Mission, Goals and History

Mission and Goals
The mission of EOD is to provide leadership and support to academic programs in the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the doctoral programs at the Graduate Center. This mission is not only directly linked to the mission of the University at large, but also to the mission of the Graduate Center, which is to "strive also to enhance access to doctoral education for traditionally underrepresented groups." At present, EOD fulfills its mission through a series of programs designed to recruit underrepresented groups into CUNY doctoral programs and to provide financial, academic, and social support to promote their retention and degree completion.

EOD aims to:
  • increase the number of students from underrepresented groups pursuing the doctoral degree across disciplines at the Graduate Center;
  • provide academic support in the form of workshops and mentoring to bolster degree completion;
  • provide opportunities for the professional growth of program participants and postdoctoral fellows; and
  • offer opportunities for social and academic networking, both locally and nationally.

In 1970, the Graduate Center established the Office of Expanded Educational Opportunity (OEEO), coordinated by Mr. Dean K. Harrison, to provide leadership in the recruitment and retention of minority students in doctoral programs. The office later included the MAGNET Program (Minority Access/Graduate Networking), which launched in 1990. In addition, OEEO, as an entity in Student Affairs, maintained records on minority recruitment, admission, financial aid, and academic progress. In 1995, the office was reorganized and its name was changed to the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity Programs (OEODP). Currently, EOD (shortened from OEODP in 2014) is under the direction of the executive officer (EO), Professor Herman Bennett, and reports to the associate provost for academic affairs.