New cultural affinity spaces, training programs part of latest progress on diversity initiatives

Sept. 30, 2016 11 a.m.

Princeton University continues to make significant progress on initiatives to foster an inclusive campus climate, including this summer's renovation inside the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding and new training opportunities for faculty, staff and students.

The University's ongoing implementation of practices and programs to improve the campus environment follows recommendations of the Special Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Many of the task force's recommended actions have been completed and others are underway.

Fields Center new space

As part of the University's ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive campus environment, the interior of the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding was renovated this summer. The new spaces include cultural affinity rooms for student groups. (Photo courtesy of Isometric Studio)

"This continues to be a work in progress," Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Michele Minter said. Minter provided updates on the University's efforts during a presentation at this week's Council for the Princeton University Community (CPUC) meeting.

"Our students have been really important partners with University administrators in this process," Minter said. "They provide continued feedback and recommendations for how we may implement changes across campus."

One visible change this fall is the renovation of spaces inside the Fields Center, including cultural affinity rooms for student groups.

"The new spaces at the Fields Center are really exciting and are important progress for our students," Minter said.

Other updates include the start of the University's new dean for diversity and inclusion, LaTanya Buck, and new and redesigned diversity programs during undergraduate and graduate student orientations.

The University also has expanded training opportunities for faculty, staff and students related to bias and diversity. More than 75 in-person training sessions on discrimination and harassment have been held, as well as more than 70-in person programs on diversity and inclusion. Faculty advisers, academic department chairs and assistants in instruction now participate in training and orientation programs, and the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning organizes workshops for faculty and graduate students on inclusive teaching and classrooms.

In other progress, more than 15 courses on cultural identity and diversity were taught this past academic year and the University's new Cultural Studies Fund is supporting five new postdoctoral teaching fellows. Other highlights from Minter's presentation (.pdf of presentation) are available on the CPUC website.

During her presentation, Minter also gave an update on the University's progress in implementing recommendations of the Trustee committee on Woodrow Wilson's legacy, including the establishment of the Princeton Histories Fund to support the exploration of overlooked aspects of the University's history, the Trustee Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and the Campus Iconography Committee.