The message below was sent to all students on May 24, 2019

Dear Students,
Earlier today, an article appeared in the Boston Globe regarding Harvard’s Title IX process and the power dynamic between students and faculty.
I write to reaffirm GSAS’s commitment to creating an inclusive community free from harassment and discrimination. Every member of our community—students, faculty, and staff—deserves to thrive, and as a consequence, sexual harassment and sexual assault have no place here.
You should know that GSAS Title IX coordinators take a number of steps to address the power imbalance that often exists between a complainant and respondent. For example, when a student is not comfortable making an official report, Title IX coordinators have served as a complainant on the student’s behalf, allowing them to take the role of witness. Other efforts to address this power imbalance include:

  • A University-wide non-retaliation policy;
  • Interim measures that support graduate students regardless of whether they wish to file a formal complaint;
  • Feedback from graduate students about faculty mentoring in FAS tenure reviews;
  • Development of targeted and customized trainings for specific concerns.

Overall, our Title IX coordinators work with students to make them aware of their options, navigate the resources and supports available, and strengthen their sense of agency.
In the past, I have asked you to report if you encounter language and behaviors that violate our community’s values, and I again want to underscore the importance of speaking up. If you have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination, I encourage you to reach out to our Title IX coordinators and other University resources. You do not have to remain silent; please reach out for support.
With all best wishes,

Emma Dench
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and of the Classics


If you have concerns about sexual or gender-based harassment or questions about policies and procedures, you can access the Title IX Resource Guide or reach out to the GSAS Title IX Coordinators or the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR).

Creating an Inclusive Community