Belonging at Cornell


Belonging at Cornell is a framework designed to continue the progress towards making Cornell a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Its mission is to focus our collective efforts on creating a campus community where individuals from diverse backgrounds and life experiences can both contribute and thrive. The intent of Belonging at Cornell is to improve the overall experience of faculty, staff and students, not to solve every diversity or inclusion challenge, nor eliminate the effects of respectful, but challenging discourse.

Belonging at Cornell Logo


Belonging at Cornell is an institutional blueprint for transformational change. Unlike other diversity and inclusion models, the Belonging at Cornell framework aligns initiatives with clearly stated institution-wide objectives and metrics to track and foster a sense of belonging, fair treatment, and recommendation score along with workforce composition and retention metrics. The institution-wide metrics (listed below) are the key indicators of a diverse and inclusive climate. Their use is based on the principle that campus climate is an amalgamation of the subjective perceptions, experiences and actions of individuals, and as such, an effective model should be aimed at directly impacting these areas.

Belonging at Cornell is about fostering respect and appreciation for difference, having a shared purpose and being a part of a community, while simultaneously being valued and appreciated for the uniqueness that each person brings to the community.

Belonging at Cornell inspires accountability and action in a collaborative, standards- and evidence-based framework that:

  • Clearly establishes meaningful institutional objectives
  • Builds accountability and ownership into the process
  • Focuses purposeful efforts, initiatives and activities on meeting institutional objectives
  • Executive leadership is informed about the framework and the metrics for their unit
  • All units will report out to the President and/or Provost on all key metrics annually through their executive leadership and will be evaluated on progress.
  • Based on reported metrics, units select one or more objectives to focus on for an ambitious multi-year campaign where improvement is needed.
  • All units will be responsible for ensuring implementation and execution of best practices to improve metrics, as required.
  • Tools that address each metric will be provided to colleges/units for adoption and implementation. Colleges/units are encouraged to collaborate on development and execution of initiatives.
  • College/unit diversity councils will be encouraged to customize, enhance and innovate when possible and appropriate.
  • Colleges and units will be encouraged to partner with and learn from those colleges and units leading in a particular metric.


Sense of Belonging

The feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity


The aspect of organizational justice with regards to both process and outcome impartiality

Recommendation Score

The measurement of how willing an individual is to recommend positively an institution

Turnover Rates

The measurement of the number of individuals who leave an organization

Diverse Candidate Pools

The practice of hiring candidates using a process that is free from biases

Survey Results Overview

University-level Survey Results Metrics: Faculty and Staff | Spring 2020


I am treated fairly in my department/unit without regard to any element of my identity


I feel a sense of belonging in my department/unit


Would recommend Cornell as a good place to work


Would recommend department/unit as a good place to work


I feel a sense of belonging at Cornell