Jackson School of Geosciences Workplace Issues
The faculty, Research Scientists, Students, and Staff of the Jackson School are dedicated to creating a positive, inclusive work environment that embraces diversity in all forms and rejects any form of hostile work place, discrimination, or bullying. This web page is set up to inform you of your options if you have encountered issues that create a negative work environment.
There are resources and people in the Jackson School, as well as across the Campus that are committed to helping resolve conflicts within our School and the University. If you have encountered a situation or person or group of people that have made your experience with us negative with respect to any of the workplace issues listed here, we hope you will inform us.
Specific University contacts exist for various offenses and are identified in the description of Workplace Issues. In addition, one can contact the Undergraduate or Graduate Coordinator, the Graduate Advisor, Human Resources representative in each unit, the Department Chair, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, or the Dean depending on your affiliation (undergraduate or graduate student, faculty, research scientist, staff) and the type of complaint.
The information linked below is meant to both provide context for your complaint (i.e. where does your situation fit in today’s “terminology”) and key university resources or contacts if they exist for that specific situation.
Some workplace issues that may arise between students, staff, research scientists, and faculty at the Jackson School should be reported to help improve JSG yet others must be reported to a University contact by UT Austin policy. Descriptions of these situations and resources within the University system are given for each type of issue.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Either victim or witness of act can report bullying.
Harassment is a type of discrimination that consists of a single intense and severe act, or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts, which are unwanted, unwelcome, demeaning, abusive, or offensive and based upon the victim’s inclusion in a protected category such race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. (from UT policy; Handbook of Operating Procedures, 3-3020).
Any person who believes he/she has been subject to harassment, as defined above, should report this to any University official, administrator or supervisor. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of Students, and employees to contact the Office for Inclusion and Equity (OIE). Every supervisor, administrator and University official is responsible for promptly reporting incidents that come to their attention to either the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office for Inclusion and Equity.
- Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that can occur when:
- the submission to unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature, or to unwelcome requests for sexual favors or other verbal conduct of a sexual nature, is made as an implicit or explicit term or condition of employment or education;
- the submission to or rejection of unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature, or unwelcome requests for sexual favors or other verbal conduct of a sexual nature, is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions or evaluations;
- unwelcome physical acts of a sexual nature, or unwelcome requests for sexual favors or other verbal conduct of a sexual nature, that have the effect of creating an objectively hostile environment that substantially interferes with employment or education on the basis of sex; or
- such conduct is intentionally directed towards a specific individual and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual’s education, employment, or participation in University activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive atmosphere.
Sexual harassment may include:
- Sexual violence, as defined under the Texas Penal Code, which includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
- Physical conduct that, depending on the totality of the circumstances present, may include
- unwelcome intentional touching; or
- deliberate physical interference with or restriction of movement.
- Verbal conduct, including oral, written, or symbolic expression.
All sexual harassment complaints should be reported to the Title IX office directly. If reported to a responsible employee, they are required to report it to the Title IX office. From the UT Title IX website:
Individuals may also report incidents of sex discrimination, sexual harassment (including sexual violence) or sexual misconduct online or to any university Responsible Employee who is then required to promptly notify any of the above Title IX Coordinators of the reported incident.
Who should report incidents – A Responsible Employee is a University employee who has the authority to take action to redress an alleged violation of this policy who has been given the duty of reporting such allegations to the University Title IX Coordinator or designee, or an employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.
Responsible Employees are required to promptly report incidents of prohibited conduct. Detailed information of this policy can be found in the General Information Catalog – Appendix D or the Handbook of Operating Procedures, 3-3031.
For the JSG, Responsible Employees include administrators, academic advisors, faculty, including professors, adjuncts, lecturers, assistant instructors, teaching assistants, graduate research assistants and all supervisory staff.
What should be reported
All relevant information should be reported, including the names of the individuals involved, any witnesses, and any other relevant information, including the date, time, and specific location of the alleged incident. A report must be made as soon as possible after an individual discloses the incident. Reports of these incidents made by JSG Responsible Employees should also be provided to the Dean of the Jackson School.
Discrimination is conduct directed at a specific individual or group of identifiable individuals that subjects the individual or group to treatment that adversely affects their employment or education because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. (Handbook of Operating Procedures, 3-3031)
Any person who believes he/she has been subject discrimination, as defined above, should report this to any University official, administrator of supervisor. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of Students, and employees to the Office for Inclusion and Equity. Every supervisor, administrator and University official is responsible for promptly reporting incidents that come to their attention to either the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office for Inclusion and Equity.
- Hostile Workplace or Work Environment
A hostile environment occurs when:
- A co-worker or supervisor discriminates against or harasses a person because of his/her inclusion in a protected class such as a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This harassment is pervasive, lasting over time, and not limited to an off-color remark or two that a coworker found annoying.
The behavior is severe. Not only is it pervasive over time, but the hostility has disrupted the employee’s ability to do his/her job. (Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-3020)
The Jackson School seeks to develop a work setting that fosters inclusion and promotes a welcoming workplace. Any situation that creates a hostile work environment such as described above should be reported promptly and addressed by meeting with one’s supervisor, meeting with one of the listed Contacts or by directing issues to the Dean of Students or the Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Equity.
- Interpersonal Violence
For interpersonal violence there are several University resources and options available.
Call 512-471-4441 or 911 if emergency.
Submit your concerns online or call 512-232-5050, 24 hours a day.
Student Emergency Services
Student Emergency Services addresses concerns regarding students who have been impacted by interpersonal violence or have had a friend or family member impacted. This group is set up to listen to and recommend courses of action for those students who are impacted by violence. Trained staff can listen and recommend a course of action and also help seek emergency services and identify housing etc.
Interpersonal Violence Peer Support
- Hours: Monday-Thursday, 12pm-8pm and Friday, 12pm-4pm
- Location: Student Services Building, Ground Floor, Room G1.408
- Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm
Location: Student Emergency Services, SSB 4.104 and Title IX University Compliance Services, UTA 2.507
Dean of Students
Phone number: (512) 471-5017
- Faculty-Student Advisee Relationship Issues
- Academic Integrity
A fundamental principle for any educational institution, academic integrity is highly valued and seriously regarded at The University of Texas at Austin. More specifically, faculty, research supervisors and students are expected to maintain absolute integrity and a high standard of individual honor in scholastic work and research undertaken at the University. This is a very basic expectation that is further reinforced by the University’s Honor Code.
For students, at a minimum, you should complete any assignments, exams, and other scholastic endeavors with the utmost honesty, which requires you to:
- acknowledge the contributions of other sources to your scholastic efforts;
- complete your assignments independently unless expressly authorized to seek or obtain assistance in preparing them;
- follow instructions for assignments and exams, and observe the standards of your academic discipline; and
- avoid engaging in any form of academic dishonesty on behalf of yourself or another student.
For faculty, research scientists, and staff, early communication and establishing a clear set of expectations and guidelines on authorship, IP, use of data and other matters is key to the successful navigation of what is a persistent and critical challenge for all academic units within the Jackson School, the University of Texas, and across the academic and research landscape of the US and the world. Such conflicts dealing with academic dishonesty in the form of misconduct in science and other scholarly research, including plagiarism, are handled by the Research Integrity officer within the VP Research office.
Contacts within Jackson School of Geosciences and University of Texas at Austin
For most concerns or complaints, the first step is usually internal to JSG, but many University-wide resources are available. Below are the general contacts for each type of individual, followed by specific ones for certain types of complaints. In all cases, complaints can be made internally to the appropriate Jackson School contact or to a University contact. However, sexual harassment, any form of discrimination (including harassment) and interpersonal violence complaints must be reported by policy to the appropriate University contact.
Please note: if you are worried about any kind of behavior towards you or anyone else, you may contact BCAL or call 512-232-5050, 24 hours a day.
- Undergraduate Students
- Graduate Students
JSG level: Graduate Coordinator (Philip Guerrero), Graduate Advisor/GSC Chair (John Lassiter), Department Chair (Charlie Kerans), Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (Chris Bell).
University level: Dean of Students, Omsbuds, UT Counseling and Mental Health Center. Note: All three university level offices offer confidential services.
- Research Scientists & Staff
JSG level: HR representative for the Unit (Monica Reed for DGS and the Dean’s Office, Melissa Garcia for the Bureau of Economic Geology, or Susanne Morrison for the Institute for Geophysics); Unit Leader (Mrinal Sen, BEG; Mark Shuster, UTIG; Charlie Kerans, DGS); Dean (Sharon Mosher).
University level: Omsbuds, Employee Assistance Program, Office for Inclusion and Equity. Note: The Omsbuds and Employee Assistance Program offer confidential services.
- Required University Reporting
Sexual Harassment: Title IX office.Discrimination: Office of Equity and Inclusion or Office of Dean of Students.
Interpersonal Violence (including stalking): UT Police Department: 512-471-4441 or 911 if emergency; Employee Assistance Program; Student Emergency Services; BCAL or call 512-232-5050, 24 hours a day.