Feb. 15, 2012

President Skorton issues statement on diversity goals

The following statement was issued by President David Skorton:

Cornell University is a community of diverse people, respectful and appreciative of difference. A commitment to diversity, central to the university's founding vision, remains a core value of Cornell. The increased diversity of our university community is an imperative in our strategic plan, a key priority of university leadership, and, I believe, a foundation for our continued strength and success.

As a world-class research university, Cornell recognizes that learning, discovery, creativity, and the innovative dissemination and application of knowledge benefit tremendously from the full participation of individuals with diverse points of view, coming from varied life experiences. To be on the cutting edge in all aspects of our mission, we must boldly pursue an inclusive academic and work environment.

Provosts Kent Fuchs and Laurie Glimcher and I are committed, between now and 2015, to:

The provosts and I are directing the development of explicit institutional diversity goals across all campus populations to which university leaders and their units and departments will be held accountable. This accountability will be part of an annual, university-wide process of goal-setting at both the university and the college/unit levels, and the assessment of progress, which the provosts and I will oversee, will be measured by public, organized and comparative tracking data.

To help shape our work and move it forward, a team of diversity professionals with expertise in faculty, staff and student diversity and inclusion will coordinate efforts across the campuses and provide assistance to colleges and units in meeting diversity goals. Together with the provosts and a number of vice provosts and vice presidents, they form a new University Diversity Council (UDC), charged with:

The university's deans and vice presidents, who have line responsibilities for staff, faculty and student diversity and inclusion, will continue to have the key responsibility for identifying and taking direct actions to meet the agreed-upon goals in support of the university's diversity agenda, and their progress will be tracked and assessed. College deans, vice presidents, chairs and supervisors will have the opportunity to consult with the diversity professionals as they pursue their diversity initiatives.

Our annual report on diversity will highlight best practices across the campuses and document progress made in achieving our diversity goals.

We welcome all members of the Cornell community to offer input on the university's diversity plans at diversityinput@cornell.edu.

Collectively, as a university community, we must value diversity and inclusion and reject both active and passive discrimination. Progress toward achieving our goals will require not only committed work by university leadership, but also your active participation. Our future strength requires it.