Northern Illinois University

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News Release

Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-9472

September 9, 2009

‘Diversity Initiatives’ Web site lists
NIU’s promises, policies, programs, projects

DeKalb, Ill. — Northern Illinois University is proud of its work to augment, enhance and celebrate diversity on campus, clearly evidenced by a new Web page that posts a comprehensive list of the university’s initiatives.

Created by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, the page includes information on NIU’s efforts regarding diversity as well as links to policies, scholarship prospects, support programs, professional development opportunities and more.

For prospective students and employees from diverse backgrounds, the site provides an easily accessible glimpse into life at NIU.

“Diversity was the single most-recurring theme in our strategic imperatives. It cuts across every one of the imperatives,” Provost Ray Alden said. “This just shows we put our money where our mouth is. The Web page demonstrates the long-term commitment our campus has to diversity as a core value.”

“The Diversity Initiatives Web site really speaks to the commitment to diversity from our institution,” added Brian Hemphill, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “We are very much an inclusive community that appreciates the vast diversity of this region.”

“Because diversity initiatives are so well distributed throughout the university organization, and because there is such a wide range of diversity initiatives, we knew this would be a very beneficial project,” Cunningham said.

“This site will provide a convenient option for prospective and current employees to obtain this information, and at the least learn where to call, who to talk to and where to go for follow-up on the specific interests they might have. This project especially complements the initiatives of Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources (AADR), and provides a supplemental option for quick access to AADR’s policies and procedures.”

Main topics covered:

  • Increasing Enrollment, Retention and Graduation Rates of Diverse Students
  • Increasing Employment and Retention of Diverse Faculty
  • Programs Promoting Inclusive Awareness and Appreciation of Diversity
  • Curricular Diversity
  • Training Activities and Programs
  • Improving Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics

Alden, Hemphill and Steve Cunningham, associate vice president for Administration and Human Resources, conducted a survey last year that asked all departments and units to provide an accounting of their diversity initiatives and resources for students, faculty and staff.

The compiled information then went to Murali Krishnamurthi, director of Faculty Development, whose staff built the site and launched it during the summer.

“This is a one-stop location for diversity on campus, be they scholarships, policies, curricular activities or staff and faculty support. We hope that this site will be evolving and, as more things develop, they will be added,” Krishnamurthi said. “People outside the university, and sometimes even people inside, don’t know about all these things.”

Of course, those “inside people” will find the site a great advantage.

“I’m hoping that once we’re more aware of our full array of programs, we all can help to coordinate, enhance and promote the existing programs,” Alden said. “Those who are involved want to see what others are doing. This is a campus that values and celebrates diversity.”

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