Far from just enriching campus life or the academic experience, equity and diversity are critical to issues of campus culture and climate and are fundamental to everything we do at the University of Minnesota. Below are examples of some of the resources and services on campus for our students.
Community of Scholars Program
Based in the Graduate School Diversity Office, the Community of Scholars Program (COSP) works towards creating an institutional environment that supports the academic and professional success of graduate students who are underrepresented in academia. COSP assists in helping students (US citizens and permanent residents) more fully participate in the University; develop supportive relationships with advisors and mentors; build a sense of community through academic seminars and professional development workshops; and connect to the Twin Cities and broader U of M system through teaching, research, and community engagement opportunities. The COSP also has a lounge where COSP students can relax, spend time with other COSP Scholars, get some work done, and visit with COSP staff. The lounge is located in room 375, 10 Church Street. See a video of the space.
Graduate School Diversity Office
The Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO) leads and coordinates the University’s initiatives in the recruitment, funding, retention, and graduation of a diverse graduate student body. Additionally, their office works closely with other organizations connected to diversity, underrepresented populations, and multiculturalism.
The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life
named the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
as one of the 25 best colleges for LGBTQ+ students
in the nation, marking nearly a decade that the
U of M Twin Cities has received this recognition.
The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life provides education, advocacy, outreach, and support to students, staff, faculty, alum and community members, and strives to create a campus climate where more inclusive understandings of gender and sexuality foster a sense of belonging for all.
Campus Climate emerged in 2014 as a pressing issue through the Twin Cities campus strategic planning process, as well as past and current grassroots efforts led by campus groups concerned about the experiences of marginalized groups at the University of Minnesota. To address campus climate concerns, in early 2014, then-President Eric W. Kaler created the Initiative to Improve Campus Climate on the Twin Cities Campus. Between 2014 and 2019, this initiative was expanded and sustained as a collaborative effort across campus.
Office for Equity and Diversity
In 1996, the University of Minnesota began a process of realigning resources that resulted in the existing Office for Equity and Diversity (OED). This intentional process of building a strong, interwoven structure reflects the University’s view of equity and diversity as critical elements and core values in achieving excellence at a leading research institution.
Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
The Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) is a campus-wide resource that promotes an inclusive atmosphere to foster and enrich multicultural understanding among all members of the University of Minnesota community. MCAE's commitment to creating such a climate is driven by a student-first culture in which students are the highest priority.
The Women’s Center advances gender equity across identities. They educate and inspire feminist leaders, advance an empowering intellectual environment, and advocate for an equitable University culture and community. The first campus-based women's center in the country, the University of Minnesota’s Women's Center was founded in 1960 as the Minnesota Plan for the Continuing Education of Women.
Disability Resource Center
The Disability Resource Center helps to ensure that students, faculty and staff have access to all the University has to offer and equal opportunities to participate in the many interesting activities on campus. Their goal is to ensure that you have access to all the learning opportunities you choose, whether in class or at work, or participating in the wide range of social and cultural experiences the University offers.
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
The University of Minnesota's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) was founded in 1972 to ensure that all University community members uphold federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, as well as University equal opportunity policies. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action envisions a University community that is equitable – one that values the diversity of its workforce and student body and is free from discrimination and harassment.
Immigration Response Team
Immigration Response Team seeks to ensure that all faculty, staff, and students who are affected by immigration policy changes have access to resources and support. The team provides outreach to the greater University community on the impact of executive orders and other policy changes, immigration regulations, and issues connected with DACA and immigration status.
Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy
The Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) seeks to create an equitable and inclusive environment where diverse faculty and students can reach their fullest potential and excel in their scholarship. IDEA offers programming and supports research that welcomes and embraces diversity and enables University of Minnesota faculty and students to be their best selves – to be welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
Cross-Cultural Discussion Groups
The Cross-Cultural Discussion Groups are an opportunity to meet other UMN students from a variety of colleges, majors, and nationalities in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. During a group’s weekly discussion, participants share cross-cultural experiences and reflect on various topics including friendship/relationships, taboos and stereotypes, culture shock, educational systems around the world, and much more. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office has facilitated these groups for more than 30 years.
Keeping Our Faculty: Recruiting, Retaining, and Advancing American Indian Faculty & Faculty of Color
Since its inception in 1998, the Keeping Our Faculty Symposium has served as a venue to share practical experience and scholarly knowledge, then translate that information into programmatic and policy-making agendas. Today, the Keeping our Faculty Symposium is still the only national symposium focused on advancing faculty diversity in higher education.
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Institutional Membership
The University of Minnesota is proud to be an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) since 2016. NCFDD is a nationally recognized center dedicated to helping faculty, post-docs, and graduate students make successful transitions throughout their academic careers. NCFDD provides professional development and mentoring through a host of resources that are applicable across all fields of inquiry. Additionally, their highly acclaimed Faculty Success Program is an intensive virtual boot camp offered through NCFDD that combines empirically tested methods, coaching, peer discussions, and accountability tools to help academics thrive in their careers and achieve healthy work-life balance. Graduate students are invited to register for NCFDD under the auspices of our institutional membership.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers hundreds of student groups that have a multicultural/affinity focus. Of particular interest may be the Graduate Students of Color Alliance (GSOCA), University Indigenous Women and Women of Color, and/or the Black Graduate and Professional Program Student Association (BGAPSA).