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University of Rochester

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
University of Rochester 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd.
Rochester, New York 14627
(585) 275-2121
School Information
"One of the world’s leading research universities, Rochester has a long tradition of breaking boundaries—always pushing and questioning, learning and unlearning. We transform ideas into enterprises that create value and make the world ever better." The university enrolls over 12,000 students, employs over 3,000 faculty, and offers over 200 degree programs. (Source: (Source:
General Information
The University of Rochester has taken a symbolic step in supporting recent protest movements. The university removed its founder’s name (George Hoyt Whipple) from buildings and renovated his old office due to his racist background. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The University's Eastman School of Music published its October 2020 "Eastman Action Commission For Racial Justice," which makes the following recommendations: "Meet the full financial need of each incoming Black student" and "Recruit more actively at schools/programs with diverse student populations and excellent music programs."
  • On June 29, 2023, UR's President and Provost issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads in part as follows: "We are both concerned about this decision because of the plentiful evidence from our fields of psychology and economics that there remain large racial differences in educational and economic opportunity in the United States, and the Supreme Court ruling will likely exacerbate these opportunity gaps...We assure you that our institution’s values of equity and belonging that we hold dear will not falter."
  • One of the "institutional priorities" for the Office of Equity and Inclusion is the following: "Enhancing the recruitment and retention of our representational diversity of faculty, staff, and students."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The University's Department of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering offers professional development workshops for faculty, graduate students, and staff which include "Creating an Anti-Racist Campus" and "Advanced Anti-Racism Training."
  • On July 20, 2020, the Department of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering sent a memo to "Student Leaders" (on the subject of equity and inclusion) and stated that "AS&E currently requires training on best practices in hiring, including avoiding bias and ensuring a diverse pool of candidates, for all faculty who serve on search committees."
  • The University's Eastman School of Music published its October 2020 "Eastman Action Commission For Racial Justice," which makes the following recommendation: "...appointing an external bias coach to each search committee, hiring an external search firm to expand candidate pools, requiring implicit bias training and 'beyond color' training for everyone involved in a search, sustained mentorship programs and other forms of support."
  • The "21-Day Equity Challenge" is an Office of Equity and Inclusion initiative which is a "structured, self-guided learning experience for people who want to grow in their anti-racism and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) knowledge, skills, and practices." The challenge for 2024 has been updated and added to the site as well.
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion offers "experiential" training sessions for faculty and staff on implicit bias and microaggressions.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The University's Eastman School of Music published its October 2020 "Eastman Action Commission For Racial Justice," which makes the following recommendation: "Provide pedagogical training and support for all Eastman instructors in syllabus and curriculum design that helps them address issues of equity and more sensitively engage students, especially students of African descent."
Disciplinary Measures
  • The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center outlines UR's Bias-Related Incident protocols and states, "A bias-related incident is characterized as a behavior or act—verbal, written, or physical—which is personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color...."
  • Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi will deliver the MLK Commemorative Address.
  • On October 26, 2021, the University held a panel to discuss “how utilizing critical race theory can help dismantle systems of oppression” and work towards teaching race and racism in schools.
  • On October 26, 2021, the University hosted an event titled "Critical Race Theory: How a Legal Framework Became a Political Flashpoint" and described the event as follows: "Our panelists work with Critical Race Theory in a variety of disciplines – from visual and cultural arts to education to public policy. Hear how their professional work intersects with CRT, how utilizing critical race theory can help dismantle systems of oppression, and how we as a Rochester community can move forward from here."
  • The University's "2022 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Leadership Summit" is a "gathering of EDI leaders and practitioners to collaborate, learn, and engage around strategies, implementation, and application of bringing together diverse voices committed to transformative environments."
  • The University's "REAL [Rochester’s Equity & Access Leadership] Conversations" is a "monthly lecture and discussion series that offers authentic discussions featuring brave and candid dialogues around equity, measurable action, and meaningful change." Past events included "Understanding White Supremacy" and "Critical Race Theory: How a Legal Frame Became a Political Flashpoint" among many others.
  • The Diversity Advisory Council is a "national volunteer body responsible for providing leadership, guidance, and feedback to the University of Rochester on diversity and inclusion initiatives for its alumni and students."
  • The University's Institutional Office of Equity and Inclusion strives to "weave diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University’s mission to learn, discover, heal, and create." (The Office links to diversity initiatives from the University's schools.)
  • The University's Eastman School of Music provides resources for teachers and all those who are "striving to create anti-racist learning environments at our school."
  • UR Libraries provides resources on the "1619 Project" and includes the following quote: "'The 1619 Project launched in August 2019 with a special issue of the New York Times Magazine, including essays and creative works by journalists, historians, and artists. The project illuminates the legacy of slavery in the contemporary United States, and highlights the contributions of Black Americans to every aspect of American society'."
  • UR's Committee on Community Engagement for Racial Justice "ensures that the University of Rochester is a committed community partner that is focused on racial justice, provides an important infrastructure to jointly develop creative and equity-oriented solutions to stem the impact of not only COVID-19 but decades of structural racism, exacerbated by the pandemic, on the most vulnerable groups in our broader community."
  • The introduction to UR's "Handbook for Underrepresented Ethnicities" states the following: "The University not only welcomes such differences in the members of its community but, in fulfilling its own missions and in preparing the leaders of tomorrow’s world who will necessarily be operating in an equally wide-ranging environment, it actively seeks to recruit and include diverse personnel in all aspects of the institution’s operations."
Symbolic Actions
  • Removal of founder’s name (George Hoyt Whipple) from buildings and renovation of his old office due to racist background.
  • On January 28, 2023, in response to the death of Tyre Nichols, the school's Office of Equity and Inclusion along with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence announced it would be "hosting two virtual healing circle[sic]." The Office also stated that "UCC is also hosting a drop-in session for students of color, led by therapists of color."
Last updated April 11th, 2024
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