3 diverse students stand with school bags talking outside a Westchester Community College building

What is diversity at SUNY?

Diversity can be broadly defined to include all aspects of human difference, including but not limited to, age, disability, race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, language heritage, learning style, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, status as a veteran and world-view. At SUNY, we focus in particular on achieving equal access, meaningful academic and intellectual inclusion in curriculum, research and service, and holistic integration into the academic culture of higher education at all levels for New York State’s underrepresented populations and students who are economically disadvantaged.

Through our office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) aspires to strengthen diversity as an integral component of academic excellence at the State University of New York and, in the process, to establish the university as a national leader in preparing its students for success in a culturally and racially diverse society. We envision the SUNY of the future as a preeminent public university that is truly representative of the rich array of human and intellectual diversity that is the hallmark of New York State. The principle of engagement through inclusion will be a core value, and we will promote new partnerships, within the 64-campus SUNY system and beyond, that embrace the inseparable connection between academic excellence and diversity.

About SUNY’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

The SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) provides leadership and strategic direction to SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities for enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. While each of SUNY's 64 college campuses has its own Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to serve the unique, individual needs of their students and campuses, SUNY Administration's ODEI offers comprehensive, system-wide services that support and coordinate diversity and inclusion efforts across campuses. We are committed to working collaboratively with our campus community to build high-quality programming that brings about positive and equitable social change.

SUNY ODEI services include, but are not limited to:

Driving Progress Across New York State

ODEI leads the development, implementation, and evaluation of a system-wide diversity initiatives. Our work includes the management of the Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship, Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program, and Faculty Diversity Program (which is now transitioning into the PRODiG program).

We also oversee the monitoring and analysis of data that helps measure our progress on diversity and inclusion benchmarks across the University. This includes tracking the implementation of system-wide initiatives, including SUNY's Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Growth (PRODiG) initiative, which aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty at SUNY.

Leading SUNY's 25-Point Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan

The team at ODEI is responsible for executing SUNY's 25-point Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan. The Action Plan was launched in February of 2021 to close racial equity gaps and eliminate cultural and institutional racial discrimination across SUNY campuses. We focus on concrete, achievable steps to support academic and administrative units across campus in meeting diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

System-wide Compliance & Oversight

In collaboration with the Office of General Counsel, ODEI monitors the University's compliance with the laws that govern colleges and universities in our pursuit of diversity and inclusion, as well as compliance with SUNY's policies that advance diversity.”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion