Carnegie Mellon University

Bias Reporting and Response

The university deeply values the freedoms of speech, thought, expression and assembly as core elements of our educational mission. The freedom of expression policy clearly articulates our institutional commitment toward this end and outlines the rights and responsibilities accruing to our community members in upholding that commitment.

Equally important, our institution holds as a part of its mission the cultivation of a transformative community committed to (a) attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent; (b) creating a collaborative environment open to the free exchange of ideas, where research, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship can flourish; and (c) ensuring individuals can achieve their full potential. As stated in the code of business ethics and conduct, the university embraces diversity as a core value and is committed to establishing a campus culture that reflects a fundamental respect for different ways of living, working and learning. The university statement of assurance further expresses the university commitment to non-discrimination.

A bias incident occurs when our culture is disrupted through negative and/or discriminatory conduct, speech or expression directed toward a group or individual in the Carnegie Mellon community based on perceived or actual race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, genetic information, or any combination of these factors.

Bias incidents, whether intentional or unintentional in their occurrence, contribute to creating an unwelcoming environment for individuals and groups at the university.

Each member of the university community has the responsibility to ask questions, seek guidance and report suspected bias incidents. Reporting is an important way to create a safer and more inclusive environment such that all members can achieve their potential and collectively seek to transform our university, communities, and the world. The university encourages reporting from a broad spectrum of community members: anyone who has experienced or witnessed unfair or hostile treatment on the basis of identity should report it.

In-person: You may choose to speak with someone to report a bias incident. Here are a list of offices/people you may contact:

The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion

Staff members in the Center can offer resources and assistance following a bias incident. The Center is located on the lower level of the Cohon University Center, and can also be reached by calling 412-268-2150.

Student Affairs

Any Student Affairs College Liaison or Housefellow can assist you in reporting a bias incident and obtaining support and resources following it. College Liaisons and Housefellows can be contacted by calling the Office of the Dean of Students at 412-268-2075 or the Office of Residential Education at 412-268-2142. 

Human Resources

Bias incidents involving university employees (faculty and staff) may be reported to Human Resources. University Ombudsman, Everett Tademy, is a key stakeholder related to diversity and inclusion in the university workplace, and he can be reached at 412-268-1018.  Alternatively, any Human Resource Manager can take a bias incident report.

Office of Title IX Initiatives

This department offers reporting options and resources for anyone who has experienced a bias incident related to gender identity, birth sex, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The Title IX office can be reached by visiting Cyert Hall 140, calling 412-268-7125 or by emailing tix@cmu.edu.

University Police

CMUPD can be an entry point for any student, faculty or staff member regarding experiences they have had either on or off-campus involving a violation of university policy or local/state law. Filing a report can be merely informational in nature at the outset and the responding officer will then outline options available to the reporting party based on the specific situation. Contact CMUPD by calling 412-268-2323 or by visiting 300 South Craig Street.

On-line with option to be anonymous:

The university's Report-It online reporting platform offers an electronic mechanism to report a bias incident. Log in to Report-It  using the username: tartans and password: plaid.
NOTE: This is not an emergency service. If you have an emergency, call University Police at 412-268-2323

STEP 1: Once a bias incident is reported in-person or via Report-It, the information must be shared centrally with the following people to ensure appropriate record keeping and response processes:

  • Reports involving CMU students: Holly Hippensteel, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs, hbh@andrew.cmu.edu/ 412-268-2075
  • Reports involving CMU faculty or staff: Everett Tademy, Assistant Vice President, HR- Equal Opportunity Services, et19@andrew.cmu.edu/ 412-268-1018

STEP 2: Recording and response processes begin.

Anonymous on-line reports: If the report is submitted anonymously, a determination is made as to whether the report is actionable. If no action is possible or warranted, the report is documented for the purposes of assessing campus climate and culture. If the incident is actionable, the report is documented and a determination is made regarding the key resources to be leveraged and best course of action.

All other on-line and in-person reportsThe report is documented and a determination is made regarding the key resources to be leveraged in support of the impacted individual or group and broader campus community.

Examples of key resources facilitating the best course of action to meet the needs of the individual and/or groups impacted by the incident include:

The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
Counseling and Psychological Services
Division of Student Affairs College Liaisons
Housefellows
Human Resources
Office of Community Standards and Integrity
Office of General Counsel
Office of Graduate Education
Office of International Education
Office of Title IX Initiatives
Spiritual and Religious Resources including the Council of Religious Advisors (CORA)
University Police
Vice Provost for Faculty

Central to the university's response to a reported bias incident will be determining whether any violation of university policy occurred in connection with the incident. While the wishes and preferences of the person affected by the incident (the “reporting party”) will inform the actions that the university may take, the welfare of the community as measured against our policies and values must also drive our response. Within this context, if the reporting party requests that the report remain confidential, the university will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request.

STEP 3: Guided by the key resources and individuals/groups impacted, additional campus entities will be consulted to consider best strategies for engaging broader community if deemed appropriate. These resources may include but are not limited to:

College Diversity Officers
Student Government including the Graduate Student Assembly and Student Senate
Staff Council
Faculty Senate
University Leadership Council including the President and Provost, College Deans, and Vice Presidents
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Vice Provost for Education
Student Advisory Councils