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Diversity continues to be a top focus for colleges and universities as they grow and evolve their institutional agendas and strategic plans. This focus can be brought to life in many ways, both strategically and tactically.

For 80% of schools participating in the Great Colleges to Work For® survey, diversity is included in their strategic plan, with initiatives, goals or objectives directly related to diversity and/or inclusive excellence. A high percentage of participating schools — approximately 84% — also noted that their institution has an articulated policy or statement on diversity.

In addition to strategic methods, some survey participants reported having a more tactical, hands-on method of inclusion, such as a dedicated plan to recruit a diverse workforce or engagement in a formal diversity and/or inclusive excellence study within the past three years.  On average, about 48% of participating institutions have completed a diversity study, whereas almost 75% have a dedicated recruitment plan.

The role of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) has also emerged as an important facet in the focus for inclusive excellence. Roughly 44% of Great Colleges to Work For® participants answered “yes” when asked whether their school has a CDO in place. While the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) notes that the CDO is a relatively new role, the position is an important one since it “provides senior administrative leadership for strategic planning and implementation of mission-driven institutional diversity efforts.” 1 That said, the role does vary by institution in terms of scope, authority, resources, and qualifications.1

As strategic and tactical methods for diversity and inclusion evolve, schools may naturally incorporate additional tactics and utilize a combination of methods.



  1. “National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education: Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers.” By William T. Lewis, Sr., Christine A. Stanley and Roger L. Worthington. http://www.nadohe.org/standards-of-professional-practice-for-chief-diversity-officers.

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