Preventing Student Mistreatment


Approval date:                        April 3, 2013
Next Scheduled review:          October 2014


Policy Statement

College of Health Professions makes every effort to foster an atmosphere conducive to learning and professionalism and is intolerant of behaviors that are incompatible with this goal. As part of this effort the College has a process to encourage students with mistreatment complaints about faculty, staff and/or other students come forward to seek resolution.

Rationale

The College of Health Professions has a responsibility to foster an atmosphere conducive to learning and professionalism and student mistreatment is in no way part of this responsibility. Examples of mistreatment include but are not limited to: sexual harassment; discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, handicapped condition, or age, purposeful humiliation, verbal abuse, threats, or other psychological punishment. In practice, mistreatment of students may involve incidents in which a faculty, staff or another student:

  1. speaks insultingly or unjustifiably harshly;
  2. belittles or humiliates;
  3. threatens physical harm;
  4. physically attacks (e.g., hits, slaps, kicks);
  5. demands personal services (e.g., shopping, baby-sitting);
  6. threatens to lower the student’s grade for reasons other than course/clinical performance and/or professional behavior.

Such actions are unprofessional, contrary to the spirit of learning, and violate the trust between teacher and learner.

Process for Addressing Incidents of Mistreatment

When interactions are such that a student feels mistreated, several options are available:

  1. If he/she feels comfortable addressing the matter directly, the student should attempt to explain his/her concerns to the accused.
    1. If he/she is reluctant to approach the accused directly, the student should report his/her concerns to a faculty member or to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.
    2. If warranted, college officials may request further investigation by the Student Conduct Officer, who will interview all parties and make a recommendation to the college as to possible resolution.
    3. The student may go directly to the Student Conduct officer in the Office of Equity and Diversity to report the mistreatment if the other reporting options are unacceptable.
    4. A Judicial Incident Reporting Form is available at: http://www.uthsc.edu/oed/protected/judicial_incident_form.php[BROKEN LINK]

The form will go directly to the Office of Equity and Diversity and the resolution process regarding students will begin. The process can be found at:  http://www.uthsc.edu/oed/EEOC/UNIVERSITY%20OF%20TENNESSEE%20DISCRIMINATION%20COMPLAINT%20PROCEDURE.pdf

Confidentiality and Protection from Retaliation

Every effort will be made to protect alleged victims of mistreatment from retaliation if they seek redress. Although it is impossible to guarantee freedom from retaliation, it is possible to take steps to try to prevent it and to set up a process for responding to it. To help prevent retaliation, those who are accused of mistreatment will be informed that retaliation is regarded as a form of mistreatment. Accusations that retaliation has occurred will be handled in the same manner as accusations concerning other forms of mistreatment.

Related Policies

Contact Us

College of Health Professions
930 Madison Avenue
6th Floor
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-5581