The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI), under the leadership of Dr. Liz Tovar, continues our evolution to provide leadership and resources to support our campus’s journey to unity to provide a welcoming and inclusive culture at the University of Iowa. 

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The Division launched the first year of AAAS SEA Change for the institution.  As a charter member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change program. This initiative, which aims to help colleges and universities advance institutional transformation of diversity, equity, and inclusion, aligns with UI’s ongoing strategic planning process, and will provide a mechanism for institutional review, accountability, and evolution in DEI on campus.

A Core Team of 12 UI faculty and staff are supported by an Advisory team of 11 faculty, staff, and community leaders to analyze data and present recommendations for leadership to consider aligned with the new strategic plan.

Areas of focus included Recruitment, Retention, and Impact.  Both teams evaluated data related to ‘melt’, identifying recruiting gaps directly related to disability, the impact of URM students’ debt burden, and the impact of the URM experience related to our campus culture and job placement. 

During the Spring of 2023, the groups will evaluate retention of faculty and staff as identified by the 2022 campus climate survey, evaluate projected high school graduate demographics, and take an overall inventory of DEI programs to evaluate best practices and overlap.


The Division leads campus-wide DEI unit leaders in the creation of and now, the implementation of the new UI strategic plan.  Unit leaders provided input in the development of the goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics in the beginning of the Fall of 2021.  After approvals, DEI unit leaders began gathering data on each objective and tactic we addressed in the first year.

While there are five interconnected areas of focus for the plan, DEI is embedded in all areas, focusing on DEI in the “Welcoming and Inclusive Environment” section.  The goal is to lead the campus in facilitating a proactive campus cultural change to cultivate a more respectful, inclusive environment that embeds diversity and equity into the Iowa experience.

DEI unit leaders are divided into three teams focusing on current initiatives, communications, and resources.  Each group will evaluate all tactics through their specific lens of focus to develop recommendations to leadership to meet and exceed the plan's stated goals.


The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion collected data from faculty, staff, postdocs, professional, graduate, and undergraduate students from March 29 to May 25 for the 2022 Campus Climate survey. The survey was sent to 45,580 participants, and 10,438 responded.

Of those who responded, 79% of undergraduate students, 82% of graduate and professional students, and 77% of faculty, staff, and postdocs said Iowa is a place where they feel valued.

Similarly, high rates of respondents said diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to them and are valued at Iowa: 88% of undergraduate students, 76% of graduate students, 84% of professional students, and 83% of faculty, staff, and postdocs.


The Division of DEI, with the Division of Student Life, launched a new voluntary learning model and simulation technology to upskill in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty and staff.  This initiative aligns with the new strategic plan to facilitate proactive campus cultural change to cultivate a more respectful, inclusive environment embedding diversity and equity.

Cultivating Inclusive Communities is an online, interactive, avatar-based training using virtual role-playing to explore different communication approaches and perspectives.  The goal is to give people greater awareness and confidence in navigating and facilitating difficult conversations.


Lead by the Center for Inclusive Academic Excellence, the 2022 Iowa Edge program welcomed its largest class of over 140 new African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latina/o/x, first-generation, and LGBTQ+ college students beginning their journey at the University of Iowa.

From Aug. 14 – 17, 2022, Edgers participated in various activities, including challenge courses, touring university buildings like the Campus Wellness and Recreation Center, learning how to use services like CAMBUS, and participating in panel discussions with UI faculty and staff.  The four-day program is capped off with a closing banquet at Hancher Auditorium.


In conjunction with the new Board of Regents required Free Speech training, the Division of DEI hosted additional voluntary training and workshop opportunities for faculty and staff.  This content was captured and developed into a video series for faculty and staff to return by specific topics discussed in training.


The Division leads the campus to centralize dates and resources for heritage and identify celebrations. The primary goal of this effort was to place all resources in one online location for campus communicators and DEI leaders to find stories, graphics, dates, and additional information.

The pages have also become a repository of this information for the campus to use in coming years to amplify these celebrations and the understanding of their meanings.


On Aug. 1, 2022, Isandra Martínez-Marrero joined the division as the cultural engagement and analytics director. This position replaces the former director of arts, engagement, and inclusion and senior advisor position formerly held by Andre Perry.  Isandra steward’s programs, necessary conversations, and policy improvements to develop short- and long-term strategies to increase engagement while providing administrative oversight on campus climate surveys. She also assists the division in building platforms for candid campus stories to shape positive learning and working environments for the institution.

Martínez-Marrero joins the Division with over 15 years of experience in higher education, professional development, and online teaching and learning.  Since 2008, Isandra has served the University of Iowa as a lead instructional designer with Distance and Online Education. She co-led the Instructional Design team and facilitated the Design4Online faculty development program. Before this time, Isandra served as an instructional designer in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa and as a teaching assistant at the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa.


The Inclusive Education and Strategic Initiatives unit launched Self-Paced Learning on to provide UI faculty and staff a resource to continue DEI training on their timeline.  The page links the reader to the DEI career development plan, DEI LIbGuides, the Cultivating Inclusive Communities online training, Autism Spectrum Disorder training, and UI DEI-related courses to audit.


From November 1, 2021, to November 1, 2022, the University of Iowa's workforce increased by 237 employees (1.2%), from 19,095 to 19,332.

  • The faculty and staff increased by 199 women (1.6%). 
  • Total racial/ethnic minority representation increased by 172 faculty and staff (6.1%).  Net changes among racial/ethnic groups were:
    • + 77 Blacks/African Americans (+11.1%)
    • + 66 Hispanics/Latinos (+8.2%)
    • + 29 Asians/Pacific Islanders (+2.5%)
    • + 3 individuals identifying as two or more races (+2.3%)
  • 3 American Indians/Alaska Natives (-6.4%)
  • There was a decrease of 15 tenured/tenure track faculty (1.2%). 
  • The number of women faculty members on the tenure track increased by 10 (2.2%), increasing representation from 34.6% to 35.8%.
  • The number of minority faculty members on the tenure track increased by 9, increasing representation from 23.2% to 24.2%.
  • Representation of women among the executive, administrative, and managerial staff increased by 16 (8.6%), from 48.2% to 50.0%.
  • The number of racial/ethnic minorities among the executive, administrative, and managerial staff increased by 6 (10.0%), from 15.6% to 16.4%. 
  • Minority representation among professional and scientific staff increased by 119 (10.2%), from 10.0% to 10.7%.
  • While hiring goals were achieved in some departments/job groups, the underrepresentation of women and minorities remains in other areas.  With all underrepresented departments and job groups aggregated, the university is currently underrepresented by 323 women (1.7%) and 210 minorities (1.1%).[1]
  • There was a net increase of 213 employees (142%) who self-reported having disabilities.  This increase may be due in part to a resurvey of the workforce in October 2022.
  • There were increases in disabled veterans (16 employees) and Armed Forces Service Medal veterans (12 employees).  There were decreases in the numbers of Active-Duty Wartime/Campaign Badge veterans (2 employees) and recently separated veterans (4 employees).
[1] Underrepresentation is defined as having fewer women or minorities in a particular job group or department than would reasonably be expected by their availability.  For more information on the determination of underrepresentation, see Section V of this report.