Workplace Violence
(For UMASS Only)

 Management Team | Resource List


Workplace violence has become a national phenomenon. News stories about violent incidents appear daily in the media. It is important not to ignore this reality. It is equally important to be well informed in order to respond appropriately and safely in the event of a threat or incident of violence.

Violence in the workplace may occur between employees (faculty, administrators or staff), may be initiated by any other person against a University employee, or may be random violence which has no apparent connection to the University. There is no way to prevent random violence. However, in the workplace, there may be signs of escalating stress and threats prior to a violent incident. The stress may be work-related or resulting from outside factors. We can all learn how to recognize stress in ourselves and others, to manage anger, and to de-escalate potentially violent interactions.

The Workplace Violence Management Team

In a proactive response to the disturbing national trend in workplace violence, Chancellor David Scott appointed a Task Force on Workplace Violence (later renamed the Workplace Violence Management Team) in February 1995.

The Team was established to address in a systematic way the potential incidence and prevention of violence in the workplace. It's mission is to coordinate the University's efforts to address workplace violence, including proposing and updating related policies and procedures. To effectively accomplish its mission, the Team is divided into three workgroups -- Prevention, Risk Assessment and Crisis Management.

The Prevention and Education workgroup's responsibilities are to develop and to update policies and procedures, and to promote training on related issues such as managing conflict, anger, and stress. A primary focus is to provide broad-based training and awareness of available resources for supervisors on workplace violence, including violence prevention. Inquiries may be directed to Training and Development at 545-1787.

The Risk Assessment workgroup is available for consultation in situations of potential workplace violence to assess the level of risk, to identify the individuals at risk and to determine security issues. The group can help to:


- develop strategies to de-escalate a potentially violent situation


- make recommendations for action


- plan for various responses or outcomes


- coordinate resources as needed

The group, however, is not a substitute for good management, nor does involving the team absolve a manager from taking any necessary and appropriate action. Consultation may be initiated by contacting the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at 545-0350.

The Crisis Management workgroup coordinates crisis intervention when an incident of workplace violence occurs. Working with public Safety, the workgroup coordinates resources and services for the victim, supervisor, and others affected by the incident. Group members follow up with the victim and others, arrange debriefing sessions as necessary, monitor campus climate in the aftermath, and evaluate the crisis management process. In an emergency, call 911.

Workplace Violence Resources List


DIAL 911

For Risk Assessment Consultation


For Information on Coping with Threats and Violence at Work

Human Resources

Employee Labor Relations

Ombuds Office

Mental Health Services

(if an undergraduate student is involved)

Dean of Students

(if a graduate student is involved)

Dean of the Graduate School

For Information on Personal Safety

Public Safety

For information on coping with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Everywomen's Center
Counselor/Advocate Program
Crisis Hotline

For Information on Employee Training and Organizational Development

Workplace Learning & Development


Back to the FSAP Home Page
 Faculty and Staff Assistance Program
University Health Center, Ground Floor
(413) 545-0350
You are visitor violence since March 9, 1999.

Last updated January 2, 2002