'Significant changes' coming to Yale, president says

Race, diversity are 'central issues of our era'

Yale University President Peter Salovey responded to student demands on Wednesday, agreeing to meet some but not all of the requested changes.

The previous week, hundreds of students marched to Salovey's on-campus residence, where women from the Next Yale organization read him the demands and gave him a Nov. 18 deadline to respond.

In his response, Salovey agreed that action is needed. "It is clear that we need to make significant changes so that all members of our community truly feel welcome and can participate equally in the activities of the university, and to reaffirm and reinforce our commitment to a campus where hatred and discrimination are never tolerated," Salovey said.

Among the promised changes are:

  • Four new faculty members to study  lives, histories, and cultures of un-and under-represented communities;
  • A five-year series of conferences on inequality, inclusion, gender, and race;
  • Additional instructors and courses beginning in 2016 that focus on race and related topics;
  • Double the budgets for the school's four cultural centers;
  • Improved financial aid policies for low-income students;
  • Mandated discrimination training for staff;
  • Creation of a "prominent university center" this year that addresses race, ethnicity, and social identity;
  • A deputy dean for diversity; and
  • Improved reporting and investigating processes of nondiscrimination violations.

There is still "unfinished work" in addressing these "central issues of our era," he said.

Next Yale students say they are still processing Salovey's response (Hartford Courant, 11/17).

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