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Columbia University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
202 Low Library, 535 W. 116 St., MC 4309
New York, New York 10027
Phone
(212) 854-1754
Email address
ugrad-ask@columbia.edu
School Information
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, with four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. Undergraduate students have access to 68 different programs, as well as research opportunities. Columbia University has over 31,000 students across its twenty schools, as well as over 4,300 faculty. (Source: http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/shaping_the_world/index.html) (Source: https://opir.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/Statistical%20Abstract/opir_enrollment_history.pdf) (Source: https://opir.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/Statistical%20Abstract/opir_faculty_history.pdf)
General Information
Columbia University's individual schools have been asked to draft anti-racist plans, although what the contents of those plans are is unclear. Additionally, the university provided questionable resources to its students, with the university's “Anti-Racism Scaffolding Resources” even asking students to feel guilty and actively "dismantle oppressive systems". Several names of on-campus buildings have been removed. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • In response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action, the University released a statement saying, "Diversity is a positive force across every dimension of Columbia, and we can and must find a durable and meaningful path to preserve it."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Club Presidents were required to undergo “Anti-Racism” training.
  • New students are required to participate in the "Inclusion & Belonging" initiative where they learn "key concepts related to inclusion & belonging, such as diversity, equity, bias and allyship."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Anti-Racist Plans will be drafted for Each School.
  • The Center for Science and Society will, "Ensure a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in postdoctoral scholars."
  • In a statement on Columbia's "Commitment to Anti-racism," the University's president stated, "Our deans are deeply committed to addressing issues of anti-Black racism and each has an active agenda of antiracist work, both longstanding and new, related to curriculum and pedagogy."
Disciplinary Measures
  • Students may report incidents of bias through the University's "bias reporting tool." Students also have access to the "Bias Incident Resource Team."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The School of Social Work will provide "ongoing anti-bias trainings for faculty, staff, and PhD students throughout the year."
Program and Research Funding
  • The Center for Science and Society will prioritize "Research Cluster funds for activities that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion."
  • The Center for Science and Society will, "Prioritize applications that incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion" and "Create a diversity, equity, and inclusion worksheet for grant recipients."
  • The Columbia Climate School will be, "Piloting a funding pool for DEIA programming, open to anyone within the Earth Institute/Climate School community."
  • The Columbia Climate School will be, "Funding a DEIA position at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, separating the functions of academic affairs and diversity that were previously undertaken by one person."
  • University Life has a "Racial Justice Mini-Grant Program." To receive funding, projects must, "Provide opportunities, such as workshops or training, to educate our student community to understand and unlearn racism, effectively act or advocate to address racism, and understand the intersectional dynamics of oppression," "Broaden the conversation on antiracism. One example would be hosting a panel discussion to highlight new or rising voices on this topic," or "Strengthen our campus culture of inclusion and belonging. An example would be a social media campaign or peer mentorship program."
  • The University has allocated $185 Million to its "Faculty Diversity Initiative" which funds "Faculty recruitments in the area of Race and Racism scholarship" in alignment with the University's "anti-racism" efforts.
  • Each year, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences hosts an "eight- to ten-week Summer Research Program for undergraduates with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion." 
Re-Imagining Policing
  • The "Inclusive Public Safety Advisory Committee" regularly meets with representatives from Colubmia's Public Safety Office to "discuss issues of importance to the Columbia community and make recommendations that support inclusion and belonging on Columbia’s campuses" and to "obtain information about campus sentiment and share relevant policy and practice changes to ensure they align with the University’s commitments to safety and anti-racism."
  • All new Public Safety Officers receive training on topics such as "diversity," "implicit bias," "microaggressions," "Multicultural affairs, gender identity, and sensitivity,"  and "racial profiling prohibition" among others.
Resources
  • University “Anti-Racism Scaffolding Resources” ask students to come in contact with racism, disintegrate their privilege (through guilt), reintegrate, achieve “pseudo-independence,” immerse themselves in anti-racist ideas, and become autonomous by dismantling oppressive systems.
  • University held a five-week workshop for students who are "white-identified" to facilitate the "development of an antiracist lens".
  • The School of Nursing has a Social Justice and Health Equity Committee, which "serves as the governing body for other Columbia Nursing working groups and committees focused on anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion."
  • The School of Nursing has, "Worked on an audit tool to help faculty critically evaluate their courses with the aim of identifying and eliminating racism and bias in their educational activities."
  • The School of Social Work has an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which aims to "continue promoting social justice as a cornerstone of our profession and our School’s mission, keeping at the forefront of our work the importance of having an anti-oppressive social work practice lens."
  • The Center for Science and Society will, "Create required diversity, equity, and inclusion worksheet for organizers of medium/large-scale events with guidelines for building more diverse and accessible events" and "Consider and address barriers that can prevent both academic and non-academic speakers from participating in events, including childcare costs, transportation, and honorarium."
  • The Columbia Climate School will be, "Hiring an Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Bias to work across the Climate School to ensure a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive culture."
  • The Columbia Climate School will be, "Developing a DEIA Council, comprising faculty, researchers, staff, and students to consult and advise the new associate dean."
  • The Columbia Climate School "hosted a virtual panel discussion on October 13 titled 'Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at Columbia: Institutional Lessons for the Climate School.'" According to the school, "the event focused on Columbia’s continued efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and how those efforts can help support and inform the Climate School’s goals."
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning held the "CUIMC Anti-Racist Educator Institute (AREI)." The event for the Irving Medical Center was "a week-long immersive training Monday July 26 – Friday, July 30, 2021, 9am – 1 pm each day. AREI will focus on themes based on confronting bias, systemic racism in academic and healthcare settings, and course design and facilitation strategies to create anti-racist change in learning environments. Participants will collaboratively develop pilot school and departmental anti-racist pedagogy training programs."
  • University Life held an "Introduction to Anti-Racism" event. Participants defined "terms such as prejudice, racism, intersectionality and anti-racism" and learned "frameworks that explain systemic racism and stratification." They also gained "tools to further learning on systemic racism and anti-racist practice, creating action plans, and joining communities of support."
  • The University provides "resources focused on combating bias and promoting social justice" with resource guides on combatting "Anti-Asian bias," "Anti-Black racism," "Anti-Latino racism," "Anti-Native/Indigenous racism," "Anti-Arab racism," "Islamophobia," and "Antisemitism."
  • The University regularly hosts "Campus Conversations" where students can "talk about identity, societal norms, and issues." Event topics include "Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion," "Misrepresentation of Marginalized Groups in Media," "Social Identity and Intersectionality," and "Major Political and Social Justice Movements and their Impact."
Symbolic Actions
  • Bard Hall renamed after petition to remove medical school founder and slaveholder’s name from building is successful.
  • The #CUBlackExcellence initiative "will highlight its most accomplished Black and African American student-athletes and celebrate its rich history of Black Excellence with an on-going virtual and social media campaign."
  • The Center for Science and Society will, "Add diversity, equity, and inclusion language to the Center’s by-laws."
Last updated May 8th, 2024
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