Academic Civility

Academic incivility has emerged as a serious concern on campuses across the country. Although generally a taboo topic for discussion within academe, evidence of academic incivility's negative effects on students, faculty, and staff is increasing. It is essential, therefore, that universities address this serious issue and work to ensure campus climates that are conducive to well-being, learning, and productivity.

 The University of Minnesota is committed to taking a national leadership role in addressing academic incivility by acknowledging its existence; collaborating with students, faculty, and staff to understand how it affects campus climate - focusing on graduate students' academic experience and well-being; offering avenues for reporting incidents; and providing assistance when work or learning are disrupted by offensive, intimidating or hostile behavior. The University's Academic Civility Initiative was established to guide these efforts. We invite your participation as we work towards a university environment that is a civil and respectful place to learn and work.

In Fall 2007, the Student Conflict Resolution Center conducted a survey of all UMN-TC graduate students regarding the prevalence, manifestations, and effects of academic incivility. The survey also explored barriers to seeking assistance and satisfaction with interventions when the behavior was reported.

In an effort to garner diverse University perspectives and share both the responsibility and opportunity for responding to the problem, the Work Group Promoting Academic Civility was formed. The Work Group envisions a University culture that fosters academic excellence by promoting civil and respectful relationships through effective prevention of and response to hostile, offensive or intimidating behavior. Members include:

  • Chris Conklin, PhD student, Physics
  • Alisa Eland, Associate Director for Counseling & Advising, International Student and Scholar Services
  • Kate Martin, Assistant Director, Center for Educational Innovation
  • Douglas Ernie, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Matthew Hanson, Director, Student Academic Success Services, University Counseling and Consulting Service
  • Michael Huyen, Assistant Director, Student Conflict Resolution Center
  • Sofia Andersson-Stern, Equal Opportunity Consultant (Associate to the Director), Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
  • Jan Morse, Director, Student Conflict Resolution Center
  • Jane O'Brien, Education Program Specialist, Center for Innovation in Education
  • Joy Hamilton, PhD Student, Department of Communication Studies
  • John Andrews, Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education
  • Kristin Anderson, PhD, Associate Dean for School of Public Health
  • Emily Ronning, Assistant to the Sr. VP and Provost, Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Dave Golden Director of Communications at Boynton Health Services
  • Julie Showers, Director, Office for Conflict Resolution
  • Karen Starry, Assistant to the Dean, Graduate School
  • Mary Tate, Director of Minority Affairs and Diversity, Medical School
  • Julia Vievering PhD student, Physics
  • Sara Binahmed-Menzies, Graduate Fellow, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering
  • Richard Brundage, Professor, Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

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