Campus Climate Assessment Update
We are pleased to provide an update on the campus climate assessment, the process we engaged in last year to ensure that we are a highly inclusive, diverse, and welcoming community. After completing the assessment process and receiving the consultants’ final reports, several steps have occurred: Our Task Force developed a set of recommendations; the Board of Trustees heard a presentation and expressed support for this work; and we have appointed new leadership to guide the work forward. Additionally, we have created a website to share the reports and serve as a source for ongoing community engagement and information sharing.
Based on what was learned from the Climate Assessment, the Task Force produced a set of recommendations for ways we can focus and prioritize our efforts. The next phase of the work will be to engage the university community in discussions about the recommendations. Your voice and participation will be important, as these recommendations will help to guide priority actions moving forward.
Information Sharing and Transparency
You can learn more about the Climate Assessment process, read the complete reports, recommendations, progress, and access other related information on this site. As the work moves forward, the site will include timelines, specific action plans, progress reports, and other information. It is just one way we will be keeping the community informed.
We are pleased to announce that Melanie Hart will be leading this work forward as Vice President for Institutional Strategy for Social Justice. This is an extension and progression of Melanie’s work since joining the university as Director of Social Justice Initiatives in April 2018. She will be focusing on the strategies, values and practices of equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice as raised through the Campus Climate Assessment. Melanie brings to this work a deep connection to The New School and deep experience in social justice-based institutional management and change. Melanie is an alum of our MA program in Public and Urban Policy program at the Milano School, where she is presently completing her PhD. She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney before returning to public service in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors and with City agencies. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at the New York City Department of Small Business Services. Prior to that, she was the Executive Vice President of Community Programs and Development at the New York City Housing Authority.
President-elect Dwight McBride has been briefed on the Climate Assessment and joins us in supporting this work. Together with Melanie, we are grateful for the engagement across the university to ensure that we are a university community that welcomes, embraces, and indeed draws our strength from a diversity of identities and voices.