Updated Nov. 16, 2023
The Iowa Board of Regents discussed and approved the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Study Group report on Nov. 16, 2023. In order to implement the recommendations, The University of Iowa will launch a task force to review and evaluate the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and all campus-related diversity and inclusion efforts. The task force will provide recommendations to the president and provost by March 2024, and they will share the plans with the board in April.
We view this as an opportunity to align the remarkable work done on our campus and to ensure we maintain the compliance and accreditation standards that support the success of our students, faculty, and staff.
Diversity and inclusion are important to the campus, and our role is critical in preparing our students to become global society and economic leaders.
We know there will be many questions from students, faculty, and staff regarding how this will impact the university's ability to provide a welcoming and inclusive campus. We want to provide the campus with some information about the recommendations to address some of the questions. If you have additional questions, please see the information below or contact us as we move forward.
Dr. Liz Tovar
Executive Officer and Associate Vice President
Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Vice President for External Relations and Senior Advisor to the President
Creating and supporting a welcoming campus that supports everyone’s right to freedom of expression is core to our values as a public university.
Beyond supporting our core values, the work that enhances our campus culture is required for the university to compete for federal grants, abide by federal and state law, and maintain accreditation.
Teaching the inclusive leadership skills needed to compete in a global society is core to student success post-graduation.
Providing diverse viewpoints in the classroom, our research, and patient care have been a cornerstone of 176 years of innovation at the university.
Many of Iowa’s largest employers actively recruit a diverse workforce and provide robust diversity and inclusion programming and resources.
We want to make sure our students, some of whom may not come from a diverse community, feel prepared when they graduate to work in a diverse environment and with a diverse clientele.
The University of Iowa and its individual colleges and administrative units must meet requirements to serve the people of Iowa effectively.
More than two dozen federal requirements, accreditation standards, and research stipulations mandate programming related to diversity and inclusion. Even the University of Iowa’s membership in the NCAA is conditioned on paying attention to diversity and inclusion activities. Failure to comply with these standards is not an option.
The university is forming a task force to evaluate the central office and campus diversity and inclusion efforts. It will restructure the Division of DEI to focus on maintaining the university's compliance and accreditation standards while supporting our students, faculty, and staff.
The reimagined unit will work with all campus partners to support their efforts while managing this change.
The university’s new task force, led by Dr. Liz Tovar, will evaluate the current structure of the Division of DEI, and make recommendations in April 2024 to the Iowa Board of Regents. While this work is being done, all existing programs will continue.
A charge of this task force is to find an efficient and effective model for the delivery of the activities and resources that our campus needs.
The task force will focus on aligning the efforts of this unit to meet our compliance and accreditation obligations, as well as providing support for the institution's students, faculty, and staff.
There will be changes, but they will come from the collaboration of campus leadership.
The Iowa Board of Regents proposed recommendations allow diversity and inclusion for compliance and accreditation to continue.