Faculty Handbook

Threats to a Faculty Member

Last updated: 3/14/1978


The following statement was developed and approved by the University Committee on Faculty Affairs, March 14, 1978.

It may happen on occasion that a faculty member is threatened by a student with harm as a result of some action such as a low grade or an adverse recommendation the faculty member has taken affecting the student. Since situations which might occasion such threats vary widely, as do the personalities of those who may make or receive the threat, it is difficult to prescribe any simple, generally appropriate response. However, the following suggestions may be helpful in dealing with such threats.

Any threat should be reported immediately and in writing to the department chairperson. If the threat creates a sense of urgency, it should also be reported at once to the Department of Police and Public Safety, 355-2223.

The student should be made aware of others, such as the department chairperson or the Ombudsperson, who could help in obtaining redress. At the time the threat is made, the faculty member should indicate a willingness to consider carefully what the student says. If the student's concern appears to be unjustified and the remedy being sought unreasonable, the faculty member should declare a willingness to consult with others before taking further action. Indiscriminate discussion of the incident is to be avoided.

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