Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.05
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 5, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amy Godert
Executive Director
Academic Student Success Programs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

Most recently, A Presidential Taskforce on Campus Climate, which, in part, was charged with making specific recommendations about how Cornell can implement meaningful institutional change that leads to a campus climate that is more diverse and inclusive, and that expresses greater respect and understanding completed its work and submitted its report and recommendations.
Through a review of existing policies, institutional data, focus groups, individual interviews and listening sessions in addition to external comparison and peer institution benchmarking, the three subcommittees reviewed, assessed and developed recommendations concerning the following:

Campus Experience
• What, and how well, are we currently doing to promote an inclusive campus experience for our diverse community, both inside and outside the classroom?
• How can we improve the effectiveness of the resources and systems currently in place?
• What new resources and changes should be considered as we strive to achieve real inclusion in our campus experience?
• Provide a recommendation for an ongoing mechanism that will address diversity and inclusion issues.

Regulation of Speech and Harassment
• Has the university appropriately promulgated principles and regulations that address free speech on campus as well as prohibit discrimination and harassment?
• Are the Campus Code of Conduct or other policies the right vehicle(s) for establishing such regulations and principles?
• Are we sanctioning discrimination, harassment, and related misconduct appropriately? Are enforcement mechanisms fair and clear?
• What legal mechanisms are available to the university to prevent, address and counter situations in which protected expression on campus is harmful to those vulnerable to its effects?

Campus Response
• How should the university respond to any future incidents that infringe upon our core principles, whether they are local or broader in scope?
• Do we have the right mechanisms of support, communication, and response in place or could these improve?
• What can individuals and campus groups do to counter unacceptable actions, and act as positive forces that counter harmful incidents?
• Provide a recommendation on how to measure long-term success.

Similarly, the task force that Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff launched also completed its work and submitted a report and recommendations on new approaches to enhance and accelerate the diversity of the Cornell faculty. The task force examined underrepresented faculty by race and gender. The task force:
• Researched current best practices at peer universities for hiring and retaining diverse faculty
• Identified existing programs at Cornell that have led to diverse faculty hires as well as those that have not worked
• Cited issues contributing to attrition, and
• explored areas of investment to keep Cornell competitive in the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty.

Additionally, Cornell conducts an annual workforce analysis and affirmative action plan as part of its compliance obligations as a federal contractor. This workforce analysis covers faculty and staff and considers race/ethnicity, gender, individuals with disabilities and veterans. The review involves an assessment of employment activity including hiring, promotions, terminations and pay.
Further, to assess the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives, Cornell’s Toward New Destinations diversity framework requires that each college and administrative unit annually identify three diversity initiatives in support of four core principles (composition, engagement, inclusion, achievement) for seven constituent groups: undergraduate students; graduate and professional students; postdoctoral associates and academic professionals; staff; faculty; the off-campus community; and the extended Cornell communities of parents, alumni, friends, and donors. The annual TND Institutional Planning Document provides colleges and units with guidance to support development of data-based annual initiatives including specifying intended outcomes, evaluation plans and success measurements. These college and unit level initiatives are managed at the college or unit level and tracked centrally by the university. This framework currently is under review by the presidential advisors on diversity and equity. Background information about the Toward New Destinations diversity framework and objectives as well as summaries of the most recent and current TND initiatives are available on Cornell’s diversity website.

The university periodically surveys the climate of diversity and inclusion across all populations. Cornell conducts campus climate studies and maintains dashboards to monitor progress in the composition, engagement, inclusion and achievement of its diverse populations. These studies and assessments guide Cornell's ongoing process for improving the Cornell experience. Leadership for the respective areas (deans, vice presidents and vice provosts as applicable) are provided results of these surveys and expected to take action to address any areas of concern.

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

The recommendations from the task forces have been prioritized into short-term, mid-term and aspirational goals. The findings are too numerous to detail here. However, they can be found at the provided links. An assessment of the Toward New Destinations framework is currently underway.

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:
The climate survey results are shared with the various campus governance organizations (faculty senate, employee assembly, student assembly, graduate and professional student assembly). Individual college and unit leaders receive the results for their respective colleges and units and share the results with their teams. In addition, the results are available publicly on the Institutional Research and Planning website.

Additionally, progress and updates regarding the institutional initiatives are available publicly on the diversity website.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary:

The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.