To: The NYU Community
Date: October 9, 2018
From: NYU President Andrew Hamilton and SVP and Chief Diversity Officer Lisa Coleman


Dear Members of the NYU Community,

We are pleased to present the full results of the Being@NYU climate assessment. The Executive Synopsis and Final Report can be found on the Being@NYU website.

Last November, NYU launched its first comprehensive effort to assess how current students and employees experience the living, learning, and working environment at NYU with respect to inclusion, equity, diversity, and belonging across multiple dimensions including race, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, religion, and other markers of identity. Nearly 22,000 eligible members of the NYU community participated in the assessment, representing a 31% response rate; we appreciate your participation, and the valuable insights it provides about the NYU experience.

Some of the results are encouraging, and others are concerning. We considered highlighting parts of the data here, but the results—and the picture they paint of our climate—are nuanced, and we felt that no bullet-point summary would do it justice. Instead, we urge you to dig into the Executive Synopsis, the Final Report, the powerpoint, and the recording of last Spring’s presentation, in order to gain a fuller understanding of our community’s reactions to the Being@NYU assessment. The Office of Institutional Research is currently working to prepare School– and Unit–level data, which they will share as soon as they're able, to the extent that the data sets are large enough to be usable.

We take as a starting point that even one instance of an individual experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct is more than we want. Our efforts are oriented towards making this place as inclusive as possible. We have already instituted a set of changes and are developing strategies to guide our work during the years ahead. The Being@NYU website will now be the primary communication tool for follow-up information related to the assessment. And, we invite you to share your feedback by emailing being@nyu.edu. Below we outline some of the changes and strategies that we have already instituted, as well as future next steps.

None of this would be possible without the commitment of the NYU community. We thank you for your ongoing partnership in our efforts to improve our University climate.

Progress to Date

As we have noted in previous communications, we have taken several steps over the last two years to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, in which all members feel like they belong at all times. These include:

  • The welcoming of Lisa Coleman as our first Senior Vice President of Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation & Chief Diversity Officer
  • The establishment of the Bias Response Line
  • The expansion of the Center for Multicultural Education and Programming (CMEP)
  • The re-alignment of CMEP and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Center within the Office of Global Inclusion
  • Undertaking the Being@NYU assessment, which will help to guide our ongoing and future efforts.

In addition to all of those steps, we have been undertaking the following:

  • Student Success Initiative — It is essential that we support all our students in graduating successfully. The Office of Student Success is coordinating a campus-wide initiative to improve the way we advise and support students, including the use of a new communication tool called NYU Connect. Visit the new Student Success webpage to learn more about NYU Connect and other resources.
  • Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Inclusive Excellence — NYU is committed to attracting and retaining a high caliber and diverse faculty. To that end:
    • We have shifted to use of the Interfolio applicant tracking system for full-time faculty and professional research staff in NY and DC, which will allow us to reach a broader and more diverse applicant pool.
    • We are expanding our existing junior faculty mentoring program, and launching an effort to assist senior faculty to be effective mentors to postdocs and junior faculty.
      We are providing professional development support for junior faculty interested in Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Awards and similar research awards.
    • We have significantly increased the number of Provost's Postdoctoral Fellows, welcoming our largest cohort in the program's history.
    • We are expanding Steinhardt's Faculty First-Look program across the University. It identifies talented, underrepresented doctoral students from across the country, and brings them to NYU to provide professional development, hands-on training, and mentoring support as they prepare for the job market.
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  • Professional Development Opportunities — NYU offers ongoing Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, and Equity (IDBE) training and professional development opportunities for the NYU community. For more information, contact cmep@nyu.edu or lgbtq.student.center@nyu.edu. In addition, Human Resources will continue to offer the Management Fellows Program for administrators who wish to advance their careers within NYU.
  • Work Life Office — Recognizing that quality-of-life issues play a role in our efforts to recruit and retain excellent employees, the Provost’s Office launched the Work Life Office in 2018. It collaborates with schools, departments, and units to help support faculty, administrators, and staff through major life events. Among its early efforts: revising the rules for tenure clock stoppage to better fit the lives of faculty, and assessing the quality of our retirement information, resources, and services.

  • Preferred Name Changes — It is important that members of the NYU community can live, learn, and work in an environment that recognizes them in all the ways in which they identify, including by using their preferred names. Our processes for student name changes and employee name changes (PDF) are not optimal. The Office of Compliance and Risk Management has convened a working group to review and improve these processes, and immediate improvements are being implemented with longer term recommendations to be presented by next semester.
  • Gender-Neutral and Accessible Restrooms — Fostering an inclusive and accessible environment includes ensuring that all members of our community have access to the restrooms of their choice. Accessible and gender-neutral restrooms in Washington Square and Tandon are viewable online and in the NYU Mobile App. Additionally, NYU has completed the installation of signage indicating that all individuals may use restrooms consistent with their gender identity or expression. The Provostial Working Group on Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility is continuing to collaborate with colleagues across the university to ensure that the experience of all our community members is considered when designing new spaces.

  • Global Academic Centers — The Office of Global Programs (OGP) has continued its commitment to inclusion, diversity, belonging and equity by establishing IDBE Committees at all of our global academic centers. Composed of faculty, staff and student representatives, the IDBE Committees work to provide programming for the sites related to this important university priority and to support underrepresented and marginalized students in whatever ways they need. This work is further supported through the expanded Global Equity Fellowship program which ensures that student leaders with demonstrated commitment to IDBE play an integral role in building community at each of the global sites. OGP continues to partner with student leaders from diverse campus constituencies to evaluate and strengthen the continuum of resources provided to students before (at pre-departure), during, and after their study away experiences.


New Positions

Charlton McIlwain, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication (Steinhardt), has been named Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, tasked with promoting faculty development and success.

We will also be adding positions to foster greater inclusivity for those with disabilities and to create a more welcoming environment for faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and research and academic staff. Among these are a Director of Disability Inclusive Culture and an Associate Vice President, Global Inclusive Faculty Engagement and Innovation Advancement.

Steps for the Near Future

  • Improved Child-Care Support — Starting in January 2019, New York-based full-time tenure-track, continuing contract, and tenured faculty will be eligible for more generous childcare subsidies through a new Child Care Fund for Faculty. The existing Child Care Scholarship Program (PDF) will continue to serve eligible administrators, professional researchers, and visiting faculty.

  • Women’s Leadership Forum — The Women’s Leadership Forum seeks to foster leadership development, facilitate professional growth, and sponsor opportunities for outreach among women currently in leadership roles at NYU as well as those who aspire to obtain leadership roles within the University. The next workshop will be Tuesday, November 27 from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. in the Kimmel Center.

  • Global Academic Centers — The Office of Global Inclusion and the Office of Global Programs will partner with the Site Directors to develop educational and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. In keeping with our efforts across the global network, these opportunities will reflect the cultural and global contexts relevant to the specific IDBE cultures in each site.

  • Cross-University Collaborations — To make best use of individual schools’ IDBE experience, Dr. Coleman will convene those professionals who have responsibility for advancing these efforts across NYU to identify best practices, coordinate efforts, and better share information.

Committees

Under Dr. Coleman’s direction, the Office of Global Inclusion will convene a set of committees during the 2018–2019 academic year with the overarching goal of increasing each NYU community member’s sense of inclusion and belonging. Each committee will work throughout AY 2018–2019 to examine the Being@NYU assessment results and other relevant information sources that will guide its work. Dr. Coleman and/or committee representatives will present the committees’ progress, recommendations, and plans for future phases to various committees and stakeholders university-wide throughout the academic year.

Global Inclusion Student Advancement Committee

(co-chairs: Monroe France, Associate Vice President, Global Student Engagement and Inclusive Leadership and Bernie Savarese, Assistant Vice President, Student Success)

The Student Advancement Committee will provide recommendations on:

  • creating shared goals to advance inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity for students across the global network;
  • determining how best to promote and enhance existing effective programs and activities;
  • designing and launching an Inclusive Leadership Development Program for student leaders;
  • developing comprehensive IDBE Training and Educational Program strategies that are more consistent across the university;
  • rationalizing and enhancing mentorship and pipeline programs for students from underrepresented populations;
  • partnering with a student belonging and success advisory group;
    promoting a culture of disability inclusivity; and
    identifying potential initiatives that require further study.

Global Staff and Administrative Inclusive Excellence Committee

(co-chairs: Monroe France, Associate Vice President, Global Student Engagement and Inclusive Leadership and Kevin Hanks, Assistant Vice President, Talent, Learning & Organizational Development)

The Staff and Administrative Inclusive Excellence committee will provide recommendations on:

  • determining how best to promote and enhance existing effective programs and activities;
  • designing a framework for inclusive search and hiring processes that may be used across the university, and are adaptable to the specific needs of individual schools, institutes, and administrative units;
  • promoting a culture of disability inclusivity;
  • examining best practices to enhance pipeline programs, leadershipdevelopment initiatives, and mentorship programs to clarify opportunities for administrators and staff to advance their careers within the University;
  • developing additional professional development and training opportunities;
    assessing awards and recognition programs (e.g., Give-A-Violet Award, Distinguished Administrator Award, etc.) to ensure increased diversity and inclusivity of nominees and recipients;
  • proposing initiatives and programs to enhance cross-university staff and administrator engagement opportunities; and
  • identifying potential initiatives that require further study.

Global Inclusion Academic Affairs, Faculty, and Pedagogy Committee

(co-chairs: Charlton McIlwain, Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, and the incoming Associate Vice President, Global Inclusive Faculty Engagement and Innovation Advancement)

The Academic Affairs, Faculty, and Pedagogy Committee will provide recommendations on:

  • determining how best to promote and enhance existing effective programs and activities;
  • promoting a culture of disability inclusivity;
  • designing a framework for inclusive search and hiring processes that may be used to enhance faculty diversity across the university, while being adaptable to the specific needs of individual schools, institutes, and administrative units;
  • enhancing networking, development, and mentoring programs;
    collaborating with School Faculty Affairs representatives; and
  • identifying potential initiatives that require further study.

Successfully making NYU a place in which all members of our community feel like they belong will require commitment and participation from us all. We urge you to continue to be involved, and to track our progress at the Being@NYU website. You may also email being@nyu.edu to request additional information or share your feedback.

Sincerely,

Andrew Hamilton, President

Lisa Coleman, Senior Vice President of Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation & Chief Diversity Officer