Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in CLA

CLA students in stadium

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.

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. 

  • The College created a new role of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. History Associate Professor Malinda Lindquist began a three-year appointment on June 21, 2021.
  • Over 80 CLA staff and faculty members gathered virtually in August 2020 for our first annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Summit. The summit aimed to help connect resources and colleagues, discuss what has been successful in departmental DEI work, what challenges departments face in this space, and what the College could do to assist departmental DEI efforts. A similarly-attended summit was also held for CLA administrative units in October 2020. 
  • Nearly 50 of our faculty participated in the Building Capacity for Engaging Diversity in Undergraduate Education Cohort, offered by the CLA Office of Undergraduate Education and led by Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, a national leader on this topic.
  • CLA’s Office of Institutional Advancement launched the What’s Next? roundtable series, addressing the power of business and philanthropy in the pursuit of racial justice, CLA alumni seeking social change, curriculum and pedagogy in K-12, and policing in Minneapolis.
  • The College is committed to reducing equity gaps in graduation rates.
  • CLA established an equity lens policy review committee in spring 2021.
  • CLA actively participated in the President's Postdoctoral Fellow Program. In FY21, three of the five selected fellows (Christopher Hammerly, Jessica Horvath Williams, and Ron Martin Wilson) reside in CLA departments. Their critical perspectives derive from their non-traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education, both to their research and to our community of scholars.

Related Links

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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

First Generation Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate Students of Color
Graduate Students of Color


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


CLA Resources for Undergraduate Students


CLA Resources for Graduate Students

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Diversity Initiatives

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

Diversity Initiatives

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Academic Expertise, Outreach, and Engagement in CLA

Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Established in 2015, the Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Initiative (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.


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.