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Policies and Procedures
- Section XI - 3.00(A) UMB BEHAVIORAL EVALUATION AND THREAT ASSESSMENT POLICY
This Policy (Policy) is intended to promote a safe environment for all University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students, faculty, staff, volunteers, visitors, and affiliate employees. This Policy establishes (a) a zero tolerance philosophy for threats and acts of aggression or violence; (b) guidelines for conduct; (c) the requirement to report threats and acts of aggression or violence; and (d) the requirement to be sensitive to and consider reporting warning signs of threats and acts of aggression or violence.
A. Affiliate: (1) a faculty practice organization (or its subsidiary) established with authorization of the Board of Regents, (2) the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), (3) University Physicians, Inc., (4) the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC), or (5) any affiliated entity, foundation, or alumni organization established with authorization of the Board of Regents.
B. Affiliate Personnel: A person who is an employee, agent, contractor, invitee, or volunteer of an Affiliate.
C. Aggression: Oral or written statements or physical actions that intentionally or recklessly create reasonable fear or apprehension of, or cause, (1) bodily harm, (2) threat to the safety of another person, or (3) damage to physical property.
D. BETA Team: Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment Team
E. Campus: Any location on the UMB campus (including UMMC). Also, any work or education site owned, leased, operated, or controlled by UMB.
F. Off-campus Sites: Locations other than the Campus where students, faculty or staff are assigned to work or study (for example, clinical placement sites, Shady Grove, hospitals other than UMMC). The VAMC is an Off-campus Site.
G. Educational Interest: A School Official’s legitimate need to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for UMB. These responsibilities include, for all employees, maintaining the safety and security of the campus. This exception applies whether or not there is an emergency situation.
H. Education Records: Records in paper, electronic, photographic and other formats which contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained in official working files by UMB. This includes University Associate’s Reports (see VII.E.3.j.) kept by the BETA Team. Information gained by UMB about a student through observation of or through conversation with the student or others is not an Education Record unless reduced to writing.
I. School Official: (1) A person employed by UMB or the University System of Maryland administration in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or research position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); (2) a person or company acting as UMB’s contractor to provide a service that otherwise would or could be provided by UMB employees or officials (for example, attorneys, auditors, health care providers, and collection agents); (3) a person employed by a management company for UMB affiliated housing located on UMB-owned property; (4) a person serving on the Board of Regents; or (5) a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting a School Official in performing his/her professional responsibilities for UMB.
J. Threat: An intentional or reckless indication that a person may commit an act of Aggression or Violence toward a person or thing.
K. Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior: Conduct (whether or not intended to be humorous) which is objectively or reasonably perceived by another as a Threat, as Violence, or as Aggression.
Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to, the conduct described below:
- Unwelcome name-calling; disparaging or excessively obscene language; hate speech; and other abusive language.
- Direct or indirect Threats.
- Carrying or possessing a gun, firearm, ammunition, other weapon or replica of a weapon on Campus or at Off-campus Sites, excluding law enforcement officers required to do so or individuals with prior written approval from the UMB Chief of Police.
- Physically intimidating actions, including but not limited to acts such as obscene gestures, “getting in someone’s face,” and fist shaking.
- Touching another person (by direct contact or with an object) in an intimidating, malicious or sexual manner. This includes, but is not limited to, acts such as hitting, slapping, poking, kicking, pinching, grabbing, and pushing.
- Throwing objects in the workplace, regardless of the size or type of object being thrown and whether a person is the target of the thrown object.
L. University Associates: Students, faculty and staff of UMB on Campus and at Off-campus Sites; also, volunteers, visiting students and scholars, Affiliate Personnel, and invitees on Campus (for example, vendors, applicants, clients, patients, museum visitors).
M. Violence: Any intentional or reckless act that causes (1) pain or injury to another person; or (2) damage to property
A. University Associates are encouraged to be alert to Warning Signs below and to report Warning Signs exhibited by another University Associate to appropriate School/Department administrators and/or UMB offices trained in evaluating such behavior. University Associates, regardless of their professional training and experience, are encouraged not to attempt to evaluate and respond to Warning Signs without seeking assistance from UMB resources.
B. Unfortunately, there is no proven method of predicting when someone may become violent. It is important to keep this in mind when attempts are made to identify Warning Signs. It is particularly important to consider the context of things considered to be Warning Signs. For example, voice tone, level of familiarity with the person making troubling statements, and the presence of other Warning Signs should all be considered. Below are some indicators that warrant closer attention and may warrant intervention and/or reporting.
- Making threats of suicide or statements about hurting one’s self. Threats might be direct, or indirect (for example, hints).
- Making implied threats of Violence.
- Expressing fascination with firearms, other weapons, or bombs, or asserting ownership of firearms, other weapons, or bombs, or the materials to manufacture them.
- Expressing fascination with weaponization of chemical or biological materials, or asserting the ability to produce such weapons.
- Having a known history of Violence.
- Preoccupation with computer games, movies, television, music, and/or stories about Violence.
- Identification with criminal or terrorist individuals, acts and/or philosophy.
- Making frequent or recurrent suggestions that incidents of publicized Violence may be repeated at UMB.
- Maintaining a preoccupation with incidents of publicized Violence (for example, collecting articles and photos, showing fascination with perpetrators of Violence).
- Intimidating others; acting with belligerence or defiance toward others; frequently becoming confrontational.
- Crossing professional and personal boundaries (for example, excessive phone calls, text messages, or e-mails; excessive impromptu visits; giving gifts inappropriately).
- Being easily provoked; showing sudden or erratic agitation with others.
- Blaming others for anything that goes wrong; failure to acknowledge any personal responsibility for disappointments or difficulties.
- Showing recent, marked academic (or job) performance decline.
- Demonstrating notable changes in personality, mood or behavior.
- Giving away personal possessions.
- Showing notable decline in personal hygiene and personal appearance.
- Abusing alcohol or other drugs, particularly marked increase in substance abuse.
- Behavior reflecting social isolation/alienation.
C. In addition, listed below are some situational contexts that would not be considered Warning Signs in and of themselves. Knowledge of such contexts may influence judgment about the level of risk indicated by Warning Signs. Knowledge of some of these contexts may indicate that more proactive efforts are needed to increase support in an effort to prevent Violence against one’s self or others.
- Anticipation of severe consequences, such as failing out of school or being expelled due to serious conduct code violations (especially if shame or embarrassment is heightened due to situational and/or cultural factors).
- Lack of support regarding a history of actual or perceived victimization (discrimination, bullying, or other forms of oppression around race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical characteristics, mental functioning, disability, etc.).
- Severe stressors in personal life (for example, financial, health, family or marital problems).
D. Each School will provide its students with instructions concerning a School contact who can assist a student in reporting Warning Signs exhibited by a fellow student.
A. University Associates must feel secure at the Campus and in Off-campus Sites in order to focus on their studies, research, duties, and responsibilities. Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior by any University Associate toward another University Associate, or toward the community on Campus or at an Off-campus Site, will not be tolerated.
B. Any University Associate having knowledge of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior toward another University Associate on Campus must report the behavior immediately to the University Police. The University Associate also may report the behavior to a BETA Team member, the Employee Assistance Program, the UMB Counseling Center, an appropriate school/department administrator, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resource Services, or the Office of Student and Employee Health.
C. University Associates are encouraged to report Warning Signs exhibited by another University Associate. Warning Signs may be reported to a BETA Team member, the Employee Assistance Program, the UMB Counseling Center, an appropriate school/department administrator, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resource Services, or the Office of Student and Employee Health.
D. A University Associate who is a victim of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior may be assisted, with limited confidentiality , by administrative and counseling (for faculty, staff and students of UMB) services available at the Campus. Any University Associate responsible for Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior will be subject to appropriate administrative/disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from school (for students), termination of employment (for faculty and staff of UMB), and removal from UMB premises (for volunteers and other invitees).
E. UMB will not condone any form of retaliation against a University Associate who reports in good faith Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior or Warning Signs. Similarly, UMB will not condone the deliberate filing of false reports of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior or Warning Signs.
F. Reports of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior by a UMB faculty, staff or student at an Off-campus Site are subject to this Policy as well as the policies of the Off-campus Site and applicable local laws. Reports that a person affiliated with an Off-campus Site, or Affiliate Personnel, is responsible for Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior toward a UMB faculty, staff or student are subject to this Policy to the extent practical in order to protect the UMB faculty, staff, or student and/or to remove him or her from a potentially harmful Off-campus Site.
G. If a University Associate reports Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior by Affiliate Personnel, UMB will notify appropriate officials of the Affiliate and seek cooperation from the Affiliate to investigate and resolve the matter.
H. Nothing in this Policy will be interpreted to require the UMB Police or any other law enforcement unit to delay investigations, arrests, or other appropriate law enforcement actions for the protection of University Associates or the public.
Under UMB policy and applicable law, it is permissible for School Officials to disclose personally identifiable information to other School Officials who have an Educational Interest in order to fulfill a professional responsibility to UMB and/or University Associates. Similar disclosures may be made to appropriate individuals outside UMB in connection with a health and safety emergency after considering the severity of the matter, the need for information, the time required to deal with the emergency, and the ability of those to whom a disclosure is made to deal with the emergency. Institutional investigations of charges may require the complainant’s identity to be known by the accused. Information gained by UMB about a student through observation of or through conversation with the student or others and not reduced to writing should be treated sensitively but is not confidential.
VI. Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) Team
A. The Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA)Team coordinates activities responsive to reports of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior. The BETA Team consists of appointed, standing representatives of the following offices: Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resource Services (410-706-7302); Employee Assistance Program (410-328-5860); UMB Counseling Center (410-328-8404); University Police (24-hour emergency service at x 711, 410-706-6882, 410-706-3333); Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (410-706-1850); and Student and Employee Health Services (410-328-2686). An attorney from the UMB Office of University Counsel (410-706-5353) will serve as legal advisor to the BETA Team and will involve the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland as necessary. The BETA Team Chair may include a representative from the Office of External Affairs (410-706-5020) on a case by case basis. The BETA Team Chair may add other representatives on an ad-hoc basis. The BETA Team roster will be posted on the UMB website and other designated places.
B. All standing and ad-hoc members of the BETA Team are considered to be (1) School Officials who have legitimate educational interests in accessing the education records of a student involved in an incident referred to the BETA Team; and (2) UMB officials with a legitimate interest in accessing the employment records and/or other personal information of a University Associate other than a student involved in an incident referred to the BETA Team.
C. The representative from the University Police will chair the BETA Team. The BETA Team will hold regular meetings on a bi-annual basis. Special meetings to address reports of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior may be called by the Chair or designee, at the request of any BETA Team member(s), or at the request of the UMB President, a Dean, or Vice President. Special meetings may be held in person, by conference call, or by a combination thereof. Alternates may participate if a BETA Team member is unavailable; at least four members or their alternates must participate to achieve a quorum.
VII. General Procedures
A. A University Associate who has been subject to Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior on Campus must report the incident immediately to the University Police. A University Associate may make an additional report about the incident to a BETA Team member (link roster on the UMB website), the Employee Assistance Program, the UMB Counseling Center, an appropriate school/department administrator, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resource Services, or the Office of Student and Employee Health.
B. A University Associate who has been subject to Threatening, Aggressive, or Violent Behavior off campus and is concerned that the behavior may lead to Aggression or Violence on Campus or at an Off-campus Site must report incidents immediately and seek assistance, as appropriate, from the University Police. In such cases, reports should also be made to the security or police unit having jurisdiction over the site where the Threatening, Aggressive, or Violent Behavior took place, or the Off-campus Site involved. Matters occurring off campus, including at Off-campus Sites, are not under the jurisdiction of University Police.
C. All reports and identities of involved University Associates will be shared with others only on a need-to-know basis. (See Section V. Confidentiality.)
D. Reasonable precautions will be taken to protect victims of, and those reporting, Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior.
1. Responsibilities of University Associates Who Have Been Subject to Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior.
i. the University Police immediately to report Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior (see definitions in Sections II. C.,J.,K.,M.); and
ii. also, at the option of the University Associate, the Employee Assistance Program, the UMB Counseling Center, appropriate school/department administrator, and/or a member of the BETA Team, to report incidents of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior (see Sections II. C.,J.,K.,M.), or Warning Signs (see Section III) and of the need for assistance.
b. If necessary, discuss with appropriate school/department administrator and/or Employee/Labor Relations - Human Resource Services, options available for scheduling, leave, work location, academic assignment location, classes, means of travel to and from work/school, parking assignment, return to duty, activities on campus, etc. that may reduce risk of exposure to continuing Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior.
c. If possible, provide to University Police a recent photograph of the individual perpetrating the Threatening, Aggressive, or Violent Behavior.
d. Maintain close communications with the assigned BETA Team liaison (see Section VII.E.3.b.) to report any developments and to receive assistance.
2. Responsibilities of School/ Department administrators
- Be aware of Warning Signs (see Section III) of University Associates, and, if appropriate, make referrals to Employee Assistance Program, UMB Counseling Center or other health services.
- Be alert to and report real or potential Threatening, Violent or Aggressive Behaviors of University Associates.
- Be aware of unusual absences of University Associates.
- Be aware of any signs of physical abuse of University Associates.
- Be available to support University Associates who wish to discuss and may need to report Threatening, Violent or Aggressive Behavior on the University Associate’s Report Form (attached).
- Complete and submit the University Associate’s Report Form (attached) if aware that it has not or will not be submitted by the involved University Associate.
- Consult the University Police and/or a representative of the BETA Team to discuss observations and concerns and to discuss a strategy to deal with Threatening, Violent or Aggressive Behavior.
- Maintain confidentiality of any involved University Associate or anyone reporting Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior, except as required by this Policy and otherwise on a need-to-know basis (See Confidentiality, Section V.)
- Honor all civil protection orders (restraining orders or other court ordered sanctions) by coordination and contact with the University Police.
- Ensure that a reporting University Associate has provided information including a recent photograph of the threatening person, if available, to the University Police.
- Be sensitive to the reporting University Associate’s needs and to the seriousness of the situation. Be prepared to make modifications to work or class schedules, locations and other operational situations on at least a temporary basis.
- Provide the reporting University Associate with a copy of this Policy and other supporting information.
- Maintain close communications with the BETA Team to report any developments and to receive assistance.
3. Responsibilities of the BETA Team
- When a report is received by any BETA Team member, that member will contact the Chair, who will call a special BETA Team meeting promptly to share information with BETA Team members and, if appropriate, conduct an assessment of the reported incident and develop a strategy and plan.
- Assign a member to act as resource and/or liaison to both the reporting University Associate and the school/department administrator in handling the situation.
- Cooperate and communicate regularly with the reporting University Associate and the appropriate school/department administrator.
- Develop a safety plan for the reporting University Associate.
- Work with the school/department to develop administrative options and arrangements.
- If a reporting University Associate and/or UMB student, faculty or staff responsible for the reported behavior has been referred to a shelter or counseling resource, maintain liaison with the resource and the person(s) referred.
- Maintain confidentiality of any involved University Associate or anyone reporting Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior, except as required by this Policy and otherwise on a need-to-know basis. (See Confidentiality, Section V.)
- Coordinate BETA Team effort with action under other relevant policies (for example, sexual harassment policy, school judicial board policies).
- Regularly review strategies and plans, as necessary, for on-going situations/incidents.
- Keep records of reports and BETA Team actions to assess risk and to evaluate UMB response to Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior. Copies of documents will be maintained by the Chair of the BETA Team.
F. Administrative/Disciplinary Process/Consequences
1. A University Associate reported to have committed incidents of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior may be subject to appropriate administrative/disciplinary processes. Staff members are governed by appropriate policies for non-exempt and exempt staff which could result in penalties up to and including discharge. UMB students or faculty will be referred to the appropriate School’s Dean for action under established School and UMB procedures, which could result in penalties up to and including expulsion of students or termination of faculty appointments.
2. Administrative/disciplinary remedies available to address Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior by UMB students include, but are not limited to: (a) administrative counseling; (b) reprimand, suspension, reassignment, or community service; (c) withheld or unsatisfactory references or certifications for post-degree training or employment, licensing, and employment-related academic assignments; (d) permanent or temporary entry of notations in student files; (e) denial of, or removal from, UMB-operated or affiliated student housing; (f) expulsion; (g) voluntary or mandatory UMB Counseling Center referral and treatment; or (h) psychological or psychiatric evaluation.
3. Administrative/disciplinary actions available to address Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior by UMB faculty or staff include, but are not limited to: (a) administrative counseling; (b) reprimand, suspension, and/or demotion; (c) denial of pay increase or promotion; (d) unsatisfactory performance evaluation; (e) reassignment; (f) termination; (g) voluntary or mandatory Employee Assistance Program referral and treatment; or (h) psychological or psychiatric evaluation.
4. UMB students, faculty and staff are subject to arrest and criminal prosecution for unlawful conduct. Arrest and criminal prosecution will be considered in cases of Threatening, Aggressive or Violent Behavior. Administrative and disciplinary processes are independent of criminal prosecutions.
5. Persons who are not UMB students, faculty or staff who commit incidents of Threats, Aggression, or Violence at the Campus will be removed from the Campus under authority of the President. In addition, they are subject to arrest and criminal prosecution for unlawful conduct.
Keywords: BETA, behavior, threat, risk, violent, violence, aggressive, safety, “warning signs,” suicide and weapon.
University Associate’s Report [08/12]
Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) Team
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE
(To be completed by employee/student/affiliate at time of incident)
University Associate Name: __________________________________________ I.D. # ___________
Last First Middle
Date of Birth: Student: _____ or Employee: ______ Full Time or Part Time (circle one)
Home Address:_______________________________________________ Home Phone: _____________
Address City State Zip Code
Present Title: __________________________________ Employment/School Start Date:_____________
Dept/School Address: __________________________________________________________________
Address City State Zip Code
Date of Incident: ______________________ Time: ____________ am / pm
Incident Location: _____________________________________________________________________
Address City State Zip code
When was Incident reported to Supervisor/Advisor? Date: _____________ Time: ____________ am / pm
Describe the incident in detail (your activities at that time): _____________________________________
Describe any physical injury and specific part(s) of body affected: _______________________________
Was medical treatment sought? If so, where? ________________________________________________
City State Zip Code Phone
Name(s) of witness(es): _________________________________________________________________
Signature of University Associate: _________________________________________ Date:__________
FAX Immediately to: