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Penn GSE Bias Reporting Policies

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

GSE has long been committed to preparing its students to live, work, and become leaders in a world marked by sweeping demographic change and interconnectedness. Our students, faculty, and staff come from diverse backgrounds. We strive to foster an inclusive community of scholars, administrators and students who possess diverse knowledge, experiences, and research interests, and who service and learn from diverse communities. 

GSE is a place where knowledge is developed and disseminated. Therefore, we understand that scholars and students require the freedom to explore, to express, inquire, and question both established views and new visions without fear of retribution or silencing. However, we also respect the dignity of all members of our community and believe that the threat of harm to the dignity or identity of marginalized groups should be considered. As a community, we consider acts of bias, exclusion, and hate unacceptable and antithetical to our commitment to an inclusive and respectful community.

Examples include any discriminatory or hurtful act that appears to be or is perceived by the victim to be motivated by race, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status or socioeconomic status. The act is not required to be a crime under any federal, state, or local statutes, nor does it have to violate university policy, to be considered an incident. 

We are deeply committed to supporting any members of our community who have witnessed or have been the targets of bias-related incidents. To that end, we have provided bias reporting policies, procedures and resources for any members of our community who have experienced a discriminatory or hurtful act, and will also assist them to identify campus, and school resources to help them understand their options.


Penn GSE Practices/Policies regarding Acts of Bias

Education around Inclusion/Diversity

  • GSE will require training for all incoming staff, faculty, and students
  • GSE will provide ongoing professional development at faculty/staff meetings that addresses a range of scenarios and how best to address them

Reporting Policies/Practices

  • Students/staff/faculty who wish to report incidents of bias have a variety of individuals/venues to whom they can go both inside and outside of GSE
    • Formal reporting structure for Penn GSE
      1. Allegations about staff should be reported to the Chief People Officer (HR)
      2. Allegations about students should be reported to Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
      3. Allegations about Faculty should be reported to either the Dean/Associate Dean/Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs
      4. You may also report such incidents using the University’s bias reporting system

Alternative Reporting for Penn GSE

If people do not feel comfortable coming forward to any of the individuals listed above, they can talk with other individuals at the school who can come forward on their behalf, including:

Program managers
Division chairs
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs
Any trusted faculty member

  • GSE takes all reports of bias seriously. In some cases, individuals will want to make a formal complaint, while in others, they would like their complaint to remain confidential and may choose not to come forward with a formal complaint.
  • In order to keep track of reports of bias, even if the person chooses not to come forward with a formal complaint, we ask that faculty or staff who have heard about an incident regarding bias report it to the Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity, with the permission of the person reporting an incident. These reports can be confidential. The Assistant Dean will log all reported incidents and keep track of any recurring pattern of complaints against an individual.

University Resources

Faculty, staff, and students can report an incident of bias through the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity. They have a bias reporting form as well (although they can be contacted via email, in person, or phone).

Complaint of discrimination/harassment, and/or retaliation form

Here is a list of other resource departments at Penn and other information for filing a formal or informal complaint if you don’t want to do so in-house.

Investigations

The Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity will log all reported incidents and keep track of any recurring pattern of complaints against an individual. Investigations are handled through different channels, depending upon the role of the person against whom the allegations have been made.

  • Investigations of allegations against students would begin with the GSE Office of Student Services.
  • Investigations of allegations against staff are handled through school and university level Human Resources offices.
  • Investigations of allegations against faculty are handled through the Dean’s office.
  • An investigation can be initiated either by a formal report of bias or by a pattern of recurring complaints. GSE will receive all formal complaints, including complaints made through the University’s online system.
  • The complainant may be asked to provide additional details about the incident throughout the reporting process. After the report has been submitted, the following steps are taken:
    • Acknowledgement - Confirmation will be provided that the report has been received.
    • Assessment/Review - Based on the report, a preliminary assessment will be performed to determine how to handle the incident. This includes determining if other individuals, offices, or committees should either be consulted or involved in the assessment. For example, for complaints involving students this may include the Assistant Dean for Student Services; for staff this may include the staff member’s supervisor; for faculty this may include the Division Chair or CAFR. The complainee will be notified of the complaint and will be interviewed.
    • Notification - Both the complainant and the complainee will be notified regarding the next steps for addressing the report.
    • Record the Incident - The Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity will maintain a record of all reports.

Every effort will be made to evaluate reports promptly. However, the timing and manner in which GSE addresses the report will depend upon the information provided and whether you wish to remain anonymous.

Responses to Incidences of Bias

Education

  • As an educational institution, GSE believes in first taking an educative stance, providing additional coaching, mentoring, education and/or training to individuals who have engaged in problematic or unprofessional behavior.

Sanctions

  • The school can sanction the behavior in a number of ways including but not limited to written reprimands placed in a personnel or academic file, mandatory diversity/inclusion training, removal from administrative responsibilities, or removal from a program or position. In the case of faculty and staff, these sanctions are considered personnel matters and would not be made public, even to those who reported the allegations.
  • Please note that not every incident is referred to a disciplinary process.

Policy Against Retaliation

The University’s policy against retaliation describes our provisions towards faculty, staff, and students who file reports for harmful, discriminatory, or unethical behaviors. The University strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting about what the member believes to be wrongful activity. The University considers such reporting, inquiring, or participating to be protected activities in which all members of the Penn community may feel free to engage. 

Penn GSE Equal Opportunity and Harassment Policies

Contact Penn GSE Human Resources

For any questions, concerns, or additional information regarding Human Resources topics or payroll, please contact us.

Emma Grigore
Chief People Officer
215-746-3133
egrigore@upenn.edu
3700 Walnut Street | 425
3440 Market Street | 376

Kristine Chin
Human Resources Coordinator
215-573-8146
krchin@upenn.edu
3440 Market Street | 371