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Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009

IU President's University Diversity Initiative announces funding for 12 projects

Jan. 15, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today (Jan. 15) that the university has awarded $1 million through the President's University Diversity Initiative to fund 12 projects that will strengthen racial, ethnic and cultural diversity at seven IU campuses.

"I am extraordinarily pleased with the energy, imagination and creativity shown in these proposals," McRobbie said. "All the campuses responded to the challenge with ideas that reflect their strategic goals and address the varied dimensions of diversity. I look forward to seeing the results that these initiatives will produce."

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

The projects include efforts to step up recruiting of minority students and faculty, support programs for first-year students, and partnerships with Indiana communities and with other colleges and universities. All address one or more of four dimensions of diversity: institutional leadership and commitment, curricular and co-curricular transformation, campus climate, and representational diversity.

McRobbie announced the $1 million diversity initiative in September, inviting units from all IU campuses to apply for funding. A 10-member committee, appointed by Edwin C. Marshall, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, rated the proposals and recommended 12 for funding.

"I was very encouraged by the response and by the innovation and creativity that were demonstrated in the proposals that were submitted," Marshall said. "The primary focus was on student recruitment and persistence, but we also saw proposals addressing faculty recruitment and engagement with the larger communities in which we work. There was a very broad approach to addressing diversity."

Edwin Marshall

Hillary Demmon

Edwin Marshall

Print-Quality Photo

The committee, with representatives from IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and regional campuses, considered 22 proposals, a number that had already been pared down by campus-level reviews and efforts at coordination. Panelists scored each proposal on a 100-point scale, with the highest-scoring projects selected for funding.

The proposals built on campus-specific diversity plans, initiated in 2007, that outlined steps needed to increase the number of under-represented minorities among students, faculty and professional staff. The grants range from $29,000 to $122,000. Projects are funded for one, two or three years.

Projects selected for funding include:

IU Bloomington

  • A proposal from the University Graduate School and Office of Enrollment Management to help prospective undergraduate and graduate students experience the campus and learn about its academic programs, student organizations, and mentoring and support structures. The project also will increase faculty diversity by building on IU Bloomington's Future Faculty Teaching Program.
  • A Department of Chemistry project with the National Organization for Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers to recruit minority students into sciences, promote networking and mentoring, and expose students to minority science leaders.
  • A Department of Chemistry project with the Student National Medical Association to sponsor a lecture series on diversity in medicine, collaborate with diversity organizations to sponsor networking events, and establish relationships with colleges and universities that serve large numbers of black, Hispanic and American Indian students.
  • Expansion of mentoring programs, access to information about graduate programs and study-abroad options through the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program and the Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development.

IU East

  • A project to establish first-year seminar for students. Funding will pay to train faculty, recruit and train peer mentors, provide diversity-related professional development and field trips and develop a brochure to showcase the seminar.

IU Kokomo

  • A science camp for minority middle-school students and a summer bridge program for minority high school students. The project will expand minority participation in science, nursing, education, public affairs and business programs at IU Kokomo.

IU Northwest

  • Creation of a New Student Success Program for first-year students. The proposal from the Office of Diversity and Equity will include enhanced student orientation and retention support for underrepresented students, with a focus on minority males.


  • A project to make participation in the IUPUI University College Summer Academy Bridge Program more feasible for students from under-represented populations and low-income families.
  • An initiative to accelerate recruitment, retention and time to graduation for under-represented students in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology and create a faculty-supervised peer mentoring program.
  • Development of future leaders among faculty of color in the IU School of Medicine.

IU Southeast

  • A project to increase representational diversity among faculty, develop faculty leadership in transforming curriculum and promote community partnerships.

IU South Bend

  • An expansion of student enrollment in the IUSB Leadership Academy.