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Columbia University Lacks Diversity at Higher Positions [Study]

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To inquire into the status of women and underrepresented minority faculty on its campus, a two-year study conducted by Columbia University has found its academic departments and centers lacking diversity at top positions.

The report has also pointed out differences in salaries of under-represented minorities and women. It has also noted the existence of discrimination and harassment and inefficient decision-making when it comes to important decisions.

“The recommendations range from tangible changes to broader cultural shifts that will require some time to implement,” said Maya Tolstoy, interim executive vice president and dean of the Faculty of Arts at Columbia.

“Some things are relatively easy to address, or that we have already started to address, and there are others that we will have to find solutions for.” To ensure such progress, a standing committee on equity and diversity will be created to keep tabs on progress.

The report has recommended major policy changes to address the issues by closing the salary gaps, provide a safer and improved work environment and further the academic advancement.

The university is also considering implementing a merit-based review system for promotions and retention.

“The world-class scholarship that defines Columbia depends upon diversity and upon the existence of a just and equitable environment in which a diverse faculty can thrive,” Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger said.

“This report says many important things, none of them more important than declaring Columbia’s commitment to persist in pursuit of these goals.”

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