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Rochester Institute of Technology

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
One Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623
Phone
(585) 475-2411
Email address
admissions@rit.edu
School Information
"Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology is a diverse and collaborative community of engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually curious minds. Through creativity and innovation, and an intentional blending of technology, the arts and design, we provide exceptional individuals with a wide range of academic opportunities, including a leading research program and an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Beyond our main campus in Rochester, New York, RIT has international campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo. And with nearly 19,000 students and more than 135,000 graduates from all 50 states and over 100 nations, RIT is driving progress in industries and communities around the world. At RIT, we are always on to something amazing." The university enrolls over 18,600 students across its 11 schools and employs over 1,500 faculty. (Source: https://www.rit.edu/about-rit)
General Information
The university has not yet implemented university-wide initiatives. However, RIT has created an anti-racism pledge and campaign specifically for its white male faculty. No challenges have been made against this program. RIT has begun to require anti-racism training for faculty and staff, and has begun infusing anti-racism into the curriculum. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is "committed to the recruitment and academic success of historically disadvantaged students with strong academic potential and personal initiative who would otherwise be excluded from higher education at a private New York state college or university." The program is offered through RIT's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • RIT's "Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity" states that it would "Create a cross-divisional Enrollment Diversity Advisory Team (staff, faculty and students) charged with planning, communicating, supporting and implementing practices to increase AALANA [African American, Latinx American and Native American] applications, visitors, enrollments and graduates."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at RIT offers "Diversity Education" for faculty and staff and state, "Cultural humility is a life-long self-examination and accountability process that helps people think critically about their own assumptions, beliefs, biases, and values in order to address historic and current inequalities."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The university announced, as part of its Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity, that it is "Working with appropriate governance committees, evaluate the extent to which RIT’s curricular offerings appropriately reflect the commitments and priorities of RIT with regard to diversity and inclusion."
  • The Gender, Art, and Media Minor at RIT "...introduces students to critical analysis and knowledge-building methods drawn from fields such as women's and gender studies, feminist theories, critical race studies, queer studies, social justice work, and activism." 
  • The Black Studies Minor at RIT examines the "social construction of racial differences and their relation to the perpetuation of racism and racial domination" and "emphasizes how blackness intersects with other ethnic identities and how it is shaped by gender, sexuality, and economic inequities."
  • Through the Diversity, Inclusion, and Dialogue Minor at RIT, students will "study the social construct of diverse communities through examination of experiences of inequity, discrimination, oppression, and intersectionality."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The university announced, as part of its Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity, "All of RIT’s senior leadership and managers will be required to participate in a development program focused on inclusive leadership." The university also said that it will, "Develop manager education around what it means to be an inclusive leader and create a program for supervisors to develop skill sets and confidence to implement DEI plans for individual employees" and "Institute an annual requirement for all employees to receive education related to creating an inclusive culture."
  • The university announced, as part of its Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity, it will, "Require current Inclusive Hiring Training for all search chairs and committee members."
  • RIT's "Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity" states that it would "Require current Inclusive Hiring Training for all search chairs and committee members."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • University created an anti-racism pledge and campaign for white male faculty.
Program and Research Funding
  • The university announced, as part of its Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity, it will, "Enhance the research and education climate by proposing a Center on Race and Justice that addresses issues important to Rochester and this region and make funding a development priority."
  • Through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at RIT, students can apply to the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) which is a "New York State grant funded initiative designed to foster academic excellence for students in the science, technology, engineering, and math majors..." In order to qualify for the program, students must be "African-American, Latino American, Native American, or low-income as defined by New York State income guidelines." (Link to guidelines provided)
  • The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) is funded by the National Science Foundation and is offered at RIT through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The aim of the program is to "increase the quantity and quality of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates from diverse backgrounds." The program "serves under-represented minority students enrolled in designated STEM majors." In order to qualify, "Students must be members of a historically under-represented minority group."
Resources
  • The university announced, as part of its Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity, it will, "Create and support formal structures, broader engagement in and accountability for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work (e.g., committees, governance involvement, dedicated staff diversity-related positions, appraisals, etc.)."
  • RIT's "Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity" states that it would "Employ intentional and comprehensive efforts to incorporate and reflect DEI work across all constituencies including requiring DEI related information/goals in performance appraisals, plans of work, annual reports, etc."
  • RIT's "Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity" states that it would "Comprehensively review all systems, policies, procedures for systemic inequity."
Symbolic Actions
  • The university announced, as part of its Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity, it will, "Create a new tradition of Day of Understanding, Solidarity and Racial Reconciliation over the next five years to build a culture of brave, accountable, and effective dialogue about race, ethnicity, and racism."
  • On October 19, 2022, it was announced that the school will have a yearly tradition for “Together RIT: A Day of Understanding, Solidarity, and Racial Reconciliation,” which features events and lectures.
  • Rochester's National Technical Institute of the Deaf has created its own Antiracism and Social Justice Plan in Fall 2020, with 33 unique initiatives pertaining to recruitment and retention and other related goals.
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at RIT published a "Black Lives Matter Statement," which states "As the United States continues to grapple with acknowledging, understanding and effectively eliminating systemic racism, racial disparities and its impact on Black communities, we remain steadfast in our efforts to cultivate and lead critical inquiry into structural racism."
Last updated August 14th, 2023
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