The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs at Indiana University has released the first diversity assessment reports for IU Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
In the fall of 2015, IU engaged outside consultants Halualani & Associates to conduct a university-wide, objective and comprehensive diversity assessment in support of the university’s commitment to creating a diverse, engaged, multicultural academic community.
“The assessments will be used to establish a baseline measurement in the areas of diversity achievement and progress, and to provide information that helps further and expand the university’s efforts in this area,” said James Wimbush, IU’s vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs.
Last year, Halualani & Associates examined all diversity efforts completed by divisions, programs and units at IU Bloomington and IUPUI from Jan. 1, 2010, to Oct. 1, 2015. The goal was to identify each campus’s commitment to and investment in diversity.
A “diversity effort” was defined as “any activity or program that promotes the active appreciation of all campus members in terms of their backgrounds, identities and experiences, as constituted by gender, socioeconomic class, political perspective, age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, regional origin, nationality, occupation and language, among others, as well as any activity or program that brings together any of these aspects.”
The assessment revealed that IU Bloomington implemented nearly 2,000 diversity efforts and found that 99 percent of those actions were motivated by a desire to create the fullest educational environment around diversity. IUPUI engaged in nearly 1,600 diversity efforts over the same time period.
“From a thorough evaluation of the institutionalized efforts at IU Bloomington and IUPUI, it is clear that both campuses are dedicated to promoting diversity,” said Rona T. Halualani, managing principal and founder of Halualani & Associates.
Both campuses are reviewing the reports for strategic prioritization around the recommendations.
“We are pleased that the efforts of IU Bloomington and IUPUI demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Yolanda Treviño, assistant vice president for strategy, planning and assessment with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. “The findings and recommendations provided by Halualani & Associates will help us strengthen diversity actions on each IU campus and ensure they are strategically aligned, repeated and assessed for optimal impact.”
“It is clear from the assessment findings that a lot of great work is occurring on both campuses,” Wimbush said. “However, it also affirmed there is still a lot of work to be done to foster diversity and inclusivity at IU.”
Some of that great work was evidenced this fall, when the IU Bloomington campus recruited its strongest, most diverse class in its history. Looking at how students report their own identities at census, and comparing this data with that collected in 2010, 22 percent of this fall’s incoming class was composed of domestic students from underrepresented groups. Of those students, 7.1 percent identified as African American, and 7 percent as Hispanic. The total of domestic degree-seeking students from these groups is above 20 percent, and the total for African American enrollment is 6.2 percent.
From 2014 to 2016, the IU Bloomington campus increased funding for historically underrepresented minorities and financially disadvantaged, first-generation students by 20 percent (from $18 million to $22 million) and is planning to increase this funding by 25 percent by 2025, to $27.5 million. The funding covers programs such as Hudson-Holland Scholars, 21st Century Scholars Covenant, Pell Promise and Groups programs.
Diversity is directly tied to IUPUI’s pursuit of academic excellence, and the diversity assessment report confirms that IUPUI continues to improve upon its past successes, which include the creation of a strategic plan that reflects the values, aspirations and culture of the campus, as well as a mission statement that supports its strong commitment to diversity. Implementing initiatives based on findings from the 2014 Climate Survey has already begun, including a series of town hall meetings designed to discuss issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Further, results and recommendations of the IUPUI Black/African American Student Recruitment and Retention Task Force commissioned in fall 2015 are being implemented with a focus on achieving 15 percent African American undergraduate student enrollment by 2020. In addition, as the Halualani & Associates report notes, each IUPUI school has diversity plans aimed at student, staff and faculty success and inclusion.
“Those plans are in the process of being revamped with an eye toward meeting everyone where they are or, as scholar Daryl Smith explains, our plans will be ‘inclusive and differentiated’ because we know diversity is not a one-size-fits-all proposition,” said Karen Dace, IUPUI vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Each campus will have a public debriefing on the completed diversity assessment reports. Rona Halualani will address questions and share insights from the diversity mapping assessment at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 29 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at IU Bloomington and at 11:30 a.m. March 1 in the University Library Auditorium at IUPUI.
The full report with findings and recommendations can be found online. Halualani & Associates is currently working on diversity mapping reports for IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU Southeast and IU South Bend. The assessment reports are scheduled to be delivered in late May.
About the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs
The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs strives to foster an inclusive environment that promotes and nurtures diversity, broadly defined, on all campuses of Indiana University. Its goal is to promote an environment where faculty, staff, students and postdocs can do, as often stated by former IU President Herman B Wells, “their best work.” To fulfill its mission, the office strategically focuses on the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students; the promotion of a welcoming and positive campus climate; and engagement in outreach and advocacy locally and nationally.