Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.69
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 8, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Cornell University
PAE-8: Support Programs for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Rise Nelson Burrow
Director, Student Success Programs
Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, affinity groups, academic support programs, or other programs in place to support underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups within the student body:

There are several programs throughout the university designed to support under-represented groups within the student body. The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives provides support and guidance to students from underrepresented racial groups, low income and first generation college students. Students can receive assistance and counseling for a variety of issues and the office acts as a resource and network for students helping to connect them across the campus. This office works closely with the Center of Intercultural Dialogue which is charged with strengthening the sense of community among the student body and providing student programs. There are also services provided at a macro level through the Dean of Students Office for students.

For assistance with writing, there is an ESL peer mentoring program through the Knight Writing Institute available to students. This program offers a number of Writing Workshops across campus for students to have drop in hours and have someone work on a paper and review it for them to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

On a more micro level, each college and school has an office dedicated to its diverse student population. Through this office, counseling and advising services are offered to its students, as well as mentoring in some programs and peer support and guidance in others. The College of Engineering, for example, has Diversity Programs in Engineering (DPE). Through this office, the students have regular appointments with the staff and advisors. The staff advise several student lead organizations including the Society for Women Engineers (SWE), the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), and the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE). Each college has an office that acts in a similar way providing services to students.

Also, the university has well established ethnic studies programs that offer academic support and mentoring and advising to students. These include the American Indian Program, the Africana Studies and Research Center, Latino Studies Program, the Asian American Studies Program. There are also resources centers and programs for students including the Asian/Asian American Center, the LGBT Resource Center, Student Disability Services Office, and the Women’s Resource Center.


A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups within the faculty:

In 2012, Cornell established an office dedicated to supporting underrepresented groups within the faculty population.
A faculty work life survey resulted in Cornell’s establishment of “The ADVANCE Program” with the mission to increase the recruitment, retention, and promotion into leadership positions of women in STEM fields and to institutionalize best practices, polices and programs as they pertain to women faculty. Many activities, including monthly mentoring meetings, most likely led to female faculty reporting a 6% increase in satisfaction in the recent October, 2010 faculty survey.

Cornell’s Small Group Mentoring Program (SGMP) is designed to bring together 3-9 women faculty in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or SBS (Social/Behavioral Sciences) who share an interest in a broad topic, a discipline or disciplinary group (e.g., “engineering”), or even a career stage. Each group is paired with a senior woman faculty mentor. The goal is to move the group members’ careers forward by providing both peer and traditional mentorship and support on issues relevant to a member of the professoriate. In the 4th year, 11/2009 – 10/2010, 279 attended, including 189 women and 90 men. The Industrial Labor Relations School formed an informal mentoring program to aid Jr. Faculty by; 1) individuals who share common interest proof read papers for colleagues; 2) help with adjustments to academia environment and provide mentoring before the tenure process; and 3) provide camaraderie. Formal and informal mentors are also assigned to new female faculty members in the Engineering School.

The university has also established programming to address the needs of faculty from underrepresented groups. The Cornell University Colleague Network Groups (CNGs) are university sponsored employee resource groups for traditionally underrepresented minorities and allies of those groups. The CNGs provide a professional support system that can extend beyond the workplace. Each CNG advocates for a specific demographic within the Cornell faculty and staff community to improve the recruitment and retention efforts as well as the climate for the community as a whole. The CNGs enhance the Cornell culture by providing feedback and programs to develop an environment that fully engages and cultivates all of the faculty and staff of Cornell University.
• LGBT Colleague Network Group
• Men of Color Colleague Network Group
• Veteran's Colleague Network Group
• Women of Color Colleague Network Group
• Tompkins Connect (Young Professionals Colleague Network Group)
• Individuals with Disabilities Colleague Network Group
Social Programming: First Fridays of Ithaca
First Fridays of Ithaca is a monthly networking event for local diverse professionals. First Fridays is a great opportunity to network, socialize with colleagues in a relaxed setting and meet new colleagues. The participants are faculty and staff from Cornell University and Ithaca College plus employees of the City of Ithaca, Ithaca School District, Corning, Inc., and various local businesses.


A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups within the staff:

Colleague Network Groups. The Cornell University Colleague Network Groups (CNGs) are university sponsored employee resource groups for traditionally underrepresented minorities and allies of those groups. The CNGs provide a professional support system that can extend beyond the workplace. Each CNG advocates for a specific demographic within the Cornell faculty and staff community to improve the recruitment and retention efforts as well as the climate for the community as a whole. The CNGs enhance the Cornell culture by providing feedback and programs to develop an environment that fully engages and cultivates all of the faculty and staff of Cornell University.
• LGBT Colleague Network Group
• Men of Color Colleague Network Group
• Veteran's Colleague Network Group
• Women of Color Colleague Network Group
• Tompkins Connect (Young Professionals Colleague Network Group)
• Individuals with Disability Colleague Network Group.
Social Programming: First Fridays of Ithaca
First Fridays of Ithaca is a monthly networking event for local diverse professionals. First Fridays is a great opportunity to network, socialize with colleagues in a relaxed setting and meet new colleagues. The participants are faculty and staff from Cornell University and Ithaca College plus employees of the City of Ithaca, Ithaca School District, Corning, Inc., and various local businesses.


The website URL where more information about the programs in each of the three categories is available :

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.