Using Collaborative Crowdsourcing to Give Voice to Diverse Communities
Universities face many critical challenges — student retention, campus safety, curriculum development priorities, alumni engagement and fundraising, and inclusion of diverse populations. In my role as dean of the New York University School of Professional Studies
(NYUSPS) for the past four years, and in my prior 20 years of employment in senior-level positions within the school and at NYU, I have become intimately familiar with the complexities and the nuances of such multifaceted challenges. For the past two years, one of our top priorities at NYUSPS has been striving to address sensitive issues regarding diversity and inclusion. We saw a need and an opportunity to improve faculty and student perceptions and experiences regarding these critical areas. We are part of NYU, a global research university with campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi and sites around the world. In addition to the diversity of these campuses, the student population of the NYU campus here in New York is incredibly international. And NYUSPS is one of the most diverse schools within the university. While the school’s history dates back nearly 85 years, over the last 24 years, it has grown its graduate programs from 50 students in one masters degree program to more than 3,500 students in 15 applied professional masters degree programs. The NYUSPS student body is over 50 percent international, with students representing nearly 200 countries. As a result of our commitment to alternative pathways and providing access to affordable education, age, income levels and diversity all must be considered when pursuing a sense of inclusivity for all students.