Policies & Reports

Manuscript TextNumerous policies and principles govern academic life at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. These include FAS, Harvard University, state, and federal guidelines. For a selective overview, please see Chapter 2 ("General Policies, Principles, and Deadlines") and Chapter 3 ("Absences, Leaves, and Extensions of Appointment") in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

Additional policies and reports are available below, by category and alphabetically. This list is not comprehensive, and policies are subject to change.

Faculty and researchers with questions should contact the assistant dean for faculty affairs in their academic division (the Arts and Humanities, the Social Sciences, Science), the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or for selected College appointments; the FAS Office for Faculty Affairs; or other relevant sources.                                                          

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the FAS community is, on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity. Gender-based and sexual harassment, including sexual violence, are forms of sex discrimination in that they deny or limit an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities. In order to protect the access of all members of our community to the full range of opportunities and resources provided at Harvard, the FAS has adopted the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy and Procedures.

If FAS faculty and other University officers learn about a possible incident of sexual or gender-based harassment, they have a responsibility to promptly notify the School or Unit Title IX Coordinator, who will determine what steps, if any, to take next. Please read this brochure, "Doing Your Part", as well as the section on "Notice and Confidentiality" below, for more details on this responsibility.

Policy & Procedural Resources:

FAS Title IX Coordinators:

Kwok Yu
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (FAS)
(617) 495-7483 
University Hall, 111
Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138

Seth Avakian
Program Officer for Title IX and Professional Conduct
University Hall, 414A
Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138

Johannah Park
Appointments Administrator and Sexual Harassment Officer (FAS)
(617) 495-9892
University Hall, 403
Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138

Confidential Resources:

Other Resources:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: (1) submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing or is used as the basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancement (quid pro quo); or (2) such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education or work programs or activities (hostile environment).

Unwelcome Conduct

Conduct is unwelcome if a person (1) did not request or invite it and (2) regarded the unrequested or uninvited conduct as undesirable or offensive. Whether conduct is unwelcome is determined based on the totality of the circumstances, including various objective and subjective factors.

Gender-Based Harassment

Gender-based harassment is verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostile conduct based on sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation or gender identity, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education or work programs or activities.

Conduct in Relationships between Individuals of Different University Status

No FAS Faculty member shall request or accept sexual favors from, or initiate or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with, any undergraduate student at Harvard College. Faculty members are defined as ladder, non-ladder, and visiting faculty. Furthermore, no FAS Faculty member, instructor, teaching assistant, teaching fellow, researcher, tutor, graduate student, or undergraduate course assistant, shall request or accept sexual favors from, or initiate or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with, any student, including a graduate student or DCE student, who is enrolled in a course taught by that individual or otherwise subject to that individual’s academic supervision before the supervision has concluded and, if applicable, a final grade on the student’s supervised academic performance has been submitted to the Registrar. Academic supervision includes teaching, advising a thesis or dissertation, supervising research, supervising teaching, grading, or serving as Director of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies of the student’s academic program.

Informal Complaints and Interim Measures

Members of the Harvard community who have concerns or inquiries about sexual or gender-based harassment are encouraged to consult with their Title IX Coordinator, the University-wide Title IX Office, or the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR). An initiating party can request informal resolution of an allegation of sexual or gender-based harassment. The appropriate FAS Title IX Coordinator will coordinate the response to requests for informal resolution. The FAS Title IX Coordinator will also help to put in place interim measures designed to protect the initiating party or the Harvard community. Interim measures may include restrictions on contact, course or work schedule alterations, changes in housing, or increased monitoring of certain areas of campus. Interim measures may be implemented or revised at any stage of the informal or formal complaint process.

Formal Complaints

The formal complaint process begins when a student, faculty member, staff member, or third party files a written complaint of sexual or gender-based harassment with ODR. The person bringing the allegation is called the Complainant (or a Reporter, if it is a third party filing on behalf of a potential Complainant). The person against whom the complaint is brought is called the Respondent. Once a complaint is received, ODR will do an initial review of the allegations with the aim of determining whether the allegation, if true, would violate the University’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment policy. If ODR decides that the allegation, if true, would violate this policy, an investigation is initiated.

Title IX Coordinators   

Harvard has designated Title IX Coordinators throughout the University to help address issues of sexual and gender-based harassment within their specific School or unit. The Title IX Coordinators play an integral role in carrying out the University’s commitment to provide a positive learning, teaching and working environment for the entire community.

The local Title IX Coordinators’ responsibilities include receiving information about allegations of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, providing interim measures, and serving as resources for questions about sexual and gender-based harassment. Title IX Coordinators are knowledgeable about, and will provide information on, the University Policy and Procedures and on the wide range of resources available to the community.

Faculty should consult with a Title IX Coordinator if any possible cases of sexual or gender-based harassment come to their attention. Title IX Coordinators are trained to handle sensitive information with appropriate discretion. Although not a confidential resource, they protect and respect privacy to the greatest extent possible, sharing information only on a need-to-know basis, for example, to evaluate interim measures or to enable the University to take action to ensure the safety of the community.

Notice and Confidentiality

The University Policy provides that University officers, other than those who are prohibited from making such notifications because of a legal confidentiality obligation, must promptly notify the School or Unit Title IX Coordinator about possible sexual or gender-based harassment. This means that if those University officers learn about a possible incident, they need to contact the Title IX Coordinator, who will determine what steps, if any, to take next.

Individuals who are responsible for making such notifications include deans; administrative and professional staff at all Schools and Units; those responsible for residential life (e.g., House Masters, Resident Deans and Tutors, Resident Advisors); coaches and assistant coaches; other personnel who work directly with students such as those who are involved with student clubs and organizations, career services, academic support, etc.; and faculty and others who teach students, such as graduate student teaching fellows.

Speaking with someone, even the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Officer, or someone who is responsible for notifying the School or unit Title IX Coordinator, does not mean that you will need to participate in an informal resolution or file a complaint. The University encourages all persons who believe they may have been the subject of sexual or gender-based harassment to speak with an appropriate University officer about the incident because, even if no informal process is commenced or formal complaint is filed, that information will help the University identify any concerns about harassment and work to address them. Speaking to a University officer will allow any student affected to be supported by the School and also will allow School and University officials to consider whether there are broader issues for the community that need to be addressed.

There are certain resources who are privileged under the law and who, therefore, are generally prohibited from disclosing information they receive, even in a legal proceeding. Mental health clinicians, OSAPR staff providing services as rape crisis counselors, lawyers providing legal advice to clients, and clergy acting in their professional capacity hold such a privilege. They do not have to make such a notification, and, absent special circumstances, they are prohibited from disclosing even in a legal proceeding. Confidential resources are listed above.