BERT – Bias Education and Response Team

Updated: September 22, 2017

The Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) consists of a cross-disciplinary group of staff and faculty who will ensure that students, faculty and staff have a means to report bias incidents, share information about incidents reported to the BERT, and advocate for prevention and awareness programs. BERT members will also connect those impacted by bias-related incidents with immediate and ongoing support resources.

A BERT Support Team of approximately 40 students, faculty, and staff representing a broad range of populations and constituents will assist in responding to specific incidents as appropriate. BERT may respond to a bias incident report in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of the incident and the needs of those impacted. Response may include connecting those impacted with resources and support, working with university stakeholders to facilitate transparent and open communication, supporting opportunities for dialogue and restorative justice, or referring information to other offices to determine if policies were violated.

BERT Core Team Co-Chairs
Haven Hart, Assistant Vice President, Student Development*
Student Affairs

Virginia Koch, Ph.D., Director Residence Life*
Housing and Residence Life

BERT Core Team Departments
Campus Safety and Security
Susan McCallister

Kelley Taylor

Office of Inclusion and Diversity
Garry Morgan

Student Affairs
Venus Hewing, Ph.D.

Office of Student Conduct
Nick Wiard*

Office of Accessibility
Trace Donald*

David Mines, Ph.D.

Multicultural Diversity Commission
Jared Russell, Ph.D.

Faculty Representative
Tessa Carr, Ph.D.

*Threat Assessment Team members

BERT will not investigate, adjudicate or take the place of other Auburn University processes or services; rather, the aim is to complement and work with campus entities to connect impacted parties and communities with appropriate support and resources. In keeping with best practice, the following definitions provide guidance to members of the Auburn campus community.

A bias-related incident involves acts, behaviors, conduct or communications against a person, motivated by the offender’s bias against age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. These acts, behaviors, conduct or communications may produce an unwelcoming environment. A bias incident may involve behavior which does not rise to the level of a violation of Auburn University policy.

To report a suspected bias-related incident, contact any BERT member or submit a report via the online form at: