Commitment Statements

*we are in the process of updating Deans and their statements

College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

The diversity found within the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is more than a set of metrics; it is the keystone upon which our academic vitality is based. Diversity is not a problem to be solved, it is a solution to be welcomed, encouraged, and embraced.

Robert Hauser

College of Applied Health Sciences

Respect for differences is a cornerstone of teaching, research, and service in the College of Applied Health Sciences. Each person brings an individuality to their efforts that is shaped by their distinct experiences in life and provides a valuable lens to view the world and share with others. This individuality is appreciated within our classrooms, research labs, and offices. Appreciation of diversity and respect for individual differences are reflected in the rich mix of faculty and student perspectives related to health, aging, and disability the broad topics of our college. We understand the roles of a public university and the need to serve all people of Illinois, the nation, and the world. Health, aging, and disability are experienced differently across a variety of social, cultural, and socio-demographic group characteristics and living conditions. AHS has a longstanding commitment to engage students, staff, and faculty across gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and socio-economic class. The expertise of our faculty and their appreciation for diversity is reflected in AHS curricula and results in a diverse student body being recruited and retained in our programs. Our faculty and staff are leaders in expanding understanding and sensitivity in an ever-changing society and our scholarship thrives due to a diverse community of students, staff, and faculty. We teach and learn from each other in a dialogue built on respect for difference and appreciation of the creative energy that such differences bring to the intellectual vitality of the campus.

Tanya Gallagher

College of Business

We know that diversity makes us stronger as a college and we are proud that we are the number one minority recruiter in the Big 10. When our students graduate, they will enter a business environment with co-workers from every walk of American life. Diversity, in all its forms, is also critically important to the central mission of this great public institution. Not only do we have the responsibility of using education to empower those who make up the various components of the American ethnic and economic mosaic, but our university is enriched, in return, by the new and diverse ideas these students bring with them.

Larry DeBrock

College of Education

A core value of this institution is one of respect for diversity of ideas and identities combined with the responsibility to provide ready access to the tools of learning for everyone. As a college, we understand that these ideals work best under conditions in which everyone's voice is equally represented and heard. Yet, as a society, we have not reached this larger goal; we recognize that there are ways in which full and complete participation in all facets of life are restricted because of discriminatory practices and structural inequalities. We believe core responsibilities of educators and researchers are to advocate for equity, to respect differences, to enhance representation, and to interrogate and challenge inequalities in our school systems and in all facets of life. Thus, we value the vast range of perspectives of individuals of all backgrounds - whether students, faculty, staff, or community friends - that come together in the College to inspire new discussions that leads us into new avenues of research and exploration toward an inclusive and just future.

Mary Kalantzis

College of Engineering

The creativity and ideas of American women and minorities have yet to be fully exploited in engineering and science. As the largest and top-ranked engineering college for the entire American Midwest, it is imperative that the College of Engineering play a significant role in advancing the roles of women and minorities in engineering. Increasing the diversity of our faculty and students is also fundamentally important to accelerating the rate and impact of our research. Studies have shown that creativity increases and the range of potential solutions grows when teams of individuals from different personal, cultural, and disciplinary perspectives are brought together. The College must be able to draw on a diverse and highly motivated pool of engineerng researchers and students to address major societal challenges.

Michael Bragg

College of Fine and Applied Arts

Cultural diversity enriches great art, and the visual and performing arts, in turn, play a uniquely powerful role in helping people understand difference. Great objects, buildings, landscapes and cities – through the innovative melding of aesthetics and function – embody, interrogate and influence differences among users of objects and spaces. The performers, architects, artists, designers, landscape architects, and city planners of the College of Fine and Applied Arts reflect, study and teach to an increasingly globalized and interconnected world that is fundamentally one of distinctiveness and contrast. We know that maintaining an inclusive and equitable environment for persons of all races, religions, genders, nationalities, levels of physical ability, and sexual orientations is absolutely fundamental to our success.

Edward Feser

College of Law

Lawyers must be prepared to represent clients from diverse backgrounds and with diverse legal needs. Lawyers also increasingly operate in a global legal setting that places a premium on cross-cultural understanding. Diverse backgrounds and viewpoints contribute to richer and more robust discussions of pressing public policy issues, ultimately yielding better approaches to the problems we confront as a nation and as a world.

Bruce Smith

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The very essence of a liberal arts education connotes the recognition of multiple identities and a commitment to equal opportunity. It provides a safe harbor for engagement in analytical and critical thinking and fosters a community whereby our citizens are empowered to contribute actively in our democratic and global society. The importance of our multiple identities is therefore woven into our fabric. It is the cornerstone of our respect for each other and our ideas and is central to our curriculum, admissions, and hiring practices. Nowhere is this commitment more evident than in the College's four-fold mission: creation and dissemination of knowledge and scholarship at the highest level; preparation of graduate students to play leading roles in academia and the public and private sectors; preparation of undergraduate students for lifetimes of impact and leadership; advancement of Illinois, the United States, and the world through technology transfer, economic development, and preparation of future leaders. LAS embraces our social and moral responsibility and commits to our faculty, student body, and campus neighbors that we will provide on every level policies and processes that: (1) earnestly promote inclusivity in our recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students, (2) safeguard human dignity by removing systematic injustices, and (3) promote and support a diverse and expansive curriculum for our students to prepare them for participation in the globalized world.

Brian Ross

College of Media

The College of Media is committed to strengthening, embracing, and celebrating the rich tapestry of diversity and inclusiveness at Illinois and dedicated to creating an environment in which all members of the campus community are safe and respected regardless of social identity and disability. The College of Media promotes a better understanding of diversity and diversity-related issues through academic and professional programs, scholarship, creative endeavor, community outreach, and television, radio, and web programs produced through Illinois Public Media. The College of Media continues to improve and create opportunities for underrepresented students, faculty, and staff to thrive and participate fully in the Illinois experience.

Jan Slater
Interim Dean

College of Medicine

As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, so does the patient population that modern physicians treat. Physicians must not only be competent in the basic and clinical sciences, they must also recognize cultural impacts on states of human health and disease. Disparities in patient health and health care are attributed to racial, socio-economic, and other societal factors. The curriculum of the College of Medicine strives from first year to graduating senior to introduce cultural influences on health care and help physicians-in-training to prepare for these and other challenges in their future practices. The College of Medicine recruits, retains and graduates students from a variety of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in the field of medicine or from areas with low physician to patient ratios, including students from a rural Illinois. Students from varied racial, geographic, and academic backgrounds contribute to an environment rich in cultural and intellectual diversity bring unique perspectives to health care.

Uretz Oliphant

College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine adopts the principles of inclusion developed by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. We affirm the inherent dignity in all of us. We respect the differences as well as the commonalities that bring us together and call for civility and respect in our personal interactions. We affirm the right of freedom of expression of thoughts and opinions and recognize that learning and teaching thrive in this type of environment. We promote open expression of our individuality and our diversity within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. We affirm the value of human diversity for the enrichment of the community and foster a climate conducive to success for all members of the academic community. We confront and reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, socio-economic background, or any other differences that have led to misunderstandings, hostility, and injustice. We encourage all members of the academic veterinary medical community to provide formal and co-curricular opportunities to enhance the personal and professional growth of students, faculty and staff through equity, inclusion and cultural competency training. We strive to build a true community based on mutual respect that affirms learning and growth for all members of the community. We affirm that each member of the campus community is expected to work in accord with these principles and to make individual efforts to enhance the quality of campus life for all. These principles were authored by Lisa Greenhill and Jamie Fratkin of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)

Herbert Whitely

Graduate College

The Graduate College is committed to fostering an inclusive graduate community at Illinois. We embrace students from a wide range of nationalities, ethnicities, and lifestyles. Diversity among our graduate community ensures more voices in shaping transformative knowledge and creative expression. The Graduate College Educational Equity Office (EEP) addresses issues of access, inclusion, and retention in graduate education for individuals from US populations that are underrepresented in graduate education at Illinois. The Graduate College is also proud of our diverse alumni who are leaders in education, business, government, and nonprofit sectors around the world.

Deba Dutta

Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS)

Inclusion is at the very heart of our mission at GSLIS. We are preparing our students to be leaders in the design and management of the information services and institutions that are central to every aspect of our lives -- social, scientific, commercial, and cultural. Our goal is to broadly advance the public good and meet the varied needs of all members of society. This goal cannot be met unless we can empower diverse communities and groups to achieve full and equitable participation in all aspects of our information institutions. This is not only about equal benefits, but about equal participation in the design, shaping, and operation of these institutions -- only institutions that are themselves diverse and inclusive can provide the insight, innovation, and capability needed to respond to the challenges facing society today. Success in understanding how to realize this participation is in turn only possible with a community of faculty, students, and staff that is as diverse as the challenges. We are proud of our accomplishments in building that diverse community here at GSLIS. Particularly noteworthy is on-going development of a new GSLIS center, the Center for Digital Inclusion, which will have this mission: "to foster inclusive and sustainable societies through research, teaching, and public engagement about information and communication technologies and their impacts on communities, organizations, and governments".

Allen Renear
Interim Dean

School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER)

In the emerging global, knowledge-driven economy, workforce diversity is essential to business success and at the heart of constructive employment relations. Diversity in physical and social characteristics, combined with diversity in thought and perspective, are engines of innovation that are essential for the 21st Century. This potential is only realized, however, where there is respect and dignity for all and where there is the capability to bridge across cultures and perspectives. In the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER), we develop next generation leaders in human resource management, the labor movement, government, and academe -- all of whom have to be leaders with respect to diversity. Further, we are responsible for advancing the frontiers of practice, policy, and theory in this domain, which is an important part of our field of labor and employment relations. Accordingly, we embrace having a diverse student body, staff and faculty, and we are committed to supporting freedom of thought and mutual respect through public engagement, curriculum innovation, student initiatives, and leading-edge research.

Fritz Drasgow
Interim Dean

School of Social Work

At the School of Social Work, we emphasize three themes: research-based practice, a commitment to diversity, and a focus on the reciprocal interactions between people and their ecological systems. In 2009, the School opened the doors to the future by celebrating its long-awaited building dedication at 1010 W. Nevada in Urbana. Chancellor Richard Herman said of the new building project, I believe that the work that will be conducted in this beautiful new facility, within this excellent program, will be among the most important work conducted at Illinois and in the nation.

Wynne Korr

University Library

Diversity is a commitment to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make the individuals in our community, our collections, and our services unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates individual and collective achievement. Examples of these characteristics are: age; cognitive style; culture; disability (mental, learning, physical); economic background; education; ethnicity; gender; geographic background; language(s) spoken; marital/partnered status; physical appearance; political affiliation; race; religious beliefs; sexual orientation. The University Library extends these principles in its mission to provide excellent service and first rate collections.

John P Wilkin
University Librarian and Dean