NYU Anthropology Grievance Procedures for MS Students, PhD Students, and Postdoctoral Researchers
NYU Resources for Reporting and Addressing Grievances
NYU is committed to equal treatment and opportunity for its students; to maintaining an environment that is free of bias, prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; and to establishing complaint procedures for allegations involving students.
If you have experienced or witnessed bias, prejudice, discrimination, harassment or retaliation, please contact the NYU Office of Equal Opportunity to initiate the complaint resolution process by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone, 212-998-2370, or through the NYU Bias Response Line.
NYU Anthropology is committed to providing high quality mentorship and educational and professional development opportunities for all of its students. If you are experiencing a problem and need help to move forward, we provide the grievance procedures described in this document, which includes mechanisms for resolution using resources within the department. If you instead need or prefer to report and resolve your grievance with help from outside the department, please use the GSAS Grievance Procedures (as indicated in Section 10 of their Policies and Procedures manual).
Back in 2019, NYU’s GSAS asked that every department identify “an individual (or individuals, such as a committee) to whom students can bring concerns about any stressful, negative, or neglectful situations they experience. It is important that a safe, responsive environment be provided such that concerns can be brought forward without threat of repercussions. Each department should provide a plan for how such situations will be addressed and ensure that students and faculty know what the structure is.” This document instantiates these guidelines and also goes beyond them by applying our grievance procedure to postdoctoral researchers.
The Department designates the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) as the main point of contact for student/postdoc grievances. It does so because the DGS is a leading officer of the Department, one who is recognized (and approved) by GSAS itself. One reason that the DGS is key for this role is that s/he has the responsibility of being aware of all GSAS principles and guidelines. Another is that the DGS will be aware of the grievance procedures outside of the Department (such as with GSAS itself). Finally, because of their ongoing contact with members of GSAS, including the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and the Dean of the Graduate School, the DGS has access to individuals who can provide advice and resources in difficult cases.
The Department recognizes that any doctoral student/postdoc who registers a grievance might fear potential recrimination and so may wish to remain anonymous. At the same time, the Department notes that it is important that a record of grievances be maintained to document a pattern of poor mentorship practices—documentation that will often be required for it to take remedial action. The relationship between the need for anonymity and for documentation is underscored by the fact that the person in the role of DGS changes over time; therefore, maintaining continuity is important.
A) The Department, via its DGS, will maintain a permanent record of all grievances. However, only the current DGS will have access to that record and will be able to record new grievances. A recorded grievance will include the name of the individual against which a grievance is lodged; however, it will not include the name of the individual (or other details that would identify the individual who lodged the grievance). Note that this means that a new incoming DGS will have access to past grievances, absent identifying information of the person who expressed concern.
B) In addition to the Department record, all DGS’s will be asked to maintain, in their personal files, a permanent, confidential record of those who report a grievance. This confidential record is important in cases where the Department needs to contact that person (through the original DGS to whom the grievance was reported) for additional information. All DGSs maintain the confidentiality of those persons indefinitely, even after his or her term as DGS has ended.
The Department recognizes that there may be circumstances in which an individual is uncomfortable reporting a grievance to the DGS. One thing to consider is that, as noted earlier in this document, all members of the department may get help from outside the department by reporting their concerns to GSAS or the NYU Bias Response Line.
In the case in which a student is uncomfortable reporting a grievance to the DGS, the Department designates other faculty members to whom a grievance may be reported. These include:
• The current coordinator of the student’s program, such as the Certificate Program in Culture and Media, or the MS Program in Human Skeletal Biology;
• The coordinator of the other program;
• The Department Associate Chair;
• The Department Chair
An alternative faculty member may also inform the DGS, Chair, or Associate Chair, subject to restrictions imposed by Title IX, as identified in the University’s Anti-Harassment Policy.