Sexual Harassment – Title IX

As expressed by the Faculty Council of Harvard College, “the determination of what constitutes sexual harassment will vary with particular circumstances, but it may be described generally as unwanted sexual behavior, such as physical or verbal comments or suggestions, which adversely affects the working or learning environment of an individual.” The administration of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health wishes to do everything it can to maintain an environment free from harassment. Sexual harassment, especially by persons with authority, be it faculty members or teaching assistants, will not be tolerated.

Anyone believing themselves to be a victim of sexual or gender-based harassment should seek assistance. This may take the form of just talking over the circumstances, informal counseling, or filing a formal complaint. Persons at the School who are ready to help students include Maritza Hernandez, associate dean for student services, at 617-432-4703; Luke Sutherland, housing coordinator, Title IX coordinator, at 617-432-5290; Jennifer Ivers, associate dean for faculty affairs, at 617-432-1381; Linda Picard, senior director of human resources, at 617-432-2719; the chair or director of the student’s department/program; or Melissa Brodrick, ombudsperson, at 617-432-4040. Often, an informal process can help remedy the situation, so do not hesitate to seek help.

Allegations Related to Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment or Other Sexual Misconduct
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HCSPH) has adopted the University-wide Interim Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Interim Other Sexual Misconduct Policy. In addition, the University’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment policy addresses sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct alleged to have occurred between September 1, 2014, and August 14, 2020. Copies of all policies and their associated grievance procedures can be found here ( In all such cases, the Harvard University Office for Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) and the Office of Gender Equity are responsible for implementing the University’s grievance procedures, which will determine whether a student committed a policy violation. Whenever a formal complaint of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct is investigated and the University’s grievance procedures result in a finding that a policy violation has occurred, the Disciplinary Board must accept that finding as final and nonreviewable. The only opportunity to appeal the determination of a policy violation is provided within the grievance procedures implemented by the ODR and the Harvard University Office of Gender Equity. Appeals within HCSPH pertain only to the decision of the Disciplinary Board in determining discipline.

To file a formal complaint, contact the University Title IX Coordinator:
Nicole Merhill
Smith Campus Center, Suite 901
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-496-0200

Title IX
If you are considering filing a formal complaint or seeking informal resolution, you are encouraged to consult your School or unit Title IX Resource Coordinator, the University’s Title IX Coordinator, or the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR).

ODR impartially investigates formal complaints of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct against students, staff, and, with most Schools, faculty. ODR investigations are handled by professional investigators working with the involved Schools and units. Any member of the Harvard community may visit ODR to request information or advice, including how to file a formal complaint with the University Title IX Coordinator and assistance in seeking informal resolution. You are encouraged to bring your concerns to the relevant School or unit Title IX Resource Coordinator, the University Title IX Coordinator, or staff in ODR, but may, if you choose, contact another School or University officer, who will refer the matter as appropriate.

Office for Dispute Resolution
Smith Campus Center, Suite 935
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-495-3786

For more information about your options and support services available to Harvard Chan School students, please visit the HSPCH Title IX Resource Coordinator website or the Office of Gender Equity website.