A safe learning environment in our classrooms, laboratories and other academic spaces will focus on academic achievement, maintaining high standards, excellence in research and fostering positive relationships between faculty, staff, and students.
Components of an effective learning environment include:
Creating a culture that infuses the learning environment.
Maintaining a safe learning environment requires that UB SEAS faculty, staff, and students always treat each other with respect. Faculty and staff should realize that students depend on them for evaluations and references, which can advance or impede their career development. Faculty and staff must take care to judiciously exercise this power and to maintain fairness of treatment, avoiding exploitation or the perception of mistreatment and exploitation. The quality and worth of a UB SEAS education rest not only in the excellence of the content and the material and skills that are taught, but also in the example provided to students of engineers and scientists who respect their professional colleagues at all career levels.
The faculty-student relationship confers rights and responsibilities upon both parties. Behaving in a way that embodies the ideal faculty/staff/student relationship fosters mutual respect, minimizes the likelihood of mistreatment, and optimizes the educational experience.
Inappropriate behaviors are those that are not respectful or professional in a faculty/staff/student relationship. Examples of inappropriate behaviors which compromise the integrity of the educational process include, but are not limited to:
University at Buffalo strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting a violation of University policy or for participating, in any manner, in a University disciplinary process. The University considers such actions to be protected activities in which all members of the UB community may freely engage. An adverse action taken against an individual as a result of complaining about discrimination or harassment, exercising a legal right such as obtaining a reasonable accommodation, opposing discriminatory practices or harassment, or participating in or assisting a complaint investigation. Adverse actions may include, but are not limited to: termination or dismissal, failure to promote or assign salary increases, the assignment of lower grades or performance evaluations than other individuals who perform similarly, attempts to intimidate or harass the individual, the assignment of less desirable work to the individual, or the provision of negative references with respect to academic work or employment (see the UB Discrimination and Harassment Policy).
In situations where you prefer to place an anonymous report in confidence, you are encouraged to report any alleged incident of retaliation to the UB Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), or to EthicsPoint, a third party hotline and web-based resource available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All reports will be handled as promptly and discreetly as possible, with facts made available only to those who need to know to investigate and resolve the matter. You are encouraged to submit reports relating to activities that involve unethical behavior or violations of SUNY, UB, and RF policies. This reporting hotline is not appropriate for:
While we believe that professional behavior is generally practiced and respected by the members of our diverse community of scholars, we recognize there may be occasions when real or perceived incidents of unprofessional behavior directed toward students, faculty or staff occur. In these circumstances, UB SEAS is committed to establishing the facts through a fair process, which respects, to the extent possible, the privacy of the involved parties.
UB’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides for a prompt investigation of reports of prohibited behavior.
Each investigation is guided by the need to balance the remedy of unlawful discrimination and harassment with principles of fairness, due process, and confidentiality. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion's (EDI) investigation will generally include the following steps:
An investigation can result in the following:
Cases involving alleged misconduct and/or criminal action may also result in a referral to University Police, Employee Relations or Student Conduct and Advocacy.
Silent Witness is a program to allow for the anonymous submission of suspected criminal activity that occurs on campus. Submitted information will be reviewed by our investigative staff and appropriate action will be taken as warranted. If you see crime occurring on campus and you would like to report it, you may complete a Silent Witness Report. Note that this information is not sent instantly to police officers. Any crime in progress or other emergency should be reported by dialing 645-2222. All information will be kept confidential.
If after discussion of the incident, the student and faculty point of contact agree that particular events could constitute student mistreatment, the incident can be addressed as described below. If the incident involves sexual misconduct, the student will be referred to the University Office of Equity for further discussion and investigation. If the incident involves other types of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, the student will be referred to the University Office of Equity for further discussion and investigation.
As previously mentioned, alternative approach for reporting concerns of any nature is to use EthicsPoint, to provide students and University employees with a simple way to report activities that may involve misconduct or violations of University policy, including academic or research misconduct, conflicts of interest, criminal activity, health or safety issues, fraud, financial improprieties, or acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or retaliation, as well as workplace violence or threats. EthicsPoint provides reporters with options to protect their identity.
The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences policies serve as a resource for faculty, staff, and students. SEAS has resources for Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students and Undergraduates. The University also maintains a policy library. See the links below for additional information.
Last updated July 14, 2021