas of department life and strives to become a more active anti-racist community. When we fall short of this aspiration, we share a responsibility to bring incidents that run counter to our standards to department leadership so that we can identify patterns, learn from mistakes, enact change, and increase equal opportunities for all members of the department.

Reporting bias is a courageous act, and it involves the reliving of difficult experiences. The Department of Psychology appreciates the brave actions of individuals who bring these incidents to light. The department commits to supporting and listening to individuals who report bias incidents (from here on, referred to simply as "reporters") to understand and remedy bias incidents to create an environment where we better live up to our ideals of inclusion, fairness, and justice. All those reporting bias incidents will be offered support and made aware of university health resources. Those desiring an investigation into bias will be referred to appropriate university channels that effectively respond in accordance with applicable University polices and principles of expression see below).

Bias incidents can be reported in many ways, and these various approaches are described below. More than one reporting strategy can be used, and the choice depends upon your goals. Individuals may bring biased incidents that they personally experienced, witnessed involving others, or were reported to them by others. Reports of bias can be brought to:

Who to contact:

Upon witnessing or experiencing a bias incident or violation of our community standards, you have several options of who you may contact.

  1. The source of the bias incident
  2. Submit a report to the Psychology Chair
  3. A member of Psychology's Diversity Advocacy Team, who will collaborate with them, or work on their behalf, to communicate the biased incident to the Psychology Chair. Reporters can direct reports to the specific member of the team with whom they feel most comfortable.
  4. A faculty or staff member who you trust, and that person can bring the concern to the Psychology Diversity Advocacy Team either anonymously or on your behalf.
  5. Individuals are welcome to choose a department member outside of the Psychology Diversity Advocacy Team to communicate biased incidents with the Psychology Chair.

The Psychology Diversity Advocacy Team will be composed of faculty, staff, and students who are trained in bias reporting resources, and who are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Psychology. Upon receiving a report, the immediate goal is to provide a safe, validating and supportive environment for the reporter, both during the reporting process and in other ongoing interactions the reporter has in the biased context (e.g., current classes). The team will ask reporters whether they would prefer to remain anonymous when the report is brought to the Chair's office. When the reporter is not anonymous, the chair will speak with the reporter to ask whether they would prefer to remain anonymous or known during the resolution process.

What happens next?

When a report is received, the chair along with at least one member of the Psychology Diversity Advocacy Team, will solicit information about the incident, the desired resolution, and will communicate with the individual whose behavior was reported, and seek a mutual resolution for the individual and broader department where appropriate. The individual making a bias report will be kept informed of the timing and outcome of the resolution process and will be made aware of university resources.

Resolutions will vary as a function of incidents and history of reports, and can include offering individual and group-based trainings, behavior change, formal apologies, restorative justice approaches, informal mediation, community healing events, as well as when appropriate referrals of the incident to appropriate institutional channels, such as UCIRO (see below for a description of UCIRO), Title IX Office, Community Standards and Student Conduct, and faculty adjudication proceedings (see Chapters 25 and 28 of the faculty code).

Annually, the Psychology Chair will provide the department with a report on the aggregate nature of biased complaints that were reported via the Bias Reporting Team, as well as the resolutions. These reports, which will anonymize and minimize the identifiability of individuals involved, will be posted on the Department of Psychology's web pages.

  1. UW Bias Incident Advisory Committee

    The website above states: "For the purposes of the Bias Incident Advisory Committee, a bias incident is any discrimination or harassment against a member of the university community based on perception of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability or veteran status. Something does not necessarily need to rise to the level of a hate crime (malicious harassment as defined in RCW 9A.36.080) to constitute a bias incident."

    Bias Incidents can be reported to the committee with the Bias Reporting Tool.

  2. UW Office of the Ombud

    According to the website above: "Our mission is to provide high quality, client-focused services for preventing, managing, and resolving conflict at this university. Through active participation in the problem-solving process, clients develop the ability to prevent, manage, and resolve future conflicts…… We serve the entire University of Washington community by providing a collaborative and confidential environment to discuss your situation, consider options, and develop a plan for the future."

  1. University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO)

    UCIRO investigates complaints that a University employee has violated the University's non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies. A UCIRO investigation may be requested either by an individual with a complaint about a University employee or by the administrative head of a University organization. UCIRO investigates complaints about incidents that occurred only in the last 365 days.

  2. UW Title IX Office

    For complaints that a University student has violated the sexual misconduct provisions of the Student Conduct Code. Title IX, Washington State law, and University of Washington policy prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, pregnant or parenting status, and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) identity.