Originally convened in January 2012 by now-President Emerita Shirley M. Tilghman, the charge to the Trustee Ad Hoc Committee posed two questions:
1. In what ways does a richly diverse community enhance learning, scholarship, civic leadership and service? To what degree do diverse perspectives and experiences currently affect the quality of education and experience at Princeton, and how can this be improved?
2. How can Princeton do a better job of attracting and retaining talented individuals from populations that have historically been under-represented in academia, and at Princeton, including women and people of color?
In his acceptance of the Committee's report in September 2013, President Christopher L. Eisgruber both urges all members of the University community to read the full report and notes, "One of the report's great strengths is its acknowledgment that there is no one-size-fits-all solution."
The completed report identifies ways to make Princeton University a more diverse and inclusive community, with a focus on graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and senior administrators. The report builds on Princeton's ongoing efforts to embed diversity in the practices of the entire institution, and offers recommendations for diversifying specific campus populations where progress has been more limited.
As part of its work, the committee commissioned a literature review (.pdf) entitled "Do Differences Make a Difference? The Effects of Diversity on Learning, Intergroup Outcomes, and Civic Engagement," by Deborah Son Holoien, Princeton University. The literature review examines various research on how experiencing diversity influences learning, intergroup attitudes and behavior, and civic engagement, particularly in school and workplace environments.
Molecular Biology Case Study
Among the successful examples cited in the report is the Department of Molecular Biology's Program for Diversity and Graduate Recruitment, which was established in 2007. This case study discusses how the program has made significant progress in increasing the number of underrepresented minority doctoral students in four life sciences doctoral programs. Read the case study (.pdf) "Princeton Diversity Programs in Molecular Biology and Quantitative and Computational Biology."
Diversity Best Practices
A catalog of best practices provides further recommendations and examples for how the University could enhance diversity among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.