Regarding Provost Robel's 2013 State of the Campus Address

March 1, 2013

Last summer President McRobbie charged Provost Robel and me to strengthen our efforts to increase minority student diversity on the Bloomington campus. In Provost Lauren Robel's first state of the campus address last week [Feb. 19, 2013], she clearly expressed a commitment to services that promote excellence through diversity, equity, and inclusion at Indiana University. She stated, "Our commitment to diversity is not an afterthought or an add-on. It is central to our mission."

During her address, Provost Robel outlined the campus' commitment to diversity in three critical areas, which include funding for the maintenance and enhancement of programs and services, recruitment of prospective underrepresented students, and strategic hiring of minority faculty. These areas are core to the mission, programs, and services of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs.

Funding resources for the enhancement and maintenance of programs and services

Highlighting the overall success of "student facing services," Provost Robel stated "The Hudson and Holland students in particular have historically been, and continue to be, significantly above the campus average in on-time graduation rates." She mentioned that with the start of the 2012-13 academic year, the campus provided an additional $1.9 million to support the recruitment and retention of students into the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program. The additional revenue was specifically dedicated to support a 21% increase in the number of scholarships for beginning HHSP scholars, resulting in a record 271 new scholars in 2012–doubling the number who began in 2010.

The provost and I will continue to work more closely than ever to assure that students under the DEMA umbrella leverage campus resources effectively. In addition to increased scholarship support for HHSP, we currently are exploring opportunities that would enhance academic and financial support for Groups Scholars and 21st Century Scholars. One immediate step for the benefit of scholars in all three programs is the campus' recent commitment of a $300,000 line of support to enhance study abroad opportunities for students in DEMA programs. Also with regard to the leveraging of campus resources, HHSP Director Marsha McGriff provided at last week's DEMA Directors' Meeting an update on the work of the IU Bloomington Academic and Career Counseling Team and its proposal to the provost for the centralized coordination and decentralized implementation of a more comprehensive and holistic approach to career development and academic advising. Once implemented, the proposed model will serve as an additional campus resource in support of the academic and career advancement of DEMA students.

Recruitment of underrepresented students

As Provost Robel referenced in her address, she, I, and others–including Vice Provost David Johnson and Vice President John Applegate–have been working closely to understand and address the challenges to increase student diversity on the Bloomington campus. The Diversity Roundtable– consisting of the provost, most of the vice provosts, the dean of students, the dean of the graduate school, and the associate vice president for human resources–was established in the fall as a vehicle for assuring that all parts of the campus administration are working in concert for the success of our students. A major focus of the Roundtable to-date has been engaging the Office of Enrollment Management to identify key opportunities and strategies to achieve a more focused effort to increase the recruitment and enrollment of underrepresented student populations. As an example, OEM has expanded its recruitment efforts to include aggressive outreach to community based organizations and high school advisors in Indiana that serve minority populations and has organized recruitment trips targeted to underrepresented minority students in Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC. Last week the DEMA Office of Community and School Partnerships collaborated with IU Northwest on an outreach/recruitment initiative for students in Gary and northwest Indiana. The recently established DEMA Student Diversity Advisory Committee, which includes broad student representation, complements the Roundtable in the exploration of innovative approaches to increasing the representational diversity and academic success of minority students on the Bloomington campus.

Faculty recruitment and development

Provost Robel noted that during the period of 2008 to 2012 when faculty hiring was flat, the Bloomington campus experienced growth in faculty who identify as members of underrepresented groups, including faculty who identify as being of two or more races. Challenges, however, continue to exist in the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. In a collaborative effort to be more strategic, Provost Robel, Vice Provost Tom Gieryn, Affirmative Action Officer Julie Knost, and I have charged the campus deans to look more carefully at the diversity of their programs under a refocusing of the campus' strategic hiring initiative that will be tied more closely to campus mission and strategic objectives. In support of faculty retention and advancement, Provost Robel announced as part of her address that the campus has become an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. The center will serve as an additional resource to empower diverse faculty, graduate students, and postdocs with special expertise in mentoring and skill building before and after tenure. An on-campus workshop to kick off this new initiative is scheduled for April 24.

To my knowledge, this was the first campus address to devote such significant attention to a broad agenda of campus diversity. As an extension of Provost Robel's address, I hope you will join with me in a renewed spirit of purpose and focus. As IU's commitment to diversity was clearly articulated by Provost Robel, let us look to expand our efforts to be good stewards of our academic traditions and remember that with great challenge comes even greater opportunity.

Thank you for what you do every day in support of advancing academic excellence through diversity and inclusion at Indiana University.

Edwin C. Marshall, Vice President
Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs