Promoting Diversity

Initiatives to Foster Diversity and Inclusion

In November 2015, Yale launched “Toward a Better Yale” a series of new initiatives to foster diversity and inclusion across the university, including launching a new five-year initiative and committing more than $50 million in resources to build on the excellence and diversity of our faculty university-wide. As the cornerstone of the University initiative, the Provost’s Faculty Development Fund will provide $25 million in central resources over a five-year period for faculty recruitment, faculty appointments, and pipeline development. Four key areas have been identified: 1) Strengthening the Academic Enterprise; 2) Expanding Programs, Services, and Support for Students and Trainees; 3) Improving Institutional Structures and Practices; and 4) Representations of Diversity on Campus. (See table below for a summary of key initiatives).

Wholeheartedly supporting the president’s commitment to building a better, more diverse, and more inclusive Yale, the School of Medicine has also launched a series of new initiatives. A few relevant to the CTSA include:

YSM Chief Diversity Officer

The School of Medicine will create a new position of YSM Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). A search firm, Witt/Keiffer, has been engaged and a search committee has been appointed to be chaired by the YSM Dean. This new individual will be an integral member of the YSM leadership team and will report directly to Dean. The CDO will work with YCCI and the entire YSM community to recruit exceptional faculty from diverse backgrounds, and equally important, to ensure that YSM is a school in which all faculty can succeed. Recruiting a diverse faculty also includes pipeline programs that attract a diverse body of students and trainees, who will experience YSM as an institution that supports their success, with funding coming from the above commitment. YSM will participate in this program, as well as continue medical school specific efforts to recruit and retain exceptional minority faculty, this will include dedicated slots for senior faculty.

Tracking and Reporting

A number of evaluation mechanisms exist to gather information about student experiences in their courses, during their clerkships, and at the conclusion of their medical education. YSM will modify existing instruments to include more explicit questions about racial and gender discrimination. This data will be incorporated in the program evaluation efforts for all educational and training programs.

Initiative to Foster Diversity and Inclusion


1. Strengthening the Academic Enterprise

Action Item


Establish university center for scholarship on race, ethnicity, and social identity

Planning for a prominent university center supporting scholarship, faculty recruitment, other efforts to expand faculty and student diversity university-wide in areas of race, ethnicity, and other aspects of social identity will be launched this year. 

2. Expanding Programs, Services, and Support for Students

Action Item


Increase cultural center budgets and staffing

The dean of Yale College is working with the directors of the four cultural centers to develop enhanced budgets for the centers.

Enhance mental health and counseling offerings

The Yale Health Department of Mental Health and Counseling is offering on-site counseling coverage at the four cultural centers throughout the reading and final exam weeks. Additional measures to enhance student mental health services will be announced early in the spring semester. 

On December 18, 2015, Dr. Howard Blue was named deputy director of mental health and counseling at Yale Health. Dr. Blue will have a prominent role in working with colleagues across the Yale campus to increase awareness of mental health issues and take part in shaping programs to address diversity and inclusion for all Yale students.

3. Improving Institutional Structures and Practices

Action Item


Conduct leadership training on recognizing and combating discrimination

In the spring term, members of the university leadership will receive this training. Similar programs will be provided to others across the university.

Explore new and expanded programs on diversity and inclusion

The Yale College Dean's Office division of freshman affairs is reviewing and improving the diversity and inclusion portions of freshman counselor training and freshman orientation. Freshman counselor training is split into two segments, spring and fall, with the spring segment entirely dedicated to questions of identity and freshman belonging.

Conversations between university leaders and graduate and professional students are ongoing. The goal is to identify and implement new and expanded programs for students, faculty, and staff in the spring term.

4. Representations of Diversity on Campus

Action Item


Convene Committee on Public Art

The Office of the President is convening this committee to consult the campus community on ideas for how we might better convey and celebrate our diversity and its history. The committee will hold an open session on this topic in spring 2016.

Continue conversation about names for new residential colleges and name of Calhoun College 

The senior fellow of the Yale Corporation will organize meetings early in the spring semester at which community members can express their views both about names for the two new colleges and about Calhoun.