NYU’s University Senate Establishes Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion


NYU’s University Senate has voted to establish an Ad Hoc Advisory Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to study and make recommendations for concrete steps to be taken regarding issues of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion at NYU.

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NYU’s University Senate has voted to establish an Ad Hoc Advisory Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to study and make recommendations for concrete steps to be taken regarding issues of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion at NYU. Lynn Videka, Dean of the Silver School of Social Work, and Charlton McIlwain, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, were named co-chairs.

The membership of the Task Force – approximately 30 people in all, 50 percent of which will be drawn from the Senate Councils and 50 percent of which will be drawn from among a range of other NYU stakeholders – will be established and announced before the end of December.

The Task Force will issue a preliminary report with recommendations in April 2016 and then continue its work into the next academic year.

The University Senate resolved with all in favor except for one abstention:

The Senate Ad Hoc Advisory Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion will:

1. Inventory: Inventory and solicit advice and input from their respective constituents on the state of the current NYU environment, including the global dimensions, with respect to diversity, inclusion, equity, and respect for all members of our community and the ability to have thoughtful, civil dialogue on these issues. Consult and coordinate with existing organizations and offices in Schools and administrative units that currently are addressing diversity and inclusion issues.

2. Assessment: Identify and recommend mechanisms to assess issues of race and diversity in order to advance a more inclusive university. Focus initially on race and providing voice for people of color, but then expand into other areas important to ensure diversity, a safe environment, and culture of inclusion for all members of the campus community.

3. Strategies and Programs: Consider strategies and programs, with support from knowledgeable experts in the area as needed, both affiliated with and external to the University, to improve or strengthen the NYU environment in terms of diversity, inclusion, equity, and thoughtful civil dialogue. Advise the Senate and University Administration on proposed University and School policies and actions that would support these goals, including but not limited to the following activities:

a. Help inform the way the University should properly structure, support, and coordinate the various positions currently devoted to issues of diversity in order to assure maximum impact. Additionally, advise on the development of the Director of Global Diversity position in relation to other positions at NYU working on these issues.

b. Consider concrete steps to help the University improve the diversity of the faculty, student body, staff, and administration.

c. Work with University leadership to determine how best to ensure that there are educational programs to raise awareness among all faculty, students, staff, and administration on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

d. Recommend ways to leverage NYU’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity to influence other institutions of higher learning and promote broader societal change.

4. Report: The Task Force has a presumptive duration of 18 months. Produce a preliminary progress report with possible initial recommendations by April 2016, an interim report in December 2016, and a final report in April 2017.
 

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