Cornell University Task Force Makes Recommendations to Improve Campus Climate

After a series of race-related incidents on campus last fall, Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack formed the President’s Task Force on Campus Climate. The task force had 36 members made up of students, faculty, and staff. The task force recently completed its work and submitted a series of recommendations to President Pollack. Subcommittees on campus experience, regulation of speech and harassment and campus response each issued separate reports.

The campus experience report identified eight areas where actions should be taken and offers a series of recommendations for each. Among the recommendations were compulsory diversity education, a revised campus code of conduct, and creating a great sense of community on campus.

The report concludes that “in large part because of the decentralized structure of the university, diversity and inclusion efforts to date have remained fragmented and uncoordinated. As a result, we found that the whole is often less than the sum of the parts. We suspect that in some cases, better communication could help bring about greater coherence and impact. However, systematic change will remain unlikely without much stronger systems of accountability.”


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