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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2240: Respectful Campus

Date Originally Issued: 07-01-2011
Revised: 06-11-2018

Authorized by RPM 2.4 ("Diversity and Campus Climate") 

Process Owner: University President

1. General

The University of New Mexico is committed to freedom of academic inquiry and encourages an environment of free expression and open debate. UNM does not attempt to shield people from ideas they may find unwelcome, disagreeable, or offensive. All members of the campus community are provided with the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some, or even by most, to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or misguided.

At the same time, UNM is committed to providing a respectful campus environment. The right to address issues of concern does not grant individuals license to make untrue allegations, to harass others, to violate confidentiality requirements, or to engage in other conduct that violates the law or University policy. A respectful environment is a necessary condition for success in teaching and learning, in research and scholarship, in patient care and public service, and in all other aspects of UNM’s mission and values.

This policy applies to regents, administrators, staff, students, and volunteers at UNM. For faculty, refer to the complementary Faculty Handbook Policy C09 (“Respectful Campus”). For reporting procedures for all members of the campus community, see Section 5.4.

2. Cornerstones of a Respectful Campus

UNM’s commitment to a respectful campus calls for promotion of an environment in which:

  • Individuals at all levels and in all units value each other’s contributions and treat each other with respect.
  • Individuals in positions of authority serve as role models by promoting courtesy, civility, diversity, and respectful communication.
  • Individuals at all levels are allowed to discuss issues of concern in an open and honest manner, without fear of reprisal or retaliation.

3. Constructive Actions

In addition to the cornerstones, the following constructive actions help contribute to a respectful campus:

  • displaying personal integrity and professionalism;
  • practicing fairness;
  • demonstrating respect for individual rights as well as diversity and differences;
  • being responsible and accountable for one’s actions;
  • emphasizing communication and collaborative resolution of problems and conflicts; and
  • developing and maintaining confidentiality and trust.

4. Destructive Actions

Actions that are counter to a respectful campus, such as those destructive actions described below, will not be tolerated and should be reported according to Sections 4.2 or 5.4. Conduct that occurs off-campus may be the subject of a report if it is likely to interfere with a respectful campus according to this policy.

Perpetrators of destructive actions can face disciplinary action, up to and including termination, suspension, or expulsion (see Section 5.3). In certain instances, a single incident of a destructive action may be sufficiently severe that it can lead to disciplinary action.

4.1. Bullying

Bullying is defined by the University as sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive mistreatment directed at one or more individuals, which a reasonable person would consider to improperly interfere with the individual’s (or individuals’) work or school performance or participation. Differences of opinion, conflicts, or problems in relationships occasionally occur as a normal part of working or academic life and should not be considered bullying. Nor is it bullying for a supervisor to note an employee’s poor job performance and potential consequences within the framework of University policies and procedures, or for a professor or academic program director to advise a student of unsatisfactory academic work and the potential for course failure or dismissal from the program if uncorrected.

The destructive actions known as bullying may include the following, when they rise to the level of the standard set forth above:

  • Verbal bullying--oral, written, or electronic communications that include slandering, ridiculing, or maligning of a person or persons; addressing abusive or offensive remarks to a person or persons; shouting at others in public or in private.
  • Nonverbal bullying--directing threatening gestures toward a person or persons or invading personal space after being asked to move or step away.
  • Cyberbullying-- occurs over digital devices through text messaging and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content; includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else; sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. (Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.)
  • Physical bullying--pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, or tripping; assault or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property; damage to or destruction of a person’s work product.
  • Anonymous bullying--withholding or disguising one’s identity while treating a person or group in a malicious manner, sending insulting or threatening anonymous messages, placing objectionable objects among a person’s belongings, or leaving degrading written or pictorial material about a person where others can see.
  • Threatening action toward a person’s job or well-being--making threats, either explicit or implicit to the security of a person’s job, position, or personal well-being. 

4.2. Destructive Actions Covered by Other University Policies

Reports of the destructive actions described below will be addressed in accordance with the applicable policy listed below:

5. Addressing Destructive Actions

5.1. Supervisor Responsibilities

For employees, supervisors at all levels are responsible for addressing known indications of destructive actions in an appropriate, prompt, and fair manner. For the destructive actions discussed in Section 4.1, the supervisor should meet with the individual allegedly targeted by the bullying, as well as the individual accused of the bullying. As a result of these meetings, if the supervisor determines there are sufficient grounds to justify a complaint of bullying, then the supervisor should address the destructive action though informal resolution (see Section 5.2) or appropriate disciplinary action (see Section 5.3).

For destructive actions covered by other University policies, the supervisor should make an appropriate referral based on the policies outlined in Section 4.2.

5.2. Informal Resolution

It can be helpful to address certain destructive actions informally. In such cases, the destructive action may be brought to the attention of the impacted individual’s supervisor or the alleged wrongdoer’s supervisor. If the impacted individual is not comfortable reporting the destructive actions to a supervisor, the individual may report the actions according to Section 5.3.  Informal resolution may include training or consulting with next level supervisors.

UNM has resources to help individuals with informal resolution and concerns, including:

5.3. Disciplinary Action

Destructive actions may lead to disciplinary action when they rise to the level of being sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to cause or create a hostile working or educational environment or unreasonably interfere with a person’s work or school performance or participation. As noted in Section 4, in certain instances, a single incident of a destructive action may be sufficiently severe that it can lead to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action will be addressed by the following policies:

5.4. Reporting Destructive Actions

All members of the University community may report destructive actions (not addressed by other policies) by referring to the following policies or offices, or by contacting the UNM Compliance Hotline, anonymously if preferred, at 1-888-899-6092 or on-line at: unm.ethicspoint.com:

Extreme incidents may be reported directly and immediately to UNM Police in accordance with UAP 2210 ("Campus Violence”).

6. References

RPM 2.4 ("Diversity and Campus Climate") 

RPM 2.5 ("Sexual Harassment") 

UAP 2200 ("Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Whistleblower Protection from Retaliation")

UAP 2210 ("Campus Violence")

UAP 2220 ("Freedom of Expression and Dissent”)

UAP 2300 ("Inspection of Public Records")

UAP 2720 (“Prohibited Discrimination and Equal Opportunity”)

UAP 2740 (“Sexual Misconduct”)

UAP 3215 (“Performance Improvement”)

UAP 3220 ("Ombuds Services for Staff")

UAP 3720 (“Employee Code of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest”)

UAP 3750 (“Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Service”)

"Student Code of Conduct" Pathfinder

“Visitor Code of Conduct,” Pathfinder

Dean of Students Office

UNM Faculty Handbook, Section C05, “Rights and Responsibilities at the University of New Mexico”

UNM Faculty Handbook, Section C09, “Respectful Campus”

UNM Faculty Handbook, Section B, Appendix V, “Harassment and Professional Ethics Policy”

UNM School of Medicine “Teacher Conduct and Learner Complaints” Policy