Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.42
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Cornell University
PA-14: Wellness Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.75 / 1.00 Linda Croll Howell
Director for HR Analytics
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a wellness program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all students?:

Does the institution have a wellness and/or employee assistance program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all academic staff?:

Does the institution have a wellness and/or employee assistance program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all non-academic staff?:

A brief description of the institution’s wellness and/or employee assistance program(s):

Cornell has three departments that are responsible for Cornell’s wellbeing-related initiatives and services for employees: Work/Life in Human Resources, the Wellness Program, and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Multiple offices are responsible for student wellbeing, the most prominent being the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office. All of these groups responded to COVID-19 in 2020 with virtual services and adopting workshops and other programs for virtual participation.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers free, confidential, professional assessment, counseling, consultation and referral services by telephone, remotely or in person to all benefits-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and their dependents. Supervisors can consult with FSAP for assistance in managing employees with personal problems or whose behaviors are causing poor job performance or interpersonal conflicts. Counselors help individuals with a variety of topics including stress-related emotional issues; relationship issues; anger management; family issues and parent-child concerns; grief/loss issues; divorce/separation adjustment; depression and anxiety; alcohol and drug concerns; financial concerns; and interpersonal difficulties.

The Cornell Wellness Program helps individuals achieve their fitness and nutrition goals. With over 5,000 members as of June, 2020, including retirees, Trustees, and Professors Emeriti, in addition to employees the Wellness program serves a broad range of needs. Additionally, Wellness staff facilitated 473 fitness, nutrition, and life coaching consultations in CY19. The program offers access to five fitness centers, an ice skating rink, and several swimming pools, along with group fitness and nutrition classes for employees of the university. Fitness facilities were closed for a majority of CY19 due to COVID. Instead, Cornell Wellness offered virtual classes for low to high impact workouts that can be done at home. Wellness also hosted a "virtual commuter challenge" that helped employees establish beginning/end of the day routines that involved physical movement, even if they worked remotely.

Work/Life in Human Resources is responsible for supporting employee wellbeing through resource and referral services, consultations on breastfeeding accommodations, child care, self-care, and adult/elder care, providing support services to ill employees, consulting on workplace flexibility, managing the Cornell Child Care Center and other child care resources, and oversees Cornell’s retirement engagement initiatives. Instituted in 2018, the university launched the 7-Dimensions of Wellbeing model, which includes Environmental Wellbeing as a dimension. During COVID, Work/Life facilitated child care for essential personnel, operated a hardship fund for school age expenses, and much more.

Wellbeing workshops are offered by these departments in-person and remotely to employees on topics such as managing change, health and nutrition, caregiving, parenting, resolving interpersonal conflict, setting limits, depression, working with difficult people, compassion fatigue and burnout, keeping relationship satisfaction high, sleep, domestic violence, and more.

The mission of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is to provide crisis intervention, outreach, and referral services to students. They also offer consultation, education, and prevention strategies to the University community. CAPS is a safe place for our students to speak with a mental health professional about any concern. This may include stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, adjustment challenges, relationship difficulties, questions about identity, or managing an existing mental health condition. They support the well-being of our students by encouraging an environment of inclusion and personal development.

Does the institution prohibit smoking within all occupied buildings owned or leased by the institution?:

Does the institution restrict outdoor smoking?:

Does the institution prohibit smoking and tobacco use across the entire campus?:

A copy of the institution's smoke-free policy:
The institution’s smoke-free policy:


Cornell University prohibits the smoking and carrying of lighted cigars, cigarettes, or pipes, and the use of electronic cigarettes (vaping) in all indoor facilities, enclosed bus stops, and university-owned or -controlled vehicles, and within twenty-five feet of any entry to a building unless otherwise noted in this policy.

Website URL where information about the institution’s wellness programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Additional websites to visit for more information on our wellness programs.

Cornell Health offers a variety of tobacco and nicotine cessation services including pharmaceutical, free quit kicks, consultations with behavioral specialists, and more.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.