In the College of the Environment we welcome feedback, including criticism and grievances. In addition there are a variety of mechanisms within the University of Washington for officially reporting concerns. We strongly encourage members of our community to provide feedback and report concerns and other issues through whichever option they are most comfortable.

What to expect

When you provide feedback, including criticisms and grievances, within the College of the Environment, you should expect to:

  • Receive confirmation within a reasonable amount of time that your feedback has been received.
  • Discuss how the information you have provided will be shared.
  • Be informed of what the individual or office you have contacted can and cannot do and what steps they will take next.
  • Be kept apprised in general terms of actions being taken. (NOTE: The University is required to comply with several laws governing the release of records and we follow the guidelines established in APS 57.9: Departmental Guidelines for the Release of University Records. In general, it is the University’s practice to release personnel records only to administrators when required for the discharge of their University responsibilities. All other requests are referred to the Office of Public Records and Open Public Meetings for determination of the records’ status under the Public Disclosure Act.)

Additional information on what to expect from specific university offices after they receive a complaint can be found on their websites.

Reporting and feedback

The following list of individuals, offices, and reporting tools provide:

  1. guidance on options for how to report an incident for investigation and resolution in accordance with applicable University policy and principles of free expression, and/or
  2. support and information regarding available resources, and/or
  3. mechanisms for officially reporting concerns and grievances.

Legally-protected confidential resources for students

  • Counseling Center – provides confidential personal counseling to UW students for issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and relationship problems.
  • Health & Wellness Advocate – a confidential and safe starting point for students affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence and stalking.
  • UWPD Victim Advocate – a confidential and safe starting point for students affected by crime, including sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence and stalking. It is not necessary to make a police report in order to meet with the UWPD Victim Advocate.

Note: Sharing information with the Counseling Center or a confidential advocate is not the same as making a report to the University for the purpose of starting an investigation. Advocates can help you understand your rights and support you in creating a plan for your situation.

Legally-protected confidential resources for employees

  • UWPD Victim Advocate – a confidential and safe starting point for employees affected by crime, including sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence and stalking. It is not necessary to make a police report in order to meet with the UWPD Victim Advocate.

Note: Sharing information with a confidential advocate is not the same as making a report to the University for the purpose of starting an investigation. Advocates can help you understand your rights and support you in creating a plan for your situation.

Confidentiality and anonymity for all other options

Confidentiality

The University strives to limit information about complaints to those with a business need to know. However, public records law and some legal processes may require the University to disclose certain University records. Alleged violations of a university policy or executive order, and/or the law must be reported to the appropriate authority. If you are concerned about confidentiality, you should discuss your concern early in your exploration of resolution options.

Anonymity

We hope that all members of our community feel comfortable coming forward directly with suggestions or concerns. However, we realize that in some instances individuals may wish to remain anonymous. Please remember, when anonymous comments are received we have no way of knowing who submitted the information and are unable to follow up to let you know how we addressed your comments.

Reporting pathways

At the unit level

Your supervisor or advisor may be the person able to take the quickest action to respond to your feedback or resolve your complaint. Consider going up the supervisory chain in your departmental or college leadership if your supervisor or advisor is part of a conflict you are attempting to resolve. Although this path is encouraged, it is not required, and you may pursue any of the options outlined here.

  • Advisor/Supervisor
  • Graduate Program Coordinator or Student Services Advisor
  • Unit HR Manager or Administrator
  • Unit Chair or Director
  • Anonymous Options – Many of our units have anonymous online mechanisms for feedback. All units are able to receive anonymous feedback in hard copy formats through the campus mail and U.S. Postal Service.

In addition, please note that the College of the Environment has established formal Student Academic Grievance Procedures that provide mechanisms for graduate and undergraduate students to address academic problems or grievances in an equitable, respectful, and timely manner. 

Academic grievances are defined as those involving conflicts between a student or students and faculty instructor(s) or mentor(s) with respect to differences arising within:

  1. credit-bearing coursework
  2. research
  3. mentoring

and while the student(s) is/are registered at the University of Washington.

At the College Level

At the University Level

Reporting and other resources

  • SafeCampus – The central reporting office to discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. (Calls may be made anonymously.)
  • Office of Ombud – Offers you a collaborative and private place to discuss work challenges. The Ombud will not conduct investigations but can help you assess complaint resolution options and navigate University resources.
  • Bias Reporting Tool – If you encounter or suspect incidents of bias, you are encouraged to use this tool. The UW’s Bias Incident Advisory Committee compiles and analyzes data from submitted reports to inform future educational and prevention efforts. (Reports may be made anonymously.) 

Offices Authorized to Investigate Complaints

  • Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC) – Addresses questions or concerns regarding an alleged violation by a student of the Student Conduct Code.
  • Title IX Investigation Office  – Responsible for investigating complaints that a University student engaged in conduct that violates any of the sexual misconduct provisions of the Student Conduct Code, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure, relationship violence, stalking, and domestic violence. 
  • University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO) – Investigates complaints that a University employee has violated the University’s non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies.
  • UW Academic Human Resources (AHR) – for conflicts that may be caused by personality differences, miscommunication, or behaviors that violate University policy such as discrimination or harassment. AHR is our key partner for complaints involving faculty, librarians, and academic staff (e.g., Postdoctoral Scholars) in the College of the Environment.
  • UW Human Resources (UWHR) – for conflicts that may be caused by personality differences, miscommunication, or behaviors that violate University policy such as discrimination or harassment. The College’s specific HR Consultant is our key partner for complaints involving staff or academic student employees in the College of the Environment.
  • Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings (ORMP) – coordinates the University’s handling of allegations of research misconduct against members of the University community.