Dear Mizzou community,
As an institution, we pledge to live by our values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. While much has changed in the last five months, our commitment to these values has not. We will work continually to preserve our core missions, and to protect the learning and living experiences of our students, employees, patients and visitors. As a community, and as members of the Mizzou family, we must actively foster a culture where open, honest and respectful interactions are the expectation, not the exception.
In mid-July, university leaders participated in a virtual panel on inclusive excellence with nearly 800 attendees. During that panel, we communicated the recent progress Mizzou has made toward inclusive excellence, outlined the strategic goals and immediate steps that will guide future progress, and answered questions from our community about the ways we can strengthen this work. As one of the action steps described during that session, a new Bias Hotline provides another tool to uphold our values.
This week, we are pleased to launch the Bias Hotline. It is available to all faculty, staff, students and visitors at biashotline.ethicspoint.com or (844) 946-1837, 24/7 year-round. This hotline offers yet another method for reporting bias incidents – either experienced or witnessed – by members of our university community.
The calls received on the Bias Hotline will be evaluated for response or referral. Additionally, the information received from the calls will help predict issues and identify pervasive concerns, which will allow us to channel our resources and develop more effective training and educational programs that directly address the trends identified through these calls. While we understand that the hotline cannot always resolve or reverse the hurt that can be caused by incidents, we see it as an additional step forward in our comprehensive journey toward inclusive excellence. The Bias Hotline reflects our broader goal of building a culture of inclusivity where everyone knows and feels like they belong.
It’s important to note that the Bias Hotline does not replace other methods for reporting concerns. Other reporting methods available to the university community include the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX and the UM System Integrity and Accountability Hotline.
If you experience, witness or suspect discriminatory behavior and/or conduct that conflicts with our University’s values, please take immediate action. If you are a student, discuss your concerns with your instructor, other university representatives or the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX. If you are an employee, our updated policies require you to report any instance of discrimination or harassment of which you become aware, to the applicable Title IX Coordinator or Equity Officer.
Across campus, you will soon find posters displayed in common areas highlighting our commitment to an inclusive culture and information about the hotline and other essential information and resources regarding our continued work. Keeping our commitment visible and part of our daily environment was another action step set in July. Mizzou can’t excel as a university unless every student, faculty and staff member, and visitor feels welcome, respected and treated with the integrity they deserve.
We thank you for your support of each other and our collective community.
Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D.
President, UM System
Chancellor, University of Missouri
Latha Ramchand, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Missouri