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October 17, 2017

University Releases Final Plan for Diversity Initiative

By Alex Ward   

The University administration released its final plan for a broad initiative to improve campus diversity on Monday. President Robert Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier made the announcement in an email to the university community.

Several of the projects mentioned in the final release of the Diversity and Inclusion initiative were also included in a draft of the plan that was provided to the Maroon as internal administration documents during the summer.

The plan opens with a statement by Zimmer and Diermeier about the need to address inclusivity issues on campus, and a statement from Vice Provost Melissa Gilliam that outlines the Initiative in more detail.

The initiative is divided into four strategies: to “provide an infrastructure to support diversity and inclusion; foster a climate that is inclusive of all on campus; develop and support the people who comprise our University; and engage in our community.”

Some of the notable initiatives include an “Ivy Plus” program led by UChicago to promote diversity in American academia, and a set of partnerships with groups including The Second City to build communication and working skills.

The University will also work with the Research Computing Center to create a digital map of diversity events, initiatives, and programs across campus to promote awareness of related resources.

According to the plan, “The Office of the Provost and the University will make a financial commitment to increasing the diversity and excellence of our faculty, with a particular emphasis on faculty from groups historically underrepresented in the academy and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.” The draft released during the summer mentioned that the university would “pursue cluster hires and target of opportunity hires,” which may be related.

The University has created a website with more details about the Initiative.

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