SA105 – Preventing Student Mistreatment



Approval Body: CASA

Effective Date: 04/16/2013

Category: Students

Last Review: 05/05/2020

Next Review: 05/05/2023

Contact: Charles Snyder, Director of Student Affairs and Community Engagement

🕿 901.448.4939


Related Policies &


Sexual Harassment – See CenterScope

Student Code of Conduct – See CenterScope

Faculty Handbook, §3.2.1 (obligation of students, faculty members, and administrators to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off campus)

Faculty Handbook, §3.8, Faculty-Student Relationships

Code of Conduct – HR Policy 0580


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) strives to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and that strongly discourages any behavior that is incompatible with a positive and supportive learning environment. Accordingly, UTHSC has articulated the following standards of behavior relating to student interactions that are expected of all UTHSC faculty and staff and developed a process for addressing incidents of student mistreatment.


UTHSC has a responsibility to foster in students, postgraduate trainees, faculty, preceptors and other staff the development of professional and collegial attitudes needed to provide caring and compassionate health care. To nurture these attitudes and promote an effective learning environment, an atmosphere of mutual respect and collegiality among teachers and students is essential. While such an environment is extremely important to the educational mission of UTHSC, negative interactions with students sometimes occur due to misunderstandings, lack of appreciation of, or sensitivity to, student perspectives/experience, miscommunication, and, in some instances clinical imperatives that preclude/complicate effective explanation of expectations. These negative interactions may include: sexual harassment; discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age; or purposeful humiliation, verbal abuse, threats, or other psychological punishment. In practice, mistreatment of students may involve incidents in which a faculty or staff member:

  1. speaks insultingly or unjustifiably harshly;
  2. belittles or humiliates;
  3. threatens physical harm;
  4. physically attacks (e.g., hits, slaps, kicks);
  5. demands personal services (e.g., shopping, baby-sitting);
  6. threatens to lower the student’s grade for reasons other than course/clinical performance.

Such actions are unprofessional, contrary to the spirit of learning, and violate the trust between teacher and learner.


When interactions are such that a student feels mistreated, several options are available:

  1. If he/she feels comfortable addressing the matter directly, the student should attempt to explain his/her concerns to the offending individual.
  2. If he/she is reluctant to approach the accuser directly, the student should report his/her concerns to a faculty member or to a college official.
  3. If warranted, college officials may request further investigation by the Student Conduct Officer, who will interview all parties and make a recommendation to the college as to possible resolution.


Every effort will be made to protect alleged victims of mistreatment from retaliation if they seek redress. Although it is impossible to guarantee freedom from retaliation, it is possible to take steps to try to prevent it and to set up a process for responding to it. To help prevent retaliation, those who are accused of mistreatment will be informed that retaliation is regarded as a form of mistreatment. Accusations that retaliation has occurred will be handled in the same manner as accusations concerning other forms of mistreatment.


Campus Police: 901-448-4444

University Health Services: 901-448-5630 (After hours, please call the behavioral health number, 901-541-5654)

SASSI: 901-448-5056/901-448-7746

Student Assistance Program: 1-800-327-2255, option 3

Office of Equity & Diversity: 901-448-2112

Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center: 901-272-2020

24/7 Text-enabled Crisis Support Line: Text the word “HELLO” to 741741

Students in Tennessee may also call: 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471)


Effective: April 16, 2013, Committee on Academic and Student Affairs (CASA)

Revised: May 16, 2017, CASA

Reviewed/Approved: May 5, 2020, CASA

SA105 – Preventing Student Mistreatment
Version: 1 // Effective: 04/16/2013
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