Guide to Best Practices in Departmental Climate

January 16, 2020

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am pleased to share a new valuable resource, Columbia’s Guide to Best Practices in Departmental Climate. The Guide was produced by the Provost’s Advisory Council for the Enhancement of Faculty Diversity, and informed by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ departmental climate resource guide. Its persuasive premise is that our quest for inclusive excellence cannot be achieved unless we craft a supportive environment. I invite you to read the Guide and reflect on how its perspectives, themes, and advice are germane to your department and school.

The document concerns fundamentals, the conditions faculty experience as scholars, teachers, and administrators. We know that an adverse climate affects a wide array of circumstances, ranging from research productivity to faculty retention. By contrast, scholarly life and pedagogy thrive best when, irrespective of identity, colleagues gain a robust sense of belonging.

Should you wish to engage with the agenda of the Guide, please note that there are faculty who represent your unit in the University’s Faculty Liaison Network convened by EVP for University Life Suzanne Goldberg, CUIMC Vice Dean Anne Taylor, and Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement Dennis Mitchell. This network, a key component of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Action Collaborative, will support Columbia’s efforts to identify, test, and implement practices that foster collegiality and a sense of shared commitment.

Your thoughts and reflections are most welcome. Please send comments to Dennis Mitchell ([email protected]). The views you convey will help shape the print version to be released in the fall. 


Ira Katznelson
Interim Provost
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History