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COE Hate and Bias Policy

COE Hate and Bias Policy

The College of Education at the University of Maryland is committed to creating a robust, inclusive and inviting climate in which all students, staff, and faculty are inspired to achieve their full potential. We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people and value the identities of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We seek opportunities to provide development in the facilitation of positive interactions among our college and campus community. The COE consistently strives to reduce any barriers that exist across race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, dialect, health, veteran status, abilities/ disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic regions. We welcome the contributions of groups and individuals locally and globally. We support broader campus efforts that affirm equity-centered practices and believe that actively fostering an affirming community strengthens our College and the University. The core values of the University are: “excellence institution-wide and in the work of all its members; diversity and inclusiveness of students, faculty and staff; a commitment to civility and collegiality in order to make this a broad, welcoming, and diverse community; the highest ethical standards in all university actions; and a commitment to openness and accountability through shared governance.” We uphold these values and engage, acknowledge, and honor a wide variety of ideas, voices, and perspectives.
Oppressive language, behavior, or other forms of expression will not be tolerated in COE. Our COE plan to address hate-bias is grounded in the Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedures approved by the University Senate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, or other oppressive language or behavior should be immediately reported.  Those experiencing harm can report their experiences to:

  • The department chair, program coordinator, or director of undergraduate or graduate studies;
  • Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs or Undergraduate and Graduate Studies; or 
  • a member of the COE Bias Incident Response Team and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Bias Incident Support Services as appropriate.

This policy outlines what is considered discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and how to report such behavior. A brief summary of these terms from the policy and additional important terms are below:

  • Discrimination” is unequal treatment based on a legally protected status that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit an individual’s opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity, or that otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of the individual’s employment or education. Reporting discrimination happens through the University’s Discrimination Report Form.
  • Harassment” is a form of discrimination (as defined above) that encompasses unwelcome conduct based on a person’s protected status. It may include, but, is not limited to the following when based on a person’s protected status:
    • Conduct, whether verbal, physical, written, graphic, or electronic that threatens, intimidates, offends, belittles, denigrates, or shows an aversion toward an individual or group;
    • Epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping, jokes, or nicknames;
    • Written, printed or graphic material that contains offensive, denigrating, or demeaning comments or pictures; and/or
    • The display of offensive, denigrating or demeaning objects, e-mails, text messages or cell phone pictures.

Under federal Title IX, faculty and staff are legal mandatory reporters for any gender-based  sexual harassment and must report any incidents. See more information on “Reporting Obligations of Responsible University Employees” on the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCR-SM) site.

  • Retaliation” refers to action that is taken against an individual because they reported discrimination, filed a complaint of discrimination, or participated in an investigation or proceeding concerning a discrimination complaint.
  • Hate-bias incidents” are acts characterized by some expression of hate or bias against a particular group, or towards an individual because of their membership (or perceived membership) in that group. Hate-bias incidents may range from acts considered to be offensive to actions that cause harm. Although hate-bias incidents sometimes constitute hate crimes or discrimination (as defined under the University's Non-Discrimination Policy), not all hate-bias incidents rise to the level of a hate crime or discrimination.
  • Microaggressions” are the communication of hostile, derogatory or negative slights or insults towards particular groups through verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities—whether unintentional or intentional--as inconsistent with the University’s commitment to maintain an educational, working and living environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. More information on microaggressions can be found in this document.

Example Incidents:

  • Incident: A U.S. undergraduate student writes an anti-immigrant or xenophobic slur into a paper.
  • Incident: A Latinx undergraduate student writes a racial slur about Black people into a course evaluation.
  • Incident: A white undergraduate teaching assistant writes racist questions on a study guide. The guide is posted to a large class several hours before the instructor reviews the guide
  • Incident: A Black undergraduate student writes an anti-Semitic insensitive joke into the chat box on Zoom.
  • Incident: An Asian graduate student repeatedly talks over a Black graduate student in class.
  • Incident: A cisgender instructor assigns a cis-sexist reading to class. Specifically, the reading describes gender  development from a biological perspective that erases nonbinary and trans identities.
  • Incident: A white, male faculty member tells an Asian woman faculty member to use a kinder and more gentle tone when describing microaggressions she has experienced.
  • Incident: A heterosexual instructor makes a derogatory statement about gay men.
  • Incident: A male staff member tells a sexist joke in the breakroom.

If you have experienced hate, bias, or discrimination, please visit the Bias Incident Reporting and Response page for more information.