Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

I am pleased to report that Barnard’s newly constituted Council on Diversity and Inclusion met for the first time yesterday to review its charge and to discuss priorities for the coming year.

The council was formed this summer on the recommendation of the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, which made its report to the Board of Trustees last spring. The council’s purpose is to work with students, faculty, staff, and alumnae to help institutionalize the College’s continued commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive Barnard. You will find the council’s charge and this year’s council priorities as recommended by Provost Linda Bell and me on this website. In acknowledging that there is much work yet to do, our goal is to set achievable council priorities for the academic year that build the foundation for subsequent work in the years to come.

In addition to the work of the council, we will be working across the College this year to determine the best ways to implement the recommendations of the task force. This will include working with existing committees and new cross-campus partnerships to make progress on specific recommendations such as the role and function of a chief diversity officer, new faculty hires, greater support for our undergraduate success and enrichment programs and for faculty teaching excellence. I will periodically update the community regarding progress on these and other task force recommendations.

Open dialogue and understanding are vital to our scholarship and learning. Everyone should be able to work, think and develop to their fullest potential in a diverse and inclusive community that is free of fear and hate.I look forward to working with the members of the council and with all of you on ways to enhance the College and its community.


Sian Leah Beilock