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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

CRPC:Final Report

This will be done May 1, 2018. Below is a rough draft of where we are now.

Discuss How To Create Policy Awareness

There should be a 6.x presence at graduate school orientation.

There should be a 6.x presence at new-faculty orientation.

There should be a “Have Read and Understand 6.x” checkbox on various forms signed by advisors and graduate students.

Discuss Scope of Policy

Romantic and Sexual relationships not covered by this policy which may have a power imbalance dynamic:

  • Faculty-Faculty
  • Faculty-Staff
  • Staff-Staff

Discuss Faculty Plus Undergraduate Student Restrictions

Here are some additional justifications for the faculty-undergraduate prohibition:


From the standpoint of risking academic freedom:

A  sexual harassment charge that emerges  from a once upon a time  consensual relationship between a tenured faculty member and an undergraduate does irreparable damage to the profession and the idea that tenure exists to protect academic freedom and nothing else.

Discuss Disclosure Mechanism Attributes

  1. Mimics the current approach to financial conflict of interest
  2. The discloser should be treated with the highest respect for taking responsibility.
  3. It should be realistic from the workload point of view.
  4. It should make clear who receives the disclosure. This will depend on which of the 15 possible “pairing boxes” is relevant
  5. The “radius of disclosure” needs to be made clear. Is it everyone in a research group or lab? Is it everyone in the department or field? Is it just the chair? Etc. The idea is that there will be recusals and these have to be visible to certain individuals.

Possible Attributes of a Good Accountability System

  1. The authority who is part of disclosure agreement must be held accountable.
  2. There should have low overhead but meaningful “check-ins”.
  3. Similar in spirit to the annual “checking in” feature of Cornell’s financial conflict of interest policy.

Should inspire ethical behavior without 1984 “love police” overtones.

Policy 1.7 Financial Conflict of Interest

Discuss Attributes of an Effective Sanctioning Process

  1. Fair and equitable across titles, i.e., tenure track faculty are treated the same as non-tenure track faculty.
  2. Sanction severity should be proportional to the offense and take into account the power gap between the authority and subordinate.
  3. Whatever the form of the “panel of judges”, it must be command the respect of the entire community.
  4. There must be sufficient checks and balances to guard against  selective or vindictive  enforcement.

Discuss Get-Help Systems

Existing get-help systems:

the hazing-reporting  system

the bias-reporting system

the sexual-harassment-and-assault reporting system.

Attributes of an effective get-help system:

  1. It should preserve confidentiality, in line with our bias-reporting models.
  2. It should respect the wishes of the reporter as much as possible, e.g., “don’t talk to my DGS.” The reporter must be informed that what they say may trigger a “6.4 response.”
  3. There should be explicit online documentation indicating the timeline and process of what happens when a report is filed.
  4. It should get  back to the reporter in a timely fashion with information about resources and (later on) about steps that are being taken.
  5. There should be an  annual, privacy-preserving report that communicates to the community illuminating statistics much as is done in the bias-reporting and campus-crime venues.
  6. AIt should be able to  detect concerning patterns of behavior but mindful that reports are allegations.
  7. It should support multiple ways of reporting so that the reporter does not hesitate to come forward because “this one available reporting mechanism makes me uncomfortable.”
  8. It should support the intelligent sharing of information among the “problem-solving” staff.
  9. It should be able to handle tensions like “the DGS and Chair on bad terms”
  10. It should provideguidance to Chairs, Dgs’s and others who may be part of the process.
  11. It should inspire good behavior without 1984 “love police” overtones.
  12. It should  not automatically trigger a heavy duty “tell the dean” response. Again, such a processing style would discourage reporting.

Discuss Who-To-Contact Directories

It has to be  super-easy for all concerned to reach important contacts. For example, the Office of Human Resources has this handy webpage for finding  your local HR office. We need comparable directories for department chairs and degree-program directors:

Department Chair Chair Assistant
Computer Science  C. Van Loan  X. Van Loan
Etc. Etc. Etc.


Undergraduate Field Director of Undergraduate Studies Undergraduate Field Assistant
Computer Science C. Van Loan X. Van Loan
Etc. Etc. Etc.


Masters Program Director Assistant
Computer Science C. Van Loan X. Van Loan
Etc. Etc. Etc.


Graduate Field Director of Graduate Studies Graduate Field Assistant
Computer Science C. Van Loan X. Van Loan
Etc. Etc. Etc.


The Recommended Policy

Assembly Responses

Faculty Senate

Student Assembly

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly

Employee Assembly

University Assembly

Appendix 1. Membership

Appendix 2. Committee-Member Comments

Appendix 3. Meetings

Meeting 1    Oct 31/Nov 2
Meeting 2    Nov 14/Nov 16
Meeting 3    Nov 21
Meeting 4    Dec 4
Meeting 5    Dec 11
Meeting 6    Jan 22
Meeting 7    Feb 1
Meeting 8    Feb 9
Meeting 9    Feb 20
Meeting 10   Mar 1
Meeting 11   Mar 7
Meeting 12   Mar 12
Meeting 13   Mar 20
Meeting 14   Mar 29
Meeting 15   Apr 9

Appendix 4. Outreach

August 1:1 with each College Dean
September 20 Faculty Senate Presentation
November 29  Core Resident Advisors
February 6 Women’s Resource Council
February 13 Graduate Field Assistants
February 21 College HR Directors
February 21 Graduate Field Assistants
February 26 Graduate Field Assistants
February 28 EA Presentation
February 28 LGBT Studies
March 8 SA Presentation
March 12 GPSA Presentation
March 14 Senate Presentation
March 20 GWISS
March 21 Post-Docs
March 21 Humanities DGS
March 26 Social Science DGS
April 3 Physical Science DGS
April 11 Life Sciences DGS
April 11  oSTEM
April 16 Finished Draft
April 17 All Department Chairs
April 18 EA Vote
April 19 SA Vote
April 23 GPSA Vote
April 24 UA Vote
April 25 Senate Vote
May 1 Report Due

Proposed Voting Procedure

Eligible voters will be asked this question:

Do you support the proposed Policy 6.x? (Yes/No)

Voters will have the opportunity to comment on their vote for the public record.

For qualtrics voting, a comment box will be provided.

For the Senate, a roll call vote with comments going into the meeting transcript.

CRPCers will also have the opportunity to provide comments.

All comments will be included in the committees final report.


Last Updated: March 20, 2018 at 6:55 am