Yale School of Management

Dean Kerwin K. Charles Announces Steps to Respond to Racism 

Kerwin K. Charles
Dean Kerwin K. Charles

The Yale School of Management will take a series of actions to achieve greater diversity and inclusion and address racism at the school and beyond, Dean Kerwin K. Charles announced on September 29.

“We at SOM are called upon to address systemic racism, both because we are part of the larger national current and because our distinctive mission urges us to engage with pressing societal issues,” Charles wrote in a message to the Yale SOM community. “There is no more pressing issue than confronting systemic racism—specifically against the Black community.”

In the coming months, the school will create a Dean’s Advisory Council on Antiracism, Diversity, and Climate to provide an ongoing structure for discussion with the school’s leadership. Other short-term steps include additional funding for the existing Office of Community and Inclusion; a reexamination of visual art and other displays on school’s campus; a new course taught by Charles, an economist whose research interests include inequality and racial discrimination, and open to all Yale SOM students; greater diversity in case studies; faculty training on creating inclusive classroom discussions; collaboration with recruiting firms to further shared goals of diversity and inclusion; and fundraising in support of antiracism efforts. 

In the longer term, the school will seek to increase Black representation in the student body to a nationally representative share, by creating new scholarship funds, creating new relationships with historically Black colleges and universities, and increasing recruiting efforts. The school will also contribute to efforts to increase the number of Black students pursuing MBAs and other advanced degrees nationally.

The school will increase existing efforts to increase the number of Black faculty members and to mentor junior faculty members of color; connect with members of the New Haven community, especially those of color, to offer business expertise; and create new opportunities for discussions of racism at Yale SOM.

Charles affirmed that antiracism would remain central to his deanship, even as other issues pushed the protest movement from the headlines. “Those who care deeply about equity and justice are rightly exasperated when focus shifts and hope for progress appears to evaporate,” he wrote. “I want to reassure everyone in the Yale SOM community that our attention will not fade.”

Read Dean Charles’ message to the community