Diversity, equity and inclusion actions and progress during 2020–21 | CU Boulder Today | #education | #technology | #training


In 2021 and beyond, CU Boulder will continue to expand our commitment to promoting anti-racism and to incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of teaching, learning, research and campus life.

Our campus is working to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment, to deepen our ability to share and engage in diverse perspectives, and to maximize the success of all students, faculty and staff seeking academic, research and career opportunities at Colorado’s leading public research university.

Campuswide efforts

During the past year, our campus has taken these steps toward building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community:

  • CU Boulder students, faculty and staff have begun meeting virtually with three candidates vying for the opportunity to lead diversity, equity and inclusion priorities for Colorado’s leading public research university. This summer, one of these candidates will be named the finalist for senior vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, who will work with campus partners to promote the campus’s DEI initiatives and report directly to the chancellor starting in the fall 2021 semester.
  • Following the May 25, 2020, killing of George Floyd, Chancellor Philip DiStefano announced Eight Immediate Actions to Enable Change in response to the concerns of students, faculty and staff who called on the university to move swiftly to support anti-racism values and to implement lasting changes to foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of the university’s academic and research missions.
  • The IDEA Council held its inaugural meeting on Sept. 22, 2020, with members comprising students, faculty and staff who are advancing key recommendations from the Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan. The council set the recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff of color as top priorities for the 2020–21 academic year. Recently, council members advanced a recommendation to create faculty and staff affinity groups, and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) and Human Resources are working to establish them in the near future.
  • The campus launched the CU Boulder Faculty Diversity Action Plan (FDAP), a collaboration among the Office of the Provost, Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs, ODECE, and colleges and schools. FDAP focuses on achieving diverse faculty hiring, promoting measures to prevent implicit bias and other discrimination during faculty hiring, and improving diverse faculty retention. This year, 11 more faculty members recruited through these efforts have committed to CU Boulder.
  • The Office of the Provost launched a yearlong Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) series for chairs and directors featuring faculty and staff discussions on how to create a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism. In alignment with the IDEA plan, departments, colleges, schools, institutes and administrative units have developed internal JEDI committees and strategies and events to address racism and inequity.
  • The university announced plans to rename two campus buildings to honor inclusive excellence leaders, and the CU Board of Regents approved the new names during a meeting in February. The former Education Building is now the Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Building and the former Temporary Building 1 is now the Albert and Vera Ramírez Temporary Building 1.
  • Human Resources implemented mandatory implicit bias training for all faculty search committees and anyone voting on faculty hires. A process is underway to evaluate mandatory qualifications during staff searches to ensure qualifications reflect true competencies for positions (part of the chancellor’s eight actions).
  • The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) partnered to provide mandatory student, staff and faculty bystander training. OIEC and CTL also collaborated to provide instructors and graduate students with skills to address challenging classroom interactions. CTL has delivered a variety of inclusive pedagogy training sessions focused on managing classroom conversations.
  • The Office of Admissions undertook a deeper analysis of resident and nonresident recruitment to ensure we are drawing students from communities of color. The office is using new tools such as virtual and in-person recruitment sessions to support outreach among Colorado’s diverse populations and continues to underscore the campus’s inclusive values with incoming students and their families.
  • The CU Boulder Police Department worked with student leaders, faculty and staff to establish the Community Oversight Review Board (CORB), whose members will include representatives from all of the campus’s shared governance groups. Board members will work with CUPD leadership to provide input on an array of public safety and campus policing issues. CORB was the key recommendation of the Community Safety Task Force, established last August by the chancellor. The task force issued its final recommendations in February.
  • The CU system announced that none of the CU campuses would be required to use Colorado Correctional Industries as an exclusive furniture provider.
  • The CU system announced the adoption of the University of Colorado’s first native lands acknowledgment statement.

Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) and the Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC)

  • ODECE expanded its outreach to middle and high school students from underserved communities in Colorado, providing mentoring, tutoring and other academic enrichment to some 3,000 students and families in the Denver/Boulder area, Roaring Fork Valley, Summit County, Fort Morgan, the San Luis Valley and in tribal communities.
  • ODECE manages $1.7 million in Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) funds for the university and provides scholarships to 300 students who are currently enrolled at CU Boulder. Recently, CU Boulder and Boulder County entered into a partnership that will enable 16 first-generation, college-bound high school students to receive financial and academic support through COSI. The university also received a $160,000 COSI workforce grant to support an additional about 50 students pursuing careers in critical industries who will participate in a career development program, undergraduate research, career services and education abroad.
  • During the spring 2021 semester, ODECE’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change led a semester-long Power of Community: Courage, Healing and Unity initiative to build community resilience, to foster a greater sense of connection, and to promote a healing climate for students, faculty and staff following a challenging 2020. The initiative included volunteer opportunities, workshops, discussions and conferences such as the systemwide Social Justice Summit in May and the campus Diversity and Inclusion summits in November and March. About 4,500 people attended all of these events.
  • With an eye toward building greater community, the Center for Inclusion and Social Change offered educational programs, training and events grounded in identity development, diversity, equity and social justice, including the Transforming Gender Conference, the Womxn’s Leadership Symposium, Undocually Training, Safe Zone, Interrupting Racism, Recognizing and Interrupting Sexism and Intersectionality.
  • ODECE’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change collaborated with members of the CU 101 working group to develop an anti-racism module for first-year students. The center and the CU 101 working group collaborated last summer to develop the module after gathering input on its effectiveness from student focus groups. This module was offered to first-year students in fall 2020. In addition, Ethnic Studies developed a free Coursera anti-racism course for the campus community.
  • Through a network of 14 programs, the CU LEAD Alliance (Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity) and ODECE served more than 2,000 undergraduate first-generation students, offering cohort experiences, scholarships, academic enrichment and community building.
  • ODECE supports students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through fellowships, peer mentoring, discipline-specific colloquia, career development and more through its Colorado Diversity Initiative.

Academic centers and research institutes

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

Research & Innovation Office (RIO)

Colleges, schools and programs

College of Arts and Sciences (A&S)

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS)

College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI)

College of Music (COM)

University of Colorado Law School

Continuing Education and professional studies 

Graduate School

  • Holistic Admissions Training for faculty and staff
  • Graduate School Diversity Recruitment Initiative 2020 (expanding the pipeline)
  • Community Building and Extracurricular Support: 
    • Peer Mentoring Program
    • Holistic Advising Training in partnership with Center for Training and Learning
    • Grad+ seminar series that are designed to “level the playing field” by assisting all students with building the skills necessary to succeed in graduate school.

Leeds School of Business

Program in Environmental Design (ENVD)

School of Education 

  • Diversifying faculty and staff (recruitment, support, and retention)
    • Organizing search committees, for faculty and staff searches, to include a trained equity advocate
    • Revising the RPT process to attend more carefully to DEI work (e.g., threading attention to DEI across teaching, research, and service)
  • Supporting students
    • Revising the doctoral curriculum to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion more centrally 
    • Focusing on practices of inclusive and equitable mentoring for graduate and undergraduate students
    • Examining our pedagogy and organizing professional development to support decolonial and anti-racist practices

University Libraries

Sustaining our practice of inclusion

Campus efforts and investments to address pressing and painful inequities at CU Boulder are only a beginning. Creating a culture of belonging will take each member of our community practicing sustained personal work to truly embrace and support diverse perspectives and identities in our community.

During the summer, Chancellor DiStefano and our campus leadership team urge every member of our community to join in learning more about diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism and to continuously work together to more actively address these issues in ways that can help authentically transform our campus in the coming year.

A growing list of resources is available through the University Libraries.

Additional information, including links to the IDEA plan, is available via the ODECE website. You can also subscribe to the ODECE newsletter for regular updates on campus DEI programs, events and initiatives.



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