CAS Faculty Director of Curricular Initiatives and Innovation: Professor Lynne Haney (Sociology)
Since our founding in 1831, NYU’s history has been marked as “open to all.” Now as a university that is in and of the city and in and of the world, we strive to foster a dynamic and rigorous teaching and learning environment that represents a diversity of viewpoints. As a community of scholars (faculty, students, and staff) that is inclusive of divergent backgrounds and historically underrepresented groups, NYU engages a diversity of viewpoints, perspectives, and approaches.
The Directors of Undergraduate Studies play a key role in this regard. DUSes oversee their departments' undergraduate curricula, from what constitutes the major to what is included in all course syllabi, and as such have an excellent vantage point from which to evaluate whether or not the department is mounting a curriculum that engages diversity. This evaluative process may include, but not be limited to, questions such as: are course syllabi (from readings to assignments) designed to address diverse perspectives in the field? What pedagogical methods are used to accommodate students with disabilities? What pedagogical methods and best practices are used to enhance learning for students of diverse backgrounds?
It has been encouraging to hear how many departments are doing diversity work already, from preparing for faculty searches using the diversity toolkit (see below) to assessing achievement gaps within a particular major. We have added Diversity as a standing agenda item to our meetings in order to facilitate discussions and debates regarding current and future initiatives such as these.