Toward New Destinations

Toward New Destinations provides a broad institutional framework for diversity, asserting the centrality of diversity and inclusion to the university's values and excellence. Cornell's diversity and inclusion framework is based on the recognition that education, research, knowledge production, and operational and academic pursuits are enhanced through full and reciprocal engagement among diverse perspectives, life experiences, and modes of knowledge creation and interpretation. Toward New Destinations is thus designed to promote the pursuit of excellence through support for the core values provided in Cornell's institutional commitment of "Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds."

Supporting four core principles:

  1. COMPOSITION refers to the demographic make-up
  2. ENGAGEMENT reflects personal, social, and professional commitment to institutional goals and activities; retention
  3. INCLUSION comprises climate and interpersonal relations; climate
  4. ACHIEVEMENT reflects levels of attainment for underrepresented individuals or groups; opportunities


Graduate School Diversity and Inclusion

Toward New Destinations requires each College and Administrative Unit within Cornell to decide on their top diversity initiatives each year, as well as include a process for assessing and measuring progress towards these goals. The Graduate School’s Diversity Advisory Council (GS-DAC), staff, and student leaders play an active role in informing the development of Graduate School’s key initiatives, which are as follows.

Graduate School 2015-16 TND Initiatives:

  • Engagement & Achievement: Graduate & Professional Students and Postdoctoral Scholars                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Launch and advance a series of programs focused on understanding and improving the academic and social climate for and the experiences of graduate and professional students and postdoctoral scholars.

  • Composition:  Graduate & Professional Students

Expand the Graduate School Ambassador Program and expand diversity recruitment activities to increase the impact of the Graduate School’s recruitment activities especially as it relates to the application and enrollment of students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in graduate education.

  • Engagement & Inclusion:  Graduate & Professional Students

Conduct needs assessments regarding the inclusion and engagement of graduate and professional students at Cornell that identify as LGBTQ+ and/or as Veterans. Data collected through these assessment activities will inform focused efforts to expand programming and support for graduate and professional students that identify as LGBTQ+ and/or as Veterans.

  • Achievement:  Graduate & Professional Students

Conduct an analysis and write a report regarding attainment of achievement indicators for different groups of students related to median time to degree, attrition time and rates, completion time and rates, time to A exam, self-reported student survey data (i.e., doctoral experience, exit) and other appropriate indicators, including analysis by broad discipline. The report will be discussed with the Directors of Graduate Studies, and will inform the development and design of future professional development and academic support programs through the Graduate School, particularly if any substantive disparities among groups are identified.  Future work may focus on field-specific analysis.

For more information about Toward New Destinations and to review summaries of the Graduate School’s diversity and inclusion initiatives from previous years, many of which are ongoing, click here.