University of Rochester president Joel Seligman has announced he will accept the principal recommendations from the school’s Final Report of the Presidential Commission on Race and Diversity that was issued in October.
Seligman established the commission in 2015, following several incidents of alleged racism, and racist postings on the social media website Yik Yak that had been directed at African-American students at the school’s Douglass Leadership House.
“Taking affirmative steps to enhance a welcoming and inclusive campus is consistent with our core values, an objective of the university that has become an enduring part of our campus culture,” Seligman stated. “At the University of Rochester, we are committed to supporting all of our students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors, and making all feel part of our community and respected.”
According to Seligman, the university’s first steps will include initial meetings with the new Presidential Diversity Council, and the formation of the Presidential Diversity Council Implementation Committee.
Seligman said the U of R will also implement the following recommendations from the commission:
- The university will create a $25,000 annual university-wide fund for diversity programming that will be administered by the provost.
- The Frederick Douglass Building, going forward, will be known as the Frederick Douglass Commons, and, newly connected by the recent renovations to Wilson Commons, will be designated together with Wilson Commons as The Campus Center, signifying the joint role of these facilities in supporting the students and campus.
- The university will explore the possibility of making Martin Luther King Jr. Day an official university holiday, beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year.
- and, the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) will be expanded over the next few months.
The Presidential Diversity Council will also address written comments from the three town hall meetings the university held in order to gain community input regarding the commission’s report.
Visit https://www.rochester.edu/president/memos/2016/response-final-commission-report.html to view Seligman’s full announcement.