Skip navigation

NIU strives to create an environment that celebrates diversity to prepare students for a global workforce and to enrich the lives of all who live, study and work here. The Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is focused on helping NIU's diverse student population succeed in their educational goals, find supportive communities and graduate with the skills and experience needed to coexist with people from all backgrounds.

Learn about the goals of our office, explore NIU's many diverse programs and initiatives, find your community and learn what resources are available to you. We are here to help you, so feel free to reach out with questions or comments.


Research, Engagement and Academic Diversity Grant available. Apply today!

NIU Stands with Our DACA Students

Commitment to civil discourse, safety of our campus and inclusion

In light of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., we want to reaffirm Northern Illinois University's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We maintain, with certainty, that bigotry and hatred do not embody the university’s values.

We encourage free speech and believe that it is a fundamental element in the educational process. However, under no circumstance does violence have a place on our campus. As noted in our policy on Freedom of Expression and expressed in this video, the role of the university is to foster an environment in which differences can be explored, ideas challenged and knowledge generated to create a community where we strive to be just, open and caring. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is paramount, and that includes the emotional welfare of our students, as it is essential for learning.

We invite the members of the university community to participate in the following events designed to facilitate learning and the exchange of ideas:

Please join us at these events and in our commitment to civil discourse, to the safety of our campus and to building a community that embraces and celebrates each of its members.

Vernese Edghill-Walden, Chief Diversity Officer
Kelly Wesener-Michael, Dean of Students
Thomas Phillips, Chief of Police

NIU to support students with undocumented citizenship

University Statement on Freedom of Speech and Social Media

Communications to Campus about the Freedom of Expression Policy

Northern Illinois University is committed to freedom of expression

NIU Statement on Freedom of Expression
Northern Illinois University is committed to freedom of expression, ensuring that all members of the university community have the broad latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. NIU values all individuals and their rights, and encourages meaningful dialogue and a respectful exchange of ideas and opinions so that the voices of every student, faculty, staff and visitor to our campus can be acknowledged.

When members of the university community or the public choose to express their thoughts and opinions – be that through words, peaceful actions or visuals – all should expect some form of opposing views. The role of university administration is not to weigh in on the varying perspectives, but rather to foster an environment in which differences can be explored, ideas challenged and society advanced. These points and counterpoints might be contrary to public opinion and NIU’s values of civility, collegiality, diversity and inclusiveness, but our First Amendment protects virtually all speech, no matter how unorthodox, offensive or distasteful.



Contact Us

Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Office of the Provost
Altgeld Hall 215


Follow us on