The institution provides opportunities for civic engagement in a diverse, multicultural society and globally connected world, as appropriate within its mission and for the constituencies it serves.
The institution encourages curricular or cocurricular activities that prepare students for informed citizenship and workplace success.
IU Southeast’s mission and vision documents are broad and aspirational, but explicitly identify the scope of our programs and services. The mission statement refers to IU Southeast as “the regional campus of Indiana University that serves Southern Indiana and the Greater Louisville metropolitan area. As a public comprehensive university, IU Southeast provides high-quality programs and services that promote learning and prepare graduates for productive citizenship in a diverse society and contributes to the intellectual, cultural, civic, and economic development of our region” (24-0001). As our mission documents note, IU Southeast serves a geographically specific region yet seeks to provide students with the education needed to live consequential lives in a diverse society. IU Southeast therefore affirms a broad and inclusive focus for a diverse set of constituencies.
The campus encourages these activities through investment in human resources and support for programs and curriculum that meet the goals of informed citizenship and workplace success. The Chancellor’s Office created the IU Southeast Experience to describe the applied and experiential learning opportunities that are a signature campus commitment to prepare our students for workplace success (24-0038). The website explains, “from early interactions with your peers and professors to hands-on learning and research or creative projects, everything you experience at IU Southeast is geared toward building your future career and passion for lifelong learning.” This three-pronged approach to preparing students for citizenship and the workforce includes Learn, Connect, and Experience activities ranging from learning communities (24-0018) to career courses (24-0039) and excursions (24-0019) to student research opportunities (24-0040). Activities addressing informed citizenship include Study Abroad, Global Awareness (24-0041), and the Common Experience program (24-0043). The American Democracy Project (24-0044; 24-0045), and the Global Civic Literacy Project promote the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences necessary for effective citizenship (24-0046).
IU Southeast provides curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to develop strong competencies for working and living as engaged, contributing members of a global society. For example, IU Southeast’s General Education curriculum includes a requirement of information literacy instruction, provided by campus library faculty. The General Education curriculum also embraces diversity as one of its learning outcomes, encouraging students to effectively:
- Articulate multiple perspectives (including one’s own) on (an) issue(s) that affects one or more socially diverse groups.
- Articulate the social and cultural influences that shape multiple perspectives (including one’s own) on (an) issue(s) that affects one or more socially diverse groups.
- Evaluate multiple perspectives (including one’s own) on (an) issue(s) that affects one or more socially diverse groups.
The institution’s processes and activities demonstrate inclusive and equitable treatment of diverse populations.
IU Southeast’s long-range goal is to become a model for the support of diversity on campus and in the community, especially in Southern Indiana; however, the campus recognizes that achieving this goal will require continuous efforts. Inclusive and equitable treatment of diverse populations is highlighted throughout the strategic plan (24-0363). The official IU Southeast Diversity Statement (24-0001) was accepted by Faculty Senate on September 23, 2021 (24-0514):
Diversity is the valuing and respecting of difference, including socio-economic status, race, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, cultural and international origin, and other groups traditionally underrepresented at the university and in society. We grow and evolve as a university through seeing equality and representation as a goal and human right for everybody. Indiana University Southeast is committed to recruiting faculty, staff, and students from diverse populations and to making the climate and curriculum welcoming and equitable. Together as faculty, staff, and students we will work towards gaining knowledge of the history of inequality, tools for social justice, and attainment of global awareness. Through enhancing an understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion in academic disciplines, society, and the workplace, faculty, staff, and students will promote, value, and respect diversity in their personal and professional lives.
The annual Chancellor's Diversity Award recognizes outstanding campus leadership in diversity initiatives. Diversity is also one of the focus areas for the General Education Program’s Learning Outcomes (24-0047). All academic schools play a significant role in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each school also has its own diversity statements (24-0014, 24-0015, 24-0016, 24-0017, 24-0018, 24-0019).
The commitment to diversity in a broad sense is reflected by student demographics. In Fall 2023, over 20% of students were non-White (24-0013). This represents a one-year increase of 5.3% (24-0605) and reflects a more racially and ethnically diverse student body than our southern Indiana service area. Over 30% of students are classified as nontraditional, and over 20% are first generation college students. Respecting both the aspirations of our students and the challenges that many of them face, we endeavor to provide flexible programming, including evening classes and a growing number of online and hybrid courses and degree programs.
Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Diversity
The Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Diversity is comprised of faculty, staff, and students appointed annually by the chancellor (24-0059). Three diversity coordinators lead the Council: the dean of students, the director of staff equity and diversity/title IX deputy, and an appointed faculty member. The Council also includes the chancellor and chief of staff. All campus community members are invited to offer suggestions to any council member. This group meets monthly during the fall and spring semesters. The Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Diversity is charged to:
- Advise the chancellor and the chancellor’s cabinet regarding diversity plans and priorities.
- Work with and advise campus community partners on implementation of campus diversity plans.
- Serve as a high-level think tank to make recommendations to cabinet-level leadership.
- Provide a mechanism for information sharing and programmatic coordination of diversity efforts across the campus.
Accomplishments include implementation of a hiring guide that is now used for all job searches across campus. All faculty have now also received implicit bias training; this training is currently underway for all staff as well.
Office of Equity & Diversity
The Office of Equity & Diversity promotes confidential, fair, and equitable treatment for students, staff, and faculty (24-0060). It “is committed to making the university a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse environment in and outside the classroom,” and it supports initiatives and programs that actively support the diversity efforts of the campus. The office includes the Director of Staff Equity and Diversity, the Faculty Diversity Coordinator for Academic Affairs, and the Student Diversity Advocate, all of whom help to support the diversity needs of students, faculty, and staff at IU Southeast. The value of diversity is encouraged through consultation, community outreach, education, training, and hiring strategies. Collaborative efforts with the offices of Human Resources and Academic Affairs promote compliance with university policy and Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines.
Discrimination and harassment complaint processing (24-0061), legal compliance training (Title IV & Title IX – 24-0062; 24-0063; 24-0064), and best practices for employee recruitment (24-0349) are services provided by this office. The Office of Equity & Diversity attempts to resolve all complaints of discrimination internally in a fair and equitable manner. The Office of Equity & Diversity does this by:
- Conducting a fair and objective investigation into the allegations of discrimination, harassment and/or sexual misconduct;
- Making recommendations for appropriate action to persons of authority in the department or unit involved based on the results of the investigation;
- Notifying the Vice Chancellor and/or the Complainant and Respondent of the university's action;
- Handling conflict resolution through consultation, training, and/or mediation;
- Facilitating equal opportunity/affirmative action training workshops and distributing compliance materials.
Diversity Awards and Grants
The Chancellor’s Diversity Award is given annually to one faculty or staff member to recognize exceptional performance in promoting and enhancing diversity efforts on the IU Southeast campus (24-0048). It supports IU Southeast employees and units with innovative projects for advancing the DEIA initiatives outlined in diversity plans. Recipients of this award are recognized publicly and receive a small stipend to use at their discretion to support a diversity initiative of their choice.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research Initiative (24-0065), launched in 2021, provides funding for IU Southeast faculty to support research or creative work focused explicitly on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Successful proposals make clear connections between the proposed project and pursuant social action addressing community needs.
The institution fosters a climate of respect among all students, faculty, staff and administrators from a range of diverse backgrounds, ideas and perspectives.
A diverse campus population and a pervasive climate of respect both play important roles in student success. IU Southeast recognizes that diverse backgrounds among both faculty and students help achieve this goal. IU Southeast has increased minority tenured and tenure-track faculty by 41%, from 17 in 2005 to 24 in 2021 (24-0067). Degree-seeking, minority student enrollment increased from 6.8% in 2005 to over 20% in fall 2023 (24-0013).
IU Southeast’s vision to be an outstanding, top-tier regional university is based on its core values, including a nurturing environment that fosters a caring campus community that honors diversity, innovation, teamwork, mutual respect, and fair play. Its long-term vision for diversity is to be an inclusive and equitable campus with innovative and exemplary efforts and to become a model for the support of diversity in Southern Indiana. By working together to create and sustain a culture of inclusion and dignity for all and respect for difference, the campus will gain an edge in educational and research opportunities for all faculty and staff and in preparing students for living and working in an increasingly diverse and global society.
Recent initiatives include the designation of a Multicultural Student Center in the University Center building, expansion to a larger Multicultural Student Center space in fall 2023, a webpage dedicated to events designed for culturally and ethnically diverse students (24-0068), and a Multicultural Student Graduation Celebration each spring (24-0069). A new diversity scholarship was launched in 2021, alongside existing diversity-focused scholarship opportunities. An online bias incident reporting system has been launched to respond to behaviors such as insensitive or offensive remarks, micro-aggressions, harassment, or other discriminatory concerns.
Economic diversity is a primary consideration for our campus, and in 2022 IU Southeast was ranked in the top 20% of US universities for economic mobility outcomes (24-0070). Since 2013, IU Southeast has dedicated a full-time staff member to support the 21st Century Scholars program to address low-income students in the areas of involvement, advising, career development, and financial literacy. The first-year retention rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking 21st Century Scholar recipients who entered IU Southeast in fall 2022 was 93.2% (24-0616).
IU Southeast also recognizes diversity in how students differ in their preparedness for entering college and acknowledges that some face significant challenges as they begin their university studies. The Student Success Center provides educational support services, tutoring, testing services, video tutorials, and supplemental instruction (24-0071). Disability Services works with students with diagnosed learning disabilities, emotional health disabilities, chronic health disabilities, and sensory impairments, so that their educational needs may be met (24-0072). To assist all of our students in transitioning to college life, the Advising Center for Exploratory Students encourages students to identify their strengths and explore their interests as they begin to define their educational goals (24-0073; 24-0548; 24-0549; 24-0550; 24-0607).
Our Mentoring Program is undergoing changes (fully described in 5C6 ) (24-0074). The IU Southeast Experience (24-0038) includes First Year Seminar (24-0043), Learning Communities (24-0018), and a variety of programming designed to provide a high level of support to assist incoming students with the academic, social, and personal adjustments needed for a successful transition to IU Southeast. The Adult Student Center provides a gathering place and resource hub for older or nontraditional students (24-0075; 24-0617; 24-0618). Veteran Services works to support the success of present and past military personnel, as well as their family members, while on their college journey (24-0076; 24-0619; 24-0620). Numerous other campus organizations, governed by students themselves, represent active forums of understanding and support.
For additional information on IU Southeast’s efforts to support diversity, please see Criterion 3.B.3.