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 American Indians and graduate students of color who are under-represented in academia. COSP assists students (US citizens and permanent residents) to 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 students to the Twin Cities and broader U of MN system through teaching, research and community engagement opportunities. Learn more about the program on their web site.
Graduate School Diversity Office
The Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO) coordinates and leads the University’s initiatives in the recruitment, funding, retention and graduation of a diverse graduate and professional student body.
Graduate Ambassadors Program
For many students who are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education – and may be unaccustomed to the state’s climate, customs, and culture – making a smooth transition to the land of lakes, mosquitos, midwestern winters, and the culture of “Minnesota Nice” can be difficult. The UMN Graduate Ambassadors Program is an initiative that aims to make these students aware of the opportunities available and to ease their transition into graduate school at the University of Minnesota. The Graduate School Diversity Office currently coordinates Puerto Rico, McNair Scholar, Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGAPSA) graduate ambassador programs.
The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life
named the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
as one of the Best Top 30 List LGBTQ-friendly universities
in the nation, marking five consecutive years that the
U of M-Twin Cities has received recognition from this organization.
The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life is dedicated to transforming campus climate for University of Minnesota students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members by developing and supporting more inclusive understandings of gender and sexuality through education, advocacy, outreach, and support.
Campus Climate emerged over the last three years 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 issues, President Kaler charged senior leaders in early 2014 with forming the Campus Climate Workgroup (CCWG) to study climate on the Twin Cities campus and question what’s working, what resources are in place, and what needs to change.
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 Women's Center envisions an equitable university in which all people share collective responsibility to promote mutual respect and success for everyone. The Women's Center strives to be a national model toward this end, in solidarity with its local and national partners.
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 members are available to talk with individuals who are looking for legal assistance and need information about where to get help. In addition they keep a running list of campus and community resources available on their web site.
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 a 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
The first Keeping Our Faculty of Color Symposium took place in 1998 on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, and was the result of efforts by forward-thinking leaders at the University of Minnesota. Today, the Keeping Our Faculty Of Color Symposium is still the only national symposium focused on advancing faculty diversity in higher education.
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Institutional Membership
As part of their ongoing commitment to recruiting and retaining an excellent faculty, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is proud to be an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) since 2016. The NCFDD is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students. Graduate students are invited to register under the auspices of our institutional membership at www.FacultyDiversity.org/join.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers over 300 student groups with a cultural/diversity focus. Many of these groups are focused on the graduate student experience, and you can find a list of those here. Of particular interest may be the Graduate Students of Color Alliance (GSOCA), University Women of Color (UWOC), and/or the Black Graduate and Professional Program Student Association (BGAPSA).