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Statement Supporting Diverse Communities

Statement Overview

Guidance for applicants to academic postings at Cornell regarding a statement supporting diverse communities

One hundred and fifty years ago, Cornell University’s Founder, Ezra Cornell, wrote to Cornell’s first president, Andrew Dickson White, “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” “... Any person” meant that people from all walks of life, all income levels, races, religions and genders could attend Cornell University. “... Any study” underscored the freedom to pursue academic interests wherever they lead. For more than 150 years, talented scholars and students representing the full, diverse spectrum of humanity (including race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more) have come to Cornell for a world-class educational and research experience.

Cornell is committed to hiring scholars who share its historical commitment to educating and pursuing knowledge for any person in any study. Applicants for academic appointments (including tenure track and tenured positions, academic staff positions, and academic librarian positions) are asked to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with their application materials. This statement offers candidates an opportunity to describe their potential contributions to diversity and inclusion at Cornell and to our legacy of “any person any study.” Candidates are also invited to connect their contributions to Cornell’s role as a land-grant institution enabling community improvement through research and teaching.

What is a statement supporting diverse communities?

Candidates should outline their experiences and approaches to working with diverse communities through their research, teaching and service. Candidates may want to highlight the following aspects:

  • Consistency: have you supported diverse communities throughout your career — as an undergraduate, graduate student and in faculty positions, as appropriate to your career stage?
  • What are your plans to support diverse communities through your research, teaching and service within your department and/or campus-wide at Cornell?
  • How would you modify or add to your ongoing efforts described above at Cornell?

Examples of activities can include the following (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Advising an organization that supports individuals from diverse backgrounds;
  • Scholarly work or educational approach(es) that address issues relevant to Cornell’s Founding Principle at workshops, conferences and talks;
  • Creating and implementing strategies and/or pedagogy to encourage a respectful class environment for a diverse student population that supports a community of belonging for “…any person…any study;”
  • Serving on relevant university committees addressing the above;
  • Participating in professional or scientific organizations that address the needs of diverse populations;
  • Creating programs that provide access and a pipeline for groups traditionally underrepresented in some fields or for those facing barriers to joining higher education altogether;
  • Enhancing the learning experience in the classroom, lab and field for all students by exposing them to new perspectives on cultures, beliefs, and practices;
  • Describing how the candidate’s research, scholarship or creative activities contribute to understanding the barriers experienced by marginalized groups;
  • Offer research opportunities for individuals historically excluded from disciplines due to their backgrounds (socioeconomic, racial, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political and cultural backgrounds, etc.;
  • Mentoring and advising students and junior colleagues to enhance their opportunities to succeed in the academy; and
  • Supporting (or planning to support) public engagement with organizations or community groups serving historically marginalized populations or extending opportunities to disadvantaged people.