Best Practices for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive University

The University of Arizona is committed to inclusive excellence at all levels of the organization. Here we highlight the important steps UA faulty, departments and administration can take to foster a welcoming environment that values diversity.

Faculty

  • Organize experiences in which students are encouraged to leave homogeneous peer groups.[1]
  • Challenge students to think critically about their assumptions, seek out knowledge and develop informed perspectives — skills that will translate into a more favorable attitude toward diversity.[1]

Department

  • Create a strong faculty through active recruitment practices designed to attract a diverse candidate pool.[2]
  • Encourage instructors to incorporate diversity-related materials into their course content. Faculty that perceive their department as valuing diversity are much more likely to conscientiously include such material into their curriculum.[3]

Administration

  • Evaluate whether the institution is communicating a positive message about diversity. Is diversity discussed as a process to improve learning, rather than an exercise to reach a percentage of students, faculty and staff from underrepresented groups? One way to accomplish this is to integrate diversity initiatives with academic initiatives, rather than isolating diversity as an independent committee disconnected from education quality.[4]
  • Establish core campus goals that support inclusion and excellence — including rewarding faculty and departments that participate in diversity workshops, engage in diverse student mentoring and otherwise support the institution’s diversity priority.[2]
  • Develop an inclusive campus by planning residential, dining and social areas that facilitate diverse interactions. Open campus activities to all students.[3]

    [1] Gurin et al., 2002

    [2] Bilimoria & Buch, 2010

    [3] Mayhew & Grunwald, 2006

    [4] Luo & Jamieson-Drake, 2009