Mental Health Review recommendation A.1.6.2
To provide clear, uniform field-level milestones, expectations, and requirements, the Graduate School is working with the graduate fields to develop handbooks describing program expectations and requirements. These handbooks will document clear and consistent standards for degree completion.
Goal: Provide new and returning students with consistent documentation about degree requirements and expectations so they can meet their milestones.
Phase 1 – Status: In progress
Work with fields to develop handbooks, if they had not already done so. As of January 2022, nearly all fields have submitted their handbooks and posted them online.
Phase 2 – Status: In progress
Link the Graduate School’s online fields of study catalog to graduate field handbooks.
Mental Health Review recommendation A.1.6.3
When a relationship between advisor and advisee becomes challenging, no formal mechanism currently exists to provide feedback. In 2021, a Strategies for Graduate Student Feedback task force was formed to develop a process for graduate students to provide feedback about problematic advisors.
Goal: Develop a mechanism for advisees to provide feedback on difficult advising relationships.
Phase 1 – Status: Complete
Convene a task force which will make recommendations about how to prevent advisor-advisee challenges from becoming irreconcilable with recommended pathways to enable advisees to provide confidential feedback on these advisor-advisee relationships.
Phase 2 – Status: Complete
The task force will prepare a final report based on data collection and the group’s deliberations.
Phase 3 – Status: In Progress
Work with deans and department chairs to implement report recommendations.
Mental Health Review recommendation A.1.6.4
To improve communications between graduate faculty and students, the Graduate School created a working group charged with defining key principles of inclusive mentoring practices and an accompanying set of core mutual expectations that will inform the development and progression of productive advising and mentoring relationships.
These core mutual expectations will provide graduate faculty and students with clarity and understanding in the following:
- Milestone timeline and funding plans
- Conflict resolution
- Health and well-being
- Collaborative relationships
- Feedback on scholarly performance and materials
- Authorship on publications and other scholarly products
- Service and contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Professional development
- Career exploration and preparation
Graduate fields will be encouraged to customize these core expectations at the field-level to meet any field-specific needs. Similarly, faculty and students will be able to customize these core mutual expectations to meet needs more specific to their individual advising/mentoring relationships.
Once the core expectations are developed, the working group will establish a recommended process for faculty and students to document, customize, and update their mutual expectations for student progress toward degree completion and postgraduate outcomes.
This working group membership includes appointed representatives from the graduate faculty and graduate student body as well as the Graduate School’s associate dean for inclusion and student engagement and the senior assistant dean for graduate student life.
Goal: To improve communication and clarity about core expectations between students and graduate fields and faculty.
Phase 1 – Status: In Progress
The Onboarding Committee will create a document informing the development and progression of productive advising and mentoring relationships.
Phase 2 – Status: Not Started
The working group will meet with stakeholders in early Spring 2022 to collect formative feedback from students, faculty, and staff.
Phase 3 – Status: Not Started
The working group will incorporate stakeholder feedback into a final report with recommendations.
Mental Health Review recommendation A.1.6.5
Currently, Cornell has several programs to support mentoring skills for faculty. These include invited speakers on mentoring, a mentoring session during new faculty orientation, My Voice, My Story workshops, and Faculty Mentoring Roundtable Discussions. To extend the reach of Cornell’s mentoring skills development for faculty, the Graduate School and its collaborators will establish a cohort-based inclusive mentoring immersive program for junior faculty and a corresponding distributed workshop series accessible to all faculty.
Goal: Support inclusive mentoring practices by Cornell faculty.
Phase 1 – Status: Complete
Graduate School deans and executive directors have participated in the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research train-the-trainer model. This is among the key first steps to implementing a larger scale model.
Phase 2 – Status: In Progress
The associate dean for inclusion and student engagement and the executive director for Future Faculty and Academic Careers have established collaborations with leading scholars on mentoring and equity in graduate education who are helping to inform the development of an inclusive mentoring program curriculum. They are also coordinating with the vice provost for academic affairs and associate vice provost for faculty development and diversity with the goal of extending the reach and impact of the proposed inclusive mentoring faculty immersion program and workshop series.
Phase 3 – Status: Not Started
The inclusive mentoring curriculum will be piloted with a cohort-based learning community of junior faculty.