Update September 28, 2021

Listening Sessions Update: Thank You for Sharing

Dear Baruch Community,

We wish to express our gratitude for your contributions to the Listening Sessions during the Spring 2021 semester. Your commitment to the Baruch community was evident, as more than 250 people registered to participate in 45 scheduled Listening Sessions, and 30 campus volunteers participated as Listening Session facilitators or recorders.

Thank you for the generosity with which you relayed your experiences; we owe you a debt of gratitude for the depth of sharing offered. Due to the detailed and personal nature of the experiences you shared, the Listening Session research team (see members below) is doing its best to make sure we learn from your contributions while maintaining your confidentiality and taking the appropriate time to truly understand the different perspectives you shared.

Process and Next Steps

The Listening Sessions generated more than 40 transcripts that were de-identified to maintain the confidentiality of the speaker. As the Listening Session research team analyzes the transcripts, we do not know the identity of participants. Since June, the de-identified transcripts have been read and coded so the rich data provided may be collated and analyzed. To ensure that every voice was heard, we have sought to have every transcript read and coded by two people.

The Listening Session research team comprises the following volunteers from the Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (PACDEI):

  • Cristina Balboa, Associate Professor, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
  • Leslie Hunt, Director of Graduate Programs, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and PACDEI Co-Chair
  • Samuel Johnson, Professor, Psychology and PACDEI Co-Chair
  • Robert Kunicki, Assistant Director for Student Success, Assessment, and Enrollment Initiatives
  • Kenya Lee, Chief of Staff

Orchestrating the Listening Sessions, and coding and analyzing the feedback, is done in addition to each person’s regular teaching, service, and work commitments at Baruch. We are honored to take on this work for our community.

You Are Invited: Informal, In-Person Update This Friday

We know there have been many questions about the progress of the work, and what happens next. We plan to have a report to the community this fall. Knowing that many of you gave richly and are eagerly awaiting the report, we wish to offer the opportunity to speak with the Listening Session research team in an informal check-in:

  • Where: Clivner=Field Plaza
  • When: Friday, Oct. 1, 10–11 am

We will be there to offer our thanks and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to stop by and say hello.


The Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Spring 2021 Community Listening Sessions

The  Community Listening Session group discussions are to assess the experiences of various constituents across the campus community, in order to identify themes through the voices of stakeholders, to help inform recommendations the Council will put forward to the President.  The purpose of these sessions is to gain an understanding of how multiple members of the Baruch community – faculty, staff, students, from a range of identities – experience diversity, equity, and inclusion at Baruch in order to inform Baruch’s policy and practice on DEI issues.

The Listening Sessions are scheduled to last an hour and fifteen minutes during which participants will be asked to respond to three questions.  The Council has engaged a diverse group of students, staff, and faculty to serve as Facilitators of these sessions. Facilitators typically have prior experience in group facilitation and have received training to facilitate these campus sessions.  Feedback recorded during the listening sessions will be anonymous.

Anticipated Outcomes

The Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (PACDEI) serves as consultative body to the president on issues of diversity and inclusion and is charged with supporting Baruch in assessing and enhancing a diverse and respectful campus community.

President Wu has named several focus goals for his Cabinet this year. The first focus goal is to “Launch multifaceted institutional transformation to elevate and enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion”.  While these listening sessions are just one activity to aid in this endeavor, these sessions will capture the experiences of our community members in a specific, contextual, and informative way. Collectively, these experiences will help PACDEI shape recommendations to the President on how to move this institutional transformation forward. Results of the Listening Sessions will be shared broadly with campus.