Diversity Initiative

July 19, 2016

Dear colleagues,  

Three years ago, we announced the inception of the Diversity Initiative within our School; its mission—creating and fostering greater diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Arts and Science community—remains one of our highest priorities. Additionally, it has long been a goal of our University to meet the highest standards of inclusive excellence. As we begin to see some progress in this area, we recognize that there is much more to be done. Thus, we are happy to join with the President and the Provost in a renewed commitment to further our collective goals.

As we begin the new academic year, we will work collaboratively with all members of the FAS community to make this commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion a permanent part of our culture as we search for new faculty to join our School. Toward this end, I would like to articulate two principal goals that will inform all future searches in FAS.

First, each search must strive to yield as diverse and qualified a pool of finalists as the field can boast. We recognize that search committees already have this goal in mind, but now is the time to amplify those efforts. This will require active and energetic solicitation of professional organizations, consultation with colleagues in a broad network of universities and other institutions (as determined by field), and engaged, dynamic recruitment. It also requires that we do not miss opportunities by focusing on only a handful of departments or institutions, but rather that we look for excellence quite broadly. We will be sharing a faculty search toolkit and offering workshops to chairs and search committees to facilitate this effort. Finally, to advance this goal, we plan a strategic allocation of our total resources to increase the diversity of our faculty.

Second: We must endeavor to make substantial progress each year, with the expectation that every new faculty position somehow broadens the diversity of the department in ways that matter to its scholarly field of interest, and just as importantly, to our students in the classroom. Diversity at NYU has historically been broadly defined, inclusive of categories of race and ethnicity, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, etc. In this spirit, the Divisional Deans will be meeting with every Chair and Director to engage in a conversation that will explore the question of what diversity and inclusivity might mean within their local neighborhoods.

Achieving a more diverse and inclusive faculty community can only happen in a broad and collegial partnership where departments, staff, faculty, deans, and University leadership work together to build a stronger NYU, one that can truly claim its global stature as a great  private university in the public service. All of the Deans in Arts and Science look forward to working together with you to achieve this critically important goal.

All the best,
Tom