Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in CLA
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.
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 February 2022)
- The Dean approved a proposal from the Ad Hoc DEI Work Group on Annual Review to embed diversity, equity, inclusion in performance evaluations for chairs and directors of academic units.
- At the Dean’s direction the college is piloting an effort to increase capacity and shared accountability for DEI work in CLA by inviting administrative officers to over .10 to .25 FTE to work jointly with ODEI for a fixed and collaboratively agreed upon period of time.
- CLA is partnering with the University Office of Human Resources to build and extend institutional and college capacity by sponsoring 25 faculty and staff to become racial equity practitioners through the Courageous Conversations Practitioner Certification Program. The Courageous Conversations protocol deepens personal, systemic, and institutional racial awareness and sees the engagement with all three as necessary to advance racial equity. Program participants will engage in an intensive nine-month journey toward certification.
- ODEI is collaborating with the Center for Educational Innovation on a monthly workshop series on inclusive teaching and learning in a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) that will begin in February 2022.
- CLA will pilot an Equity Lens Policy Review Committee this spring. This initiative borrows from the University’s Equity Lens Policy Review process and will bring this rigorous lens to the college’s administrative policies, procedures, and guidelines. This pilot will inform similar efforts in other colleges and administrative units across the University system.
- The Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RIDGS) and ODEI have partnered to create the Transformational Conversations: Book Club and Conversation Series The book club and conversation series will include ten members from various constituencies (faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni) Members will read and discuss the book and develop action items to implement within the CLA community. Finally, the club will host a public conversation about the book and results of the conversations.
- CLA hosted the first CLA Faculty and Staff DEI Gathering on November 19, 2021. The event, which built on DEI summits held for academic departments and administrative units in 2020, created a collaborative space for conversations related to clarifying our shared language, identifying our boldest shared vision, and strengthening and expanding our actionable commitments.
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.
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
Associate to the Associate Dean
Administrative Specialist/Program Coordinator
Research Assistant, Department of History
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.
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).
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
The CLA Undergraduate Education staff actively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
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 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.
- Communication Studies
- Geography, Environment & Society
- Human Rights Program
- Political Science
- Spanish & Portuguese Studies
- Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
- Writing Studies
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.