I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the College’s commitment to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity programs and ideals. We continue to strive to achieve educational and social equity through campus-wide initiatives and programs that advance a core principle of CSI’s Mission, to “embrace the strength of our diversity, foster civic-mindedness, and nurture responsible citizens for our city, country, and the world.”

This year, we have exciting and important efforts underway that will help us continue to strengthen our inclusivity efforts throughout the campus. We have begun implementing our robust five-year Faculty Diversity Strategic Plan. This Plan was developed initially by CSI’s College-wide Diversity Council and strengthened by a faculty subcommittee of the Diversity Council, with input from various faculty and administrative constituencies.

This spring semester, we will host a symposium on diversity and inclusion that will bring together practitioners and experts in the field of higher education to discuss and share challenges and best practices on the topic in academia. This will be an all-inclusive program for students, faculty, and staff to attend, as well as participants from other Staten Island institutions and community members. In addition, the College will embark on a momentous campus-wide climate survey that will launch later this year.

Also, in an effort to continue educating our community about sexual harassment and sexual violence, which fall under Title IX of the federal Education Amendment Act, the College is implementing online training sessions for students and employees, which are mandated for all new members of the College community.

It is the policy of The City University of New York and the College of Staten Island to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees and to admit and provide services for students without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, legally registered domestic partnership status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, or status as a victim of domestic violence. Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, is also prohibited.  Most recently, unemployment status was added as a protected category.

The City University of New York, as a public university system, adheres to federal, state, and city laws and regulations regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action including among others Section 1324b of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Executive Order 11246 (as amended), Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended), Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (as amended), the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (as amended), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law. The “protected classes,” as delineated in Executive Order 11246: (i.e., Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native and Women), were expanded on December 9, 1976 by the Chancellor of The City University of New York to include Italian Americans. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget further expanded these protected classes in 2006 to include two or more races (not Hispanic or Latino) and replaced Asian/Pacific Islander with Asian (not Hispanic or Latino) and Native Hawaiian (not Hispanic or Latino), Black was renamed as Black or African American (not Hispanic or Latino), and Hispanic was renamed Hispanic or Latino.

I have assigned the responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of our compliance program to the Chief Diversity Officer, Danielle Dimitrov, who will also serve as the 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator. The vice presidents, deans, directors, managers, and supervisors share responsibility for ensuring our compliance with these policies and laws. The Office of Diversity and Compliance is located in Building 1A, Room 103. You may contact the office by phone: 718.982.2250 or by email: danielle.dimitrov@csi.cuny.edu.

I encourage you to continue advancing our Mission further with your dedicated support and participation in CSI’s many diversity-related events and programs throughout the school year.