Vice President Katrice Albert sent this statement to various groups throughout the U of M community in September.
Effective October 1, 2016, the Office for Diversity in Graduate Education (ODGE) will return to the Graduate School.
As an innovator in graduate and professional education since 1973, ODGE was moved to the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) in 2009 as part of the restructuring exercise of the Graduate School. While supporting ODGE, OED has perpetually been assessing not only how to promote and sustain inclusive excellence in graduate and professional education at our university, but also how to be national leaders in these efforts.
An external review of ODGE earlier this year confirmed our assessment and recommended that a diversity office in the Graduate School represents the best way forward. After consulting with students and graduate education faculty and administrative stakeholders, we determined that this change will help us increase diversity in the graduate and professional population and better serve our students in culturally specific and responsive ways. This model is also consistent with the organizational structures of the majority of our graduate school peers in the Big Ten.
Realigning ODGE in the Graduate School will allow for a more seamless graduate and professional student experience, from recruitment to retention to graduation. OED and the Graduate School will continue to work closely together on issues related to diversity in graduate and professional education, including increased investments in staffing and programs such as the Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship.
In the Office for Equity and Diversity, we are often asked what we mean when we say “diversity.” Understanding that there are many definitions and understandings of the word, we often take a few minutes to explain the understanding that informs our work:
It is our responsibility as an institution—as part of our commitment to creating a welcoming and affirming climate—to serve and support the following individuals and groups at the University of Minnesota:
- American Indians and other indigenous populations
- People of color, including underrepresented groups and new immigrant populations
- People with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities
- People who identify as women
- People of various gender and sexual identities and expressions
- First-generation students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
We also address issues of access and climate for individuals who might encounter barriers based on their religious expression, age, national origin, ethnicity, or veteran status. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of working with people who claim more than one of the above identities.
Learn more in the University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity Vision Framework (PDF) »
As a result of the Office for Business and Community Economic Development‘s (BCED) new partnership with the Stairstep Foundation, the BCED Technology Empowerment Center installed computer labs at 10 churches throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul communities. A computer lab was also upgraded with 8 new desktop computers at the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center. Over 80 computers in total have been installed in and will be made available to children and local residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul communities.
The mission of the Technology Empowerment Center (TEC) is to create innovative partnerships that bring technology to underserved populations by focusing on closing the digital gap and providing access to computer technology and software training. TEC aims to reduce the growing inequality of access to information technologies among low-income and disadvantaged groups. Learn more about the Technology Empowerment Center »
Welcome back! As we get ready to kick off the spring semester with our 35th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, we wanted to take some time to look back at some of the great things that happened in fall 2015!
- In 2015, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity for the fourth year in a row.
- Campus Pride, in 2015, named the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as one of the top 50 LGBTQ-friendly universities in the nation, marking four consecutive years that the U of M-Twin Cities has received this recognition.
- We profiled three faculty members who work with the Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, highlighting their outstanding research and community engagement around grand challenges: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Erika Lee, and Priscilla Gibson
- The Women’s Center was – and continues to be – incredibly successful raising money for the Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo Scholarship via their #UMNFlawless and #UMNFeminist hats.
- Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our Disability Resource Center (DRC) continued to highlight its role as a national model and hosted a one-day Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) pre-conference in July. The DRC also launched an online disability training for instructors.
- We started the CORE 2025 program, an early outreach, high-touch cohort pipeline program with the objectives of building a larger pipeline of academically prepared, college-ready multicultural students and increasing the number of students who graduate from the University of Minnesota annually by 2025.
- We announced MCAE Forward, an updated vision for the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence.
- We hosted our 2nd annual Greater Than 7 event during the first week of October. There were about 50 events and activities that took place across the Twin Cities campus, and the week kicked off with a thought-provoking panel about race and resistance movements.
- In November, the Office for Business & Community Economic Development sponsored the first Business Development Matchmaker designed to give women, people of color, disabled, and small business owners from Minnesota an opportunity to develop a business relationship with the University of Minnesota.
- We hosted the 8th Annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast, honoring our 10 Scholarly Excellence in Equity & Diversity (SEED) Award recipients.
- In December, Vice President Katrice Albert, Vice President Kathy Brown and Provost Karen Hanson presented to the Board of Regents about our collective efforts to enhance diversity in hiring.
- The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) launched “Speak Up: Understanding and Preventing Sexual Violence,” a training which includes important definitions, information on University policy, relevant scenarios, and strategies for an appropriate response to these complex problems.
Stay up-to-date with Spring 2016 events by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong (2014), a volume co-edited by Vice President for Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert, has been chosen as a selection in the 2015 Reading for Equity and Diversity (R.E.A.D.) Program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice will be the Fall 2015 reading of the inaugural program, and will be followed by Conversations Across Our America: Talking About Immigration and the Latinoization of the United States by former Office for Equity and Diversity Associate Vice President Louis Mendoza and Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock, writer, activist and advocate for trans* women’s rights.
[Photo credit: JC Williams Photography, 2015]