Close-up of a plaque engraved with the Cornell University motto.
A Commitment to Equity

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

The College of Arts & Sciences embodies Cornell University’s founding principle:

I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.

- Ezra Cornell, 1868

But a diverse student body and a breadth of academic pathways is not enough – all students also need to feel valued, respected, heard, intellectually challenged and encouraged to grow once they arrive at Cornell. This requires a commitment to an equitable and just institution that encompasses our entire community of students, faculty and staff. Here are some of the ways we express our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and justice.

University Initiatives

University initiatives

We embrace Cornell University’s core values and we are committed to the institutional initiatives put forth by the university’s Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate and the Provost’s Task Force to Enhance Faculty Diversity. The eight main tenets of this plan feature changes in culture, policies and priorities; a commitment to increasing the diversity of the university’s faculty and staff; and a promise to enhance the student experience to support social belonging and wellness.

The College of Arts & Sciences is also actively involved in Belonging at Cornell, an institutional framework designed to track measurable progress toward making Cornell a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. Metrics included in this framework are based on a sense of belongingfairness, a net promotor scoreturnover rates and proportionate hiring rates.

Summer scholars in lobby of Johnson Museum

Curriculum and support for students

The College of Arts & Sciences offers an expansive curriculum focused on exploration of humanity’s wide diversity of knowledge and culture. In addition to the curricular offerings, there are enhanced opportunities and funding for historically underrepresented students.

Explore DEIA resources for students

Faculty member teaching small class of students

Faculty at the forefront

Across our departments and programs, faculty members are leading their fields in research and teaching on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Our community benefits from their knowledge and expertise. The faculty-elected Diversity and Equity Committee seeks to identify areas in which equity and diversity require specific consideration to bring to the attention of the Dean.

Faculty involvement and resources

Staff gathering

Staff DEIA Committee

The staff DEIA committee seeks to honor our college's commitment to upholding the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility through ongoing action, intentionally cultivating a sense of belonging for all identities and intersections of these identities.

Learn more about the DEIA Committee

Programming with Impact

Programming with Impact

Three students confer over a laptop


Revolutionizing the classroom

Student-Centered Teaching Innovation that Closes Achievement Gaps

The Active Learning Initiative, initially founded in the College of Arts & Sciences, has now expanded university-wide.

Explore the Active Learning Initiative

student in front of building
Amina Kilpatrick

Funding summer experience

Summer Experience Grant

The Summer Experience Grant (SEG) is a collection of summer funding awards that provide financial support for students to complete summer unpaid or minimally paid career-related experiences.

More about Summer Experience Grant

Students conducting research in a lab

Undergraduate research opportunities

Nexus Scholars Program

The Nexus Scholars Program in the College of Arts & Sciences provides undergraduate students with summer opportunities to work side by side with faculty from all across the college (humanities, social sciences, and STEM) on their research projects.

Explore more details about Nexus Scholars

Related News

Take Action

Learn more and take action

Public engagement programming

The College of Arts & Sciences is partnering with the Office of the Provost to host a series of talks, Antisemitism and Islamophobia Examined. Four leading academics will come to campus this semester to explore the history of these prejudices, the impact on Americans today, and the legal landscape for addressing these issues. We will also explore the relationship between the history of Israel/Palestine and current events, as well as contemporary manifestations of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

In the 2020/21 academic year, the College partnered with the American Studies Program to launch a year-long webinar series, Racism in America, featuring faculty experts and journalist moderators exploring the far-reaching impacts of institutional racism. 

The College also oversees the Distinguished Visiting Journalist program and Arts Unplugged series which often addresses issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Additional diversity, equity and inclusion resources 

For Faculty | For Staff | For Students | For Alumni, Parents and Friends

Resources to address racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia

Visit this page to report an incident of bias.

The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity has shared a list of Resources to Engage in Conversations About Race and Anti-Racism and the Cornell Library has created an online guide about anti-racism.

Land Acknowledgment for the Ithaca Campus

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ people, past and present, to these lands and waters.


Learn more about this land acknowledgment through the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program.