Bias incident reporting

What is a bias incident?

A bias incident involves any discriminatory act against an individual or a group based on their age, religion, disability (physical or mental), race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, socioeconomic status, or any other identity.

If you encounter or suspect incidents of bias, you are encouraged to file a report, which will be reviewed by the UW’s Bias Incident Advisory Committee. Whenever possible, bias reports will be reviewed within 2 to 4 business days. Click here to report a bias incident.

Non-discrimination and non-retaliation

The College of the Environment and the University of Washington are committed to protecting the rights and dignity of each individual in the University community. We follow State, County and Federal laws that bar discrimination in places of public accommodation, housing, employment and education. The College of the Environment is committed to providing equality of opportunity and an environment that fosters respect for all members of the University community, as detailed in Executive Order No. 31, the University’s policy on non-discrimination and non-retaliation and Article 2 of the UW/WFSE-UWPMA Contract.

In addition, the College of the Environment works to uphold the protections guaranteed under the Anderson-Murray Anti-Discrimination Law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination through the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) (RCW 49.60).

These policies have the goal of promoting an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. To facilitate that goal, the University and the College retain the authority to discipline or take appropriate corrective action for any conduct that is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate, regardless of whether the conduct rises to the level of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Sexual harassment

The University’s policy defines sexual harassment as follows:

Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either an implicit or explicit condition of an individual’s academic, work, living environment or participation in a University community.
  • Submission or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for a decision that affects an individual’s academic, work, living environment or participation in a University community.
  • The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic, work, living environment, or participation in a University community.

Federal laws and UW policy

Sexual harassment of students or employees, which includes acts of sexual violence or sexual assault, is a form of sex discrimination and can be reported to Title IX.

The policies prohibiting these behaviors for students are located in the Student Conduct Code, and for employees and other members of the University community, in Executive Order 51 and Executive Order 31.

The University of Washington policy on sexual harassment volume 4 protects the rights and dignity of each individual in the University community. While University officials encourage individuals to report sexual misconduct, we also want those impacted by sexual misconduct to understand their rights and what resources are available to them before making the decision to initiate a complaint.

If you are aware of a situation that potentially involves sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, related retaliation or other forms of sexual misconduct, you are strongly encouraged to call UW SafeCampus at 206-685-SAFE (7233) to arrange for affected persons to receive information about their rights and resources.

The University’s Sexual Assault Resources webpage provides those impacted by sexual misconduct with resources, options, and university policies and processes.

If you have experienced or are aware of sexual harassment occurring at the UW, please inform your supervisor, department chair, unit administrator or Human Resources/AHR consultant, or call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233. You can also connect with a confidential advocate who will provide information about your rights and support resources. You may also reach out to Interim Title IX Coordinator Valery Richardson at or 206-616-9713.

For more information, watch this training video for all University employees, entitled “Responding to Individuals Impacted by Sexual Misconduct.”

Investigation and resolution

The University encourages the prompt resolution of complaints about the behavior of its employees. There are many resources available to assist in this process, including:

University policy prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring complaints or who participate in the complaint process.

Additional resources



Additional resources

Dean's Office Contacts:

Contact Us

Megan Russell
Human Resources Manager
UW College of the Environment

Terryl Ross
Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
UW College of the Environment