Organizing Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at Private Institutions

Topics: Organizational Structures, Diversity and Multiculturalism, Student Experience, Student Affairs

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Research Questions

  • What units have explicit missions for diversity issues and services?
  • What considerations should administrators prioritize when creating or optimizing formal coordinating mechanisms (e.g., a chief diversity officer or a diversity committee) that facilitate institution-wide inclusion and equity initiatives?
  • How can universities assess progress on diversity initiatives and overall campus climate?

Summary

Diversity initiatives are often executed across the university’s student affairs, academic affairs, and human resources divisions, resulting in a range of activities but minimal coordination or accountability. This report profiles how six medium-sized private universities organize services for various underrepresented populations and establish a broader context for initiatives through strategic plans, central diversity positions, and special committees. It also examines the various methods through which universities assess their progress toward creating a campus climate where all students feel they have equal opportunities to succeed.