The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is committed to the idea that diversity in the graduate student body enhances the intellectual experience and achievements of the entire academic community: graduate students work closely with the faculty, constitute the classroom context for their graduate peers, and make substantive contributions to the university's undergraduate pedagogical enterprise. The Graduate School's understanding of diversity is ample, given our desire to expand continuously the reaches of inclusiveness. It encompasses considerations of race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic background, family history of post-baccalaureate opportunity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, life experience, and veteran status.
In partnership with the Office of the Provost and all academic departments, the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences coordinates efforts to recruit a diverse cohort of graduate students and to support their academic and professional success in the university. It also promotes the understanding of diversity as an intellectual project that pertains to the university community as a whole: for diversity should not be simply a category whose invocation generates statistics to be gathered and recorded, but a living and evolving set of practices and goals that require our constant vigilance and commitment if they are to be achieved. As the editorial of a recent special issue of Nature states boldly: "The message is clear: inclusive science is better science." Columbia will be a stronger institution, and the mettle of the knowledge we produce will be tested more effectively, if we create an intellectual collective that is reflective of the disparate experiences of its constituents.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also works to improve access to graduate education through its long-standing Summer Research Program. I encourage applicants to any of our graduate programs to contact the GSAS Office of Diversity and Inclusion at gsas-diversity [at] columbia.edu.
Carlos J. Alonso, Dean
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences