GOAL ONE Create and sustain an inclusive & equitable campus environment


Critical Tasks

1-A: Consistently clearly and boldly communicate the message that “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” is critical to the University’s academic mission.


  • Establish central definitions of diversity, equity and inclusion to guide the campus in understanding the distinctions between the concepts, the institutional commitment to each and all concepts, and the key data sources available to evaluate effectiveness. Define diversity broadly to communicate the importance of all individuals, communities, and perspectives in achieving an inclusive campus community. Clarify the concurrent importance of ensuring equity through population-specific initiatives to address patterned disparities (e.g., for underrepresented U.S. racial & ethnic minority (URM), women, LGBTQ, field-specific underrepresented (UR) groups (e.g., men in nursing), first generation students, international undergraduate students, and people with disabilities. [DDEI, Provost, UI HR]
  • Change the name of the Chief Diversity Office (CD0) to the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Chief Diversity Officer title and related position description to the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. [President’s, DDEI]
  • Use the DEI Digest to review internal and external institutional diversity statements to support alignment and clarity regarding UI’s commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion as inextricably linked to our success as an institution. [DDEI, Provost, UI HR, Shared Governance Groups]
  • Chronicle the history of diversity, equity & inclusions initiatives and milestones at the University of Iowa.  Create a central repository as a “keeper of accounts” to assemble the current and former DEI-related climate surveys, strategic/action plans, task force recommendations, listening sessions, committees, offices, roles, policy changes, etc.  Use the history to honor the efforts to date, orient new key leadership positions (e.g., AVPDEI, DDEI, Cabinet, Diversity Council Leadership), and to aid the campus in assessing accomplishments and barriers over time. [DDEI, University Archives, Diversity Councils, Provost, Shared Governance]

1-B: Enhance DEI-related central communications and marketing of DEI commitment and events.


  • Develop a comprehensive communication plan to communicate the UI’s DEI institutional commitment to internal and external constituencies. This will include an annual update event to share DEI vision and progress and an annual publication to review data, standout DEI initiatives, etc. Additional strategies may include access to monthly DEI best practices, highlights, appropriate terminology guides, testimonials, and occasional features. Methodology to deliver monthly information could include utilization of Faculty/Staff IowaNow, multi-media approaches (e.g., podcasts, interviews, social media, etc.) and will acknowledge the varied audiences and audience needs. [DDEI, Provost, OSC]
  • Strategically position the UI Events Calendar as the campus repository to collect DEI-related events and programs.  Educate the campus on entering DEI-related events and inform about the use of DEI-specific tags to search for events. [OSC, DDEI]
  • Develop strategies to publicize DEI events using new and existing communication strategies.  Enhance access to existing DEI-related listservs that are fed by the UI Events Calendar (e.g., Diversity at Iowa Upcoming Events website, DDEI’s DIVERSITYEVENTSCOLLABORATIVE@LIST.UIOWA.EDU listserv, CCOM’s “Diversity Programs and Events” monthly calendar). Explore new methods for reaching students including an RSS feed of DEI events and developing a social media strategy for existing DDEI accounts that coordinates with UI’s broader social media strategy, including exploration of a similar one-button access similar to Arts Iowa.  [OSC, DDEI]
  • Engage communications specialists and scholars and diverse campus constituencies to review the University of Iowa Brand Manual Editorial Style Guide to expand upon the “10. Bias in Language” section to include guidance regarding DEI-related terminology.  For example, use of accents and accented characters in names; terms that have been identified as exclusionary by UI Diversity Councils (e.g., Indian, homosexual, handicapped, gendered terms (e.g., fireman), use of terms illegal, diverse, minority, patterns of bias in using first names vs professional titles. Include guidance on the dynamic nature of language, as well as recommendations for respectful terms when referring to campus populations (e.g., minoritized, underrepresented, underrepresented U.S. racial/ethnic minority, minoritized, marginalized) [OSC, DDEI, Diversity Councils]
  • Develop a guide to support principles and resources for advancing DEI via inclusive marketing and accessible communications (e.g., use of diverse imagery, tokenism, accessibility, translation resources). [DDEI, OSC, ITS, SJMC, Admissions]

1-C: Strengthen the university’s DEI leadership infrastructure of dedicated positions, committees, task forces, teams, and councils.


  • Recruit, retain, and support a new Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. [President’s Office, AVP-DEI Search and Advisory Committees, Campus Community]
  • Ensure the timely, effective and inclusive implementation of the 2019-2021 DEI Action Plan by charging the Path Forward Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Collaboration (PF DEI-C) committee with oversight; charge strategic task forces and units with key tasks. Ensure adequate administrative support and leadership from the DDEI office to assist with coordination and implementation. [DDEI; Path Forward Steering Committee, Path Forward DEI-C]
  • Develop a campus-wide DEI Leadership Success Team modeled after the UI Student Success Team to provide opportunities for faculty, staff and student DEI leaders to come together as a community of practice, enhance their knowledge and skills, and strengthen strategic networks across campus. Use the DEI Digest project leads and DEI Action Plan Development Group names to develop the initial list. [DDEI; DSL; Provost]
  • Clarify the charge and role of the Charter Committee on Diversity in relation to the DDEI, Diversity Councils, Shared Governance Diversity Committees, and the Path Forward DEI-C Committee. Engage in the Shared Governance review process and explore other Charter Committees to identify models for committee charge, planning process, reporting structure, new member orientation and training. Add an Administrative Liaison from the Office of the Provost, other than the AVP-DEI, to the Committee (in addition to representatives from the General Counsel, VP Student Life, Human Resources, Research Administration).  [Shared Governance, President’s Office, Charter Committee on Diversity, DDEI]
  • Conduct an external review of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) units to ensure that the organizational structure and programmatic functions aligned with and adequately resourced to advance diversity, equity & inclusion at the University of Iowa. [DDEI, Campus Partners]
  • Move Student Disability Services from its current location in the lower level of Burge Hall to increase its accessibility and visibility as a significant campus resource. [DSL, SDS]
  • Develop the “Making the Paradigm Shift from ‘Diversity’ to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” workshop and consultation model to provide the campus with frameworks and tools for integrating DEI into their unit strategic planning processes. [DDEI, Provost, UI HR]

1-D: Support leadership of minoritized communities in advancing DEI initiatives.


  • Strengthen the UI Diversity Councils and the crucial role they serve in retaining and recruiting underrepresented faculty, staff and students (see the employee resource group model).  Engage current Diversity Council leaders in identifying what they would need to strengthen their influence on campus, including administrative support, tips for holding meetings, Council histories, processes for involvement in institutional decision-making process, communications support, job-related support for elected officers, Fall retreat for council leadership to ensure continuity, role clarity, build community, etc. [DDEI, African American Council, Latinx Council, Native American Council, Council on the Status of Women, Council on Disability Awareness, LGBTQ Staff & Faculty Association].
  • Work with Diversity Council leadership to identify current initiatives that build community and support the institutionalization of the programs (e.g., “Relax. Talk. Grow.” hosted by the African American Council and the Public Policy Center; Annual Latinx Graduation Celebration by the UI Latinx Council; Gekinoo'amaadiwin Film Series by the Native American Council). [DDEI, Provost, others?]
  • Convene a quarterly Diversity Council Leadership Group meeting between Council officers and representatives of central administration to provide input on current and future DEI planning in fulfillment of the UI Strategic Plan 2016-2021 goal to “Establish mechanism for regular and direct communication between the president and provost and representatives of students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented groups.” [DDEI, President’s Office, Provost, UI HR, Diversity Councils]
  • Ensure Diversity Council leaders have designated time with all cabinet and administrative candidates during on campus interviews. [President’s Office, Diversity Councils]

1-E: Ensure that institutional administrators, faculty and staff are effective at promoting, modeling, and implementing DEI Core Values.


  • Develop DEI core leadership competencies (i.e., knowledge, values, skills) for key institutional roles: administrators, department chairs, supervisors and instructors. Use identified competencies to build professional development opportunities and evaluate performance to strengthen DEI campus leadership. [DDEI, Provost, UI HR]
  • Revise and implement the current Collaboration and Embracing Diversity” Universal Competency that applies to all University P&S, Merit, Merit Supervisory-Exempt, Confidential, and SEIU performance appraisals. [UI HR, UI Health Care HR, DDEI, Provost]
  • Build on the FY19 DEI Digest Report to assess current DEI-related professional development programs and resources to determine whether sufficient and effective trainings exist to advance DEI Core Competencies at various stages of development (e.g., champions of DEI, new to DEI, resistant to prioritizing DEI, not actively endorsing University DEI values, etc.). Identify gaps in current core programs and develop new trainings and tools to advance knowledge, values, and skills. [DDEI, DEI-ST, units providing DEI-related professional development programs including: UCS, AAC, WRAC]
  • Strengthen the highly successful Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity (BUILD) program by assessing core and elective program offerings, aligning, as needed, with organizational development and DEI competencies, and expanding the Diversity Resources Office’s capacity to meet campus demand for the BUILD program and its other professional development offerings. [DDEI]
  • Engage faculty leadership and administration to identify ways in which DEI-related activities can be recognized as valuable and valid in faculty annual and promotion reviews (e.g., DEI-related University Service, engagement in DEI-related journals and publications, DEI-related professional development, curriculum and inclusive pedagogies, hosting seminars/speakers).  [Provost, Faculty Senate, DDEI, collegiate and departmental leadership]

1-F: Imbed accountability for achieving DEI-related outcomes into unit planning, resource allocation, and evaluation of success metrics for unit and individual performance.


  • Require key central administrative units to integrate DEI-related goals, strategies, and metrics in their unit strategic plans beginning in FY20.  [PF DEI-C]
  • Require colleges to develop DEI action plans by FY21 as currently required by the UI Strategic Plan 2016-2021 metric.  [PF SC, PF DEI-C]
  • Provide resources, tools and support to central and collegiate leadership in developing effective, measurable plans (e.g., model templates, key metrics and data sources for faculty/staff composition and retention, student success metrics, DEI climate survey profiles; campus training, coaching, and facilitation resources to assist with plan development, clear accountability structures and processes). [Provost, DDEI, DSL]
  • Encourage the Central Services Advisory Committee to request departmental/divisional leadership to demonstrate DEI priorities and budget alignment. [F&O]
  • Increase access to transparent metrics, similar to the Black Student Success Initiative metrics document: https://vp.studentlife.uiowa.edu/assets/Uploads/123b282a3e/2018-Black-Student-Success-Initiative-Metrics.pdf

1-G: Enhance the campus physical and technological environment for inclusion and accessibility

  • Develop a formal University of Iowa Land Acknowledgment statement to open public events by first honoring the context in which the University was founded and to recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples as traditional and enduring stewards of this land. [Native American Council, DDEI]
  • Develop a tool to allow the campus, colleges, and units to conduct DEI audit of their physical environments.  Among items to be included, gender neutral restrooms, accessibility features, hearing loop rooms, images on walls, publicly visible brochures and reading materials, building and room names.  Provide guidance for conducting audit, including engaging diverse constituents in the process, and facilitating discussions about strategies to honor UI’s history, benefactors/donors, and commitment to inclusive spaces. [TBD]
  • Campus Accessibility Map