Office for Diversity and Inclusion Publishes Strategic Plan

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas has released its three-year strategic plan to advance the university's guiding priority of enhancing diversity and inclusion.

Developed over several months with input from key stakeholders both on and off campus, the plan centers around five "pillars" central to the university's diversity and inclusion efforts: research and discovery; education, training and support; engagement and outreach; inclusive practices; and strategic leadership and supports.

Among those pillars, notable initiatives include:

  • Promoting diversity and inclusion research through scholarship, publications, grant applications, and data analysis and assessment.
  • Working with campus units to create departmental diversity and inclusion plans specific to their divisions.
  • Developing and providing evidence-based diversity and inclusion trainings via a variety of modalities including face-to-face, online, virtual, self-paced and immersive.
  • Increasing campus engagement of underrepresented students, faculty and staff resource groups and alumni societies.
  • Building a robust network of diversity and inclusion leaders and champions throughout the university community and providing resources to assist senior leaders in their strategic efforts to advance the campus diversity and inclusion priority.

"Enhancing diversity and inclusion on our campus is crucial to fulfilling our academic, land-grant and flagship mission to the state of Arkansas," said Yvette Murphy-Erby, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. "It drives success of all our students, not just underserved populations, while advancing the statewide need for graduates that are ready to succeed in and contribute to an inclusive and increasingly diverse workforce."

Additionally, U of A Chancellor Joe Steinmetz last month appointed Murphy-Erby to chair a task force at the university focused on recruitment of underserved students in Arkansas. As such, Murphy-Erby is also coordinating efforts with an array of senior leaders and units — including but not limited to Enrollment Services, Student Success, Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs, the Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center, Human Resources, Advancement and Human Resources — that are essential to advancing the campus diversity and inclusion goals.

The IDEALS Institute, a unit under the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, also opened this fall to provide further education and supports relative to diversity, equity and inclusion on campus and in the community. The IDEALS Institute serves as a hub of training, research and support for diversity and inclusion initiatives across the state. 

Murphy-Erby added the Diversity and Inclusion Office has embraced the slogan "Inclusion Includes You" for this school year to help raise awareness about diversity and inclusion initiatives.

"We truly want every student, faculty and staff member to feel engaged, welcomed and fully valued at the University of Arkansas and in our region and state," she said. "This important work requires the collective efforts of many, and we are fortunate that individuals both on our campus and in the community share in the commitment to this important work. There are plenty of engagement opportunities for those who are interested in helping and supporting this effort; together we can make a meaningful difference for all."   

For more information on involvement opportunities, contact the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at diversity@uark.edu or visit www.diversity.uark.edu.

Contacts

Ella Lambey, executive assistant
Office for Diversity and Inclusion
479-575-3338, elambey@uark.edu

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