If you encounter behavior or misconduct that does not follow Robotics values or University of Michigan policies, or are unsure if you have experienced such behavior, there are many resources and contacts available for you.
A key distinction in the available contacts, however, is whether the contact must share your concerns on prohibited behavior, including sexual assault, harassment, violence, stalking, or retaliation, with the University’s Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office (ECRT, formerly known as the Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE) or whether the contact can keep your conversation confidential. Staff and faculty who must immediately report prohibited behavior are called “Individuals with Reporting Obligations,” or IROs.
If you want to maintain confidentiality, or are uncertain whether you want a formal complaint filed, your first action might be to contact those who are not considered IROs.
To maintain confidentiality
To discuss your concerns with someone who is not mandated to share information on prohibited behavior with others, you should contact those who are not considered IROs.
In Robotics, there are employees not considered IROs who are not mandated to report misconduct, but cannot legally guarantee complete confidentiality. These people include:
Outside of Robotics, those who can guarantee confidentiality include:
- Tom Lehker, University Student Ombudsperson, (734) 763–3545
- Jacqueline Bowman, University Staff Ombuds, 734-764-7272
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), (734) 764-8312
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), (734) 936-3333
Formal, non-confidential issues
Be aware that if you share information with the following contacts, considered IROs, they are mandated to share any prohibited conduct with the ECRT Office, formerly known as the Office of Institutional Equity, and your issue will not remain private and confidential.
In Robotics, IRO employees that must report any misconduct include:
- Kimberly Mann, Unit Administrator
- Dawn Tilbury, Chair
- Brent Gillespie, Associate Director of the Graduate Program
- Chad Jenkins, Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies
- Damen Provost, Managing Director
Outside of Robotics, those that must report any misconduct include:
- All IROs: administrators, including deans, department chairs, graduate and undergraduate chairs, and supervisors; faculty; Student Life staff, including resident advisors; Athletics staff; ECRT staff; human resources; travel abroad faculty and staff; and advisors to student organizations.
- CoE Office of Student Affairs, run by Executive Director Jeane Murabito, email@example.com, (734) 647-7118, 143 Chrysler Center (connected to the Duderstadt Center, walk-ins are welcome)
- University Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance
- Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office (ECRT, formerly known as the Office of Institutional Equity)
Please also note, if an individual is an IRO in any role they hold, they are an IRO in every aspect. This means faculty who employ people, such as student temps, GSRAs, or postdocs, are considered to be IROs and must always report any instances of discrimination or harassment.
Maintaining respect and integrity
As stated in our values, we strive for a community built on respect and integrity. Actions against those values do not only hurt our community members, but weaken our community and what we can achieve as a whole. While reporting misconduct is up to those who encounter it, we hope everyone feels comfortable pointing out instances of wrongdoing, without fear of retaliation. Know that the Robotics community will stand behind you, whatever your decision.
Remarks by Dawn Tilbury, Robotics Department Chair
The only office that has the authority to investigate and adjudicate complaints is the ECRT, formerly known as OIE. It is important to be aware that once you begin working with ECRT, you, the target of your complaint, and any witnesses will be treated equally formally. For this reason, we have provided contacts not responsible to report misconduct, highlighted above. These contacts can prepare you for reporting in a clear manner as well as provide support throughout the process. Ultimately, reporting is absolutely important for meaningful changes in behavior and culture to take place.
The main thing I want you to know is that you do not have to do this alone. Robotics will support you. Robotics Graduate Coordinator Denise Edmund can help you to make contact with fellow students, if you wish. Some of your peers have first-hand knowledge of our values and actions. And while Professors Gillespie, Jenkins and myself are required to report any misconduct immediately, we are also there to support you, as is the CoE Office of Student Affairs.