Master’s Program Reporting Misconduct and Crime Policies

Reporting Misconduct and Crime Policies in the Master’s Program:

Hostile and Intimidating Behavior

Hostile and intimidating behavior, sometimes known by the shorthand term “bullying,” is defined in university policy as “unwelcome behavior pervasive or severe enough that a reasonable person would

find it hostile and/or intimidating and that does not further the University’s academic or operational interests.” Hostile and intimidating behavior can occur both within and across employment sectors – faculty on faculty, faculty on student, etc. – and power differentials, and in any university setting (the office, the lab, in the halls, at meetings; it can happen in groups or one-on-one). Regardless of when and how it happens, it must be addressed and corrected. Hostile and intimidating behavior is prohibited by university policy.

UW–Madison policy includes the following expanded definition:

Hostile and intimidating behavior is defined as unwelcome behavior pervasive or severe to the extent that it makes the conditions for work inhospitable and impairs another person’s ability to carry out their responsibilities to the university, and that does not further the University’s academic or operational interests. A person or a group can perpetrate this behavior. The person need not be more senior than or a supervisor to the target.

Unacceptable behavior may include, but is not limited to:

  • Abusive expression (including spoken, written, recorded, visual, digital, or nonverbal, etc.) directed at another person in the workplace, such as derogatory remarks or epithets that are outside the range of commonly accepted expressions of disagreement, disapproval, or critique in an academic culture and professional setting that respects free expression;
  • Unwarranted physical contact or intimidating gestures; Conspicuous exclusion or isolation having the effect of harming another person’s reputation in the workplace and hindering another person’s work;
  • Sabotage of another person’s work or impeding another person’s capacity for academic expression, be it oral, written, or other;
  • Abuse of authority, such as using threats or retaliation in the exercise of authority, supervision, or guidance, or impeding another person from exercising shared governance rights, etc.

Repeated acts or a pattern of hostile and/or intimidating behaviors are of particular concern. A single act typically will not be sufficient to warrant discipline or dismissal, but an especially severe or egregious act may warrant either.

For more information:


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a community concern. When sexual harassment occurs, it degrades the quality of work and education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. It erodes the dignity and productivity of the individuals involved and diminishes the quality, effectiveness, and stature of the institution. It can occur in any university setting (an office, a classroom, a university program). Each of us has a collective responsibility not to harass others and to act responsibly when confronted by the issue of sexual harassment, thereby promoting an environment that better supports excellence in teaching, research, and service. (Taken from:

What is Sexual Harassment?

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including leering and unwanted personal discussion of sexual activities) constitute sexual harassment when submission to such conduct is a condition of employment, academic progress, or participation in a university program; or submission to or rejection of such conduct influences employment, academic or university program decisions; or the conduct interferes with an employee’s work or a student’s academic career, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work, learning, or program environment.

Key Points About Sexual Harassment:

  • Differences in power or status can be a significant component in sexual harassment. A person who seems to acquiesce to sexual conduct may still experience tangible action harassment or hostile environment harassment if the conduct is unwelcome.
  • Sexual harassment can occur between any two persons, regardless of their gender identities and sexual orientation.
  • Sexual harassment may or may not involve a tangible injury (e.g., economic loss, lowered grades). A sexually harassing environment, in and of itself, may constitute a harm.
  • Individuals in positions of authority are responsible for ensuring that employees, students or others do not harass. In an academic or program setting, offenders can be faculty, instructors, lecturers, teaching assistants, coaches, tutors, or fellow students or program participants.
  • The person filing a sexual harassment charge does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone significantly harmed by the harassing conduct.
  • Some behavior that is not in violation of university policy may, nonetheless, be unprofessional under the circumstances. Consequences of such unprofessional behavior may include poor performance evaluations or possible discipline.

What to do if you feel you’ve been sexually harassed:

  • Seek advice. Consult the Master’s Program Manager, Department Chair, or someone else you trust. It is important to note that the Department Chair and the Master’s Program Manager are Title IX responsible employees who must report information they receive about sexual harassment or sexual violence to the Office of Compliance; however, this report does not trigger a formal complaint or other actions that the complainant doesn’t want, unless there is a serious risk to campus safety. Other staff and faculty may be Title IX responsible employees as well. For more information, please see section Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.
  • You may choose to seek informal resolution through the Grievance procedures page or file a sexual harassment complaint with the UW–Madison Title IX Coordinator. You may find more information on filing a complaint at Complaints filed through the UW–Madison Title IX coordinator may lead to an investigation and disciplinary action against the accused. In order to ensure due process and provide for a defense, prior to any formal disciplinary action against someone accused of sexual harassment, the University must inform that person of the details regarding the formal complaint including the identity of the person initiating the complaint. Again, as noted in the previous bullet point, several people involved in the Grievance procedures described in earlier in this section are Title IX responsible employees. For more information, please see section Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.
  • For additional information, please visit:
  • As listed previously, the following additional resources offer confidential consultation and can help people who want support or information, but do not wish to report. Confidential means they will not share information that identifies the person seeking support without that person’s permission.
    • Employee Assistance Office – [This resource provides confidential consultation]
    • Ombuds Office – [This resource provides confidential consultation]
    • University Health Services – [This resource provides confidential consultation]

For more information on discrimination against students and other resources: Discrimination Complaints Policies & Procedures:

We encourage early contact: consultation is not escalation. Timely discussion of people’s concerns may allow resolution before alternatives become limited. The university will protect confidentiality to the extent possible under the law.

…if you feel you’ve been sexually harassed:

  • Seek advice. Consult your supervisor, manager, HR representative, department chair, director, dean, or any campus resource to discuss options for resolution.
  • You may choose to seek informal resolution or file a sexual harassment complaint.
  • You may find it helpful to seek support from a trusted colleague. Be aware of your interest in keeping the matter as confidential as possible.
  • Keep notes of what happened, when, where, and who was present. Retain copies of any correspondence.
  • Consider informing the individual(s) involved that the conduct is unwelcome and that you expect it to stop.


Reporting Misconduct and Crime

The campus has established policies governing student conduct, academic dishonesty, discrimination, and harassment/abuse as well as specific reporting requirements in certain cases. If you have a grievance regarding unfair treatment towards yourself, please reference the procedures and resources identified above. If you learn about, observe, or witness misconduct or other wrongdoing you may be required to report that misconduct or abuse. Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to consult with your academic advisor, Master’s Program Manager , or other campus resources (such as the UW Office of Equity and Diversity, Graduate School, Mc Burney Disability Resource Center, Employee Assistance Office, Ombuds Office, and University Health Services).

Research Misconduct. The University of Wisconsin–Madison strives to foster the highest scholarly and ethical standards among its students, faculty, and staff. Graduate students and research associates are among the most vulnerable groups when reporting misconduct because their source of financial support and the progress in their careers may be at risk by raising questions of wrongdoing. They are also often the closest witnesses to wrongdoing when it occurs and therefore must be appropriately protected from the consequences of reporting wrongdoing and be informed of their rights. Please find full details at

Academic Misconduct. If you know a classmate is cheating on an exam or other academic exercise, notify your professor, teaching assistant or proctor of the exam. As a part of the university community, you are expected to uphold the standards of the university. Also, consider how your classmate’s dishonesty may affect the overall grading curve and integrity of the program.

Sexual Assault. All UW–Madison employees, including student employees and graduate assistants, are required by law to report first-hand knowledge of sexual assault on campus or disclosures of sexual assault of a student to university officials, specifically the Dean of Students Office. This effort is not the same as filing a criminal report. Disclosing the victim’s name is not required as part of this report. Please find full details under Sexual Assault at, or dating-and-domestic-violence/, or

Child Abuse. UW–Madison employees (under Wisconsin Executive Order #54), are required to immediately report child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement if, in the course of employment, the employee observes an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, or learns of an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, and the employee has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur.

Volunteers working for UW–Madison sponsored programs or activities are also expected to report suspected abuse or neglect. Please find full details at

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence. Certain UW–Madison employees are classified as Title IX responsible employees and therefore have a duty to report to the Title IX Coordinator any information they receive that suggests a violation of campus policy around sexual harassment and sexual violence is occurring or has occurred. They are explicitly not permitted to keep information of this nature that is reported to them confidential. These reports are primarily used to connect complainants/survivors with resources, and do not trigger investigations or other actions the complainant or survivor does not want unless there is a risk to campus safety. Title IX responsible employees include, among others, Deans, Directors, department chairs, department administrators, human resources representatives, and student services staff such as graduate and undergraduate coordinators. Please find full details at

Incidents of Bias/Hate. The University of Wisconsin–Madison values a diverse community where all members are able to participate fully in the Wisconsin Experience. Incidents of Bias/Hate affecting a person or group create a hostile climate and negatively impact the quality of the Wisconsin Experience for community members. UW–Madison takes such incidents seriously and will investigate and respond to reported or observed incidents of bias/hate. If you have witnessed or experienced an incident of bias or hate you may contact the Master’s Program Manager , Department Chair, or the Department of Economics DEI Committee. More information about the department DEI committee can be found here: Please find full details at

Reporting Consensual Relationships. A consensual relationship describes when people agree to a romantic, physically intimate, or sexual relationship now or in the past. This includes marriage. UW–Madison consensual relationships policy applies to employee/student relationships and employee/employee relationships.

A consensual relationship between an instructor and a student currently under their instruction or whom the instructor reasonably believes in the future may be under their instruction is prohibited.

If a consensual relationship develops between people who also have another type of reporting or evaluative relationship, the person who is in a position of power must immediately report their consensual relationship to a supervisory authority.


The university presumes that the ability to make objective decisions is compromised if there is a romantic and/or sexual relationship between two individuals who have a reporting or evaluative relationship. There is almost always a power differential between such individuals that not only obscures objectivity but also influences perceptions of consent. The individual with the power or status advantage is required by university policy to report the relationship to their supervisor and will be accountable for failing to make this report. The supervisor who learns of the consensual relationship has the responsibility to make appropriate arrangements to eliminate or mitigate a conflict whose consequences might prove detrimental to the university or to either party in the relationship, particularly the person in the subordinate role. Supervisors can consult with any campus resource ( for assistance in meeting this responsibility