Institutional IDBE Progress

June 29, 2022

Dear members of the NYUAD community,

As we reflect on our joyous in person Commencement and a successful academic year, we are delighted to see the ways inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity (IDBE) have become even more deeply embedded into the fabric of our community. As was reported in fall 2021 (available on the faculty and staff intranet and student portal), our University continues to work towards building an institution where all are empowered to belong.

Part of the commitments that were made in July 2020 to a truly inclusive NYUAD involved the appointment and charge of the Implementation Committee on Race, Diversity, and Belonging that would lead efforts to examine our culture and policies during the academic year 2020-21. The Implementation Committee did an outstanding job and set the stage for a new, permanent Inclusion, Equity, and Action Committee (IEAC) that was introduced in the fall of 2021 co-chaired by Fatiah Touray, Awam Amkpa, and Waseem Chaudry.

Over the course of the academic year 2021-22, the IEAC (1) improved and clarified the July 2020 commitments and shaped recommendations on how best to implement the revised commitments given the evolving campus climate, (2) developed recommendations in response to the major themes highlighted in the Our NYUAD, Journey to Belonging campus climate survey report, and (3) conducted individual meetings with 40 unit leaders to review their plans and progress to foster IDBE within their units, and advise on recommendations.

All of the committee's hard work is captured in the IEAC Spring 2022 Report available on the faculty and staff intranet and student portal. We encourage you to read the report, find your respective unit or division, and learn from the many thoughtful observations and concrete recommendations provided by leaders of your and other units.

It is important to note that other units and colleagues are working to further IDBE across the institution every day in ways that might not be captured in the report. We recognize and thank our community members for these consistent and creative efforts. Many divisions and units are using the data from the campus climate survey to further programs and accountability structures. We encourage all community members to familiarize themselves with the IEAC Spring 2022 Report and to learn more about existing and future efforts to integrate IDBE into all we do.

We are very pleased to note the numerous achievements this past academic year that are helping our community become more diverse and aware of the values of an inclusive and equitable environment for teaching, research, learning, and work. The Office of Spiritual Life and Intercultural Education (SLICE) in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion and Equity (OIE) facilitated the training of 44 staff members to become Qualified Administrators for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). They also conducted individual debriefs to 461 first year students on their intercultural competencies and development plans. Moving forward the IDI will be provided to all first year students and new employees.

The Provost’s Inclusion and Equity Committee was established, and now serves as the focal, action-oriented body offering advice to the Provost. Its recommendations are aligned with the institutional commitment to IDBE as central to the Academic Strategy and day to day academic operations. Additionally, the academic divisions appointed Faculty Diversity Liaisons in fall 2021 who lead efforts to develop and coordinate IDBE strategies, academic programing, and implementation of inclusive practices in partnership with the Office of the Provost and the OIE.

The Office of Community Values and Conflict Transformation (CVCT) is a newly formed office within the Division of Student Affairs that focuses on managing and strengthening the formal student conduct process at NYUAD, and developing alternatives for addressing community harm and conflict between specific parties using restorative practices.

Last but not least, we encourage you to review the Accountability Framework, which captures much of the work that has been done over the past two years in response to the July 2020 commitments. While the framework is not an exhaustive account of all IDBE activities happening across the University, it gives us a model for tracking how well we are doing in particular areas of this work, and where we may have to pay renewed attention. Other achievements include the integration into the performance review process of competencies and activities that promote diversity and inclusion, the development of unit and division IDBE plans, and robust Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) and OIE trainings and workshops for all constituents, including the completion of unconscious bias training to all 198 Public Safety Officers by the OIE.

We have made great progress, and we have seen great and growing commitment to the joys as well as the challenges of IDBE work across our community. IDBE is now an established lens through which we fulfill our mission every day, and shape our aspirations for the future.

While we send these updates every year, we recognize that your preferred method of learning about IDBE might vary. We welcome feedback to on how we can keep the community informed and engaged.

With Gratitude,

Mariët, Fatiah, Awam, and Waseem