Reaffirmation of Commitment to Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

September 1, 2023

The Graduate Center Statement on Reaffirmation of Commitment to Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

President's Office Email Header - Fall 2022

August 31, 2023


To: The Graduate Center Campus Community

From: President Robin L. Garrell

Subject: Reaffirmation of Commitment to Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

The City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Graduate Center are dedicated to providing unparalleled education to all students, regardless of background or circumstance. We stand for equity and justice. We are steadfast in our commitment to building a community that is inclusive and equitable, addressing systemic racism, and championing the principles of affirmative action as a vanguard against the tide of prejudice.

Diversity within the University community advances our core academic purpose. The University endorses the goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action as supportive of University values and of the values of a democratic and pluralistic society. As such, and as stated in the University’s Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy, we are committed to recruiting, employing, retaining, promoting, and providing benefits to employees regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, unemployment status, pregnancy, or status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, sex offenses, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state, and city laws. The University’s commitment further extends to all Graduate Center Italian American employees who are included among CUNY’s protected groups.

Grounded by our commitment to doctoral and master’s education for the public good, the Graduate Center has a vital role in fighting systemic racism locally and globally by advancing knowledge, and by creating paths for change through teaching, research, and public engagement.

Through our academic programs and our student and staff support services, we strive to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Each of us can contribute to advancing these goals: through active listening, collective empathy, collaboration, and intentional commitment to the success of our students, faculty, staff, and institution.

The Graduate Center’s Compliance and Diversity Office, in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources, provides a central locus for implementing goals related to equal employment opportunity, contract compliance, affirmative action programming, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. I invite you to view CUNY Policies and Procedures on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination (“EO Policy”), CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct (“PSM”), CUNY's Policy on Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments, and CUNY’s Policy on Reporting Alleged Misconduct.

Any individual who believes they have experienced or witnessed discrimination and/or retaliation, as defined in and pursuant to the EO Policy, should submit a report through CUNY’s centralized reporting platform. Reports of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment), as defined in the PSM, should be made by completing the Sexual Misconduct Allegation Form and submitting it to the Compliance and Diversity Office at Employees and applicants shall not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination because they engaged in exercising any rights provided for in equal employment opportunity regulations.

The following administrators are responsible for implementing the Graduate Center’s Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Program:

  • Executive Director of Institutional Equity and Chief Diversity Officer Jessica Morak (Room 8402.08, (212) 817-7101,
  • 504/ADA Coordinator, Vice President for Student Affairs Matthew Schoengood (Room 7301, (212) 817-7400,
  • Executive Director of Human Resources David Boxill (Room 8403, (212) 817-7700,
  • Director of Security and Public Safety John Flaherty (Room 9117.01, (212) 817-7761,
  • The Graduate Center Ombuds Office is open to all students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are looking for a neutral and private place to discuss problems related to work or study at the Graduate Center. Professor Martin Gitterman is the Graduate Center ombuds officer and can be contacted at