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New website celebrates Cornell’s diversity

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz

Looking for opportunities to fund a diversity initiative at Cornell? Wondering where gender-neutral restrooms are located? Curious who is speaking at Cornell in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s upcoming birthday?

Answers to all these questions are posted on Cornell’s new Diversity and Inclusion website.

“We are trying to make it easy for the campus community to find diversity-related resources,” said Angela Winfield, director of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity.

Aside from posting information about university diversity initiatives and policies, and cultural organizations on campus, the website also promotes events such as upcoming Breaking Bread dinners and lunches that give students, staff and faculty members opportunities to get together to discuss pressing issues.

Winfield led the discussion at the Breaking Bread dinner Nov. 1 following a keynote address, “Communicating Knowledge and Truth by Technology and Social Media: Bridging Generational Divides,” by Drew Margolin, assistant professor of communication.

“The website stores in one place everything related to diversity at Cornell, including demographics” Winfield said, referring to diversity dashboards prepared by Cornell Institutional Research and Planning that show the demographic composition of students, tenured faculty members and staff 2010-17 by university and college or school.

In fall 2017 about 44 percent of Cornell’s undergraduates self-identified as Asian, black, Hispanic, Native American or Pacific Islander.

“We use data transparency to celebrate where we made progress and to acknowledge where there is still work to do,” said Yael Levitte, associate vice provost for faculty development and diversity.

For example, Levitte pointed out that faculty diversity is not at par with student diversity. In fall 2017, about 19 percent of Cornell tenured faculty self-identified as Asian, black, Hispanic or Pacific Islanders.

The Provost’s Task Force on Enhancing Faculty Diversity, led by Mark Lewis, professor in operations research and information engineering, plans to make recommendations this spring to enhance the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty members. Information about the provost’s task force as well as the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate is available on diversity.cornell.edu

Lori Sonken is program coordinator in the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.