Governor Cuomo announces SUNY diversity policy reform

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Students will have the opportunity to voluntarily self-identify their sexual orientation and gender identity under a new diversity policy adopted for State University of New York schools.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy redefines diversity to include all aspects of personal, sexual and social identification. This includes race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, age, socioeconomic status, status as a veteran, status as a student with a disability, first-generation students, and international students or those transferring between colleges.

“New York has a long and proud history of embracing diversity, and our world-class SUNY system is no exception,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, we are once again sending a strong message that the Empire State is a national leader and a beacon of inclusion for all students.”

“SUNY is committed to being the most inclusive system of higher education in the country, and this policy ensures that all of our campuses and our system offices are held to the highest standard,” says SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall.

The policy aims to improve services to ensure that SUNY students, faculty and staff populations accurately reflect that of New York state by instituting a Chief Diversity Officer for every SUNY campus.

The Chief Diversity Officer’s primary responsibility includes facilitating communication between campus offices to elevate inclusiveness along a system-wide network that informs and supports diversity initiatives.

The SUNY initiative will address recruitment and retention strategies for both students and faculty, as well as requiring annual reporting on policy effectiveness and academic leadership progress.

SUNY Trustee Richard Socarides, a nationally-recognized leader in LGBTQ rights, says, “This tool will allow us to view retention and completion patterns on campuses and throughout SUNY to consider areas where improved supports may be needed.”

The new policy focuses on ensuring that diversity at SUNY schoolds is representative of New York State’s projected demographics.

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