Graduate School Mental Health & Faculty Mentor Development Initiatives

In September 2018, former Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack announced that Cornell would undertake a review of student mental health. In response, during the 2019-20 academic year, an internal Mental Health Review Committee examined Cornell’s academic and social environment, climate, and culture related to mental health. 

The Committee’s findings were shared with the External Review Team, which was charged with conducting a comprehensive review of campus mental health services and strategies. The Review Team’s final report was released in October 2020. In the report, graduate students raised several concerns directly related to the importance of healthy advisor-advisee relationships.

In 2020, the Graduate School created a series of advising guides to support the development of productive and positive relationships between faculty and students, including one in response to pandemic-related challenges. These guides provide a road map to creating healthy interactions and solving problems that may arise.

Four initiatives undertaken by the Graduate School to address graduate student concerns identified in the Mental Health Review are described below.