ACS Workplace Complaints and Conflict Resolution

Adopted 11 April 2019.

The Department of African Cultural Studies (ACS) is committed to promoting an environment of mutual respect between all of its faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and students. When possible, individuals should attempt to resolve conflicts and differences amongst themselves in a cordial and professional manner, but ACS recognizes that situations may arise when mediation is necessary.

No matter the nature of a workplace conflict, involved parties should feel welcome to confidentially discuss matters with ACS advisors, faculty members outside the conflict, and campus bodies such as the Ombuds Office and Human Resources (HR). Union representatives are also available to listen and provide input to individuals.

When a conflict not readily soluble between the involved parties occurs, and one or more affected person(s) would like to consider officially reporting the matter, it is advisable to speak with a member of the ACS Executive Committee (i.e., a tenured faculty member in ACS) for an initial consultation. It is that faculty member’s responsibility to document that consultation and inform the ACS chair. The chair and/or the Executive Committee, depending upon the chair’s discretion, may then recommend direct mediation or for the involved parties to consult with the Ombuds and/or HR, which is always the right of UW affiliates in any workplace conflict.

Within one (1) week of being informed of the conflict, the chair should respond with a recommendation on how the involved parties should proceed. If all parties confirm that ACS itself can remedy the situation, the chair may delegate another ACS faculty member with whom to consult and to formally recommend such a solution (e.g., temporary reassignment of teaching duties, redistribution of responsibilities, an agreement that the involved parties be able to meet and work together only in the presence of another ACS employee, etc.). In order to ensure fairness to all involved parties in each case, the chair and any delegated faculty member overseeing this process will fully document and report their recommendations to ACS administrators for record-keeping purposes.

No more than two (2) weeks after these documented recommendations have been made, the chair and/or delegated faculty member will officially follow up with the involved parties. If matters remain unresolved at that point, ACS may formally refer the matter to the appropriate campus office (e.g., HR or the Dean of Students), with whom the chair will coordinate if further recommendations or interventions are made from outside the department.

All ACS employees and students should be aware of campus policies. The main resources appear below.

  1. Wisconsin Executive Order #54 <>
  2. Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (applies to designated UW Madison Employees) <>

III.    Mandatory Sexual Assault Reporting <>

  1. Consensual Relationships Information <>
  2. Title IX Compliance Responsibilities <>