Diversity & Development

A commitment to diversity in student body, faculty and staff as well as in our curriculum is one of Barnard’s core values.  As articulated in our mission statement, the College aims to prepare “graduates to flourish in different cultural surroundings in an increasingly inter-connected world.”  Barnard sees the ability and desire to engage profoundly with radically different ways of analyzing the world as a key value in the women it takes pride in graduating: engaged world citizens possessed of a discerning intelligence, an understanding of inequality and power, and moral courage.

Barnard’s commitment to expanding diversity and promoting inclusiveness traces through a broad range of campus offices and programs from the Admissions Office through Student Life, in the Deans’ and Provost’s Offices and on the Board of Trustees as well as through student and staff leadership.  Recognizing the need to do even better, in late 2015, the College announced a joint task force bringing together representatives of each of these divisions to coordinate their efforts, working for the prioritization of diversity in fundraising and hiring and developing programs to promote a campus-wide commitment to diversity and equity through the creation of concrete goals and structures of accountability.  This task force is headed by the Dean of Diversity and Development and will work with the support of the Faculty Diversity and Development Commitee.

In 2009 the College created the position of Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development to increase diversity among the faculty and to expand the College’s support for faculty throughout their careers and the Committee on Faculty Diversity and Development (FDD), to support the Dean’s work.  The Committee currently includes tenure-eligible, tenured and off-ladder faculty who represent all four divisions of the College.  These initiatives grew, in part, out of work done under a “Difficult Dialogues” grant from the Ford Foundation. 

The Committee works with a broad definition of diversity that encompasses the positive value of diversity so as to provide a better education for our students and a richer intellectual environment for our faculty.  Using this definition we work to promote a wide range of diversity within the faculty.  The Committee also works to address social structural biases and exclusions that have led to inequities in access to education and in the ranks of the academic profession. More generally, the Dean and Committee support programs that promote an open and inclusive campus climate for all faculty.

Links to the programs administered and projects undertaken by the FDD Committee are below.  Faculty with questions about the College’s Diversity and Development programs should contact the current Dean, Debra Minkoff (dminkoff@barnard.edu), or the FDD administrator, Abby Lembersky (alembers@barnard.edu).

The FDD Dean’s responsibilities include the following:


The FDD Committee’s ongoing programs include the following:


Other FDD Committee initiatives:

Faculty Diversity Survey
During the fall of 2014, the Faculty Diversity and Development (FDD) Committee worked with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment to develop a survey of faculty to better understand the social composition of the full-time faculty and views about faculty diversity and climate at Barnard.  The response rate was 75% and respondents’ self-reported sex, race/ethnicity, rank, and voting division closely mirrored that of the population surveyed.  A brief summary of the results was presented at several meetings in late Spring 2015.  The FDD Committee will host a series of more specific conversations with faculty committees about the results of the survey in spring 2016. Barnard community members interested in knowing more about the survey and its results should contact the FDD administrator.