Our work as mathematicians cannot be complete unless all are given the genuine opportunity to succeed at mathematics, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. As a department, we are well aware that past and current injustices have prevented far too many people from living up to their mathematical potential. We are committed to maintaining a department culture that is welcoming and nurturing to all. We expect all members of our department to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with these values and free from any form of discrimination or harassment.
In the wake of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others, we affirm that Black Lives Matter. We have been engaging in serious self-examination of our practices in regard to race, particularly in the areas of undergraduate instruction, departmental climate, faculty hiring, and engagement with the broader Durham community. We invite the input of all members of our community (students, faculty, and staff) in this process; you can contact Adam Levine, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Robert Bryant, Department Ombudsperson, or any member of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team (see list in section below).
Math Department Conduct Policy
The Duke University community is committed to the robust exchange of diverse perspectives, and acceptance of persons from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Duke expressly prohibits discrimination in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex, genetic information, or age. Harassment on any demographic basis is a form of prohibited discrimination.
In the Department of Mathematics, we affirm these values of the university. We are committed to fostering free, open, and critical academic inquiry in an environment that is welcoming, respectful, and supportive of all of its members. This includes undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visitors, staff, and faculty. We expect everyone in our community to act professionally and to maintain an inclusive and welcoming environment in which all are treated with courtesy, respect, and dignity. Disruptive, harassing, or unwelcoming behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. These behaviors include, but are not limited to, inappropriate or intimidating actions, gestures, and language; unwelcome jokes or inappropriate comments; unwanted touching or attention; sharing of offensive images; and other nuisance behaviors. We also reject complicity that knowingly promotes, encourages, or protects discrimination or unprofessional behavior on the part of others.
All persons representing the Department of Mathematics at external events are expected to uphold the principles of this Statement of Conduct at those venues as well.
No one in our mathematics community is above accountability. We understand that hierarchies in an academic department can sometimes inhibit individuals from reporting grievances, concerns, or suggestions in response to actions that undermine a positive workplace environment. Mindful of this, we provide different mechanisms for voicing concerns within the department and call attention to channels outside the department. We take seriously the use of these mechanisms and will not tolerate retaliation against those who make good-faith use of them.
I. Within the department
Whom to contact for help?
We encourage those with grievances, concerns, or suggestions to communicate with a trusted mentor or faculty member or with any of the officers or staff of the department, including:
- Leslie Saper, Chair, email@example.com
- Shawn MacDuff, Business Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Robert Bryant, Department Ombud, email@example.com
- Hubert Bray, Director of Undergraduate Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Colleen Robles, Director of Graduate Studies, email@example.com
These departmental liaisons will read or listen to reports and have the responsibility to respond, when possible. While reports to the departmental liaisons may be anonymous, there may be instances in which the reported information cannot be held in confidence, as detailed in the next section.
If you have concerns about the climate of the department, you can also contact any member of the department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team, which represents a broad cross-section of the department. These members can also assist you with the process of reporting harassment or other unwelcome behavior. The team’s members include:
- Adam Levine, Associate Professor, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Garrett Allen, Undergraduate Student, email@example.com
- Melissa Blakey, Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Veronica Ciocanel, Assistant Professor, email@example.com
- Kristen Gerondelis, Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Daniel Hwang, Undergraduate Student, email@example.com
- Demetre Kazaras, Assistant Research Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stephen McKean, Graduate Student, email@example.com
- Chindu Mohanakumar, Graduate Student, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shira Viel, Assistant Professor of the Practice, email@example.com
Confidentiality and mandatory reporting
All of the individuals noted above will strive to respect confidentiality to the greatest degree possible, within the bounds set by university policy and law and the need to address concerns adequately. We must be clear, however, that reports about some sorts of actions require these individuals to report outside the department, providing names and report details, even if confidentiality is requested. In this context, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the policies in links below, including the definitions and examples that clarify the meaning of “harassment.”
- A report of violations of the Duke University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct requires that the officers or staff of the department (as noted above) inform the Office of Institutional Equity.
- A report of violations of the Duke University Student Sexual Misconduct Policy requires all university employees to notify the Duke University Office of Student Conduct. Graduate students who learn of violations of the policy while they are acting in a professional capacity, such as a teaching assistant, are not exempt from this reporting requirement.
- The Duke University Policy on Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships prohibits any such relationships where there is a supervisory context and may require the disclosure of such relationships to an appropriate superior.
However, there are professionals outside the department who are exempt from mandatory reporting requirements, listed in Section II below. Discussions with them about the sorts of actions described in the policies noted above can take place without the shared information being disclosed to others.
What to expect from a report?
We will do our utmost to maintain the confidentiality and protect the interests of individuals reporting misconduct while pursuing a suitable response to that misconduct.
In cases of workplace conduct that is unprofessional but not discriminatory, departmental liaisons or other faculty or staff will take action as appropriate in consultation with department officers. Department officers may also decide to consult with offices outside the department, such as Staff and Labor Relations (in Human Resources), in an effort to properly address concerns. Where reported misconduct involves more serious forms of violation, including discrimination, department officers report to the Office of Institutional Equity or Duke University Office of Student Conduct to cooperate on an appropriate response to a complaint.
The department will be informed in a timely manner, including through regular reports from its departmental liaisons, about actions taken in response to a complaint. If some time has elapsed without information about results, it is perfectly reasonable for a complainant to go through any of the channels listed above to inquire about progress.
II. Outside the department
Through its Office for Institutional Equity, Duke University provides an avenue to address concerns. The OIE website is a useful place to begin. It includes a form for reporting incidents and elaboration of the university policies mentioned above.
The Graduate School has also launched a new interactive guide to help Ph.D. and master’s students better understand the options, resources, and processes for addressing concerns of harassment, discrimination, and related problems.
Outside department channels, whom to contact for help?
The following professionals are exempt from the reporting requirements discussed above.
- Ada Gregory, University Ombudsperson for Students, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-684-6334. Information about what the ombudsperson can and cannot do is at https://oie.duke.edu/about-us/ombudsperson
- Thomas B. Metzloff, University Ombudsperson for Faculty, Metzloff@law.duke.edu, 919-613-7055.
- Student Health
- Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Counseling & Psychological Services
- Clergy acting as such in their professional role at the university
Other helpful resources include:
- Office of Student Conduct
- Duke University Police
- Personal Assistance Service for all employees (faculty and staff)