Guidelines for Respectful Interactions and Discussions

After eight months of study, the College issued a report in September 2017 and ratified it into its bylaws: "Adopting A Culture of Collegiality"

Guidelines for Respectful Interactions and Discussions

NYU and GPH place an emphasis on its members to be respectful, constructive, and inclusive in all interactions and discussions. To this end, the College has created a list of guidelines intended for respectful interactions in all settings, but especially for discussion in committee meetings, conferences, and staff retreats. The guidelines for respectful interactions and discussions were adapted from the NYU Department of Philosophy’s “Guidelines for Respectful Discussions” and incorporate GPH’s core values, which were identified through staff retreats and online surveys. 

Department Chairs, Program Directors, faculty, and staff are required to read these guidelines and implement them while at work. For example, the use of these guidelines should be used at all official GPH functions, including committee and staff meetings, and a reminder of the guidelines should be announced by the chair at the beginning of each meeting. If these guidelines are perceived to be violated during a meeting, the chair (or anyone else present at the meeting) is encouraged to promptly and gently remind the group of the guidelines. It is worth noting that violating these guidelines does not make one a bad person, and there can be reasonable disagreement about perceived violations to these guidelines.  Meetings are not the appropriate time to argue about the guidelines themselves.  A simple reminder by the chair to be respectful of one another ought to be sufficient.

I. Respect

·      Be nice and understanding.

·      It’s good to acknowledge your colleague’s insights as well as those of previous contributors before you present your own views.

·      Don’t be incredulous, roll your eyes, make faces, laugh at participants, or start distracting side conversations (e.g., orally or via text).

·      Phone calls, texting, and email during meetings is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum.


II. Community

·      Set and keep a professional and positive tone.

·      While creative and respectful discourse is encouraged, never present objections as a flat dismissal. Leave open the possibility of compromise.

·      There’s no need to keep pressing the same objection (individually or collectively).

·      If the issue has been discussed, move on. There is no need for repeated objections to matters that have been discussed and voted on.

·      Remember that academia isn’t a zero-sum game. Trust in your community that your voice will be heard.


III. Value Others

·      All questions are welcomed and all perspectives are valued.

·      Don’t dominate the discussion. Be mindful of others and try not to let your question (or your answer) run on.

·      Meeting leaders should attempt to balance discussion between participants, prioritizing people who haven’t spoken before, and keeping in mind the likelihood of various explicit and/or implicit biases.