Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team
The purpose of the Behavior Assessment and Intervention Team (UTDSP5008), known as BAIT, is to review behavioral incidents and assist in the development of a strategy to address situations involving students whose behavior may be disruptive or harmful to the UT Dallas community, including situations where the disruptive or harmful behavior may be a result of a mental, emotional or psychological health issue.
Specifically, the team:
- Assesses situations involving a student whose behavior may be disruptive or harmful to the UT Dallas community.
- Consults with administration, faculty, staff and other students affected by the inappropriate behaviors of a disruptive student.
- Coordinates the University response to address the situation.
- Monitors the cases that have come to the attention of the BAIT.
- Makes recommendations to responsible University officials about appropriate action consistent with University policy and procedure statements, and with state and federal law.
Referrals to BAIT
Anyone in the campus community observing an incident of: behavior threatening to others, property damage, disruption to campus activities, or other violations of the law, should contact the UT Dallas Police Department at 972-883-2222 immediately. The police will assess the situation to determine if police action is warranted.
Anyone in the campus community observing an incident of a violation of an institutional rule should contact the Dean of Students at 972-883-6391 immediately.
Anyone in the campus community who observes concerning or disruptive behavior but is unsure of how to address it should refer the matter to the Dean of Students, or any BAIT member directly. Concerned individuals may also complete and submit a BAIT Referral Form.
BAIT Operations and Procedures
Upon receiving notice of a case that a BAIT member deems time-sensitive, the team member may call a special team meeting of the BAIT.
The BAIT, at its discretion, may meet with affected members of the University community, including administrators, faculty, staff and other students who may have been witness to or impacted by specific behaviors of the student. They may also meet with the student who is the subject of the referral, their parent or guardian or other family member, if appropriate, or mental health or other medical professionals as permitted by law.
BAIT members will recommend a coordinated strategy for addressing the situation, taking into account the student code of conduct and/or other appropriate documents.
Issues for consideration include:
- Identifying the specific behavior of concern.
- Identifying the context of the behavior and assessing potential violence and/or danger to the University community, including the nature, duration and severity of any risk.
- Reviewing evidence of health issues, including mental health issues, as the potential cause of the behavior.
- Assessing whether reasonable accommodations will mitigate risk.
- Identifying appropriate resources to assist in addressing the situation.
BAIT recommendations will be made through the chair of the BAIT or his/her designee through appropriate administrative channels.
When a violation of the student code of conduct is identified, the Dean of Students will pursue the matter in accordance with Policy UTDSP5003, Student Code of Conduct.
Following a case management evaluation and subsequent recommendation, the team will meet to debrief and evaluate the outcome of the situation.
BAIT records are confidential and will not be released except in accordance with applicable legal and professional standards of confidentiality, including the Texas Public Information Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). FERPA does allow the release of student education records in accordance with health and safety emergencies when release is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
If the student who is the subject of the BAIT review is already a client of the Student Counseling Center or the Women's Center and/or is a patient of the Student Health Center, information about that student's contacts may not be obtained by the team from those agencies without the written authorization of the student in question, in accordance with federal and state law.
Federal and state laws that govern the privacy and confidentiality of students' health and mental health information and records include:
The BAIT team reports to and is chaired by Gene Fitch, vice president for Student Affairs.
At the beginning of each long semester, the BAIT chair will send a notice to faculty and staff through appropriate communication channels, stating that the team is available for consultation when they are concerned about potentially harmful, threatening, or disruptive behavior of a student or students.
Core BAIT members include:
- Amanda Smith, Interim Associate VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
- Cristen Casey, Assistant VP for International Programs
- Jim Cannici, Director of Student Counseling Center
- Larry Zacharias, Chief of Police, or designee
- Laura Smith, Judicial Affairs Officer
- John Jackson, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education
- Kim Winkler, Associate Dean of Students
- Ryan White, Assistant VP for Residential Life
The team consults with the UT System Office of General Counsel (OGC) or UT Dallas' attorney as needed. A representative from OGC or the UT Dallas attorney will serve on the team in situations where there are obvious legal issues and concerns.
For questions about BAIT, please contact the Dean of Students at 972-883-6391.