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University inadequately handled racial bias complaints

Indiana professors might interested in an internal report from UCLA that indicated that the university's policies are inadequate to handle complaints concerning racial bias. Faculty members who were interviewed for the 2012 review stated that the university seemed more focused on placating the offended faculty member than punishing the one who had committed the offense.

The findings of the report showed that although nearly every minority faculty member at the university has received tenure, many of them reported experiencing some sort of racial bias at the university and didn't feel that their allegations were properly addressed. One Latino faculty member who went before the dean of his department with a concern was advised against causing more problems by taking further action. A white professor who protested inappropriate conduct said that he was denied a pay increase. Most of the problems reported were with concern to advancement, hiring and retention decisions.

The review of the university's policies was prompted after several faculty members approached the chancellor and expressed their concerns that the policies concerning racial bias were vague and insufficient. The chancellor stated that he took the result of the review very seriously and that he planned to address the issues and implement some new proposals. This includes appointing a discrimination officer to investigate bias and race discrimination allegations.

In addition to federal laws, most universities have their own anti-discrimination policies in place. Filing a discrimination claim against an institution that has fostered a hostile work environment for certain individuals on account of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or age can hold them accountable. Individuals who have been discriminated against in such a fashion may be able to pursue a variety of damages as compensation for the behavior that they endured.

Source: LA Times, "Study faults UCLA's handling of faculty's racial bias complaints", Stephen Ceasar, October 18, 2013

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