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Diversity at RIT

We embody the commitment to diversity through our mission to foster living, learning, and working environments that support and incorporate principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and community. Learn more at:

Our Programs

At RIT you’ll encounter a variety of backgrounds and perspectives from RIT faculty, staff and students that enriches the learning experience for all.  Your success will depend on your experience with, and understanding of, cross-cultural issues as you interact on team-based projects, in classrooms, and your day-to-day activities across the campus.  There are a number of campus initiatives supporting faculty and staff of underrepresented groups.


AdvanceRIT is a long-term, multi-faceted project designed to increase the representation and enhance career advancement of women faculty at RIT in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, which include social and behavioral science (SBS). It is funded through a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant (NSF 1209115) with additional support provided by the university. The project team examines the unique challenges experienced by women faculty of color and deaf and hard-of-hearing faculty, and adapts interventions to address the needs of these key sub-populations. Members of this large project team combine research with programming and policy/practice enhancements to drive long-term changes that will transform RIT’s culture, promote inclusion, and expand the representation of women on our faculty and among our campus leadership.

The AdvanceRIT project goal is to increase the representation, retention, and career advancement of women faculty in STEM and SBS fields with a focus on women faculty of color and deaf and hard-of hearing faculty. Project objectives in support of this goal include:

  • Structural: Refine and strengthen targeted institutional structures, and install practices promoting representation and advancement of women faculty.
  • Human Resources: Improve the quality of women faculty work life, professional development, and incentive/reward structures.
  • Political: Align institutional, administrative, and informal systems of power and resources to support and sustain progress by shaping the political frameworks that impact representation and advancement of women.
  • Symbolic: Enhance the working environment and support career development for women faculty using symbolic measures which emphasize issues of meaning within the organization.

AALANA Faculty Advisory Council

AALANA Faculty Advisory Council (AFAC) serves as an advisory council to the Provost in support of the career success of African American, Latino American, and Native American faculty at RIT.  Additionally, the council created All Of Us @ RIT: Rising Inclusively Together, which acknowledges the need for a thriving and inclusive environment for AALANA faculty.

Council for the Representation and Engagement of Women Faculty (CREW)

The Council for the Representation & Engagement of Women Faculty (CREW) serves as an advisory council to the Provost in support of the career success of women faculty at the RIT. The mission of the council is to retain and promote career success of women faculty at RIT.

Faculty Associates

The Office of the Provost developed a Faculty Associates Program that enables faculty members to focus their attention and talents on areas of priority for the university and Academic Affairs while providing leadership and support to their colleagues. There are six Faculty Associates who serve in a non-traditional leadership role at RIT. They include:

  • AALANA Faculty - works closely with the campus leadership to identify strategies that help AALANA faculty succeed and thrive at RIT.
  • Women Faculty - serves as a liaison for women faculty across the campus and to help develop a support network for female faculty.
  • Non-Tenure Track Faculty - identifies ways to better support non-tenure track faculty by developing a vision and a long-term plan for the professional and career needs of this vital group of faculty.
  • ADVANCE - serves a the PI for our ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, and leads a large effort in supporting female faculty working in STEM fields.
  • General Education - support faculty, advisors and students to foster improvement in the general education experiences.
  • Partnership for Effective Access Technology Research & Development - collaborates with cross-disciplinary teams pursuing research and development that target enhancements in accessibility for individuals.


Q Center

Working for the well-being of the LGBTQIA community on RIT’s campus, the Q Center fosters an educational environment in which faculty, staff and students can succeed personally, academically, and professionally.

Women in Computing at RIT (WIC)

Women in Computing empowers women in computing fields to succeed and thrive at RIT and beyond. Although geared toward students, the program offers networking and mentoring opportunities for faculty. WIC also holds an annual “Hackathon” to inspire innovative technologies.

Women in Engineering at RIT

Women in Engineering encourages and prepares female students for leadership roles within the engineering profession. Women engineering faculty are involved in a number of activities to support this program including speakers’ series, career development programs, and K-12 initiatives.

Women in Science (WISe)

WISe plays a central role in engaging and advancing women in the sciences and mathematics fields. In addition to encouraging females students to explore the sciences, this program supports women faculty through their academic careers with professional development activities and events.

Women in Technology

Housed in the College of Engineering Technology, the Women in Technology this program is designed to inspire young women to explore and consider the possibility of a technical career. Women faculty engage with students to expand their network with industry professionals.

The Division for Diversity & Inclusion

The Division for Diversity & Inclusion  is a vital resource for developing and implementing campus wide initiatives and programs that foster an inclusive living, learning and working environment while incorporating principles of equity, diversity and inclusive excellence.  Through various programs and special projects, the Division continues to foster relationships between faculty, staff, students and the Greater Rochester Community. Programs and offices under the Division for Diversity & Inclusion include:

  • Multicultural Center for Academic Success
    The Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS) is committed to maximizing the academic potential and holistic development of students by creating an inclusive, student-centered environment. By keeping academics first and foremost, MCAS strives to become a nationally recognized model for academic excellence and student success.
  • Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program
    The RIT Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program serves a diverse group of talented RIT second- and third-year students who are interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate education. The RIT McNair Scholars Program provides enriching scholastic experience that prepares eligible scholars for graduate education, with an emphasis on doctoral studies.
  • Native American Future Stewards Program
    This program seeks to recruit Native scholars to RIT, easing their transition to a campus environment while ensuring their academic, social and professional success.
  • Higher Education Opportunity Program
    Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is funded jointly by RIT and the State Education Department through the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) grant. HEOP is committed to the recruitment and academic success of historically disadvantaged students with strong academic potential and personal initiative who would otherwise be excluded from higher education at a private New York State college or university.
  • MOSAIC Center
    MOSAIC creates a student-centered inclusive space for multicultural community building, individual expression, and the exchange of ideas through collaborative cultural, educational, and social experiences.
  • MOCHA: Men of Color, Honor and Ambition
    Men of Color, Honor, and Ambition designed for male students of color where they can participate in a series of monthly workshops offered by faculty, staff, and community leaders; foster a sense of community and bonding with each other and other male role models of color through social outings; and support their health awareness and development through their participation in wellness activities.
  • WOCHA: Women of Color, Honor and Ambition
    Women of Color, Honor and Ambition was developed for historically underrepresented women in a predominately technical university. There are monthly workshops  on leadership development, healthy lifestyles, financial literacy, Self-E (self-esteem and empowerment), and community engagement.
  • Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program
    This scholarship program covers full tuition for graduates of the Rochester City School District and approved charter schools who are admitted as freshman to full-time study in baccalaureate programs at RIT.
  • Diversity Theatre
    Diversity Theatre at RIT uses theatre and theatrical techniques as a means of creating meaningful audience experiences within the context of diversity and inclusion education.
  • Diversity Education
    Training programs for faculty, staff and students that help impart knowledge, awareness and skills to enhance inclusive behavior.
  • Campus Multicultural Programs 
    Supports a number of on-campus events for students and organizations such as the Multicultural Greek Council.
  • Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program 
    RIT’s CSTEP office works to support historically underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged undergraduate and graduate students towards their educational and vocational goals. The focus of the program is to equalize the playing field allowing students the opportunity to participate to the fullest in the college experience.
  • Upward Bound 
    Designed to help first-generation and/or low-income students who are enrolled in the Rochester City School District and other participating school districts. Each year a theme is chosen as the foundation for student-driven research, instruction, and projects.
  • Veterans Upward Bound 
    The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program assists veterans in all aspects of the college admissions process and their academic success. VUB helps veterans of all ages navigate the education system, gain access to information about college and career exploration, and improve academic skills needed for entry in the program of their choice, which can be ANY at university, community college, certificate or trade program.