Recognizing the strength that stems from a diversity of perspectives, values, ideas, backgrounds, and beliefs, Pratt’s leadership launched a major effort in 2015 to promote ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Institute. The Diversity Strategic Planning Committee worked with various constituents in the Pratt community through town hall meetings and focus groups, making sure all voices were heard. The resulting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan, finalized in 2018 and now incorporated into the comprehensive Strategic Plan, is organized into four areas of focus: Creating a Welcoming Environment, Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body, Hiring and Retaining a Diverse Faculty and Staff, and Expanding “Beyond the Gates” to the External Community.

  • Creating a welcoming environment. With the recently updated Pratt Community Standards as a guiding framework, we will ensure that all students and faculty feel valued and respected in every Pratt classroom and studio, in a learning environment that supports students, faculty, and staff to facilitate student success. We will provide access to increased financial and institutional support for students with fewer resources. We will improve communication and transparency across the institution at every level, and develop an institution-wide onboarding process for staff hires. We will generate increased social and professional interaction and engagement for faculty and staff across the institution.

  • Recruiting and retaining a diverse student body. Building on existing work to increase both the geographic diversification of international students and the number of African-American undergraduate students, we will expand and improve recruitment efforts to achieve higher enrollment of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students. We will focus in particular on developing pipelines for such students from New York City. We will leverage Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) best practices to expand academic support for other underrepresented students, and take steps to reduce the disparity in retention rates between Pell grant and non-Pell grant recipients.

  • Hiring and retaining a diverse faculty and staff. We will take steps to align institutional hiring processes and the search for full-time faculty with diversity initiatives, including training Diversity Advocates to serve on Search Committees. We will increase diversity hires in schools and departments with few or no faculty members of color, and leverage part-time faculty hiring processes to support diversity goals. In academic leadership, we will achieve diversity hires at the Chair level and above, and, in administrative-unit leadership, at the Director level and above. We will seek improved retention through better integration of new faculty and staff into the Pratt community, supported by higher levels of opportunity and preparedness for advancement. We will encourage and support school- and department-level diversity and inclusion goals, and also provide professional development consonant with those goals for faculty through the Center for Teaching and Learning, and for staff through Human Resources.

  • Expanding “Beyond the Gates” to the external community. Pratt seeks to advance its long history of outreach and engagement with the surrounding community. We will strengthen the pipeline from high school to art school for underrepresented students, and provide increased support through scholarship and research grant funding. We will expand local community development and engagement, and provide increased internship and job opportunities for underrepresented students. We will improve engagement with diverse alumni through many channels, including targeted alumni giving campaigns. We will retool branding and messaging on Pratt’s web, social media, and other communication platforms to convey a greater emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.