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We encourage the identification of incidents or events that affect a sense of safety in the ESS community. We take all reports of incidents and events seriously. In doing so, we are careful to respect privacy, confidentiality, and due process in recording and responding to such reports. Given the trauma associated with some of these incidents, we also recognize the value of services provided by the University to support mental and physical health, as well as safety. We track reports made by pathways described on this page so that we can observe and act on patterns that emerge.


For urgent concerns for physical safety, call 911. For any other safety concerns, call SafeCampus, (206) 685-7233

They will listen to your concerns and provide guidance and safety plans tailored to your situation. Reports can be made anonymously and reported back to any individual or office you wish.


Your supervisor or advisor can take the quickest action to help resolve conflicts or other issues. If your supervisor is part of a conflict, consider other departmental or college leadership: For student-initiated complaints, contact Student Services personnel

  • Noell Bernard-Kingsley, Director ([javascript protected email address])
  • Melissa Pritchard, Counseling Services Coordinator ([javascript protected email address])
  • Drew Gorman-Lewis, Associate Chair of Undergraduate Affairs ([javascript protected email address])
  • David Catling, Associate Chair of Graduate Affairs ([javascript protected email address])

For staff- or faculty-initiated complaints, contact ESS Administration

  • Scott Dakins, Administrator ([javascript protected email address])
  • Eric Steig, Chair ([javascript protected email address])

Students should also feel free to speak directly with the Chair.



The University limits information about complaints to those with a business need-to-know; however, public records law and some legal processes may require the University to disclose certain records. If you are concerned about confidentiality, you should discuss your concern early in your exploration of resolution options so that you receive guidance for how it can be safeguarded. For a list of legally protected confidential resources, scroll to the bottom of this page.


We want all members of our community to feel comfortable to directly report suggestions or concerns and we strongly encourage more direct communication wherever possible, following the guidelines on this page. In some instances, individuals may nevertheless wish to remain anonymous, and ESS provides a form for anonymous comments. Messages sent through the form will be forwarded to the ESS Chair, Associate Chairs, Director of Academic Services, and Department Administrator. It is important to recognize that because the form is anonymous, we cannot provide a response. Reports to ESS can, however, result in improvements to our processes, procedures, and professional development.

Investigative Authority

ESS is not authorized to investigate or adjudicate claims against faculty, staff or academic student employees, all of whom have rights to appeal personnel actions as outlined in law, the Faculty Code, and various union contracts. Reports to ESS can, however, result in corrective actions in our processes, procedures, and professional development. Allegations of serious misconduct should be reported to the appropriate authorities. Please refer to the guidelines below.


When you formally report an issue or concern within ESS, you can expect to receive confirmation that your report is under review and will include follow-up with further actions as warranted. Depending on the complaint and desired resolution, you may be referred to an office with investigative authority. If desired, an ESS staff member can assist you in the process. (NOTE: The University is required to comply with several laws governing the release of records and we follow the guidelines established in APS 57.9: Departmental Guidelines for the Release of University Records. In general, it is the University?s practice to release personnel records only to administrators when required for the discharge of their University responsibilities. All other requests are referred to the Office of Public Records and Open Public Meetings for determination of the records? status under the Public Disclosure Act.)



The central reporting office to discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. (Calls may be made anonymously.)

Office of the Ombud

Offers you a collaborative and private place to discuss work challenges. The Ombud will not conduct investigations but can help you assess complaint resolution options and navigate University resources.

Bias Reporting Tool

If you encounter or suspect incidents of bias, you are encouraged to use this tool. The UW?s Bias Incident Advisory Committee compiles and analyzes data from submitted reports to inform future educational and prevention efforts. (Reports may be made anonymously.)


Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC)

Addresses questions or concerns regarding an alleged violation by a student of the Student Conduct Code.

University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO)

Investigates complaints that a University employee has violated the University's non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies.

UW Academic Human Resources (AHR)

For conflicts that may be caused by personality differences, miscommunication, or behaviors that violate University policy such as discrimination or harassment. AHR is our key partner for complaints involving faculty, librarians, and academic staff in the College of the Environment. AHR does not investigate incidents, but it does address conflicts and implement disciplinary sanctions/coaching/etc., after an investigation is completed.

UW Human Resources (UWHR)

For conflicts that may be caused by personality differences, miscommunication, or behaviors that violate University policy such as discrimination or harassment. The College's specific HR Consultant is our key partner for complaints involving staff or academic student employees in the College of the Environment. Any complaint of sexual harassment should be directed to UCIRO rather than UWHR.

Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings (ORMP)

Coordinates the University's handling of allegations of research misconduct against members of the University community.

Title IX Investigation Office

Investigates allegations that a University of Washington student engaged in sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and other sexual- and gender-based violence.


For Students
Counseling Center

Provides confidential personal counseling to UW students for issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and relationship problems.

LiveWell Confidential Advocate

A confidential and safe starting point for students affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence and stalking.

For Students and Employees
UWPD Victim Advocate

A confidential and safe starting point for students affected by crime, including sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence, and stalking. It is not necessary to make a police report to meet with the UWPD Victim Advocate.

NOTE: Sharing information with the Counseling Center or a confidential advocate is not the same as making a report to the University for the purpose of starting an investigation. Advocates can help you understand your rights and support you in creating a plan for your situation.