GSAS Guide to Professional Relationships

Graduate students engage with peers, administrative staff, and faculty to advance their education and research. When students have concerns about these relationships, they can find information and support from the staff in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

Handbooks produced by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and GSAS detail established rules of conduct for faculty and graduate students and provide guidance on resolving concerns.

Speaking with Jackie Yun, director of student services, is a good place to start when you have a concern but don’t know where to go. Jackie serves in an advisory role, provides ongoing support, and makes referrals to other sources of assistance as necessary. Jackie has experience coaching students on how to prepare for important meetings and how to approach difficult conversations.

Jackie Yun, Director of Student Services
Dudley House B-2
617-495-5005
jyun@fas.harvard.edu

University-wide assistance is also available by visiting the Harvard University Ombudsman Office. The Ombudsman Office is an independent, neutral, and confidential place for visitors to discuss their academic and workplace issues and concerns.

Lydia Cummings, Ombudsman
University Ombudsman Office
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center, Suite 748
617-495-7748
university_ombudsman@harvard.edu

Working with Faculty

Faculty–Student Interactions

The FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook details expectations regarding faculty relationships with members of the FAS community.

Faculty members hold positions of authority and are expected to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in their interactions with all members of the community. Faculty should not ask graduate students to provide assistance that is not covered by compensated assignments or to accomplish tasks outside the scope of their academic responsibilities.

Students with concerns about their interactions with a faculty member should first try to resolve the issue within their department by discussing the matter with the director of graduate studies, department chair, or department administrator. If the issue is not resolved or cannot be raised within the department, students should contact GSAS or Faculty Affairs staff:

Jackie Yun, Director of Student Services
Dudley House B-2
617-495-5005
jyun@fas.harvard.edu

Garth McCavana, Dean for Student Affairs
Smith Campus Center 350
617-495-1814
mccavana@fas.harvard.edu

Seth Avakian, Program Officer for Title IX and Professional Conduct
414A University Hall
617-495-9583
avakian@fas.harvard.edu

Kwok Yu, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
111 University Hall
617-495-7483
kwok_yu@harvard.edu

Faculty Teaching Expectations

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Information for Faculty 2015–2016 explains faculty responsibilities as course heads.

As course heads holding teaching appointments, faculty are solely responsible for the structure and content of a course and are expected to fulfill their assigned teaching obligations in accordance with policies established by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and/or the department. Under the supervision of course heads, teaching fellows teach part-time as an integral part of their training for the PhD and play an important role in the education of Harvard students. The duties of teaching fellows may include teaching sections, conducting tutorials, holding office hours, recommending grades, and supervising independent study projects.

Teaching appointments are managed by the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Education and generated by administrators in the FAS departments. Teaching fellows are supervised and regularly evaluated by the faculty.

Students with concerns about their responsibilities as teaching fellows should first try to resolve the issue with the course head or within their department by discussing the matter with the director of graduate studies, department chair, or department administrator. If the issue is not resolved or cannot be raised within the department, students should contact GSAS or Office of Undergraduate Education staff:

Jackie Yun, Director of Student Services
Dudley House B-2
617-495-5005
jyun@fas.harvard.edu

Garth McCavana, Dean for Student Affairs
Smith Campus Center 350
617-495-1814
mccavana@fas.harvard.edu

Lisa Laskin, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education
Office of Undergraduate Education
University Hall 1 North
617-384-5972
elaskin@fas.harvard.edu

Discrimination and Harassment

The GSAS Handbook provides information regarding regulations and standards of conduct for all students.

Graduate students have the right to conduct their learning, research, and scholarship in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. No graduate student can be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, protected veteran status, or disability.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities on April 14, 1970, which states: “The central functions of an academic community are learning, teaching, research, and scholarship. By accepting membership in the University, an individual joins a community ideally characterized by free expression, free inquiry, intellectual honesty, respect for the dignity of others, and openness to constructive change.”

GSAS is committed to fostering a safe environment and ensuring that students know where to go when they face an issue of concern.

Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment

GSAS is committed to fostering a learning community that is inclusive and supportive of everyone and promotes an environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Clear policies and procedures also exist regarding sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault. Anyone with questions about these policy and procedures or about sexual or gender-based harassment issues or concerns should reach out to the following GSAS staff, who are also trained Title IX coordinators:

Seth Avakian, Program Officer for Title IX and Professional Conduct
414A University Hall
617-495-9583
avakian@fas.harvard.edu

Jackie Yun, Director of Student Services
Dudley House B-2
617-495-5005
jyun@fas.harvard.edu

GSAS students may also visit the Office for Dispute Resolution to request information or advice, including whether certain conduct may violate the policy, to seek informal resolution of an issue, or to file a formal complaint.

Office for Dispute Resolution
Smith Campus Center, Suite 935
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-3786
odr@harvard.edu
Office hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

GSAS students who want to process and understand their experiences in a confidential setting have several options, including the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR). Students can contact OSAPR directly or learn more about options at share.harvard.edu.

Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response
Smith Campus Center 624
617-495-9100 (24-hour, confidential hotline)
617-496-5636 (office)
osapr@fas.harvard.edu
Office hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Racial Harassment

GSAS is committed to fostering an environment free from racial harassment, defined as actions on the part of an individual or group that demean or abuse another individual or group because of racial or ethnic background. Such actions may include but are not restricted to using racial epithets, making racially derogatory remarks, and using racial stereotypes.

Any member of the GSAS community who believes that he or she has been harassed on account of race should contact GSAS staff:

Garth McCavana, Dean for Student Affairs
Smith Campus Center 350
617-495-1814
mccavana@fas.harvard.edu

Jackie Yun, Director of Student Services
Dudley House B-2
617-495-5005
jyun@fas.harvard.edu

Sheila Thomas, Dean for Academic Programs and Diversity
Smith Campus Center 350
617-496-9909
sthomas@fas.harvard.edu