Council on Diversity and Inclusion


Barnard’s core mission is to rigorously educate and empower women, providing them with the ability to think, discern, and move effectively in the world—a world that is different from when the College was founded. Now more than ever, the success of our mission depends on the extent to which our community is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Our definition of diversity encompasses structural and social differences that form the basis of inequality in our society, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, disability, religion, citizenship status, and country of origin.

In order to institutionalize the College’s continued commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive Barnard, the Council on Diversity and Inclusion is charged with:

  • Expanding the dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and equity to include the entire Barnard community of students, faculty, staff, and alumnae.
  • Promoting and coordinating campus-wide participation in the College’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Managing and monitoring the implementation of the March 2017 recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Advising Barnard’s senior leadership and Board of Trustees on ongoing and new initiatives that create a more diverse and inclusive campus community.


The Council on Diversity and Inclusion will be composed of no more than 15 members, including the Chair of the Council. The Chair will be appointed by the President. Council members will be invited to participate by the President, in consultation with the Chair, after the names of volunteers and nominations are solicited from all campus constituencies during the Spring semester.

The Council will include:

  • 3 students (one sophomore, one junior, and one senior)
  • 3 members of the faculty (including one tenured, one non-tenured, and one renewed and renewable)
  • 2 exempt staff
  • 2 non-exempt staff
  • 2 alumnae
  • 2 trustees

The Council will meet biweekly during the academic year, and members will be expected to serve for one to three years (with initial appointments of varied lengths to insure continuity). The Council on Diversity and Inclusion will report to the President of the College and Senior Staff, with an annual report to the Board of Trustees.


The President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion was established in January 2016 with the objective of coordinating, evaluating, and establishing campus-wide diversity initiatives that will increase the representation of students, faculty, and staff from historically underrepresented and social distinctive backgrounds; ensure the equitable treatment of, and respect for, all members of the Barnard community; and create a campus-wide culture and commitment that values diversity in promoting academic excellence. The Task Force presented its recommendations to the Board of Trustees in early March 2017. The ten high-priority recommendations are focused on: developing new organizational structures and practices that enhance diversity as we strive for a more inclusive community; fostering a shared community and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity; and instituting campus-wide mechanisms of assessment and accountability in order to ensure constant, sustained, and effective systemic change.

The Council on Diversity and Inclusion was created at the recommendation of the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.