Our Ongoing Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: December 08, 2020

Dear All,

We have made diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority at Stanford GSB in order to reinforce and build on our fundamental commitment to excellence in education and research.

The events of the last year have brought increased attention and urgency to these efforts. The pandemic has highlighted inequities in health, education, job security, and basic human safety, and disproportionately has impacted people of color. The national uprising against racial injustice sparked renewed urgency to address racial inequality in society and on our campus. These events recall us to our public mission as an institution, and remind us of the GSB’s important role in advancing business and society for the benefit of all.

Today we are publishing our second annual DEI Report, which builds on the work outlined in last year’s report and new efforts launched in the last year. The report highlights progress and recognizes areas for improvement. We are grateful for the collective input, energy, and dedication of faculty, staff, students, and alumni whose work is reflected in the report.

The centerpiece of this year’s report is the GSB Action Plan for Racial Equity, which we announced this summer. Here we share some of the APRE activities and accomplishments already underway. 

Increasing Representation

  • Stanford GSB continues to increase recruitment efforts of Black MBA, MSx and PhD students. Our newly expanded MBA Class profile provides data on multi-identity reporting, showing the MBA Class of 2022 has our largest proportion of U.S. students of color at 37% of the total class.
  • We launched the BOLD Fellowship (Building Opportunities for Leadership Diversity) which aims to help close intergenerational wealth gaps among admits, often experienced by students of color, and increase the diversity of perspectives in our student body. The first BOLD Fellowships will be awarded with our Class of 2023 Round 1 admits.

Building a Culture of Inclusion and Belonging

  • We held the first Stanford GSB Rising Scholars Conference for underrepresented minority PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. The conference drew more than 500 PhD students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty members.
  • Sarah Soule and Pamela Levine designed a workshop for faculty and lecturers, Managing Sensitive Topics in the Classroom, which focused on how to have conversations about race and ethnicity.
  • The school announced Allison Rouse as the Director of Diverse Alumni Communities; the new role was created to develop strategies, shape programs, and manage initiatives to support equity, inclusion, and belonging for GSB alumni.

Making Positive Change Beyond the GSB

  • The Alumni Racial Equity Initiative Task Force named three alumni co-chairs: Rukaiyah Adams, JD ’99, MBA ’08; José Feliciano, MBA ’99; and Jennifer Fate Velaise, MBA ’88. The task force, which held its kickoff meeting last week, will focus on scoping and securing the resources needed for the Stanford GSB Racial Equity Initiative, aiming to increase representation, strengthen leadership, and drive economic empowerment.
  • We introduced a new public course, Leadership for Society: Race and Power, led by Senior Associate Dean Brian Lowery. More than 4,000 people registered to attend and a new podcast series was created based on the course.
  • We launched several new DEI-focused Executive Education offerings, including Diversity and Inclusion for Strategic Impact and Leverage D&I for Organizational Excellence. In addition, we launched the Anti-Racism and Allyship 7 Day Journey, a free online learning resource available to the public.

Holding Ourselves Accountable

  • We formed the Stanford GSB DEI Council, composed of students, staff, and faculty. The Council, which will kick off next month, will play a critical role in advancing our work to empower the GSB to be more inclusive, equitable, and diverse in service of our mission.
  • We will continue to publish an annual DEI Report to provide transparency into our efforts and work with Stanford University to update and improve the IDEAL Dashboard.

We hope you take time to read the full report. We know that this work will require sustained effort and commitment — and we are heartened, inspired, and thankful to the Stanford GSB community for working together to make long-lasting and meaningful change. We look forward to your continued energy and support.

With gratitude,

Jon and Sarah

Jonathan Levin, Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business

Sarah A. Soule, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, The Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior