Newsletter 2021: Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in the Grad Program
Monday, May 17, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Initiatives in the Graduate Program
In 2019-2020 academic year, our faculty voted to institute a two-year Graduate Diversity Fellowship in an effort spearheaded by the Graduate Program Director Gülru Çakmak in order to support students from historically underrepresented groups in the history of art and architecture. The purpose of the fellowship is to admit an MA candidate who seeks to pursue an academic or professional career in art history but faces significant historical and/or economic barriers to further graduate study. This appointment provides the fellow with full tuition credit, an annual stipend (including a summer stipend for living expenses) and covers all enrollment fees and health insurance costs. The fellow will be eligible for professional development funds to conduct an internship, travel, or a research project during the summer. The department will provide the fellow with mentoring as well as academic and professional support throughout their time in the program. Following extensive outreach to Minority Serving Institutions over the summer and fall of 2020, we received a record number of applicants to our graduate program and are looking forward to admitting our first Graduate Diversity Fellow to begin the program in fall 2021. The admissions committee has reformed the admissions process by implementing a holistic review procedure with the goal of increasing the diversity of our incoming cohort to the MA program. We are fully aware that recruitment needs to go hand in hand with retention. For this reason, as part of the same effort of making our graduate student body more diverse and maintaining an equitable and inclusive departmental culture, we have additionally instituted an annual Graduate Student Departmental Climate Survey. The goal of the survey is to assess a variety of factors impacting the academic success and well-being of our graduate students including equity, inclusivity, discrimination, mentorship, professionalization opportunities, access to support structures for students with disabilities, and other factors. The first survey will be conducted in spring 2021 and repeated annually thereafter.