2013 Muslim Banquet at Willard Straight Hall


There is so much to learn about Cornell University's diversity initiatives. Some of the frequently asked questions are answered here. If you have more questions about Cornell University's diversity initiative or if you have a suggestion to improve our diversity and inclusion efforts, please contact us at diversityinput@cornell.edu.

How does Cornell define diversity? For Cornell University, diversity is far more than a demographic goal or a focus on any one aspect of representational diversity. It is the experience of meaningful exploration and exchange through a set of dynamic and reciprocal interactions of people from a variety of backgrounds. On a college campus, diversity creates an academic environment where intercultural skills are developed and enacted among diverse campus constituencies, with community partners, and within classroom and research practices.
Is the university’s diversity initiative new? No, the university has been addressing diversity and inclusion since 1999. However, in 2011, through the leadership of the president and provost, the university is revitalizing its diversity initiative. This initiative, designed to realize the diversity and inclusion values in our statement—Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds—provides the tactical framework that senior leaders, department heads, and the Cornell community can use to achieve the excellence derived from full engagement with diversity.
Why is Cornell addressing diversity and inclusion? As a world class institution, Cornell recognizes that research, knowledge production, and operational and academic pursuits benefit tremendously from the full engagement of all individuals who have diverse points of view and come from varied life experiences. If we are going to be on the cutting edge of our fields and practices, we are committed to enhancing our culture to provide for the full participation of all members of our community. As an enlightened academic community, we boldly pursue full inclusion as a central component of our values and our approach to each other and the world around us.
Does Cornell have a diversity council, similar to other organizations? Yes, Cornell does have a University Diversity Council that is charged with supporting the president and provosts in providing the overall vision and framework for the university’s achievement of strategic goals focused on faculty, staff, and student diversity. It reflects the aspirations of the university as expressed in its 2010-2015 strategic plan. In addition to the university-wide diversity council, many of the colleges and administrative units have developed their own diversity advisory groups that work with the University Diversity Council to advance the college’s or administrative unit’s diversity initiatives.
How do I learn more about Cornell's diversity initiatives? "Toward New Destinations" is the university's institutional diversity planning framework that focuses on demographic composition, engagement, inclusion (climate), and achievement for each of our constituent groups. Each college dean and university vice president has been tasked to identify diversity initiatives that can be implemented each year. These initiatives are summarized on this website, including the progress toward diversity for each college and administrative unit.
Where can I find or post information about diversity related events and activities at Cornell? The Cornell Events Calendar is the best place to find and post information about diversity related events at Cornell.  To search for events, type the word “diversity” or any words specific to your search in the search box at the upper right side of the page.  To post information about events, click on Submit an Event and enter your information.  
What is the procedure for submitting items to diversity.cornell.edu? 

If you are interested in posting information about a diversity related presentation, activity, or event sponsored by a specific college, administrative unit, or organization, please refer to the previous question for instructions on how to access the Cornell Events Calendar.

If you are interested in posting information about a campus-wide diversity event or initiative, to share a link to a Cornell webpage, or to post updated information about a program, award, resource, or research, please send a description of 100 words or fewer to amp73@cornell.edu. Be sure to include your contact information.   

Personal Stories on the Finding My Community tab of diversity.cornell.edu celebrate individuals whose efforts embody engagement, inclusion, and achievement at Cornell. 

This website is updated at the beginning of each month.  To be included in an update, items must be received by the 15th of the preceding month.  Submission of an item does not guarantee that it will be posted on the site.  Please include your contact information with all submissions.

Is Cornell's diversity focus just on race and gender? No, Cornell's diversity efforts include race and gender, but also address other aspects as well, such as sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities.
I want to talk to someone about an incident that made me uncomfortable, but I’m not sure it's harassment or discrimination. What should I do?

Find a trusted individual to hear your concerns. Speak to your advisor, supervisor, local HR representative, student resident assistant/ resident hall director, or staff and faculty discrimination and harassment advisor. University offices include Workforce Policy and Labor Relations, Title IX Coordinators, Victim Advocate, and Judicial Administrator (for concerns about student conduct).

Confidential counseling is available to faculty and staff from the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, and to students from Gannett's Counseling and Psychological Services. Other confidential resources include the Victim Advocate, LGBT Resource Center, Cornell United Religious Work, the Ombudsman, the Advocacy Center, and the Women's Resource Center.

For sexual violence or assault, contact Cornell University Police at (607) 255-1111 or a Title IX coordinator at (607) 255-0041 or nosexualharassment@cornell.edu. You may also report a concern online.

What if I have experienced harassment or discrimination but don't want anyone else to know what happened?

In most cases, your concerns will be kept confidential. Only those who need to know will be informed. You will be given options and resources to aid you in resolving the situation.

If, however, a crime has been committed or someone is at risk of harm, there is an obligation to report the incident to the appropriate authority in order to keep you and others in the Cornell community safe. In that event, the matter still will be handled discretely and with your knowledge.