The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to creating and sustaining a research and learning environment that truly honors the contributions that diversity makes to our strength. We understand that supporting diversity and inclusion in College not only benefits our university, but benefits all of the peoples and communities our institution was created to serve.
We know that our commitment to diversity must be a commitment to accountability and to action. Through informed investments we are working strategically to ensure that our institutional culture, policies and infrastructure foster an inclusive environment within the College.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion goes hand in hand with our commitment to equity and social justice. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we value diversity in all forms, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, gender and gender expression, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, age, socio-economic status, parenting status, citizenship status, and immigration status. Openness, dignity, intellectual curiosity, and inclusiveness are crucial to learning. They are the root of true knowledge and lie at the heart of our academic mission.
The success of our efforts to recruit, retain and support peoples historically under-represented in U.S. universities demand that we rectify the inequalities long perpetuated in higher education. We know that our commitment to diversity must be a commitment to accountability and to action. Through informed investments we are working to ensure that our institutional culture, policies and infrastructure foster an inclusive environment. We know we cannot survive as a public institution without these investments. Our goal is to ensure the full participation and wellbeing of all members of the CAS community. Now more than ever, we must support each other.
We gratefully acknowledge the enormous contribution that diversity makes to our university. We believe that the ability to solve complex human problems depends on including and honoring the perspectives of diverse persons. Homogenous academic settings breed complacency and ignorance. Diversity expands our scholarly horizons and sparks intellectual growth. Diversity exposes us to new ideas and intellectual traditions and enhances our ability to think in complex ways that are critical to our collective future.
In the College, we are committed to creating and sustaining a learning environment that truly honors the contributions that diversity makes to our strength. We understand that supporting diversity and inclusion in CAS not only benefits our university, but benefits all of the peoples and communities our institution was created to serve.
Our commitments to Diversity, Equity and Belonging in the College are anchored in our work to uphold the following values:
Shared Responsibility: Recognizing the importance of our collective efforts to shape and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment within the College and on our campus at large.
Community: Working to serve diverse communities both on and off campus by advancing social justice and racial equity within the College, and investing in community engagement, collaboration and partnerships.
Accountability: Continually evaluating and assessing our progress towards our goals to institutionalize a culture of equity and belonging within the College and across our campus.
Action: Ensuring our commitments translate into tangible results and outcomes that align with our goals to advance equity, belonging and social justice within the College and throughout our campus.
The following are the key initiatives to advance diversity and inclusion that are ongoing or in progress within the College. These priorities are informed by the many written statements, calls to action, listening sessions, townhalls and focus groups that BIPOC students have contributed to.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the recipient of a $3.2 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the creation of a new Department of Indigenous Studies with an innovative and interdisciplinary structure. Academic and community engagement within this new department will recognize Indigenous nationhood and sovereignty as foundational to building ethical and productive scholarly, educational, and experiential learning relationships with Indigenous people, organizations, and communities.
Deeply committed in supporting present and future generations of Indigenous students and scholars, UB’s Department of Indigenous Studies will promote research, educational, and outreach initiatives aligned with community priorities to ensure the continuity of Indigenous knowledge and languages, and the health and sustainability of Indigenous people, land, and water. The mission of the Department of Indigenous Studies is to foster excellence in Indigenous-centered scholarship, research, and teaching, and to promote multidisciplinary research and teaching beneficial to Indigenous Nations, communities, and organizations in local, national, and global contexts.