Equity and Diversity

Fostering a diverse and inclusive Colgate community by increasing understanding, respect, and inclusion.


Understanding diversity1 and building a diverse campus community through respect and inclusion are fundamental to Colgate’s mission.2 The University ensures compliance with policies relating to affirmative action, discrimination, and harassment. A variety of cultures and perspectives enriches the quality of campus life, and the opportunity to share different views and experiences is at the core of Colgate’s educational enterprise. 

Colgate is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff, and student population. We strive to be an inclusive community — one that embraces and values diversity in an environment of mutual respect, communication, and engagement.3 We acknowledge that in order to fulfill our aspirations, we must free ourselves from personal biases, ingrained social stereotypes, and institutionalized forms of discrimination.4 While we recognize that there are challenges in the experience of diversity, we seek to face them in a spirit of growth and learning.


A commitment to diversity means understanding that each individual is unique and appreciating our differences in an environment that supports individual and collective achievement. These differences can include, but are not limited to: race; ethnicity; gender and gender expression; sexual orientation; socio-economic status; geographic background; national origin; culture; age; mental, cognitive and physical abilities; religious beliefs; and political beliefs.

See the University’s mission statement.

A commitment to diversity is infused in the goals of a Colgate education, outlined in the university catalog: “A Colgate education should enable students to: See themselves honestly and critically within a global and historical perspective, to recognize that their beliefs, identities, interests, and values are in part a reflection of their background, education, and life experiences. (…) Grow in both confidence and humility, to affirm a set of values while respecting and learning from the diverse perspectives, identities, ways of life, and philosophies of others.”

A true commitment to diversity means more than simple tolerance of difference. Inclusion requires an environment where any individual or group can feel welcome, supported, and valued as a full participant. An inclusive community necessitates both the awareness of personal, cultural, and institutionalized forms of discrimination and the active commitment to dismantle those barriers. Mutual respect for individual differences, combined with the conscious act of building bridges across differences, can promote a truly welcoming environment where all individuals and groups are recognized and empowered.

Colgate recognizes that achieving our goal of a fully inclusive community requires ongoing efforts and sustained attention at all levels of the University. We are aware that there are still impediments, particularly for people of color, for those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, and for the LGBTQ community. Colgate is committed to addressing these concerns in a holistic manner that attends to both the campus culture and the demographic composition.

At one time an all-male and all-white institution, Colgate has evolved over the years to admit women and students of color, to provide financial aid and diversify its academic offerings, and to employ affirmative action in its hiring practices to increase the number of women and people of color in its faculty and staff. These University-wide efforts are ongoing, but take place within the context of U.S. society. Assumptions about individuals and groups based on gender, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, etc. permeate our social environment and can only be unlearned through sustained, conscious personal effort. Colgate aims to provide its students with the opportunity to challenge these assumptions, to understand the complex relationship between self and society, to take a principled stand for what they believe, and to respect and learn from the diverse perspectives, identities, ways of life, and philosophies of others.

Strategic Goals

Collaborate with the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and Human Resources as well as individual departments and search committees to employ recruitment efforts designed to attract and retain an excellent and diverse faculty and staff.

Educate the campus community about the University’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, and take steps for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints of harassment and discrimination, including Title IX complaints.

Provide discrimination and harassment prevention trainings and facilitate opportunities for dialogue across differences.

Design and implement integrated initiatives to increase understanding, respect, and inclusion.

Establish benchmarks and implement coherent, systematic assessments of progress for faculty, staff, and students. Oversee the University’s response to campus climate surveys.

Provide up-to-date information on diversity programs and initiatives.

Provide job search assistance, information, and support to a dual-career spouse or partner. Visit the dual-career assistance page for more information.

Open Office Hours

Fall 2023: All office hours will be from 4 - 5 p.m. held in East Hall, Women's Studies Lounge

  • Thursday, September 7
  • Thursday, October 5
  • Thursday, November 9
  • Monday, December 4

Concerned About a Friend?

Report an incident or concern if you are concerned about a student. It is important to share that information so we can seek to provide assistance.