Responsibilities of Instructors

Instructors' Presence

Instructors' Presence During the Academic Year

Instructors are expected to be "in residence" (i.e., during the COVID-19 pandemic, this means present virtually and, to the extent possible, in the vicinity of Harvard, consistent with strict adherence to Harvard and other guidelines) and available to colleagues and students during term time (including the Reading Periods and Examination Periods). However, short absences for unforeseen personal business or professional development during term time are possible. Faculty are expected to fulfill their assigned teaching obligations and should only use substitute instructors (including teaching fellows) in exceptional cases.

Faculty members wishing to be absent during term time (including Reading Periods and Examination Periods) for a period of more than one week, or for a period of one week or less where the absence will require some reduction or change in scheduled instruction, should first consult with the chair of their department. When requesting such leaves, it is incumbent on faculty members to consider their academic responsibilities and to ensure that they continue to be met. Before authorizing the absence, the chair should be satisfied that the reason for absence, whether personal or professional, is sufficiently compelling and that all teaching and other departmental responsibilities are appropriately covered. If the absence is for one week or less, no further approval is required. If a period longer than one week is necessary, the faculty member submits to the assistant dean for the division a “Request for Permission to be Absent” form, signed by the chair (found on the "Leaves" page of the website for FAS faculty and researchers). To request a leave for public service, faculty should follow the procedure outlined in Chapter 3 of the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

Note: If the faculty member is teaching only in non-departmental programs for the term, the faculty member has the “Request for Permission to be Absent” form signed by the director of the relevant program before submission to the assistant dean for the division.

For more information on leave policies for faculty, please see Chapter 3 of the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

 

Instruction

Responsibility for Instruction

Responsibility for instruction rests solely with the head of the course. This person’s name appears with the course listing in my.harvard as the instructor of the course.

FAS appointments at the rank of Convertible Instructor, Lecturer, Dependent Lecturer, Preceptor, College Fellow, Benjamin Peirce Fellow, Briggs-Copeland Lecturer, Associate Senior Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Senior Preceptor, full-time or part-time Professor of the Practice, Professor in Residence, Visiting Lecturer, Visiting Professor (assistant professor, associate professor, or professor), or Professor (assistant, associate, or tenured) are teaching appointments. Teaching Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships, and Course Assistantships are not teaching appointments in this context; persons holding these ranks assist in courses or tutorials under the supervision of those holding teaching appointments. Recommendations for teaching appointments may be made only by departments or committees empowered to offer courses for credit.

Faculty in the teaching appointment ranks listed above can serve as course heads; however, preceptors do not ordinarily serve as course heads.

Regarding members of other Harvard Faculties, only Senior Lecturers, Professors of the Practice, Professors in Residence, assistant professors, associate professors, or tenured professors in another Harvard Faculty may teach in the FAS without an FAS teaching appointment. All other non-FAS faculty may teach in the FAS only if they are appointed to the rank of Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences under the normal rules governing such appointments.

The term “responsibility for instruction” includes:

  • Responsibility for the structure and content of the course, including any regular sections of the course;
  • Responsibility for the continuity of course meetings, whether these be lecture or discussion groups;
  • Responsibility for the evaluation of student performance in the course, including the performance of students who may have been granted makeup examinations that take place the following term; and
  • Responsibility for the selection and training of teaching fellows, teaching assistants, and course assistants in accordance with policies established by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and/or the department.

None of the above responsibilities may be delegated to persons not holding teaching appointments.

Instructors who hold a teaching appointment or who assist in courses or tutorials may not give private instruction for pay to students in the University without the consent of the Chair of the department concerned and the Dean of the Faculty. Under no circumstances may instructors privately tutor for pay in courses in which they are employed by the University.

 

Evaluation

Responsibility for Evaluation

Responsibility for evaluation rests with the individual listed in my.harvard as the instructor in charge (the course head). For Independent Study, responsibility rests with that individual holding a teaching appointment who has signed the petition permitting the student to enroll. (See Special Types of Courses: Independent Study.)

In some large courses or tutorials, teaching fellows, teaching assistants, or course assistants may have a role in the evaluation of the students in the course, subject to the limitations set by the Faculty Council and the Standing Committee on Undergraduate Educational Policy (the “EPC”) (see below). Nevertheless, the course head is responsible for ensuring that the standards for evaluating student work are equitable across all sections of a course, and the final responsibility for each grade rests with the course head. This includes the evaluation of makeup examinations that are administered during the following term.

The work of graduate students, including those enrolled in courses open to both graduate and undergraduate students (100-level and below), should be evaluated only by individuals holding teaching appointments as defined in the above section. "Work" refers to major examinations and written exercises but not necessarily to problem sets, laboratory work, or similar exercises. In the same light, while undergraduate course assistants may participate in the evaluation of students, they should not be involved in the subjective evaluation of essays and examinations.

Conduct

Professional Conduct

FAS Professional Conduct Policy

“FAS Faculty members (‘Faculty’ or ‘Faculty Members’) hold positions of authority and trust at FAS. As such, they have an obligation to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in their interactions with all members of the FAS community, including faculty colleagues, students, persons holding research appointments (e.g., postdoctoral fellows), and staff members. In keeping with this role:

a.  Faculty should treat members of the FAS community with respect and collegiality.
b.  Faculty members should not use their positions to obtain uncompensated labor from any member of the community under their supervision. This includes, but is not limited to, requiring staff under their direction to perform services or duties unrelated to or outside their professional/job responsibilities.
c.  Faculty members must uphold confidentiality in matters pertaining to employee files, records, or activities, which could reasonably be considered confidential. This could include employment information or employee records.
d.  Faculty must comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and professional standards including FAS policies and practices; this includes, but is not limited to, policies regarding discrimination and sexual and gender-based harassment.

Non-compliance with these guidelines will be communicated to the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and could result in varying sanctions.”

Student Union Agreement

As noted in Harvard University’s agreement with the Harvard Graduate Students Union:

"Abusive or intimidating behavior (power-based harassment) by individuals who hold supervisory authority over SWs, when such conduct interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in, or benefit from their employment at the University is prohibited."

Faculty Council Discussion Document

The following text was approved by the Faculty Council for distribution to the full Faculty, not as a codification of official institutional policy but as a "discussion document" to be used as a point of reference. An earlier version of this text was discussed at the Faculty Meeting of October 17, 1995.

The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. −Emerson

The importance of professional conduct within the academic community is self-evident, but what precisely is meant by the phrase is not. For "professional conduct" covers a multitude of situations. No single style or method of teaching guarantees it; a teacher may be appropriately professional whether meeting students at a café or in an office, whether by nature gregarious and sociable, or shy and reserved. Yet there are principles underlying the concept, that allow it to be honored when present and deplored when absent. In a university setting, professional conduct rests upon an enduring respect for fellow human beings and for the vocation of teaching, and a recognition that a teacher’s powers and responsibilities must not be abused. The basic principles may be easier to appreciate abstractly than to apply while teaching.

The list that follows is designed to bring these principles into focus as a basis for discussion among and between faculty, teaching fellows, and other instructional support staff.

Issues for Consideration

Authority

By virtue of their authority within the academic community, teachers have the power to influence thought and behavior, and the concomitant responsibility to recognize the potential weight of their verbal and nonverbal expressions. As leaders in the classroom, teachers have the responsibility not only to impart the excitement of ideas and the challenge of academic debate, but also the importance of courtesy and respect in intellectual dialogue.

Fair Treatment of All Students

Students should be treated even handedly. Equity is not necessarily achieved, however, by treating all students in precisely the same way. For example, some students respond positively to hearty, well-intoned criticism while others are discouraged by it. Some students welcome public comments about their work, while others are embarrassed by them. Genuinely even-handed treatment of students depends upon making a conscientious attempt to recognize and appreciate such differences. Teachers (and students) should guard particularly against ethnic, religious, sexual, and other discriminatory stereotyping.

Interpersonal Relations

The power teachers exercise over students to penalize or reward in the form of grades and recommendations requires caution in interpersonal interactions, and the need to avoid the kind of familiarity that compromises objective and fair evaluation of a student’s work….Within these limits, however, intellectual mentoring and friendly interaction are important elements of the learning and teaching process.

Interpersonal Relations – Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy*

As noted in the Interim FAS Policies and Procedures Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct, “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. In addition, no resident tutor or freshman proctor shall request or accept sexual favors from, or initiate or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with, any undergraduate student at Harvard College.”

* This section regarding interpersonal relations and Title IX, while not part of the original document approved by Faculty Council, is provided here to reflect the FAS’s current policies on sexual and gender-based harassment and other sexual misconduct.

Clear Communication
 

Because the evaluation of students partly depends on their understanding of the requirements of a course, course heads should be clear in their articulation of expectations, assignments, and the rules of collaboration and citation. Providing written explanations of assignments and requirements reduces the risk of misunderstanding. Students have a right to expect prompt return of papers and exams and a clear justification of evaluation, just as instructors have the right to expect that assignments will be thoughtfully completed on time.

Classroom Engagement

The classroom is frequently the site of intense intellectual debate—or, alternatively, unbearable silence. Maintaining an environment for a constructive contest between ideas and their supporting evidence is primarily the responsibility of the teacher. Teachers should be aware of any tendency to favor one mode of argument over another, in which only certain students thrive; of the importance of listening attentively and with respect; and of the significance of nonverbal clues (nods, frowns, gestures, etc.).

Services

Criticism of Work

Comments should be directed at the work, not the person; and they should contribute to the refinement of both thinking and presentation. Peremptory dismissiveness is not appropriate.

Grades

Professors are responsible for the oversight of all grades given by teaching fellows.

Letters of Recommendation

Students depend on instructors for letters of recommendation. Honesty and fairness in responding to requests for recommendations are essential.

Advising

Access to advising should be offered and equally afforded to all.

Confidentiality and Discretion

Teachers are privy to information (and opinions) about students that ought to remain confidential. Exceptions should be made only as necessary, e.g., in Title IX situations or emergencies such as threat of suicide or other harmful behavior, when confidentiality is secondary to a student’s welfare. Beyond such exceptions, talking with colleagues or other students about confidential student information is inappropriate, as is any form of public embarrassment or shaming of a student.

Confidentiality regarding Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy *

As noted in the Interim FAS Policies and Procedures Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct, “Consistent with University policies, the FAS officers, other than those who are prohibited from making such notifications because of a legal confidentiality obligation, must promptly notify the relevant Title IX Resource Coordinator(s) about possible sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct. This means that if those FAS officers learn about a possible incident of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct, they need to contact an FAS Title IX Resource Coordinator, who will know what steps, if any, to take next (including which other Title IX Resource Coordinators should be notified). Such FAS officers include (but are not limited to): deans; administrative and professional staff; those responsible for residential life (for example, Faculty Deans, Resident Deans, Resident and Non-Resident Tutors, Resident Advisors and Proctors); coaches and assistant coaches; other personnel who work directly with students, such as those who work with student clubs and organizations, career services, academic support, and others; and faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, and others who teach students, including graduate student teaching fellows.”

For more information, please see section IV, “Information Sharing and Confidentiality,” in the Interim FAS Policies and Procedures Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct.
 

* This section on confidentiality regarding Title IX, while not part of the original document approved by Faculty Council, is provided here to reflect the FAS’s current policies on sexual and gender-based harassment and other sexual misconduct.
 

Collegial Conduct

Status differences exist within the teaching staff of every university. Awareness of the relative positions of colleagues in the academic hierarchy may avoid placing them in awkward or compromising situations. The implications of making particular requests of one’s juniors ought to be considered before making them; the right to refuse, for reasonable cause, without consequence, ought to be guaranteed every member of the community. Professional and research opportunities should be awarded with equity and fairness.

In addition to the Faculty Council’s text above, please note:

Interactions with Minors

Members of the Harvard community who interact with minors (i.e., individuals under the age of 18) in any official capacity are expected to foster and maintain an appropriate and secure environment for minors. Please see Harvard University’s "Policy for the Safety and Protection of Minors" for more information.

Other Sources of Information

Please see Sexual Harassment in this chapter for more information on FAS policies and procedures related to sexual harassment and other misconduct.

 

Student Privacy

The University has a legal obligation to protect the privacy of students and the confidentiality of student records. No information about a student’s academic performance can be released without the student’s written permission. It is equally important to respect students’ privacy when distributing their grades. Instructors should not leave papers, projects, or examinations in unattended public areas. Similarly, grades should never be posted with the students’ names, and/or Harvard University Identification (HUID) numbers. Such practices are a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Questions about the confidentiality of student records and about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be directed to the Registrar, Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 450, Cambridge, Massachusetts (617-495-1543). (See Posting of Grades.)

Use of Computing and Network Services

Use of Computing and Network Services 

Faculty members are provided access to University computer systems for academic use. All authorized users assume responsibility for acting to preserve the integrity of these systems and any University data to which they may have access. Information about academic computing and network services offered by Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) is available at huit.harvard.edu/ithelp or by calling 617-495-7777.

Privacy of Information

The unauthorized examination of information stored on a computer system or sent electronically over a network is a breach of academic and community standards. Authorized system support staff, however, may gain access to users’ data or programs when it is necessary to maintain or prevent harm to the University, its computer systems or the network.

On shared and networked computer systems certain information about users and their activities is visible to others. Users are cautioned that certain accounting and directory information (for example, user names and email addresses), certain records of file names and executed commands, and information stored in public areas, are not private.

Faculty members have the legal obligation to maintain the privacy of files containing confidential information, including student information such as course grades and letters of recommendation. Helpful information about using confidential information securely may be found at www.security.harvard.edu.

On shared and networked computer systems certain information about users and their activities is visible to others on those systems. Examples of observable information include, but are not limited to, certain accounting and directory information (for example, usernames and email addresses), certain records of file names and executed commands, and information stored in shared or public folders.

For consultation on securing electronic information, please contact HUIT at 617-495-7777.

Harvard University Policy on Access to Electronic Information

Harvard has established a Policy on Access to Electronic Information that sets out guidelines and processes for University access to user electronic information stored in or transmitted through any University system. This policy applies to all Schools and units of the University. 

Accessible Education

Students Requiring Accessible Education

Accessible Education Office

Smith Campus Center, Fourth Floor
617-496-8707
Fax: 617-496-1098 
Email: aeo.fas.harvard.edu

Harvard University is committed to providing students who have disabilities with equal access to all affiliated programs and activities through inclusive design and the provision of reasonable accommodations.

The Accessible Education Office (AEO), which serves College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) as well as the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) students, collaborates with faculty and students to make this possible.

Disability information, including diagnoses and clinical documentation, is protected under FERPA, and it is important that all communication with students regarding accommodations be individualized and only shared with other university officials on a need-to-know basis. 

Ongoing communication and collaboration on the part of faculty, teaching staff, AEO, administrators, and students themselves is essential. Students should initiate accommodation requests through the AIM portal, which is accessed through a link on the AEO website. Once students are determined eligible for accommodations, they will be guided each semester to select which approved accommodations they need for each class. This will then be communicated through an introductory letter sent by AEO giving an overview of their approved accommodations. Students making such requests without this letter should be referred directly to AEO. Providing accommodations in the course to students who are not registered with AEO can result in inconsistent implementation of university procedures. Members of the Faculty best understand the essential components of their courses, and accommodations are not designed to alter or eliminate any essential requirements of a course.

The course head is responsible for implementing all AEO-approved academic accommodations needed for classroom instruction, including midterm or hourly examinations. AEO will send a Testing Agreement Form attached to the accommodations letter to request information about midterm/hourly examinations for students with alternative testing accommodations.  Faculty will have the option to request that AEO proctor midterm tests, given all information is completed in advance on the Testing Agreement Form. Should the form not be completed and returned in a timely manner, or if faculty choose to administer course assessments themselves, they will be responsible for implementing all required testing accommodations, including finding a separate room for exam administration. If a student requires a scribe or similar service to write for a midterm or hourly exam, the course head should reach out to AEO for assistance. Accommodated exams are expected to occur on the same day as in-class exams. All final examinations for students with AEO-approved exam accommodations are administered during the final exam period by the Exams Office and appropriate accommodations will be made in conjunction with AEO (see entry below.)

Course heads should routinely note in the course syllabus and announce at the first class meeting that students approved for accommodations should contact the teaching staff to discuss elements of the course that may be inaccessible and develop a plan together on how their accommodations will be implemented, based on their letter from AEO.

 

Faculty who utilize universal design in learning for all students know that effective strategies for instruction frequently obviate the need for accommodations. Some suggestions are:

 

  • Provide course materials in accessible formats, including documents/PDFs that are screen-readable. The Assistive Technology Center (ATC) is available to help with preparation of accessible materials as long as they are provided to them in advance. Increased reliance on and availability of digital text benefits all students. Other formats may include Braille or enlarged print, which the ATC can provide.
  • Ensure students who are Deaf or hard of hearing have available seating space in the front of the room and that the room has appropriate lighting. If movies or slide presentations occur, an alternative lighting source will be required for students who need to see interpreters. Some students may use FM listening devices associated with their hearing aids that require teaching staff to use a wireless (non-amplifying) microphone. If microphones are available in the classroom, they should be used at all times. Faculty should make advance arrangements to provide open-captioned films and audio material and can receive assistance with captioning by contacting the AEO.
  • Call for volunteers from the class as soon as the need for a note-taker has been communicated, taking care not to disclose the student’s name or disability. Typically, note-takers who take their notes in an electronic format are preferred as they are able to email the AEO student their notes immediately after the class.
  • Ensure that lectures, sections, review sessions, etc. are held in physically accessible spaces when required. The Registrar's Office classroom section (617-495-1541) can assist when relocation of a course is necessary.

When students make course changes after the registration deadline and before the fifth Monday of the term, it is understood that delays in the preparation of reformatted materials may result, affecting both students and instructional staff.

Assistive Technology Center

Harvard University Science Center B06
617-496-8800
atc@fas.harvard.edu 
atc.fas.harvard.edu

The Assistive Technology Center (ATC) serves all students registered with AEO and Local Disability Coordinators throughout the University and who depend on print alternatives to access course materials. The ATC provides support through technology, which can include electronic version of course materials, and access to course content in the classroom.

Faculty members who require assistance producing handouts, lecture notes, exams, or other course materials converted into digital text, Braille, or enlarged text, can contact the ATC for assistance. If a student requires the use of a laptop as an exam accommodation, a course staff member may email the ATC  to arrange for an equipment loan. Arrangements for reformatted material or the loan of equipment should be made least 5 business days in advance.

Final Examinations for Students with AEO-Approved Exam Accommodations

 

All seated final examinations for students with AEO-approved exam accommodations are administered during the Examination Period by the FAS Registrar's Office, and appropriate accommodations will be made in conjunction with AEO. For questions concerning the administration of final exams (e.g., the date, time, or location of exams) contact the FAS Registrar's Office, exams@fas.harvard.edu or 617-495-1542. For questions concerning accommodations, contact the AEO, aeo@fas.harvard.edu or 617-496-8707.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is committed to fostering an open and supportive community that promotes learning, teaching, research, and discovery. This commitment includes maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is, on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation or gender identity, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination in that it denies an individual equal access to the University’s programs or activities.

The Harvard University Interim Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy was developed in response to the changes issued by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2020, and conduct that falls outside of the jurisdiction of that policy is addressed in the Harvard University Interim Other Sexual Misconduct Policy.

According to the University Interim Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, sexual harassment is defined in the following way: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on sexual orientation or gender identity, that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) an employee of the University either explicitly or implicitly conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or services of the University, such as an individual’s employment or academic standing (for example, academic evaluation, grades, or advancement) on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (quid pro quo); quid pro quo sexual harassment can occur whether a person resists and suffers the threatened harm, or the person submits and avoids the threatened harm. Both situations could constitute discrimination on the basis of sex; or (2) unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education or work programs or activities; or (3) sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

The University Interim Other Sexual Misconduct Policy defines “other sexual misconduct” in the following way: "Other sexual misconduct is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Other sexual misconduct includes unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on sexual orientation or gender identity, that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) an employee of the University either explicitly or implicitly conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or services of the University, such as an individual’s employment or academic standing (for example, academic evaluation, grades, or advancement) on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (quid pro quo), which may occur whether a person resists and suffers the threatened harm or the person submits and avoids the threatened harm; or (2) unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it effectively denies a person access to the University’s education or work programs or activities (hostile environment).

While the FAS adheres to the University policies, the Interim FAS Policies and Procedures Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct elaborates on and supplements the University policies.

The FAS Interim Policies prohibit sexual relations with students in the following way: “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, proctor, 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. In addition, no resident tutor or freshman proctor shall request or accept sexual favors from, or initiate or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with, any undergraduate student at Harvard College.

The FAS Interim Policies contain the following provision regarding information sharing and confidentiality: “Consistent with University policies, the FAS officers, other than those who are prohibited from making such notifications because of a legal confidentiality obligation, must promptly notify the relevant Title IX Resource Coordinator(s) about possible sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct. This means that if those FAS officers learn about a possible incident of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct, they need to contact an FAS Title IX Resource Coordinator, who will know what steps, if any, to take next (including which other Title IX Resource Coordinators should be notified). Such FAS officers include (but are not limited to): deans; administrative and professional staff; those responsible for residential life (for example, Faculty Deans, Resident Deans, Resident and Non-Resident Tutors, Resident Advisors, and Proctors); coaches and assistant coaches; other personnel who work directly with students, such as those who work with student clubs and organizations, career services, academic support, and others; and faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, and others who teach students, including graduate student teaching fellows.

 

The Commission of Inquiry

The Commission of Inquiry serves as a clearing house for inquiries or complaints brought to it by members of the Faculty or of the student bodies of Harvard College or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. It consists of three faculty members and two students. Complaints or inquiries should be addressed to the Commission of Inquiry c/o the Secretary of the Faculty at secfas@fas.harvard.edu. The Commission will then direct the complaint or query to the appropriate agency of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. If such an agency does not exist, the Commission will attempt to aid in resolving the matter. The Commission is sometimes instrumental in establishing a new agency for handling recurrent issues. Although the Commission has no power to make rulings, it can play an advocacy role in pressing for the resolution of issues.

 

 

Human Subjects Research

 

Harvard University policy and federal regulations require that all research involving human subjects that meets the federal regulatory definition of human subjects research be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) before the research begins. This requirement applies to all human subjects research meeting the federal definition conducted by faculty, staff and students, on and off campus, regardless of funding. The IRB for Harvard University Area researchers is the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS).

The purpose of the IRB is to weigh risks and benefits of participation in research and to protect the rights and welfare of the research participants. The guiding ethical principles of the IRB,­ respect for persons, beneficence, and justice ­ are embodied in the "Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research."

Applications to the IRB must be submitted through the Electronic Submission, Tracking and Reporting system (ESTR). Please consult the CUHS website or contact CUHS at (617) 496-2847 or cuhs@harvard.edu to find out more information about:

  • The types of research that require IRB review;
  • The process for submitting applications;
  • The training required for investigators and their Faculty Sponsors;
  • Appropriate forms, templates, and guidance documents;
  • And, the special process and training program for undergraduate research (http://cuhs.harvard.edu/urtp-portal)

Committee on the Use of Human Subjects

Harvard University
44-R Brattle Street, Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Cambridge, MA 02138
email: cuhs@harvard.edu
Phone: (617) 496-2847

CUHS Staff Contact Information

 

 

 

Research and Teaching Involving Animal Subjects

Research Administrative Services
IACUC Website; HarvardKey access with permission
Office of the Vice Provost for Research

The use of live animals in research and teaching is a societal and individual privilege that is taken seriously at Harvard and is a highly regulated activity. University policies and government regulations require advance review and approval of all vertebrate animal and cephalopod research prior to its commencement. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ federally mandated Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is responsible for reviewing and approving proposed studies.

All individuals planning to use vertebrate animals or cephalopods in research and/or teaching must establish, or be listed on, an IACUC-approved protocol, participate in the institution’s occupational health program, be appropriately trained to perform procedures, attend facility orientation as required, and complete assigned Harvard Training Portal modules that acquaint the participants with Harvard policies as well as federal, state, and City of Cambridge regulations regarding the use of animals. These processes may be started or verified by contacting IACUC Administration at IACUC@fas.harvard.edu.

The Office of Animal Resources (OAR) is the unit responsible for the housing, daily care and health of vertebrate animals used on campus in the FAS. All mammals and other select vertebrates housed in OAR-managed facilities must be ordered through the OAR’s Animal Ordering system; questions regarding animal orders may be sent to animalorders@fas.harvard.edu.

Any concerns or questions about the care and use of laboratory animals should be directed promptly to any of the following contacts listed below. In accordance with the University’s Whistleblower Policy, the University will protect from retaliation members of the Harvard community who make good faith reports of suspected violations of law or University policy. The University’s Compliance Hotline is a resource for members of the Harvard community who are uncomfortable reporting through the recommended contacts and prefer to anonymously report any suspected violations of law or Harvard policy. 

  • Craig P. Hunter,  PhD, IACUC Chair, HU/FAS Standing Committee on the Use of Animals in Research and Teaching: (617) 495-8309 or cphunter@fas.harvard.edu
  • Leslie A. Kirwan, Dean for Administration and Finance of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Institutional Official of the Animal Care and Use program: (617) 496-8729, leslie_kirwan@harvard.edu
  • Kathleen R. Pritchett-Corning, DVM, Attending Veterinarian and Director of the Office of Animal Resources: (617) 384-6642, pritchettcorning@fas.harvard.edu
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee administrative office: iacuc@fas.harvard.edu
  • Compliance Hotline: 877-694-2275 FREE