TO: The City College Community
FROM: President Lisa S. Coico
Over the course of this past year, I have given considerable thought to what makes City College unique – the City difference, if you will. Our uniqueness stems from our history, our founding mission, the achievements of our faculty and alumni. But I am increasingly convinced that central to what defines us is the rich diversity that is found on our campus. Everyone talks about diversity – but at City College we mean that the range and depth of the differences in values, experiences, interests and points of view that real diversity brings to the table are the foundation and the hallmark of excellence in education in a global society.
It is no secret that, with one of the most diverse student populations in the nation, we must do more to ensure that each and everyone of our students has the opportunity to succeed. Nor is it a secret that our faculty does not reflect the diversity of our students, even as scholarship has consistently shown that faculty diversity has positive effects for all students. These are challenges that universities are facing around the nation – but I am confident that we have the commitment and talent to rise to meet them at City College.
I am therefore pleased to announce the formation of The City College President's Council on Inclusion and Excellence. The Council's mandate is to explore issues relating to diversity in all segments of the campus community, with a special emphasis on faculty and students, and to develop and present to me recommendations to make City College a more welcoming, nurturing, and integrative environment where multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial pluralism contribute to academic excellence and student success. Going forward, the Council will continue to play a supportive role in encouraging inclusion and excellence after its initial recommendations are made.
Professor Charles Watkins of the Grove School of Engineering has agreed to chair the Council, and Sabrina Ellis, vice president of human resources, will serve as administrative liaison. The Council includes Professor Carlos Aguasaco, Professor Ramona Hernandez, Professor Karen Hubbard, Dean Juan Carlos Mercado, Professor Jeff Morris, Professor V.P. Nair, Professor Arthur Spears, Professor Maria Tamargo, Professor Sheldon Weinbaum, Professor Andrea Weiss, Professor I-Hsien Wu, Professor Christopher D. Yawn, and Professor Deborah Vietze.
Please join me in thanking them for their service; I know you will assist them in any way you can. I look forward to their recommendations.