ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday announced a sweeping new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy for the State University of New York.
Adopted by the SUNY Board of Trustees, the plan includes a Chief Diversity Officer for every SUNY campus as well as strategic plans to increase diversity among students, faculty, and staff. In addition, there will be a new tool to provide students with an opportunity to voluntarily self-identify their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“New York has a long and proud history of embracing diversity, and our world-class SUNY system is no exception,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, we are once again sending a strong message that the Empire State is a national leader and a beacon of inclusion for all students.”
“As the public university system serving one of the nation’s most diverse states, it is essential that SUNY adapt to the evolving needs of all students,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Diversity is interwoven throughout our strategic plan, and now, as we implement a Completion Agenda with the goal of awarding 150,000 SUNY degrees per year by 2020, our commitment to diversity must be stronger than ever before. Thank you to the Board of Trustees and to all those who contributed through the Diversity Task Force for ensuring that SUNY will continue to be a national leader on important issues of equality.”
The new policy broadly defines diversity to include race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, age, socioeconomic status, status as a veteran, status as a student with a disability, first-generation students, and international students or those transferring between colleges. The policy aims to improve services and support for these students, ensure that SUNY’s student, faculty, and staff populations mirror that of New York State, as well as ensure that SUNY’s commitment to being welcoming and inclusive to all diverse populations is clear.