Report a Bias Incident


What is a bias incident?

bias incident is any act that appears and/or is perceived by the targeted person(s) to be motivated by hostility toward one or more of their identities (i.e., race, religion, nationality, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, etc.). A bias incident does not need to rise to the level of a violation of university policy or the law.

What is a hate crime?

hate crime is a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offenders bias(es) against race, religion, nationality, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. If you are a victim of or witness to a hate crime, please contact the Valparaiso University Police Department at (219)464-5430.

Who can submit a Bias Incident Report?

The Bias Incident Report Form is available to EVERYONE to report an incident of bias impacting a member of the Valparaiso Community.

Faculty and staff – remember – You are obligated to report things you experience, see and hear as a responsible employee of Valparaiso University.

How do I submit a Bias Incident Report?

If you have experienced, witnessed, or been informed about an incident of bias and/or hate, you have three options to submit a report.

  1.  An online report form is available at Once the online form has been completed, the Bias Incident Assistance and Support (B.I.A.S) Committee will receive an email notification.
  2. You may submit a phone report by calling Valparaiso University Police Department (VUPD) at 219.464.5430. VUPD is available 24/7.
  3. You can request an in-person report be submitted by speaking directly to any Valparaiso University Faculty or Staff member.

Please use this form to report an incident of bias impacting a member of the Valparaiso community. Reports will be received during business hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding university holidays and closures). Reports received outside of business hours will be received during the next business day. All new reports will be reviewed by the Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee during their weekly meeting and any necessary contact will be made following that discussion.

If you are concerned about the immediate health and safety of yourself or someone else, call 911 or the Valparaiso University Police Department (VUPD) at 219.464.5430.  

What happens after I submit a report?

A member of the Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting. The committee member will:

  • Listen and support you as you provide details of the incident
  • Identify campus resources to help you understand your options
  • Walk you through what to expect should you choose to use the recommended resources.

After your in-person meeting and referrals, you will receive an email from your committee member to make sure the B.I.A.S Committee has provided you with everything you need to resolve the incident.

Can I report anonymously?

Yes, if you choose to remain anonymous, none of your personal information (i.e., name, email, IP address) will be reported. However, Valparaiso University may have an institutional or legal obligation to address a reported incident, to investigate meaningfully, or to take corrective action (where warranted), and therefore the University cannot guarantee confidentiality where it would conflict with Valparaiso University’s legal obligation. This means anyone named in a report may be followed up with. In the event we are provided with the alleged perpetrator personal information, it will only be shared with individuals with legitimate need to know, in compliance with University policy for follow-up and resolution.

Why should I report a bias incident?

  • We cannot do it alone! Valparaiso University is continuously assessing the campus climate and evolving our practices to serve the campus community better. We need your report so we can be better! 
  • Also, when incidents go un-addressed, it creates a sense of shared apathy and can give the impression that a place is unsafe which can negatively affect your, or other people’s, health and happiness. 
  • All campuses struggle with bias incidents. College campuses are the third most common location where bias incidents occur (after residential homes and public places i.e., streets and sidewalks).

Why does Valparaiso University care about bias incidents?

  • Valparaiso University is committed to supporting a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment that can ignite in our students, faculty, and staff a true sense of belonging and help them achieve their greatest potential.
  • It’s the law!  Colleges and Universities are required to track and report bias and hate crimes through laws like Title VII, IX, and the Clery Act.
  • Bias/hate crimes can draw immediate and negative attention to campus, and to recover from the consequences of mishandling of an ”incident” of can take an institution years.
  • A safe and fulfilling campus experience is intrinsic to the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff.

Valparaiso University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Valparaiso University is a welcoming community, grounded in the Lutheran tradition, built on values of mutual respect, positive regard, freedom, and reliant on grace. We strive to boldly include all individuals and groups who contribute to the life of our campus in a mutually beneficial way. Difference is a strength and reason for celebration, and we affirm that we are most inclusive when we bring groups together to make decisions in collaborative, equitable ways. 

Our values do not support language or behavior that demeans members of our campus based on age, appearance, ethnicity, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, biological sex, disabilities (visible and invisible), ideological/political positions, intellectual perspective, socio-economic status, immigration status, veteran status, and national or regional origin.  Actions and behaviors based on positions or perspectives that inherently marginalize, oppress, or deny full dignity to all are not tolerated. 

For more questions about Valparaiso University’s policy, please refer to the Student or Faculty Handbook.

Valparaiso University’s Bias Incident Report function and Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee (the BIAS committee) supports a diverse and affirming campus community, and a safe and inclusive environment for all faculty, staff, students, and guests. The primary focus of the BIAS committee is to ensure the well-being and support of individuals who believe they have witnessed a bias incident and have been affected by that. We want to assure anyone submitting a bias incident report that our committee is dedicated to providing you with the necessary support and resources throughout the process. Your well-being and sense of safety are our top priorities. If you believe you have encountered or witnessed a bias incident, we encourage you to reach out to us. We’re here to listen, offer assistance, and guide you through the available options. Your courage in coming forward not only helps address the immediate concern but also contributes to our ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and understanding within our community. We at Valpo recognize the dignity of all and help to ensure that our campus community is welcoming for all.

The BIAS committee is a University initiative created almost a decade ago. It is co-chaired by the University’s Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Membership includes both staff and faculty. Staff on the BIAS committee include the Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, Chief of Police, the Director of International Students, a full-time faculty member, and an academic administrator as appointed by the University’s Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the University’s Title IX Coordinator. The BIAS committee coordinates a system through which members of the Valpo community can report alleged incidents of bias. The BIAS committee aims to enhance the campus community culture by promoting positive changes and, when appropriate, administering the restorative justice process so both the claimant and witnesses of the alleged incident of bias, and the person or persons that allegedly initiated the incident can learn from one another and avoid the perception of future incidents of bias. The goal is to provide support and resources to the parties involved with the incident. This process does not initiate disciplinary action or impose sanctions or take the place of other Valpo policies and processes that deal with a community members’ conduct, behavior, and safety such as policies and processes under the jurisdiction of the Dean of Students, VU Police Department, the Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, or Provost’s Office. Questions about whether or not an incident is suitable for the BIAS committee or not can be directed to

A bias incident is any act that could be reasonably perceived by the targeted person(s) to be motivated by hostility toward one or more of their identities (i.e., race, religion, nationality, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, etc.). If a reported incident involves – in part or in whole – a violation of University policy, the law, or is otherwise better suited for another department on campus, the BIAS committee transfers the process to the pertinent University office. For example, if the reported incident alleges racial discrimination by a University employee, the matter will be removed from the BIAS committee and sent to the University’s Title IX Coordinator for administration under the Nondiscrimination Policy.

Once a bias incident report is made, or after additional information is sought as described below, the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, academic administrator, or Chief of Police may immediately transfer the report to their relative departments if any of them determine the report may be subject to a policy or process within their own department. The reporter will be given notice of the transfer if possible. The BIAS committee meets to discuss the report at their next meeting. The BIAS committee may decide more information is needed and seek that information for discussion at another meeting. If the report is not transferred to another department, the BIAS committee evaluates the report (and additional information if any) and determines, by majority vote, if the report should move forward with the restorative justice process or some other process to enhance the campus community culture by promoting positive changes (i.e. bias training). If voted to move forward, the BIAS committee provides resources for support, and implements opportunities for educational interventions which may include a meeting with the parties individually or together. The BIAS committee supports affected individuals and groups, provides education, and facilitates dialogue with the aim of repairing any perceived harm caused by an alleged bias incident and preventing future instances of alleged bias. All University community members, including faculty, students, and staff, are encouraged to participate in this process; supporting the creation of a more inclusive environment.

For more information about the BIAS reporting process and BIAS committee, please visit the website:
Approved by President’s Cabinet: April 2, 2024

What does the Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee (B.I.A.S.) do?

B.I.A.S committee’s role is to:
  • Convene weekly to discuss and respond to reported Bias Incidents.
  • Coordinate a comprehensive response to incidents.
  • When possible, hold responsible and provide support to those who identify themselves as involved in a bias incident.
  • Monitor the campus climate around inclusivity and safety.
  • Promote civility and respect by proactively educating the campus community to prevent bias incidents.

B.I.A.S committee Membership:

The Bias Incident Assistance and Support committee is comprised of the following:

  • Co-Chair, Assistant Vice President for Diversity Equity and Inclusion
  • Co-Chair, Title IX Coordinator/ Assistant Director of Office of Multicultural Programs 
  • Member, Dean of Students
  • Member, Executive Director of Human Resources
  • Member, Chief of University Police
  • Member, Director of International Students and Scholars
  • Member, Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs
  • Member, Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling