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Commitment to Inclusion
Commitment to Inclusion
Cornell's approach to institutional inclusion and diversity planning is holistic. Our commitments, both regulatory and strategic, involve novel approaches to improve campus culture and our demographic composition.
Toward New Destinations
In fall 2011, the University Diversity Council was restructured to include the president, provosts of the Ithaca and Weill Cornell campuses, five Ithaca-based diversity professionals, three Weill Cornell diversity professionals, as well as two vice presidents, three vice provosts, the director of institutional research, and the dean of students.
The University Diversity Council developed an institutional diversity planning initiative, "Toward New Destinations." The initiative lays the foundation for the university to remain positioned on the leading edge of education and employment through enhancement of a culture that provides for the full participation of all members of our community.
The initiative requires that each college and administrative unit annually identify five diversity initiatives in support of four core principles (composition, engagement, inclusion, achievement) for seven constituent groups: undergraduate students, graduate and professional students, postdoctoral associates and academic professionals, staff, faculty, the off-campus community, and the extended Cornell communities of parents, alumni, friends, and donors.
Detailed background information about the Toward New Destinations diversity framework and objectives, as well as a summary of highlights of the 2012-13 TND initiatives and a breakdown of the 2013-14 initiatives is available in the October 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Report to the Cornell University Board of Trustees.
Affirmative Action and Workforce Inclusion Plan
As a federal contractor, Cornell University is bound by the federal laws that address affirmative action compliance. Each year, the university reports on its progress in addressing its compliance obligations.
Addressing Bias Activity
Since 2000, Cornell University has had a program to track bias that is occurring on the campus in an effort to be proactive in creating an inclusive climate for all. Information about bias activity on campus is updated May and December each year in Reports and Responses to Bias Activity at Cornell University.
Cornell University is committed to diversity and inclusiveness, with the goal of providing an accessible, usable, and welcoming environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors with disabilities. Since 2004, a team of individuals from departments across the university has worked to address disability access, which has resulted in a comprehensive web page and a strategic plan.
Cornell University is committed to creating a climate that supports gender equity and complying with the obligations identified under Title IX. As a result, the university has established a Title IX coordinator and a team of deputies to address student, workforce, and athletics issues. In its efforts to address both its compliance obligations and its commitment to gender diversity, the university has created a gender-equity institutional plan that includes how the university is addressing sexual harassment and assault as well as other aspects of gender equity.
Study on Student Climate for Diversity
In 2013, Institutional Research and Planning, in consultation with the University Diversity Council, compiled a report to assess campus climate, highlighting selected survey results relating to two dimensions of the campus climate for diversity – engagement and inclusion – as reported by Cornell undergraduate and graduate students in recent surveys. While not intended as an all-encompassing assessment of diversity at Cornell, the report, Beginning to Assess the Student Climate for Diversity at Cornell: Preliminary Findings on Student Engagement and Inclusion from Student Surveys will inform a more comprehensive examination of the student climate for diversity. This report supports the continuing work of the University Diversity Council to assess campus climate, and is consonant with recommendations from Cornell’s Incident Management Team and President Skorton’s February 2013 statement on bias and sexual misconduct. The report is available here: http://irp.cornell.edu/diversity-reports
Diversity Initiatives of College and Administrative Units
Colleges, schools, and administrative units have developed diversity plans, some of which were framed using the diversity planning roadmap: "Toward New Destinations." The plans for 2013-14 have been submitted and summarized here. A summary of 2012-13 initiatives and their outcomes is available here. In a pilot grant program to support and enhance annual diversity initiatives, the University Diversity Council offers one-year grants of between $5,000 and $10,000 each.