Feedback & Reporting Mechanisms

It is our goal that all members of the BIOE community feel included and supported. We want to highlight the resources available to you if you would like to provide feedback to improve the program or resolve a situation, or would like support in dealing with an incident of bias. We want to foster a community where members feel comfortable and empowered to report so we can address racist or otherwise problematic behavior.  Reporting methods include anonymous feedback, talking to someone who will represent your concern, or filing an official report. You may want to seek advice from an advocate to make these decisions.

One thing to consider when you decide which approach to use to give feedback is that there are limits to what can be done with anonymous feedback, because the person filing a complaint cannot be contacted to verify the report, to provide more details, to be offered resources, or to be told the response.  For this reason, consider what outcomes you seek and whether to use an anonymous filing method.

Listed below are resources available depending on what you need.

  • Course Evaluations: The department is requesting that all instructors include additional questions to the course evaluations to get feedback on the inclusivity of the course. Use this tool if you want to provide anonymous feedback directly to your course instructor that is not time critical.
  • Program evaluations. All of the academic programs invite students to engage in an annual program evaluation that is moderated by an outside evaluator. We include questions about the inclusivity of the programs, and this is a good way to provide anonymous feedback about program improvements that are not time critical.
  • Student Advisory Board (SAB): The Student Advisory Board (SAB) comprises student representatives from graduate (PhD, MAB, Masters, one representative per cohort) and undergraduate programs and meets quarterly with the BioE Chair. SAB members work to identify student issues within the school, department, or research spaces. Students can share their concerns with the student members of the SAB and choose to be anonymous. At the meetings, the SAB members raise these issues with the chair and determine a course of action.
  • Department chair: You may report your concern directly to interim chair Mike Regnier (bioechair@uw.edu)
  • Academic Advisors: If you have a suggestion for improvement, or a concern about a bias incident, you may talk informally to the Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Advisors, who can provide advice, and can bring your concerns to the attention of the Department Chair while preserving your confidentiality.
  • Engineering Advocates: If you have a concern about a bias incident and wish to speak to someone outside the department, a staff member of the College of Engineering can serve as an Engineering Advocate to provide support and resources. Make an appointment by filling out an online reporting form.
  • UW Medicine Allies Program:  The UW Medicine Allies program consists of faculty and staff members who provide individual support to SOM postdoctoral researchers and graduate students during conflict with mentors and lab mates, assistance in navigating institutional barriers to success, and connection with institutional and community services. Allies stand in solidarity with trainees, so they don’t have to face challenges alone.
  • UW Bias Reporting Tool: If you encounter or suspect incidents of bias, you are encouraged to file a report at the University level, which will be reviewed by the UW’s Bias Incident Advisory Committee. Whenever possible, bias reports will be reviewed within 2 to 4 business days.  Reports can be made anonymously or you can give your name.
  • Title IX reporting: If you have experienced sex or gender discrimination, including sexual assault, relationship or intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct from a UW student or employee, you have the right to make a formal complaint and request an investigation. Before requesting an investigation, you may wish to speak to a confidential advocate.
  • UAW Local 4121: If you are an Academic Student Employee (ASE, including graduate & undergraduate RAs, TAs, readers, graders, and tutors) or a Postdoc, you are covered by your union UAW 4121 and have rights under your union contracts (ASE contract; Postdoc contract). These rights inlcude peer representation and support for many issues including but not limited to discrimination and bias. You may file a formal grievance or you can reach out informally to your BioE union steward, Avi Matarasso at matarassoavi@gmail.com, even if you are not sure if the situation you are experiencing is a violation of the contract.