Report of the FAS Committee to Review Conduct Policies and Procedures

April 11, 2022

Dear colleagues,

Last week, the University shared new draft policies on discrimination and bullying, formulated by the University Discrimination and Bullying Policy Steering Committee and Working Groups. A comment period for the Harvard community is now underway. As part of this process, the FAS will host feedback sessions in the summer and fall so that community members have an opportunity to provide input to the University. If you are unable to attend one of these forums, I encourage you to share comments with the Provost’s Office by writing to communitymisconductpolicies@harvard.edu.

Simultaneous with the University’s work last year, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) conducted a review of FAS conduct policies and procedures, which incorporate and build on University policies and procedures in this domain. The review was chaired by Leah Somerville, Professor of Psychology, and Nina Zipser, Dean for Faculty Affairs and Planning, and included a committee of faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students. The resulting report, from the FAS Committee to Review Conduct Policies and Procedures (CRCPP), was presented to the Faculty Council and submitted last spring to the University to inform their broader effort. I am writing to you today to share the full CRCPP report.

I charged the CRCPP to undertake a three-part review. Specifically, I asked the committee to gather feedback from the FAS community and to review and recommend to me any changes to the “Interim FAS Policies and Procedures Addressing Title IX Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct.” I also asked them to review FAS faculty professional conduct policies that fall beyond the scope of sexual and gender-based harassment.

I am grateful to the committee for their thoughtful work, including extensive outreach to faculty, staff, students, and researchers across the academic divisions and SEAS. The resulting CRCPP report is a deeply informed, comprehensive analysis of FAS policies and practices; a window into the experiences of our community members; and an incisive set of recommendations that encompass proposed policy changes, as well as a greater emphasis on education and training.

The CRCPP report offers a sobering reminder that we are not where we aspire to be, but it also provides a powerful path forward. We are taking steps now to prepare to implement the new University policies when finalized, as well as the FAS-specific policies and procedures recommended in the report.

Sexual harassment, gender-based or other discrimination, and professional misconduct and bullying are personally damaging for those who experience it and are an assault on our faculty’s fundamental commitments to equity and academic excellence. I am eager to continue the work of creating an FAS community where all members can thrive and do their best work.

Sincerely,
Claudine

__________________
Claudine Gay
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

 

If you have questions or need support, some of the resources available to you include the FAS Title IX Coordinators, the University Title IX Office, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, the Harvard Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program. These offices, as well as the FAS Office for Faculty Affairs, can connect you with resources to address the full spectrum of professional conduct issues.