Updates on College Efforts on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

By: Stephen D'Angelo

Kevin F. Hallock, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and Michelle M. Duguid, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, sent the following message to SC Johnson College students, staff, and faculty on Feb. 8, 2021.

Dear Cornell SC Johnson College of Business Community,

Kevin F. Hallock, dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

As our college settles into the new semester, we want to share updates about the college’s collective commitments to fighting racism and fostering equity, inclusion, and belonging. We’re devoting this update to some of the work taking shape collectively across schools.

In the educational experience, this academic year our schools have been delivering new or reimagined courses and course content, as well as extensive workshops, events, training, and other extracurricular offerings, focused on greater inclusivity and stronger commitment to addressing racism—both at the college and in the world of business. These offerings will continue to develop and grow, to respond both to our community’s needs and experiences.

Michelle Duguid
Michelle M. Duguid, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and belonging

The faculty hiring process has incorporated additional focus on diversity, inclusion, and bias. Prior to serving on search committees, members are asked to attend training about unconscious bias in the hiring and recruiting process. New faculty candidates are required to submit statements on diversity and inclusion as part of their application materials, outlining how they view these issues and how their work addresses them. The committees are closely attuned to these statements as they evaluate the candidates.

Our policy for recruiters has been strengthened to emphasize that we expect organizations to follow practices consistent with the college’s commitments to diversity and inclusion in order to remain our partners. The office of career management published this policy in the fall, and all recruiting partners have been very supportive of it.

Our Community-Engaged Learning initiative kicked off in the fall. The effort aims to give our students deeper experiences—curricular and co-curricular—with social issues in businesses and organizations, with a key emphasis on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Leaders from 16 business schools held a summit focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in October. Our college organized and hosted the first in what will become an ongoing series of half-day discussions to share best practices across institutions.

The Leadership Council on Combating Racism and Promoting Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging also began working in October. The group is composed of 32 students, staff, faculty, and alumni from across the college. You can read more about the council’s charge and its members on the college’s Commitment to Antiracism web page. Mirroring the college’s action steps, the council has formed four cross-college subcommittees:

  1. Representation and Retention: increasing racial diversity among staff, faculty and student body, and in the panelists and speakers featured in classes and events.
  2. Culture, Community, and Belonging: fostering a culture of inclusion, belonging, justice, and equity, and reducing barriers preventing it from taking hold.
  3. Curriculum and Classroom: developing a college-wide curriculum and a culture of learning and improvement that reflect our priorities for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  4. Measurement and Accountability: identifying the data, analyses, and communications methods needed to track our work with clarity and transparency.

We want to thank those of you who have contributed your time, knowledge, or feedback to this important shared responsibility so far. It is deeply encouraging to see so many of you coming together with such sincerity, generosity, and openness to help our college make progress. There is much work to do, but we believe that this is the kind of community that can do it, and the leadership of our college remains unified in our commitment to seeing it through.

Michelle M. Duguid
Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Kevin F. Hallock
Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business