Our NYUAD Town Hall and Updates

October 25, 2021

Dear Members of the NYUAD Community,

We write today to give an update on our progress towards achieving a more inclusive institution, and to remind you that we will have an Our NYUAD Journey to Belonging town hall this Wednesday, October 27, at 3:30pm GST on Zoom.

At the town hall, we will discuss outcomes of NYU Abu Dhabi’s inaugural climate survey. We are grateful for the excellent response rate as we took this important step together. Our goal was to understand our community better and learn what’s working and what requires action so that everyone can thrive at NYUAD.

In the upcoming town hall, Dr. Roger Worthington, Executive Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education and our external partner and consultant for the survey, will present an overview of the results, and there will be time for questions from the community.

The town hall will be followed by campus roadshows hosted by Fatiah Touray from the Office of Inclusion and Equity (OIE) for individual units, divisions, governance bodies, student interest groups, and others. Many of these meetings are already scheduled. After those conversations, we will follow up with a message to sum up and respond to themes that arise during the roadshows, outline next steps, and share expanded details about the findings.

Since our last update to the community and the survey launch event earlier this year, we have continued to make important progress. Our inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity (IDBE) efforts are more integrated, ambitious, and dynamic than ever, thanks to Fatiah’s outstanding leadership and strong collaboration with many of you across the institution. Here are a few examples:

  • NYUAD's first campus climate survey and the creation of a new demographic data model that better represents our global population.
  • The Implementation Committee on Race, Diversity and Belonging completed the year-long commitment and their final report on the intranet and student portal outlines their extraordinary progress.
  • Many of the Implementation Committee members have stayed on to serve on the Inclusion, Equity, and Action Committee, a new group that expands representation, especially from students.
  • The relaunching of the OIE office with new leadership, additional team members, and a direct connection to the Office of Global Inclusion in New York. The office issues the Al Berwaz newsletter that promotes IDBE programs and opportunities for all community members.
  • 7 of 11 action items in the Accountability Framework have been completed and as a community, we are actively making progress on the others.
  • We’re extending the footprint of this work with an Inclusion Partner model that ensures we’re strengthening IDBE awareness, capacity, and commitment across the institution.
  • IDBE is an integral part of our academic mission and new Academic Strategy, which clearly articulates our continued commitment to increase the presence of NYUAD’s faculty of scholars from underrepresented communities, and to create more equitable and inclusive learning environments.
  • OIE and the Office of the Provost have launched a joint Liaison Working Group on Inclusion and Equity designed to foster alignment, information, and workflow with regard to the areas of IDBE in the context of the Academic Strategy.
  • OIE and the Office of the Provost have set up a Fund for Inclusion and Innovation designed to provide grants and resources to faculty and academic divisions to fund research toward addressing histories, legacies, and present-day realities of colonialism and the oppression of historically marginalized communities.
  • OIE has expanded training and workshop opportunities for all community members on topics including microaggressions, inclusive hiring, intercultural competence, and tailored offerings for specific academic divisions, offices, units, and student groups, in collaboration with Saman Hussain, the new Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Spiritual Life and Intercultural Education.
  • New Affinity Groups of faculty and staff linked by a common purpose or interest have been formed, and now include BADCOA, SACRED, and Egrobu. Affinity Groups help create an environment where all are valued and empowered to succeed.
  • The Office of Equal Opportunity, under David Smart’s leadership, continues to offer year-round workshops for faculty and staff on non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and actions.

For more information about these updates, to request an Our NYUAD roadshow for your unit or area, IDBE training, or participate as an Inclusion Partner, please email OIE at nyuad.inclusionandequity@nyu.edu.

We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished together, while also recognizing there is a lot more work to be done. We are committed to staying firmly on the path to a more inclusive NYUAD, and we thank you for your continued contributions to this collective goal.

We look forward to seeing you at Wednesday’s town hall.

Mariët and Arlie