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Presidential committee to help set course for culture of belonging at Yale

February 04, 2020

President Peter Salovey has asked a university committee to recommend high-level priorities for a campus-wide culture of inclusion and belonging at Yale, and met with members Feb. 5 as they began their work.

The President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging will work through the spring on recommendations to support a campus community in which all members feel fully and authentically part of Yale, are treated with dignity and respect, and feel welcome to make their voices heard.

For Salovey, the committee’s anticipated proposals are of the highest importance.

I want each of us to feel confident that we belong at Yale,” he said. “I thank the committee members and look forward to receiving their recommendations about how to foster an environment where belonging is second nature to us. A culture of belonging should be part of who we are, rather than what we do.”

Efforts over the last 18 months have strengthened and streamlined discrimination and harassment responses and processes, improved training for front-line staff and administrators, and established clear campus-wide leadership. There is still important and complex work to be done, Yale’s leadership believes, to create and sustain a climate of belonging within our widely diverse university community. The committee’s recommendations to Salovey will support this work.

Kimberly Goff-Crews, secretary and vice president for university life, who also leads Belonging at Yale, and Dr. Gary Desir, the Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine and chair of internal medicine, serve as committee co-chairs.

Yale can be a place where each of us thrives,” said Goff-Crews. “I hear a commitment throughout Yale to fostering welcoming workplaces, labs, and classrooms. The committee can help all of us do that better. It will focus us on what we have learned, the aspirations we share, and what we want to do together.”

In all, the committee brings together about 20 members of the Yale faculty and leadership. Members will meet weekly through the spring, and by the end of the academic year will propose high-level goals and a strategy for focusing university resources to nourish a sense of belonging. The committee will also identify promising practices and advise on how to assess progress toward the stated goals.

In response to the president’s charge, our committee will draft for his review goals and strategies that build on the important work already taking place in all parts of the campus and among our alumni,” explains Desir. “This group of experts will articulate a plan for Yale that draws on the best of existing recommendations, faculty committee reports, survey data, and input we receive.”

Submitted by Julie Parry on February 05, 2020