Public Safety Advisory Committee focus groups report

Dear Ithaca campus community,

Throughout this academic year, the university’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) has been examining the views and experiences of Ithaca campus students, faculty and staff regarding public safety and policing on our campus. Last month, we reported the results of a quantitative survey of the Ithaca campus community, which was followed by a series of qualitative focus groups with students, faculty and staff to allow for deeper, more nuanced discussions.

Led by Southpaw Insights, an independent research and analytics firm, these conversations engaged a broad cross-section of 90 Ithaca campus students, faculty and staff, who were invited based upon interest expressed in their initial survey responses. Southpaw also recruited participants via various inclusion and diversity groups on campus, and held a focus group for Cornell University Police Department officers, to ensure the widest possible range of voices for these important discussions.

On behalf of the PSAC, I invite you to view Southpaw’s summary report and learn more about these topics, which are playing out not only on our campus but across the country.

We are grateful to the many members of our community who have offered their time and ideas through participation in the survey and focus groups. It is heartening to see the level of engagement and care with which the Cornell community is approaching these complex issues.

The PSAC is closely studying the results of the quantitative survey and the focus groups as we prepare a final report and set of recommendations to deliver to President Pollack later this spring. We look forward to sharing that information with the entire Ithaca campus community when complete.


Joanne DeStefano, PSAC Chair
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer