March 30, 2015
Dear Binghamton University Community,
As you are aware, a group organized as Students for Change has made demands of the University focusing on concerns about harassment and discrimination. The group's broad goal is an important priority, and is one of the University's five strategic priorities – to make Binghamton University a diverse and inclusive community that respects and values everyone. I strongly believe that Binghamton University has been working diligently on these issues, and has made progress toward greater inclusiveness, diversity and educational access.
During my professional life, diversity and inclusion have always been a priority and I have worked hard for improvements in educational access. In my three years at Binghamton University, I have spoken with the many diverse groups that make up our community of students, faculty, staff and alumni. It's encouraging to know that Binghamton University is a campus where persons of all races, nationalities, ethnicities and religions are welcome.
But we can and will do more. We can further the diversity of our faculty, staff and students; we can improve the inclusiveness of our campus environment; and we can improve how we interact with and treat each other. This is why, two years ago, I chose to make diversity, equity and inclusion one of Binghamton University's five strategic priorities.
To move toward greater inclusivity, we have publicly denounced acts of harassment and will continue to do so. We have had and will continue to have a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination. We have and we will continue to invest effort, time and money toward increasing the diversity of our students, staff and faculty. We have increased diversity education programs for students, staff and faculty. We have increased funding to improve educational access. We have changed housing policies to be gender inclusive. We have incorporated changes in our Code of Student Conduct. We have modified facilities and policies to account for a population with a diversity of abilities and to accommodate a changing sense of sexuality and gender.
In addition to these actions, we all must be committed to maintaining a thriving academic community that embraces excellence and is inclusive, diverse and respectful of others; a place where all persons feel valued and welcome. I ask everyone to work together to make this vision a reality.