Ithaca College moves to keep ‘official database’ of faculty race

Oct 7, 2022 | Political News

Ithaca College is asking faculty members to register their race in an official database, according to recently revealed human resources documents from the school.

Christopher Rufo posted the documents to social media noting that administrators at the college had recently pledged to “dismantle racist systems and white supremacy culture embedded in policy, pedagogy, and person at Ithaca College.” 

According to the letter from the school’s HR department, in their efforts to become “a more diverse and inclusive institution” they “want to have a more complete understanding of our current demographic profiles that we can track our progress toward one part of that goal diversifying our faculty.”

The letter continued that faculty demographic data for many members “is incomplete, particularly with respect to race and ethnicity.”

The department then asked the faculty members “to log into our database to ensure that your demographic information is complete.” 

The letter noted that “some of you may find the range of options regarding race and this city limiting. The options available are limited due to requirements from the National Center for Education Statistics.” 

“We ask that you make the entries the most closely reflect your racial and ethnic identity.”

Previously the college’s Center for Faculty Excellence invited applicants in September for the Antiracism Institute for the ‘22-’23 academic year. 

“The long-term vision of the Antiracism Institute is to prepare communities to dismantle racist systems and white supremacy culture embedded in policy, pedagogy, and person at Ithaca College.”

“The curriculum is based on the Equity Literacy Abilities, and will provide opportunities to learn about recognizing, responding to, and redressing racial inequities in the first semester. In the second semester, we will focus on cultivating and sustaining equitable practices in our local contexts.”  

Individuals of “all racial identities” were invited to participate, however, it was noted that “racial caucus groups will be used whenever possible.”  

The school also stated that “Because Ithaca College is a predominantly white institution, much of the Institute’s work is focused on unpacking the impact of centering whiteness and working to decenter these practices.” 

“The Antiracism Institute directly contributes to achieving the Ithaca Forever strategic plan for fostering collaboration and interdisciplinarity and becoming a national model for colleges committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. It supports the values of academic excellence, innovation, and equity.”