Bullying Prevention and Reporting

Bullying Prevention and Reporting

Policy title

Bullying Prevention and Reporting

Human Resources
Human Resources
Approved by
Board of Governors
Application of this policy

Except where otherwise indicated, this policy applies to:

  • All levels and areas of University operations and programs.
  • Students, faculty, and staff.
  • Visitors, vendors, volunteers, and all other personnel.
Policy statement

The University is committed to maintaining an environment that is free from bullying by or against employees, students, or members of the public. The University is committed to ensuring trust and respect for all persons in an environment that cultivates individual and institutional integrity.



Bullying, or nondiscriminatory harassment, refers to repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed towards an employee or student (or a group of employees or students), which intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine; or which create a risk to the health or safety of the employee or student. Workplace bullying often involves an abuse or misuse of power, but not all bullying behavior involves a power differential. Examples of possible workplace bullying include, but are not limited to:

·       Spreading false and malicious rumors, gossip, or innuendo.

·       Systematically excluding or isolating a person or group (socially singling out).

·       Undermining or impeding another person’s work.

·       Repeatedly stealing or taking credit for work done by others.

·       Belittling a person’s opinion.

·       Yelling, insulting, humiliating, or using profanity to harm, undermine, or intimidate others.

The above examples include using electronic technology such as email, social media sites, text messages, and websites for bullying.


The following is a non-inclusive list of behaviors that are not defined as bullying or harassing:

·       Expressing differences of opinion.

·       Offering constructive feedback, guidance, or advice about work-related behavior.

·       Reasonable action or evaluation undertaken by a supervisor relating to the management of an office or work performance.

·       Reasonable action taken to initiate corrective action and/or disciplinary action.


Behavior that constitutes bullying may also violate, and be subject to action under, other University policies and/or state or federal laws.



Retaliation against any person for bringing forward or participating in the investigation of a complaint under the workplace bullying policy is prohibited. Such acts may form independent grounds for taking appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against the perpetrator. Interference with the complaint or investigation process is also prohibited and constitutes a violation of the workplace bullying policy. Interference includes, but is not limited to, actions that dissuade or attempt to dissuade complainants or witnesses from reporting or participating in an investigation, or actions that delay or disrupt, or attempt to delay or disrupt, an investigation. Acts of retaliation or interference must be immediately reported to Human Resources.



Except where otherwise indicated, this policy applies to:

·       All levels and areas of University operations and programs.

·       Students, faculty, and staff.

·       Visitors, vendors, volunteers, and all other personnel.



All individuals as noted above must refrain from bullying behavior and are encouraged to seek assistance to resolve personal issues that may lead to bullying behaviors.



Employees are strongly encouraged to report any incident of workplace bullying to an immediate manager or supervisor. If the immediate manager or supervisor is the perpetrator of the bullying, employees should report the incident to the next level higher supervisor or to Human Resources.



Managers and supervisors who witness or receive a report of workplace bullying must contact Human Resources.



The goal of reporting bullying complaints to a supervisor, or next level higher supervisor, is to resolve the issue at the lowest level and as quickly as possible. If the complaint is not resolved at the supervisory level, the complainant may contact Human Resources directly.



Following are informal complaint options for employees:

·       Meet with a supervisor and seek advice on addressing the employee’s concerns.

·       Request a supervisor intervene on the employee’s behalf.

·       Request an informal meeting with the alleged offender and the employee’s supervisor, or the alleged offender’s supervisor.

·       Seek EAP services.



Workplace bullying on University property or facilities, at University events, or while on University business, is not to be tolerated or ignored. Individuals who engage in workplace bullying may be subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or expulsion, or other action as determined appropriate by the appointing authority, in consultation with Human Resources. Students who engage in bullying may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with University policy.