In light of the many disruptions, losses, and reprioritization caused by the COVID-19 crisis, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge your resilience and to assure you that, with the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity remain a high priority at the College of Staten Island (CSI).
Recognizing that a diverse workforce is a more effective workforce, I reaffirm CSI’s longstanding commitment to fostering workplace diversity. I appreciate the efforts our students, faculty, and staff have made, thus far, to help cultivate an inclusive community, especially as we continue to work together to combat COVID-19, and I acknowledge the need for the work that remains to be done, as well as the importance of the continued open exchange of ideas.
The City University of New York (CUNY) and CSI have implemented policies and practices to foster non-discrimination, affirmative action, diversity, and inclusion, all of which I fully support. Accordingly, I am committed to CSI’s compliance with CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination, as well as CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct.
The Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy states CUNY’s commitment 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 (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, unemployment status, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state, and city laws. Additionally, as a federal contractor, CUNY engages in affirmative action for women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans consistent with federal requirements for employees. Italian Americans are also included among CUNY’s protected groups. I invite you to view the Equal Opportunity Policy in its entirety, including complaint procedures and the prohibition against retaliation.
CSI’s executive and administrative officers are responsible for maintaining a harassment and discrimination-free work environment, and for promoting diversity and inclusion in their respective units. I have assigned the responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of our compliance program to the Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Catherine Ferrara, Esq., who also serves as CSI’s 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator and the Title IX Coordinator. I continue to encourage all managers to contact her to discuss diversity and inclusion strategies that would advance their unit’s strategic goals. Additionally, I continue to encourage any individual who believes that they have experienced employment discrimination to contact Ms. Ferrara in the Office of Diversity and Compliance at Catherine.Ferrara@csi.cuny.edu.
I request your continued support in encouraging initiatives fashioned to enhance diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity efforts in all employment practices at CSI.
By William J. Fritz, PhD