Indiana University Bloomington was honored with a 2017 Institutional Excellence Award by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
The organization presents this award to recognize institutions of higher education that have "demonstrated measurable progress in promoting and sustaining innovative diversity efforts within their campus community."
"Diversity and inclusion are central to our mission as a public university and essential to the strength of our community here on the Bloomington campus," said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. "This award reflects not only the dedicated efforts of the OVPDEMA staff under the guidance of Martin McCrory, but also the contributions of countless individuals across the entire campus who are committed to making IU Bloomington a warm and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds to come together and learn, thrive and excel."
This is the first time Indiana University is being honored with the Institutional Excellence Award. McCrory, IU Bloomington's chief diversity officer and vice provost for educational diversity, and associate vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, accepted the award on behalf of the university at the group's annual conference in Washington, D.C., last week.
"Thanks to the coordinated efforts of administrators, faculty, students and staff, IU Bloomington has made significant strides in recent years to transform the campus into a national leader in diversity and inclusion," McCrory said. "Although we certainly have much work left to do, this national honor is a recognition of the many talented individuals who have helped to prioritize diversity and inclusion on the Bloomington campus.
"Building upon a strong foundation, we seek to create a new paradigm where diversity and inclusion are collaborative efforts that permeate all levels of residential and academic life on our campus. Our goal is to better prepare our students as engaged citizens ready to enter a diverse world, with a stronger understanding of the complexities that accompany diversity and inclusion."
The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education evaluates colleges and universities around the country on a number of criteria. The nomination for IU Bloomington cited a number of campus diversity and inclusion initiatives from the past year, including:
The concerted efforts of IU leadership to discuss diversity and inclusion on campus, conceive and implement strategies on how to continually improve in those areas, and regularly monitor and assess the results, particularly as they relate to the growing recruitment and retention of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented minority students.
A successful campaign to increase funding of full tuition from one year to four years for students enrolled in the Groups Scholars Program, resulting in a 90 percent retention rate.
The 21st Century Scholars Covenant, which provides additional funding for in-state students with high financial need who are enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars Program.
Comprehensive peer-mentoring and peer-tutoring for students across the entire campus, particularly in residence halls and five cultural centers, in addition to the renewed Faculty Mentoring Initiatives program, which saw over 100 IU faculty members volunteer to mentor IU Bloomington students in the fall 2016 semester.
The formation of the Overseas Studies and Scholarship Program, a partnership between the IU Bloomington Office of the Provost and the IU Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. In its three years of existence, the program has led to nearly 400 IU Bloomington students traveling to and studying abroad in countries like the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Brazil and India.
A Passport Caravan program in 2016, which yielded 280 free passports for IU Bloomington students in an effort to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minority students studying abroad. The event was a partnership between the Overseas Studies and Scholarship Program and the Council on International Education.
Increased scholarship, mentoring and research programs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics designed to recruit and support underrepresented minority students in STEM, through grants from the National Science Foundation.
A suite of summer science programs, named after late IU Bloomington professor of biology James P. Holland, targeting underrepresented minority high school students (and others) from across the state of Indiana.
Collaborations with the local school system to promote STEM education and literacy among pre-college students.
In 2016, Indiana University underwent a university-wide, objective and comprehensive diversity assessment, conducted by external consultants Halualani & Associates. The independent firm found that over the last five years, IU Bloomington initiated nearly 2,000 diversity and inclusion efforts.
Also last year, IU Bloomington received a 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, and was included on the 2016 "Best of the Best" list as one of the nation's top 30 LGBTQ campuses by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit network devoted to improving life for LGBTQ students in the U.S.
Officially founded in 2007, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education exists to lead higher education toward "inclusive excellence through institutional transformation." The organization brings together more than 600 diversity officers in higher education from across the country to help identify best practices, produce and disseminate information, and provide professional development and networking opportunities.