UMKC appreciates each person as multi-talented, possessing dignity, and reflecting diverse social and cultural identities. In working to establish and maintain a culture of caring, we strive to ensure that everyone is safe and free from oppression, able to fully participate in our multicultural community. We understand that the road to achieving a diverse learning and working environment is challenging, and we acknowledge that a major hurdle in improving our climate are biases, both conscious and unconscious, that influence decision-making and interpersonal interactions.
In response to the needs of our students and employees as identified through the 2016 Campus Climate Survey (link), Faculty Diversity Dialogues (link), campus listening sessions, and other methods utilized for gathering feedback on student and employee sense of belonging, we have launched the Bias Education & Support Team to hear and address the concerns of those who experience exclusionary behavior exhibited by others within our campus community.
BEST responds to expressions of perceived bias as reported to the University by 1) individuals or groups affected by the expression, 2) witnesses to the expression, or 3) a concerned third party, such as a UMKC student or employee, a family member or friend, a volunteer or visitor, or a community member. For more information on BEST, including its purpose and goals, visit Bias Education & Support Team (link).
What is an expression of perceived bias?
An expression of perceived bias may occur when someone has been subjected to harassment, bullying, stereotyping, microaggressions, abuse, marginalization, or any other form of targeted communication, and they believe they were targeted because they identify or are associated with a particular characteristic or group.
What might be the basis for expressions of bias?
Bases for bias typically include one of the following elements of identity of a person or group of people. To learn more about any of these elements of identity, click the associated link.
- Race or color
- Ability or disability
- Political affiliation
- Physical appearance
- Criminal history
- Socioeconomic status
- Immigration status
- Gender expression
- Gender or gender identity
- Societal/cultural perspectives
- Familial responsibilities
- Marital status or familial status
- Veteran status or military status
- Language or characteristics of speech
- Family medical history or genetic makeup
- Affectional orientation or sexual orientation
- National or ethnic origin or nationality or ancestry
- Presence or absence of religion or creed or faith beliefs or spiritual beliefs
How do I make a report if I have experienced or witnessed an expression of bias or would like to report an expression of bias on behalf of someone else?
Anyone may choose to make an online report for review and response by the University. Additionally, reports can be submitted by email, phone, or in-person. For more information, visit Making a Report (link).
Reporters have the option of submitting one of two types of reports: Information Only or Request Action.
- INFORMATION ONLY (IO) reports are used to track trends and help determine patterns across campus. Reporters who submit IO reports have no expectation that the University will take any action, as the single intent is to make UMKC aware of the incident. However, if the expression as reported may rise to the level of a violation of University policy or indicate inappropriate behaviors by a University employee, UMKC may have an obligation to take further action. When this obligation is triggered by an IO report, it will be handled according to the REQUEST ACTION report process outlined below.
- REQUEST ACTION (RA) reports are reviewed and evaluated before being forwarded on to the appropriate entity, which may include the Bias Education & Support Team, the Office of Equity & Title IX (ETIX), Student Conduct & Civility, the CARE Team, Human Resources, Faculty Affairs, etc. Reporters who submit RA reports have an expectation that the University will take some sort of action, although only the affected individual or group will be kept apprised of any resulting action taken by UMKC.
What happens once I make a report?
For more information on the process triggered by a report, visit Response to a Report of Bias (link).
FAQ About Reporting
- Reports may be submitted anonymously.
- Reports are not considered confidential but will only be shared with the appropriate University officials on a need-to-know basis to protect the privacy of those involved.
- We ask that reporters do their best to identify the individuals involved as our ability to respond may be limited if they are unwilling or unable to do so.
- Reporters have the option of providing as much or as little detail regarding the expression as they choose.
- Reporters may upload supporting documentation, including photos, videos, screenshots, etc.
- UMKC’s response to any report may be limited due to the rights of individuals to free expression. For more information, visit Free Expression (link).