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Resources for Graduate Students

Reporting and Resolving Incidents

If you encounter unacceptable behavior (see above), please document it and report it to at least one the following people.

Please note that, given the university’s retaliation policies, the department cannot on its own exclude faculty, students, or staff from academic activities. Such interventions are only possible as a result of a formal investigation (which would be carried out by OEOD) – the department itself has no power to restrict access to such activities. For more OEOD, see the following report:

Please also note that Mandatory Reporters must follow up with the OEOD on any compliant that involves prohibited behavior such as sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment, invasions of sexual privacy, or engaging in retaliation. Although they will strive to respect your privacy, they cannot guarantee anonymity.

If you wish to remain strictly confidential, you can seek advice or help from these campus sources:

Counseling Center, which is open to everyone associated with UCI (students, faculty and staff), and useful especially in cases of emergencies: 949-824-6457,

Ombudsman’s Office, a channel to discuss complaints, concerns, or problems confidentially in a neutral environment: MSTB 205, 949-824-7256,

EAP (Employee Assistance Program) for staff, postdoctoral researchers & faculty: 949-824-3273

CARE (UCI Campus Assault Resources and Education), who can provide counseling and consultation free of charge to enrolled students: 949-824-7273,
Contact Role Affiliations Mandated Reporter to OEOD?
Karl Schafer Supports the graduate student community with a focus on issues of diversity and inclusion. UCI Dept. of Philosophy
Phong Luong Supports graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with their academic journey. This includes additional academic support, time management skills, effective communication skills, and referrals to campus or community resources. Graduate Division     Yes
Kirsten Quanbeck or Teresa Truman Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Officers
This office is responsible for formal investigations in all such matters on campus.
See Discrimination Policies of UCI
UCI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD)
UCI Counseling Center
Strives to assist students with their academic success by developing dimensions of well-being. The Counseling Center provides short-term individual, couples, group, and family counseling. The Center also assists students with urgent care and psychological testing. UCI Counseling
UCI Student Health
No, with a few exceptions
Ombudsman’s Office 949-824-7256
MSTB 205
An alternate channel to discuss complaints, concerns or problems confidentially in a neutral environment.   No, with exceptions
EAP (Employee Assistance Program) 949-824-3273 Personal issues, planning for life events or simply managing daily life can affect your work, health and family. Provides support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. UCI Work Life Wellness
UCI Health
CARE (UCI Campus Assault Resources and Education) 949-824-7273 Can provide counseling, consultation and a variety of services free of charge to enrolled students.   No, with exceptions

Guidelines for Respectful Discussion 

The use of these guidelines should typically be announced by a chair and/or determined in advance by the group. If the guidelines are perceived to be violated, the chair is encouraged to gently point this out, either at the time or later. There can be reasonable disagreement about violations, but debate is best left until afterwards. Violating these guidelines does not make one a bad person – violations of these guidelines should be treated as an opportunity to improve behavior.

1. Respectful Interaction
• Be respectful.
• Don’t be incredulous, roll your eyes, make faces, laugh at a participant, or start side conversations.
• Don’t present objections as flat dismissals; always leave open the possibility that there’s a response.
• Don’t speak over others, especially toward the beginning of an exchange (later in a long exchange or a long speech, there can be more room for back and forth with interruption, but it’s always good to let people get their point out first).
• Try to acknowledge your interlocutor’s insights as well as those of previous contributors.

2. Constructive Interaction
• Objections are fine, but it’s also always helpful to build on a speaker’s project. And objections can often be cast in a constructive way. Indeed, even destructive objections can often be usefully accompanied by a positive insight suggested by the target work.
• If you find yourself thinking that the project is worthless and there is nothing to be learned from it, think twice before asking your question.
• It’s ok to question the presuppositions of a project or an area, but discussions in which these questions dominate can be unhelpful.
• There’s no need to keep pressing the same objection (individually or collectively) until the speaker says uncle. Understand that Q&A may not always be the best time to fully develop a response to some objection. Respect the fact that even very intelligent people think at different speeds “in the moment”.
• Remember that philosophy isn’t a winner-takes-all, zero-sum game.

3. Inclusiveness
• Don’t dominate the discussion (partial exception for the speaker). Be conscious of how much you are speaking and whether others have had a chance to speak.
• Try not to let your question (or your answer) run on forever. Raise one question per question (follow-ups developing a line of thought are often ok, but questions on separate topics can wait). When possible, try to save further discussion until after the Q&A or until everyone has had a chance to speak.
• It’s often extremely helpful to ask a question that you think may be unsophisticated or uninformed.
• Don’t use unnecessarily offensive or potentially triggering examples.

Chairs should attempt to balance discussion between participants, prioritizing people who haven’t spoken before, and keeping in mind the likelihood of various biases (e.g. implicit gender biases) when calling on questioners and applying these guidelines.

Diversity and Inclusiveness in Teaching

Studies have shown that all students benefit from learning in a diverse environment in which all students participate freely in discussion. In order to promote diversity and inclusiveness in their teaching, instructors (including TA’s) are encouraged to:

1. Create an inclusive learning environment and make use of teaching techniques that promote the equal and balanced participation of students. Be aware that there might be students in your class that have difficulties participating due to a variety of reasons, including some connected to their social identities, language barriers, and personal issues. Do not force students to participate, but adopt method that facilitate participation without anxiety, such as structured group activities, small group discussions, silent assignments, anonymous peer reviewing, and online discussions. Small group and collaborative projects, for instance, encourage non-competitive discussion and learning and cross-cultural communication, especially if assigned across racial/ethnic or gender lines.

2. Be aware of implicit biases and adopt methods that help avoid them. Instructors can hold explicit and implicit assumptions about students’ capability for academic success, often tied to students’ social identities. Such assumptions affect students’ success. Examples are biases concerning the intellectual abilities, learning styles, and behavior of students of certain backgrounds, connecting accents and/or substandard writing capacities to lack of intellectual capacities, treating students with physical disabilities as if they also had mental disabilities, or assuming that students who need help will reach out for help. Techniques that help avoid implicit biases include self-assessing one’s biases (, anonymous grading when possible, and getting students’ feedback through surveys or mid-term evaluations.

3. Be aware of and avoid microaggression on your part; stop microaggression between students if you notice it or it is brought to your attention. Microaggression in the classroom can assume many forms, from misspelling and mispronouncing students’ names repeatedly, to improper ways of addressing students, from calling on students of different genders and races unequally, to connecting people’s abilities to their social identities. A useful list of common microaggressions can be found here:

4. Educate students toward respectful learning activities and discussions. You might include a few lines on this in the syllabus and explicitly address the issue during class. Topics might include how to interact respectfully and constructively with each other, appropriate and inappropriate behavior in class, respectful disagreement, learning from differences, being aware of and opposing stereotypes, implicit biases, and microaggressions. In particular, instructors are invited to be aware of typical gender dynamics in classroom discussions, to encourage underrepresented minorities to speak, and to discourage a few voices from dominating the debate, when this happens. When instructors notice disrespectful interactions taking place, it can be helpful for the instructor to shield students by restating their questions and concerns so as to mediate the interactions between students.

5. Acknowledge racial, class or cultural differences in the classroom, and when discussing sensitive or controversial issues, anticipate emotional responses and sometimes conflict. If the situation creates hostility or disrespect, the instructor may need to intervene and remind students of rules of appropriate behavior; instructors should do so in a manner that helps students see the “learning moment” that the conflict provides.

6. Use inclusive language. This includes avoiding the use of masculine pronouns for both males and females during lectures and in teaching materials; avoiding or explaining American idioms for non-native English speakers; making use of different and non-stereotypical examples in lectures and teaching materials; encouraging students to make their gender pronouns explicit, if they wish (without asking them to do if they do not feel comfortable); possibly adding the instructor’s own gender pronouns to their email signature and LMS accounts (e.g. Canvas).

7. Ensure the accessibility of your teaching materials, including files in word, pdf, power point and other formats, and videos. Examples are the use of recommended fonts, the addition of alternative text descriptions to images, the respect of contrast ratio requirement for colors, and the availability of captions and/or transcripts for videos. A checklist of accessibility requirements and recommendations is available through the DTEI website (