FINAL DRAFT SUPPORTED BY FACULTY SENATE
Policy 6.4 is concerned with Prohibited Bias, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual and Related Misconduct.
There are currently three procedures associated with the enforcement of this policy. The one that is relevant depends upon who is being accused: student, staff, or faculty .
The student procedure underwent a major revision in 2016. Just completed and now ready for comment is a proposed combined procedure for both staff and faculty.. Following the approach taken with the student procedure revision, the idea is to advance several key goals:
- Bring Cornell’s procedures in line with contemporary federal and state requirements.
- Enhance the procedural protections afforded to both parties.
- Provide a single, uniform set of procedures for all Cornell employees, while at the same time maintaining some separate provisions for faculty when directly pertinent to their academic role. – improving the basic clarity and completeness of procedures, primarily by drawing on the key successful features of the 2016 student procedures
Serious objections from Professor Kevin Clermont (Oct 23)
A response from the policy-writing group to Professor Clermont’s remarks. (Nov 2)
Additional comments from Professor Clermont. (Nov 5)
An assessment by Professor Cynthia Bowman. (Nov 5)
The table below summarizes those parts of the proposed policy that specifically relate to faculty. As will be noted, in almost all cases, the new Policy 6.4 enforcement procedures represent either no change from existing practice or constitute an appropriate improvement in the support and protection afforded to faculty while also offering corresponding enhancements for complainants.
The one arguable exception is that the procedures extend the general statute of limitations for filing of complaints from six months to two years, but this lengthening is unquestionably warranted by all the now well-understood impediments that may delay a complainant’s decision to report misconduct (e.g., a doctoral student still in the faculty member’s lab).
|Provision Details||Current Procedures||Proposed Procedures|
|Definitions-Sexual and Related Misconduct||Outdated definitions of prohibited conduct in the Title IX/ NY 129-b areas||Adopted current or required definitions from student procedures|
|Definition-other forms of Prohibited Discrimination||Covers other forms of prohibited discrimination (gender, age, disability, veteran status, etc.)||No change|
|Academic Freedom for Faculty||Provides for review of academic freedom issues only as form of appeal after finding of responsibility||Provides for up-front review when complaint under Policy 6.4 is submitted; determination by faculty panel that matter is protected by academic freedom cannot be appealed; uses definition of academic freedom adopted by University Faculty (May 11, 1960.)|
|Statute of Limitations||6 months||2 years|
|Right to Support and Advisors||Either party can have a support person and/ or advisor||No change|
|Investigation||No specific provision for exchange of information collected during investigation; practice of providing supporting information with final report||Adopted procedures from student procedures; complete transparency of information collected; opportunity to review during course of investigation and propose questions and topics for investigation; provision for commenting by both parties before the report is finalized.|
|Reviewer (Dean)||Final report provided to Dean with recommended finding||Final report provided to Dean with recommended finding together with all supporting evidence|
|Opportunity to Comment||Parties have opportunity to comment on final report before Dean issues decision.||No change.|
|Right of Appeal of Dean’s Decision||The Dean’s decision may be appealed to Provost||The Dean’s decision may be appealed to faculty panel who have received training on prohibited conduct under Policy 6.4|
|Additional Appeal of Sanction under University procedures||Faculty may challenge a sanction issued in the process under college and University procedures||No change.|