Countering Bias Incidents Anonymously with TIPS

Published: Tues., March 9, 2021

The impact of bias can be extensive, potentially reaching into mentoring, teaching, research, decision-making, and many other important actions and interactions that influence outcomes. Bias can cause harm via unconscious and conscious thoughts and perceptions that affect behavior in a way that leads to inequitable experiences through preference and discrimination.

A New Climate and Culture Reporting Option

In 2020, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln reviewed and expanded the university's online incident reporting system, called TIPS, which allows individuals to report a broad range of incidents anonymously.

The university defines bias as any behavior that is hostile, harassing, intimidating or discriminatory and based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other differences. Examples of bias incidents can include, but are not limited to, hate speech, racial jokes and objectifying women.

TIPS now provides a climate/culture incident reporting option that allows you to report incidents that discriminate, stereotype, exclude or harass an individual based on identity within this context. The update is intended to dually provide access to resources and education to the campus community and broaden reporting options that may not fall into the existing categories.

Using the TIPS Incident Reporting System

TIPS is intended to give university community members a way to elevate or address issues that do not pose an emergency. In emergency cases, it is advised to contact University Police or call 911 for immediate assistance.

At the bottom of every university webpage, there is an option to “Report an Incident” underneath Campus Links in the red footer. It is also useful to bookmark TIPS for easy access when needed. On the TIPS landing page, you will select an incident type then choose whether you want to submit anonymously or provide your name and contact information for follow-up on the matter. Confidentiality is maintained through the report review process regardless of your decision. From this point, you will fill out a form respective to your submission preference.

Reports are forwarded to a team of university administrators for consideration and possible investigation if an incident falls within the parameters of the Student Code of Conduct or Title IX. Issues that do not need a formal investigation may then be forwarded to a relevant campus unit for consideration. For example, a report related to climate or culture may be forwarded to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Additional Support Beyond Incident Reporting

If you would like feedback on your report, then you will need to submit provide your name and contact information. If you are hesitant to do so, then it may be useful to create a pseudonym or alias email account that does not identify your real name. This will allow a campus administrator to follow up with questions that may help resolve the issue.

Any campus member who has been a victim of bias or feels unsafe or uncomfortable due to an incident have access to a number of campus resources. Support is available through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Counseling and Psychological Services; Employee Assistance Program; LGBTQA+ Center; Center for Advocacy, Response and Education; and the Women’s Center.