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SUNY set to approve sweeping diversity efforts

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Written By: Tara García Mathewson 11/9/15

Dive Brief:

  • State University of New York trustees are expected to approve a new diversity policy that would require a chief diversity officer on every campus and give students the opportunity to declare their sexual orientation and gender identity so administrators can get a better sense of the population.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the policy was developed by a chancellor-appointed task force, which also recommended new recruitment programs that focus on students as well as faculty and staff.
  • SUNY Potsdam has seen particular success in its diversity initiatives, increasing its percentage of freshmen of color from 18% in 2010 to 42% this fall.

Dive Insight:

The pool of high school graduates is becoming more diverse in New York state, creating an even greater need to make students of color feel welcome on SUNY campuses. Beyond the need for applicants, many higher education institutions are creating more welcoming and supportive environments as a moral imperative. In New York and other states that award funding based on student outcomes, it is also a survival technique. Student outcomes are becoming a greater focus of policymakers and legislators, meaning colleges and universities need to keep up.

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