Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.71
Liaison Greg Kozak
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northwestern University
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.56 / 2.00 Sarah Tulga
Sustainability Program Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

Northwestern University has quite a few diversity and equity committees, offices and officers. Below are a few of the key ones.

Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion
The Office of Institutional Diversity is tasked with creating and sustaining a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all Northwestern community members including students, faculty, staff and alumni. It is situated within the Office of the Provost and houses 5 staff dedicated to moving forward it’s programs, initiatives and commitments; including the Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, the Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and two Managers and a program coordinator. This office was established in 2015 and has the following initiatives: Faculty Diversity and Excellence, Inclusive NU, MLK Commemoration, Native American and Indigenous Initiatives, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning, Veterans Support Initiative, Change Makers Review Committee, 150 Years of Women. This office also partners with a variety of other diversity, equity and inclusion related departments and programs across Northwestern. These include but are not limited to Multicultural Student Affairs, The Women's Center, Center for Native America and Indigenous Research, Kellogg School of Management’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Awareness, Response & Education, Office of Human Resources, The Graduate School Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of International Student and Scholar Services, International Program Development Office, College Feminists, Campus Inclusion and Community, Weinberg Bridge Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Feinberg School of Medicine, and Office of Inclusion & Engagement at the Pritzker School of Law.

The Office of Equity
The Office of Equity works to uphold the University’s commitment by:
• Responding to reports of discrimination and harassment, including by helping students, faculty, and staff understand the University’s processes for making such reports;
• Providing support and resources to those impacted by discrimination and harassment;
• Providing training, consultation, and resources to the University community regarding accommodating individuals with disabilities, the University’s affirmative action programs for faculty and staff, and responding to reports of discrimination and harassment; and
• Working with students, faculty, and staff to revise and implement policies related to discrimination, harassment, and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.

The Department of Campus Inclusion and Community aims to “cultivate inclusive learning environments through the intentional engagement with difference across and within various identities.” The Department achieves this mission through leading dialogues, running leadership development opportunities and trainings, and advocating for underrepresented students.
More information can be found here: https://www.northwestern.edu/inclusion/

Councils and Groups:
Diversity Leaders Group
This group is comprised of staff from schools and units across the university who have primary responsibility for diversity and inclusion activities in their areas. It’s purpose is to help advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within schools and units. It’s main objectives are to: 1) To enhance communication and collaboration across schools and units, 2) To share best practices aimed at advancing the university’s overall diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and 3) To support staff who have explicit responsibility for addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within schools and units. The working group members include 16 staff and faculty across the institution who are leading different departments, programs, and initiatives.

University Diversity Council
This council’s purpose is to facilitate diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across schools, units, and within the local community. It’s main objectives are to: 1) To share ongoing work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion priorities, 2) To receive feedback and discuss ways to better engage and support students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, and 3) To explore partnerships among Council members and with the Office. The council includes 42 staff, faculty and student representatives across the universities key departments, units, and schools.

Executive Advisory Group
This advisory group’s purpose is to help inform and ensure success of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across schools and units and beyond the University. It’s main objectives are to: 1) To support strategy development and alignment with overall institutional priorities, 2) To provide feedback and resources necessary to advance work, and 3) To help facilitate and enable cultural change to ensure success. Members of this advisory group are senior leaders from across the institution.

Native American and Indigenous Peoples Steering Group
This advisory group’s purpose is to help support and ensure the success of Native American and Indigenous diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across schools and units at the University. It’s objectives are to: 1) To enhance communication and collaboration across schools and units, 2) To share best practices aimed at advancing the university’s Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force (NAOITF) recommendations, and 3) To support staff who have explicit responsibility for addressing issues of Native American and Indigenous diversity, equity and inclusion within schools and units. Members of this group include senior leadership, and staff, students and faculty of Native American and Indigenous heritage.

Multicultural Alumni Council
This council engaged alumni in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across the University. Its objectives are to: 1) To enhance awareness of ongoing work to address needs of multicultural students. Faculty and staff, 2) To strengthen involvement of national alumni clubs in institutional efforts, and 3) To explore partnerships among national alumni clubs and the Office. Members of this council include presidents of the various Alumni Associations (Northwestern University Muslim Alumni, Northwestern Black Alumni Association, Latino Alumni of Northwestern, NU Asian and Asian American Alumni, Northwestern Alumni Association, NU Gay and Lesbian Alumni) and the Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer.

Native American Leadership Council
This council engages Native American community leaders to provide insight and counsel for our Native American and Indigenous Initiatives. For further information on this council, please see this website: https://www.northwestern.edu/diversity/partners/leadership-partners/native-american-leadership-council/index.html

Faculty Diversity and Excellence Group
Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer; Associate Professor of Medicine, FSM and Vice Provost for Academics and Associate Provost for Faculty; Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, SESP, co-convene a cross-school group of faculty members to help formulate initiatives and priorities to foster faculty diversity and excellence. This group meets quarterly and is comprised of instructional/clinical and tenure-line faculty members from across the University, and with representation from the Faculty Senate, the Organization for Women Faculty, and the Feinberg Medical School Women Faculty Organization. They move forward the university’s actions on community building, faculty searches and hiring, faculty awards and funding, and women faculty. For further information on this group, please see this website:

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

All new students are made aware of the universities’ commitment to diversity and inclusion through our Admissions website resources. Read the Student Life diversity statement here: https://admissions.northwestern.edu/student-life/diversity.html. Here, student groups, campus resources, demographic information, academic courses and departments are listed to encourage new students to immediately engage in these activities, resources and dialogues.

All incoming undergraduate and transfer students participate in Wildcat Welcome when they first arrive on campus. As part of this program, students participate in True Northwestern Dialogues around Inclusion, Alcohol & Drugs, Wellness, and Sexual Health. All of these dialogues are required or a hold will be placed on their course registration. True Northwestern Dialogues (TNDs) continue to take place during their first year on campus.

In addition to the above required dialogues above, students are also welcome to further participate in these types of workshops through Northwestern’s Social Justice Education programs through the Division of Student Affairs. The SJE department creates co-curricular educational opportunities to foster self-exploration, facilitate conversations across difference and support actions that create social change on campus. They have programs such as, “Deconstructing Whiteness,” “Sustained Dialogues,” and “Step Up,” as well as training and empowering student Peer Inclusion Educators.

AccessibleNU provides many forms of outreach each day in its work with students and faculty regarding academic accommodations and universal design for learning. Beyond these daily forms of outreach, however, AccessibleNU invites members of the NU community to request visits or presentations from AccessibleNU staff at departmental meetings, firesides, and other events, and to inquire about accessibility audits. “Accessibility audits” are available for any individual department and are offerred by AccessibleNU and Student Affairs IT (SAIT). More information about these can be found here: https://www.northwestern.edu/accessiblenu/about-us/outreach/accessibility-audits/index.html

Faculty are provided on-boarding training that include issues on teaching in diverse classrooms. These on-boarding activities are conducted at the school and college level and with the assistance of specialists from the Searly Center.

Separately, Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching offers a variety of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainings and resources throughout the year. They host a, “A Steat at the Table: Centering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Learning and Teaching” series which brings together a faculty cohort and facilities discussions around DEI in teaching and learning. More information on this series can be found here: https://www.northwestern.edu/searle/initiatives/faculty/diversity,-equity,-and-inclusion-roundtable-series.html

For the past three years, Northwestern University has hosted the Inclusive Teaching Forum (ITF). The theme for 2020 will be Teaching During Difficult Times. Previous plenary and case study discussions focused on: 1) Exploring intersectionality and its impact in learning and teaching contexts, 2) Engaging with case studies to explore authentic student experiences and their impact, 3) engaging in discussions around promising practices for inclusive teaching and learning, and 4) fostering a culture of inclusive teaching practice. All of the previous handouts, powerpoints and information are open access for the Northwestern campus community to access at this website: https://www.northwestern.edu/searle/initiatives/faculty/inclusive-teaching-forum.html

The Searle Center for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching also provides consultation and collaboration services related to diversity, equity and inclusion to all instructors, deans, department chairs, advisors, center directors, curriculum committees, students, and others in the Northwestern community involved with teaching and learning design, implementation, assessment, evaluation, and research. We offer individual and small group consulting/collaboration, tailored workshops and trainings for departments, centers, and academic offices, and other professional development services that foster inclusive learning environments.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with the Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion please complete this form. Anyone can request a meeting with the Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the center.

A variety of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshops and online trainings are available through Human Resources. There has been a significant investment in training and development, created by Human Resources in partnership with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the community through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education Advisory Group made up of staff and faculty across Northwestern. Two highly engaging, reflective, and interactive workshops, Unconscious Bias and Active Inclusion for Teams, have been piloted with staff and will behave been made available broadly in 2020. In addition, training on LGBTQ safespace and allyship are made available through the Office of Equity.

Change Makers for Faculty
Change Makers allows professional staff and faculty members to engage in a personal journey to create a more inclusive environment at Northwestern University. This program is currently on hiatus while it is being evaluated. The program begins with a two-day intensive self-reflection and dialoguing workshop led by experts in the research based Intergroup Relations (IGR) model from the University of Michigan. The initial training and overall program content is led and guided by IGR experts, Dr. Kristie Ford of Skidmore College and Dr. Charles Behling of the University of Michigan. This is followed by structured time and activity to work on creating change through applying change management principles combined with best practices in diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education.

Change Makers is designed to supplement and allow information sharing around the diversity of work that is being done around Northwestern regarding inclusion. It differs from other advisory boards, committees or task forces in that Change Makers are Change focused on bringing inclusion to the center and understanding how it is a substantive part of each of our jobs to create a more inclusive environment. It is our belief that it is the multitude of small actions that can shift an environment.

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.