Our Story

Cornell's Vision and Goals for Diversity

Institutional Goals

Cornell is working to:

  • Continually improve on our demographic diversity.
  • Promote a genuine sense of belonging for all members of the Cornell community.
  • Prepare all constituents for an interconnected diverse world.
  • Utilize and leverage the diversity of thought, backgrounds, and identities of our constituents for innovation and scholarly excellence.

Cornell's Vision for Diversity: Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds

Cornell's vision statement, Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds, was formally adopted by all university governance bodies (the Employee Assembly, the University Assembly, the Student Assembly, the Faculty Senate, and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly) nearly two decades ago (2000).  This vision still holds true to what our community is committed to.

Open Doors

"I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." This statement, made by Ezra Cornell in 1865, proclaims Cornell University's enduring commitment to inclusion and opportunity, which is rooted in the shared democratic values envisioned by its founders. We honor this legacy of diversity and inclusion and welcome all individuals, including those from groups that historically have been marginalized and previously excluded from equal access to opportunity.

Open Hearts

Cornell's mission is to foster personal discovery and growth, nurture scholarship and creativity across a broad range of common knowledge, and affirm the value to individuals and society of the cultivation of the human mind and spirit. Our legacy is reflected in the diverse composition of our community, the breadth of our curriculum, the strength of our public service, and the depth of our commitment to freedom, equity, and reason. Each member of the Cornell community has a responsibility to honor this legacy and to support a more diverse and inclusive campus in which to work, study, teach, research, and serve.

Open Minds

Free expression is essential to this mission, and provocative ideas lawfully presented are an expected result. An enlightened academic community, however, connects freedom with responsibility. Cornell stands for civil discourse, reasoned thought, sustained discussion, and constructive engagement without degrading, abusing, harassing, or silencing others. Cornell is committed to act responsibly and forthrightly to maintain an environment that opens doors, opens hearts, and opens minds.


Cornell University Land Acknowledgement

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.