Bias Response Team Members
UMaine Bias Response Team
Anila Karunakar, Co-Chair
Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The University of Maine is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community climate that is respectful, understanding and civil. There are times, however, when biased statements, actions and behaviors of community members impact other community members negatively and/or cause harm including fear. Bias and hate-related incidents degrade institutional trust, impair open and honest collaboration, and impede the learning and collegiate experience of those affected. Although some bias or hate-motivated, prejudicial and other disrespectful acts and behavior may be constitutionally protected speech and thus not subject to the university disciplinary process or a formal investigation, the Bias Response Team will still address the negative impact of bias and hate-motivated behavior on the campus community and recommend steps to mitigate these harmful results.
The UMaine Bias Response Team (BRT) serves the UMaine community by: 1) offering a system and processes that invite students, faculty, and staff to document and address the impacts of bias-related incidents, behaviors and actions, and 2) assuring that institutional values are broadly known and reinforced.
The BRT does not replace or subordinate any existing processes for reporting or addressing acts of discrimination, harassment, concern or violence that may violate law and/or university policy. The team does not investigate incidents but can/will refer reported incidents to law enforcement and/or the appropriate university office (e.g., Office of Equal Opportunity; Community Standards, Rights and Responsibilities; Human Resources, etc.). The BRT limits its response to addressing community impact and to reinforcing institutional values.
Senior associate Director, Office of International Programs