UVa Department of Mathematics Code of Conduct and Guidelines for Conflict Resolution
The University of Virginia Department of Mathematics is an academic workplace and community that
thrives best under conditions of trust, respect, understanding, cooperation, and belonging among all its
members. In this document a department member means any
faculty member, staff member, student, or visitor of the department.
This Code of Conduct (i) provides guidelines for behavior that will facilitate a
harmonious, dynamic, and productive academic environment, and (ii) describes procedures for receiving and
addressing any issues related to these guidelines in a fair and transparent manner. It applies to all department
members whenever and wherever they act in their capacity as representatives of the department. This includes
electronic communications, and interactions between department members when they are present on the grounds of
This document is not intended to abridge individual rights and freedoms nor to threaten violators
with censorship and sanctions, and we affirm the University
of Virginia’s commitment to free speech and expression. We seek to promote dialogue
and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect.
The Department of Mathematics is an academic community, wherein maintaining utmost standards of academic integrity is essential for functioning. All department members are expected to
exhibit honesty and integrity in academic, research, and professional duties, including teaching and assessment. We expect instructors to maintain transparent grading
procedures and be willing to review any graded work in a prompt, unbiased, and constructive manner.
Regardless of role or status, every department member is expected to behave
respectfully. Encouraged behavior includes the following examples, based on Respect
@ UVa: respectful department members
- value the contributions of all members of our community,
regardless of status or role in the organization
- treat others with civility and courtesy
- work honestly, effectively, and collegially with employees and
- respond promptly and professionally to requests from others for
- have an open and cooperative approach in dealings with each other,
recognizing individual differences; in particular, we affirm the university’s position on the proper
use of gender pronouns (see EOCR’s
webpage on this topic)
- (if they are in leadership positions) model civility for others and
clearly define expectations for how department members are to treat each other, and are responsive to
complaints when they are brought forward
Conduct prohibited by the university and reporting/redress procedures are outlined in the
following policies, with which all department members should familiarize themselves:
- HRM-009 Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment (PADH),
- HRM-041 Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence
- HRM-010 Preventing and Addressing Retaliation (PAR), and
- HRM-040 Reporting
by University Employees.
Note that, with very limited exceptions, any university member who is aware of an
incident of prohibited conduct is required to file a report with the
university; see HRM-040.
There are other behaviors that do not rise to the level of prohibited
conduct but can still contribute to a hostile and unwelcoming work environment. These
behaviors can be addressed at the department level, with a non-punitive outcome, before
they potentially escalate to prohibited conduct. In particular, we discourage behaviors contributing to an
atmosphere that detracts from the academic and educational mission of the department and the university. Such
behaviors include the following:
- threatening/abusive language, conduct, or
mannerisms that are reasonably perceived by others to be demeaning, berating, rude, offensive, intimidating,
- hurtful comments, jokes, conduct, or
exclusionary behavior of any form based on gender identity or expression, race, age, sexual orientation,
disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, national origin, political affiliation, family status,
veteran status, or genetic information
- unfair practices in evaluation of
others, including grade assignments.
More examples can be found under the heading of
disrespectful behavior at Respect
What To Do/What Will Happen
Any university member who wishes to report prohibited conduct to the university can use the
Report It tool (scope includes Title IX violations, as in HRM-041)
or the EOCR
complaint form (PADHR violations, HRM-009 and
Below, we outline procedures for reporting and addressing grievances that may not rise to
the level of prohibited conduct, so that issues may be resolved efficiently, transparently, and satisfactorily
at the lowest possible administrative level.
- If a department member experiences or witnesses unacceptable/unwelcome or
prohibited conduct as outlined in this document, they are strongly encouraged to voice those concerns, no
matter how small, to the Department Chair, the departmental Director of Diversity, Equity, and
Inclusion (DDEI), or any faculty member with whom they are comfortable. (Proviso: for
grievances regarding methods of evaluation in courses, a student should first attempt to resolve the issue
with the course instructor before appealing to a faculty member as above; cf. relevant
- All faculty are expected to be receptive to any concerns voiced to them directly,
and are expected to maintain confidentiality to the degree that is required and feasible. All concerns are
to be taken seriously. If a grievance is determined to rise to the level of prohibited conduct, pursuant to
extant university policies, any faculty member is required to report it, cf. HRM-040.
- A department member who wishes to discuss a concern with an advocate exempt from
these reporting policies may consult this list of Confidential
- If in an initial conversation it is deemed necessary, the faculty member
will direct the complainant to, or facilitate contact with, the DDEI and/or Chair. If requested or required,
the faculty confidant may petition the DDEI and/or Chair on behalf of the complainant. The DDEI and/or Chair
will discuss the issue with all parties involved in an open, expedient, and unbiased manner, maintaining
confidentiality to the degree that it is required and feasible. The purpose of the discussion is to
cooperatively formulate a mutually acceptable strategy for resolving the grievance.
- After a time interval to be agreed upon by all parties involved, the
DDEI and/or Chair will consult again with all parties to discuss and ascertain whether the relevant issues
have been resolved to a satisfactory degree. If not, a further discussion is to be held in order to
facilitate a resolution.
- If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the subsequent steps to be
taken will be determined according to the deliberative judgment and discretion of the DDEI and/or Chair,
except in cases where mandatory reporting policies are in place. These may include, but are not limited to,
referring the issue to higher levels of the administration, especially if violations of the
university’s extant policies on prohibited conduct or of local, state, or federal law are
- For issues deemed to be of a general or pervasive nature, the DDEI and
Chair will facilitate an open discussion among the relevant group of department members.
- For grievances regarding methods of evaluation in courses, the complainant and
faculty confidant should additionally petition the Director of
Graduate Studies (DGS) or Director of the Undergraduate Program (DUP), according to the level of the
- The DDEI, Chair, DGS, and DUP are expected to keep records pertaining to
the issues that they mediate, to the extent that is permitted by law.
- Any retaliation against a complainant who has made a good faith petition under this
code is unacceptable, by analogy to university policy HRM-010 and
the guidelines of Respect
@ UVa, and may constitute prohibited conduct.
This code is a living document and subject to revision, with any proposed changes brought to the
department for comment.