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Policy 808 - Diversity Initiative

Section: Work Environment
Policy Number: 808
Responsible Office: President
Effective Date: 04/01/01
Revised: 09/01/06; 06/01/12; 05/01/14

The Importance of Diversity

As a Catholic, Vincentian and metropolitan institution of higher education, we recognize the importance of a diverse population, not only with respect to students, but also with respect to the faculty, administrators and staff who serve these students. In the spirit of the University’s Mission Statement, our identity as a Catholic university calls us to embrace diversity as we strive for an openness which is “wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).

As a Vincentian university, our commitment to diversity is guided by St. Vincent’s spirit of service toward all people. The Vincentian tradition at St. John’s is the foundation and the source of the core values its members strive to embody: truth; love; respect; opportunity; excellence; and service. The University’s performance management system holds staff and administrators accountable for demonstrating behaviors on-the-job that support these values. As a university located in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we are poised to harness the richness of that diversity in fulfillment of our metropolitan mission.

Purpose and Principles

St. John’s endorses the principles below, as indicative of its commitment to the value of diversity:

  • The University will not tolerate any form of overt or subtle prejudice or discrimination. Every effort will be made to create a hospitable, collegial, learning and working environment where students, faculty, administrators and staff of all backgrounds are welcome.
  • All academic and administrative units of the University will be committed to recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, administrators and staff.
  • The University will build upon its progress in diversity, celebrate its achievements and continue to identify and respond to future challenges.

The President’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, established in Spring 2004, and comprised of representatives of students, faculty, and administrators, developed these principles. The purpose of the committee is to address both the broad issues of multiculturalism in higher education and the specific multicultural needs of the St. John’s university community. The Committee defines multicultural as, “a serious and sustained commitment to and practice of respecting all forms of diversity.” One of the Committee’s functions is to provide recommendations that will help the University better serve its increasingly diverse population.

More information about the University’s commitment to diversity can be found in the University's strategic planning documents, in particular the 2008-13 Strategic Plan. The President’s Multicultural Advisory Committee can be reached by calling either of the co-chairs at (718) 990-6820 for Kathryn Hutchinson or (718) 990-1892 for Andre McKenzie.

St. John's University, New York
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