Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in CLA

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in CLA

The core values of the College of Liberal Arts include freedom of thought and expression; respect, diversity, and social justice; excellence in all we do; and efficiency and adaptability in the achievement of our mission.

On This Page:

CLA is a destination for curious, compassionate individuals who are committed to making our increasingly interdependent and diverse global community work for everyone. That foundational commitment begins in our CLA Constitution. CLA is committed to increasing enrollment of underrepresented and under-resourced students, diversifying our faculty across all disciplines, recruiting and retaining a diverse staff, and promoting the expression and exploration of diverse perspectives and viewpoints—so that we all gain the background knowledge and analytical skills we need to understand and respect differences.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a cornerstone of the Roadmap, CLA's strategic plan.

Recent Commitments

As part of the college’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, here are a few of the initiatives recently underway intended to strengthen that commitment. 
(Updated October 2022)

  • The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has partnered with CLA’s Office of Undergraduate Education to offer a one-day professional development event focused on teaching and learning. The Day of Teaching and Learning, scheduled for January 11, 2023, features scholars whose foundational knowledge is centered on curricula and pedagogy intersecting with diversity and anti-racism.
  • The Transformational Conversations Book Club Series, a partnership with the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Studies (RIDGS), continues. The series invites members of the CLA community to read books centered on diverse topics and discuss the content and its relationship to their identity and role within CLA. The programming culminates with the members presenting to the larger community reflecting on their learning and how to incorporate practices taken from the text. This fall the Book Club is reading Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (by Isabel Wilkerson), A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (edited by Sun Yung Shin), and Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century (edited by Alice Wong).
  • Thirty-three members of the UMN community, including 15 members of the CLA community, are now Courageous Conversations about Race Certified Practitioners. In 2022–23, CLA’s Dean’s Group will read Glenn Singleton’s Courageous Conversations about Race together and build their personal and collegiate racial equity understanding and leadership together. 
  • CLA has dedicated its November Professional Development Day as one where those who participate should prioritize professional development opportunities that enhance their capacity to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the college. This is the first time that CLA’s Professional Development Day has had a focus. 
  • The CLA Call-in is an initiative born out of the Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to (re)introduce topics related to DEI to the CLA community in a brief but substantive way. The Call-in is a weekly newsletter that offers definitions, contexts related to higher education and the CLA community, and the relationship between these topics and the impact they have on students, faculty, and staff. 
  • CLA’s Administrative Leaders Program has been restructured to include an intentional focus on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion content as part of the curriculum, in addition to ensuring that program materials, discussion questions, and spaces used are accessible and inclusive of various identities. 
  • The Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a co-sponsor for the CLA Indigenous Staff and Staff of Color Community’s inaugural StriDEIng for Equity 5K, which in addition to providing a fun way for members of the U of M community who care about diversity, equity, and inclusion to gather, will also raise funds to support professional development for CLA-ISSCC members. 
  • The Center for Canon Expansion and Change (CCEC) was founded in the Department of Philosophy in 2021 by faculty members Jessica Gordon-Roth, Dwight K. Lewis, Jr., and Bennett McNulty with the goal of effecting meaningful change in the way that philosophy is done, understood, organized, and—especially—taught. CCEC focuses on supporting instructors who want to teach neglected figures or a new canon of early modern philosophy, but otherwise lack the resources to do so. CCEC aims to teach instructors how to create a safe and vibrant learning environment that speaks to a multitude of perspectives and allows students to learn about philosophers with voices like their own.
  • Careers Beyond Academia for First-Gen Doctoral Students in CLA, funded by the University’s First-Gen Institute, is a new workshop supporting first-generation PhD students in their career development beyond the tenure track. In six meetings over the course of the academic year 2022–23, a cohort of six students will work through exercises aimed at career exploration, preparation of application materials, networking, and the interview and negotiation process. 

Related Links

CLA's Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) is charged with providing leadership, coordination, and accountability within and across the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota and its units regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The office provides leadership and support on matters of racial equity and justice including internal culture and climate; recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students; action steps to reduce student equity gaps; and the application of a rigorous equity lens on our policies, procedures, and practices.   

The Liberal Arts Engagement Hub and coordination of CLA’s efforts to advance public engagement have been strategically embedded within ODEI in order to take advantage of significant synergies related to public engagement, the Liberal Arts Engagement Hub and issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Learn more about ODEI on the Neighborhood, CLA's Intranet


Malinda Lindquist
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Amelious N. Whyte, Jr. (uh-MEEL-yus WYT) He/Him/His
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Public Engagement 

Stephanie Gandy
Assistant to the Associate Dean

Jan Volek
Research Assistant, Department of History

Liberal Arts Engagement Hub
Kevin Murphy, Faculty Director
Amanda Steepleton, Program Manager 
Jessica Cooley, Postdoctoral Fellow
Xun Yu, Graduate Research Assistant


The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is always open to hearing suggestions. Contact us at cladei@umn.edu or anonymously submit a suggestion via this form.

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Working in CLA

At the University of Minnesota, we value having a diversity of views and experiences that enrich our campus community and foster excellence. We are dedicated to creating a campus culture that respects everyone equally. Learn more about working at the University of Minnesota

Fall 2021

Faculty of Color
Staff of Color
Female Faculty

Indigenous Staff & Staff of Color Community

CLA's Indigenous Staff & Staff of Color Community promotes personal and professional growth through shared experiences, resources, and strategies for staff of color. It launched in December 2017 to help advance the College’s goal of cultivating a welcoming and respectful climate in its diverse intellectual community. It is an active organization that includes members from throughout the College. To learn more about this community, view their On Purpose profile or visit The Neighborhood (CLA's intranet).

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Studying in CLA

Fall 2021 Student Population


CLA students are 42.0% of the total UMN-Twin Cities (TC) undergraduate degree-seeking population. Overwhelmingly, CLA students are an even larger percentage of the TC student population among numerous groups that enhance the University’s diversity. CLA students comprise:

  • 39.3% of all TC students who identify as Asian
  • 45.8% of all TC multi-racial students
  • 46.6% of all TC female students
  • 46.8% of all TC international students
  • 46.8% of all TC BIPOC students
  • 48.2% of all TC first-generation students
  • 49.7% of all TC Chicano/a & Latino/a students
  • 51.1% of all TC Pell-eligible students
  • 57.0% of all TC Black students
  • 63.2% of all TC American Indian students


At the doctoral level, CLA students are 19.3% of the total Twin Cities doctoral population. CLA doctoral students comprise:

  • 19.9% of Twin Cities female doctoral students
  • 20.2% of Black students
  • 20.4% of BIPOC students
  • 20.5% of multi-racial students
  • 28.0% of Chicano/a & Latino/a students
  • 29.0% of American Indian students


Undergraduate Students

The CLA Undergraduate Education staff actively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.


Graduate Students

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Diversity Initiatives

An overview of the different diversity programs, initiatives, and fellowships available for graduate students.

Diversity Initiatives

President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is a University of Minnesota program that seeks applicants whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in higher education and at the University. 

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Academic Expertise, Outreach, and Engagement in CLA

Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Established in 2015, the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Studies (RIDGS) in the College of Liberal Arts was created to support innovative research, teaching, and community-building for scholars engaged with issues of race, indigeneity, disability, gender, and sexuality. RIDGS is dedicated to bringing faculty and students together to pursue lines of inquiry that challenge systems of power and inequality, assert human dignity, and imagine social transformation. Learn more about the Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Initiative.

In August 2020, RIDGS launched a collection of online resources about racial justice at the University of Minnesota.

CLA is also a supporter and donor to the CLA-faculty-led Black Midwest Initiative, a "collective of scholars, students, artists, organizers, and community-involved people who are committed to advocating for the lives of people of African descent as they are situated throughout the Midwest and Rust Belt regions of the United States."

Faculty Expertise Around Issues of Race, Justice, Dignity, and Respect

Our faculty, across a wide range of departments, are bringing their insights and expertise to benefit and teach local, national, and international communities. This depth of understanding leads to their being called upon by the media for insights and clarity—especially during times of tragedy. 

Departmental Statements of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In addition to our college-wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, several departments have shared their commitments on their websites. Read about them in the links below.


The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.