SUNY to develop system-wide plan to increase diversity, combat racial inequality

Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 30, 2020

NEW YORK (WKBW) — SUNY will develop an action plan to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across all of its colleges and universities.

“To build a more inclusive university system, we must collectively confront serious issues of discrimination, harassment, and the marginalization of individuals in our community,” said Chancellor Malatras. “SUNY’s commitment to equal justice for all is unshakeable, but there is more work to be done. Now more than ever we need action and not just words. Shirley Chisholm said it best by imploring us to stop complaining on the sidelines and getting in the game to make progress by implementing ideas. This process will therefore be focused on listening and then acting, and I have great faith in Dr. Miller and the Shirley Chisholm Center for Equity Studies to develop a robust program. Since the Board of Trustees implemented a sweeping Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy, SUNY has made great progress toward becoming the most inclusive institution of higher education—and it serves as a strong foundation for what we need to do today to continue our pursuit to be a more equitable institution.”

The plan will include the following

  • Assessment of racial equity gaps across SUNY
  • Curriculum development towards racial equity and literacy
  • Review of the Chief Diversity Officer’s role on every campus
  • Increasing diversity
  • Hiring: administrators, faculty, and professional staff
  • College Council representation
  • Prior learning and transfer credits, and improving campus life
  • Expanded leadership institutes modeled off of the SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute
  • More inclusive clubs, and increased access through seamless pathways, Early College High School, and expanded Educational Opportunity Program

“As the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education, it is SUNY’s responsibility to lead in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Miller. “As we reflect on the racial inequities plaguing our nation, and the events of this past year, we re-dedicate ourselves — and take pride in — furthering our commitment to racial equity, equal access, and opportunity. Our partnership with the Shirley Chisholm Center for Equity Studies and campus chief diversity officers, as well as engagement from the broader SUNY community, will help us start to forge the path forward to ensuring that students throughout our system from every walk of life are heard and represented as we work to achieve our goals of an increased diverse staff, closing racial equity gaps, and improving the campus climate at each of our institutions.”

SUNY will accept feedback and additional proposals that may be submitted online by December 1st.