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IUPUI receives magazine's inaugural Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award

Published:

November 27, 2012

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis received the inaugural Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a winner of the national award honoring U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, IUPUI is featured along with 47 other recipients in the magazine’s December 2012 issue.

“IUPUI has made great strides in increasing enrollment of minority students,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity Magazine. “They also have some very unique programs in place to recruit faculty and staff from underrepresented groups. We hope the HEED award encourages even more job candidates to come to IUPUI in the future.”

IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said the campus has nearly doubled the number of U.S. minorities receiving degrees at IUPUI from 474 in 2002-03 to 825 in 2011-12. During that same period, the first-year retention rate for African Americans grew from 59 to 68 percent.

“We are thrilled that we increased the number of graduates to 825,” Bantz said. “Are we where we need to be? No, but Insight Into Diversity is recognizing IUPUI for exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives that helped us make great progress.”

Among IUPUI’s initiatives, Bantz cited establishing the position of assistant chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, giving the campus momentum to broaden its efforts to promote diversity campus-wide. Another is opening the Multicultural Success Center, which has helped IUPUI provide academic support targeted toward diverse learning styles.

The campus also recruited an assistant director for Latino and Hispanic recruitment and hired diversity officers in the schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing and business. In addition, IUPUI resumed funding for the Support for Recruiting Underrepresented Faculty fund, broadening searches and attracting talented faculty to IUPUI. The campus has 100 more members of underrepresented faculty than it had in 2003.

“We hope this award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st-century higher education landscape," Pearlstein said. "Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus. Our students of today are the employees of tomorrow and the future of our country. As students begin to enter the workforce and a global society, they must first be surrounded by and supported by faculty and staff that understand the differences among cultures and their needs.”