The Office of Student Conduct and Care provides guidance to faculty and staff regarding student behaviors and the ability to persist in an educational environment. We encompass Conduct, Care Team and Crisis Response.
It is NOT a violation of FERPA to inform UTM Public Safety, Office of Student Conduct and Care or other consultative UTM offices when reporting an incident of a student in distress or in need of help.
Concern for a Student
If a student appears distressed, is disruptive, or exhibits threating behavior,
- If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others, call 911 or 731.881.7777 immediately.
- If the student is causing a disruption to the classroom or office environment, but does not pose a threat, submit a referral to UTM Online Reporting.
Consultation with Professor
- To get further details of allegations, copies of paperwork, etc. (should additional action be requested).
How to respond to difficult student situations
When responding to a difficult student situation:
- Do not personalize the situation. Be objective.
- Maintain records of interactions.
- Identify the specific behavior of concern.
- Avoid creating an adversarial relationship; “we can figure this out together.”
- Listen before reacting. Behaviors do not happen in a bubble, there is always something more to learn.
- Use this as a learning opportunity for both professor and student. A conversation with a university official can be intimidating; be kind, take time to listen, and create an opportunity for open dialogue.
- Maintain professional communication. Address any inappropriate, disruptive, or concerning behavior from the start. If you have additional concerns, do not wait to see if it happens again. Consult OSCC.
- Use “I” statements. Here are some examples:
- “I am happy to discuss your concerns; however, I will not speak with you if you are yelling and cursing.”
- “As an educator, I wish to better understand what is going on. Will you sit down with me so we can calmly work toward a resolution?”
- “I understand that you are upset about this situation. Let’s take a minute and discuss the situation together.”
- Determine if additional steps need to be taken to assist the student.
- Provide a warm handoff to the Care Team and submit a Hawk Alert if additional support is needed.
- Discuss an action plan to improve or resolve the situation.
- After the meeting, send a follow-up email summarizing the conversation.
Continue monitoring the student.