Diversity & Development

A commitment to diversity in the student body, faculty and staff is one of Barnard’s core values.  As articulated in its mission the College aims to prepare, “graduates to flourish in different cultural surroundings in an increasingly inter-connected world.”  The College 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.

In 2009 the position of Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development was created to increase diversity among the faculty and to expand the College’s support for faculty throughout their careers. A Committee on Faculty Diversity and Development (FDD), which currently includes tenure-eligible, tenured and off-ladder faculty who represent all four divisions of the College, advises the Dean.  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. Overall, The Dean and Committee work on a broad range of issues (outlined below) to promote both faculty diversity and faculty development. 

Included in the list below are resources produced by the Committee on new faculty orientation, mentoring and searches, along with bibliographies of relevant scholarly literature.

FDD Committee:


  • Revised the New Faculty Orientation system for incoming faculty. 
  • Created a more robust mentoring system by developing a Mentoring Handbook that was distributed to both participants in mentoring partnerships, expanding the number of faculty who were provided with mentors, and hosting an annual dinner to acknowledge the important work done by faculty mentors. 
  • Put into practice newly approved procedures for Third Year Reviews that increased the formative mentoring offered through the review process, including meetings between the Dean and each candidate for reappointment.
  • Developed a new Handbook for Faculty Searches and added to the materials provided for faculty running searches, including the publication of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, “Women, Work and the Academy.”
  • Revamped the Willen Seminar so as to support projects initiated by small groups of faculty to enhance the intellectual and interdisciplinary life of the College.


  • Revised the procedures for searches (as laid out in the Chairs’ Manual) to include more explicit steps for the active recruitment of diverse faculty.
  • Worked with the Communications Department to improve faculty representation on the new Barnard website and to develop mechanisms for representation of the faculty in the media and other public forums.
  • Generated lists of scholarly resources on faculty diversity:
    • 1. Annotated bibliographies and reports
    • 2. Recent books and articles
    • 3. Bibliography on gender and sexuality in the sciences produced by Laura Kay, Physics and Astronomy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
    • 4. "Women and Science" syllabus, Spring 2011
  • Instituted a college-wide Working Group on Diversity.  This group is co-chaired by the Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development, the Dean of the College, and the Vice President for Community Partnerships and meets monthly to coordinate work on diversity across campus.
  • FDD held its first spring Open House in May 2011


Willen Seminars

2009 - 2010
1) “Junior Faculty Research Working Group,” led by Abosede George and Maja Horn
2) "Gender, Empire and War," led by Betsy Esch, Neferti Tadiar, and Beck Jordan-Young

2010 - 2011
3) "'What are you going to do with that?': The Future of the Humanities in the Academy and at Barnard," led by Taylor Carmen, Elizabeth Castelli and Nancy Worman
4) “Transnational and Transcolonial Caribbean Studies Research Seminar,” led by Kaiama Glover and Maja Horn

2011 - 2012
5) “For the Public Good,” led by Lee Ann Bell
6) "Our Many Selves: Scholarly Research, Ethics and Futures for Disability Studies," led by Chris Baswell

2012 - 2013
7) "Worlds of Ntozake Shange," led by Monica Miller

Spring 2014 – Spring 2015
8) “Diversity in the Classroom,” led by Laurie Postlewate, Shayoni Mitra, Ellen Morris
9) "Latino Studies Research Group," led by Wadda Ríos-Font and Maja Horn
10) "Digital Humanities User’s Group: Technology, Scholarly Practice and the Classroom,” led by Kim Hall, Kaiama Glover, Lisa Gordis and Jennie Kassanoff