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Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC)

Cornell’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) is composed of students, staff, and faculty members who advise Cornell Police on issues of campus public safety. PSAC is an advisory committee on campus security in accordance with Section 6431 of Article 129-A of New York State Education Law. The committee makes recommendations to improve campus security policies and procedures and reviews issues that affect the overall safety and well- being of Cornell’s diverse community.

Appointments to the committee are made annually. Students, faculty, and staff members interested in the PSAC are invited to contact co-chairs EVP  & CFO Chris Cowen and Vice President Ryan Lombardi.

NYS Education Department Article 129A – Section 6430…6438

PSAC Final Report to President Pollack

In June 2020, following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Cornell President Martha Pollack directed the university to undertake a series of racial justice initiatives. In doing so, she charged the PSAC with evaluating and reimagining Ithaca campus safety and security protocols through a methodical, open, and inclusive process. Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, PSAC members met extensively with internal and external stakeholders, led surveys and focus groups with the Ithaca campus community, and conducted intensive research and deliberation to inform their findings. 

In July 2021, PSAC members submitted their final report (below), which includes four recommendations for improving Ithaca campus policing, safety, and security structures and protocols.  In August, President Pollack responded to the report by thanking the committee members for their thoughtful and diligent work and by reaffirming the university and the Cornell University Police Department’s commitment to racial justice. In her message to the PSAC and to the Ithaca campus community, she outlined steps for the university to advance the PSAC’s recommendations along with noting efforts underway to build “an approach to public safety at Cornell that is grounded in justice and equity.” 

Recommendations for Cornell University Public Safety Reform – July 27, 2021

PSAC Campus Community Survey

From February 8-21, 2021, Cornell’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) surveyed Ithaca campus students, faculty and staff to capture community perspectives on police practices on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. These secure and confidential findings are supporting the PSAC as it examines campus security and safety now and in the future and will inform its recommendations, due to university leadership in May 2021, as part of ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion work at Cornell.  For more information, and to review the survey report, please see the FAQs

PSAC Focus Groups

In spring 2021, PSAC partnered with Southpaw Insights, an independent research and analytics firm, to hold a series of focus groups to provide deeper, more nuanced insights on the Ithaca campus community’s perspectives on campus safety and security. For more information, and to review the findings, please see the following page.

Board of Trustees PSAC Update – May 2021

Committee Agendas and Minutes: