Reporting concerns – SMPH Shared Guidelines for Professional Conduct

All SMPH community members are responsible for upholding the school’s Shared Guidelines for Professional Conduct. If you experience or witness behavior contrary to the expectations set forth in those guidelines, there are several possible options depending on what has occurred, the role(s) of those involved, whether informal or formal resolution is pursued, and whether anonymity is desired.

Specific circumstances will determine reporting options and next steps

Conflict in an organization’s environment can arise in multiple ways, ranging from interpersonal disputes about performance to violations of institution’s policies or committing unlawful practices. The circumstances of an issue determine appropriate next steps.

Informal versus formal means of resolution

In some situations, informal conflict resolution can be an effective measure. The following are examples of informal approaches:

  • Directly approach the individual whose behavior is unwelcome. Tell them how their behavior affected you and tell them that you don’t want it to happen again.
  • Ask for an intermediary to approach the individual on your behalf. This could be a trusted colleague at the department, school, or campus level.
  • Bring the matter to the attention of someone in a position of authority such as your supervisor, program director, graduate advisor, departmental chair, or – if the person involved is the supervisor, advisor or chair – the appropriate associate dean or HR representative.
  • Seek out advice from the Ombuds Office.
  • Confer with Hostile and Intimidating Behavior (HIB) liaisons for guidance about filing a complaint.
    • Definition of hostile and intimidating behavior —sometimes known by the shorthand term “bullying.” This is defined in university policy as “unwelcome behavior pervasive or severe enough that a reasonable person would find it hostile and/or intimidating and that does not further the University’s academic or operational interests.”
  • Build skill and comfort in conflict resolution via professional development offered through UW–Madison, UW Health, professional societies, and other resources. While lifelong learning is this area is important for every individual in the school, SMPH leaders in particular are advised and encouraged to continually deepen competency in preventing and resolving conflict by engaging in development opportunities and seeking counsel from subject matter experts.
  • The SMPH Employee Relations team is available to discuss matters involving SMPH employees and can be contacted at

Formal approaches involve filing a formal complaint or grievance. Options include:


In some cases, anonymity is desired when reporting an issue. There are limitations about what can and cannot arise from anonymous complaints. In general, anonymous complaints help lead to a central understanding of potential organizational or unit climate issues over time, but prevent follow-up on specific situations.

Due to state and federal laws, anonymity is not possible for certain matters such as sexual harassment, sexual violence, child abuse or neglect, and crimes occurring on university property. Individuals designated as Responsible Employees at UW–Madison have mandatory reporting requirements in these areas, as described by the UW–Madison Office of Compliance. Read more

Who to contact

  • Employment concerns: The SMPH Employment Relations team is available to discuss matters involving SMPH employees and can be contacted at
  • Research training concerns: Contact the SMPH Office of Basic Research Training via the Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies.
  • Health professions student concerns: Contact the SMPH Student Mistreatment Reporting Committee by submitting a report online.
  • Patient, family and visitor discriminatory behavior concerns (UW Health): Refer to UW Health policy 1.2.22, “Patient, Family, and Visitor Discriminatory Requests or Behavior” (available on U-Connect intranet; access using UW Health login).