Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Applicants

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 University prides itself on its diverse undergraduate and graduate student bodies:  10% of the undergraduates are international students and 43.5% of undergraduates identify as belonging to ethnic and/or racial minorities.  43% of our graduate students are international and 17% of our graduate students are ethnic and/or racial minorities.  This diversity has been the source of innovative ideas, and creative problem solving.

Cornell is committed to hiring scholars who share its historical commitment to educating and pursuing knowledge for any person in any study. We now ask that every applicant for an academic appointment (including tenure track and tenured positions, research, teaching or extension positions) provide a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 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 of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

A statement invites applicants to describe their past, present, and/or future aspirations to promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity in their careers as researchers and educators, and/or to convey how they see these commitments continuing at Cornell. Such articulation can focus on teaching, research, or service, or all three factors.

Examples might include but are not limited to:

  • Creating programs that provide access and a pipeline for groups traditionally underrepresented in some fields or to those who have faced barriers to entering higher education altogether.
  • Enhancing the learning experience in the classroom, lab and field to all students through exposure to new perspectives on cultures, beliefs and practices.
  • Describing how the candidate’s teaching engages or addresses barriers to full participation in the student educational experience.
  • Describing how the candidate’s research, scholarship, or creative activities contribute to understanding the barriers experienced by marginalized groups.
  • Offering research opportunities for individuals historically excluded from disciplines on the basis of their background (demographic, socio-economic status, ability, etc.).
  • Mentoring and advising students and junior colleagues to enhance opportunities for underrepresented students and junior faculty to succeed in the academy.
  • Committing to public engagement with organizations or community groups serving marginalized populations or extending opportunity to disadvantaged people.