Date Posted: 9/10/2020

As reported in the Cornell Chronicle, a "$3.3 million gift from the Hopper-Dean Foundation will fund the creation of an Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Computing and Information Science (CIS), in addition to new graduate student fellowships and increased support for existing programs that foster diversity in computing."

Dean of Computing and Information Science, Kavita Bala, commented on the gift: “I’m very grateful for the incredible opportunity to pursue important initiatives in CIS that improve diversity, inclusion and equity in our student body. Our faculty and staff are deeply committed to these initiatives, and now we will be able to scale up our programs in a sustainable way." She added: “This gift is very timely in helping us work towards addressing the inequity we see in the world. This is going to have a tremendous impact on our students.”

The Hopper-Dean Foundation has supported other CIS initiatives such CSMore and Black in AI (co-founded by Rediet Abebe, Ph.D. '19) and with this gift will also fund the now ten-year-old SoNIC workshop.

Interim Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and CS Associate Professor, Hakim Weatherspoon told the Chronicle: “CSMore reaches students at a critical point; the pre-freshman program reaches students at a critical point, as does the first year of the Ph.D. program. They’re all critical points, but they’re all very different as well." And added: “I’m excited that this funding provides some extra teeth to our commitment to these programs.” 

Continue reading the piece by Melanie Lefkowitz in the Chronicle.