Message from COO Goldberg and Provost Bell: Welcome Back

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Welcome back to those who have been away, and a warm welcome to all as we start the new academic year. We hope that you had a productive and restful summer.  

Now that the fall semester is upon us, we want to share with you progress and key developments that happened over the summer months.

We are just about one year away from officially opening The Milstein Center in time for fall classes in September 2018. Over the summer, work focused on installing the façade, and we are only weeks away from finishing this phase of the project. You can now see how the building will look from the outside. Work underway on fitting out the interior spaces will continue in full force in the coming months. This fall, elevators will be installed, enabling us to remove the large exterior hoists on the Claremont Avenue side of the building that carry people and materials to each floor. Even more exciting, we can look ahead to landscaping work beginning in the spring semester, which will include the restoration of the lawn.  Milstein Center updates can be found on the Barnard website, and please contact with any questions.

As you know, in March the Board of Trustees voted to divest holdings in our endowment from fossil fuel companies that deny climate science or otherwise seek to thwart efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. This approach positions Barnard as the only college in the country adopting this unique approach to divestment. Clearly, the onus is on us to develop clear and rigorous criteria that we can use to evaluate companies’ statements, actions, and attitudes towards climate science and climate change. Working with a group of students, faculty, and trustees, we are in the process of developing a set of key criteria so that we can begin implementation in earnest later this year.

We are also about to undertake an effort to become a more sustainable campus. We are pleased that Professor Sandra Goldmark, Barnard’s first-ever director of sustainability and environment, will lead Barnard’s efforts to become more sustainable. Professor Goldmark will work with the entire community to develop ideas to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce waste, change our behaviors and set specific goals that we can achieve together.  Look for more on this in the next few weeks.

The Council on Diversity and Inclusion was constituted this summer and will meet for the first time on September 14 with the purpose of expanding the dialogue on campus around diversity, inclusion and equity to systematically and purposefully include the entire Barnard community of students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. As evidenced by the horrific events in Charlottesville this summer, there is work yet to be done. The group will promote and coordinate campus-wide participation in the College’s diversity and inclusion efforts and advise Barnard’s senior leadership on ongoing and new initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive campus community. We

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