Diversity Development Plan

In an effort to understand how we at Northern Illinois University have interwoven diversity initiatives and programs into the fabric of our community, the following information was collected on behalf of Executive Vice President and Provost Raymond W. Alden III, Vice President for Human Resources and Compliance Steven D. Cunningham, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Brian O. Hemphill.

Recognizing that diversity is not relegated to one office or area of the university, information was gathered throughout Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Human Resource Services. Programs and initiatives are divided into categories to clearly identify and highlight what is available in terms of diversity resources, and to inform subsequent efforts toward improving campus diversity in all its forms through the Strategic Planning process.

Efforts to Increase Enrollment, Retention, and/or Graduation Rates of a Diverse Student Body

Departmental Initiatives

To recruit students from underrepresented groups, the Office of Admissions engages in outreach, direct-mail campaigns, student searches, intra-university cooperation and collaboration, professional organization participation, scholarships, and publications.

Outreach consists of an ethnically diverse professional staff partnering with Educational Services and Programs (ESP) to coordinate high school visits; participate in college day, night, and weekend programs; and community college fairs throughout the year.

The direct-mail campaigns and student searches target students from underrepresented groups through routine recruitment strategies. Early application letters, applications for the Presidential Scholarship, minority brochures, and invitations to the Minority Reception encourage students to apply early to meet the university’s priority filing period.

An e-mail campaign provides opportunities to communicate more systematically and personally with students of color. The focus of the e-mails is to create an information stream, to establish the image of NIU as a welcoming institution, and to identify continuing students to whom prospective students can relate.

The Minority Reception, a best practice event for the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups, is hosted by the Office of AdmissionsOffice of the ProvostEducational Services and ProgramsLatino Resource CenterCenter for Latino and Latin American StudiesAsian American Center, and the Center for Black Studies.

Educational Services and Programs support several programs to increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation of students of diverse backgrounds. ACCESS provides walk-in tutoring services, one-on-one tutoring services, study groups and supplemental instruction for specific courses, and other support services for students who require academic assistance to be successful in their chosen courses and majors. The Deacon Davis CHANCE Program seeks to identify, recruit, admit, and assist otherwise capable students whose pre-college education has not fully enabled them to take maximum advantage of their potential and the opportunities of higher education at NIU. Student Support Services supports participants to achieve their academic and career goals and serves students who are undecided in their major, enrolled in a limited admissions program, or are pursuing a major with historically low enrollments of underrepresented student groups. The Office of Precollegiate Programs, in existence at Northern Illinois University since 1966, serves high school students in Aurora and Rockford by offering tutoring, academic and cultural enrichment, career exploration, financial aid advisement, and support services designed to assist students as they prepare for entry into and graduation from college.

Orientation and First-Year Experience serves new students and families in their transition to Northern Illinois University. The department values each student, and is committed to promoting students' academic, social, and personal development by connecting and engaging them with the university community. First-Year Connections helps all first-year freshman and transfer students to adjust Northern Illinois University. Through student-centered programs and courses and collaborative partnerships with faculty and staff, First-Year Connections strives to enhance students' academic achievement, increase the likelihood of students persisting to their second-year, and help students integrate into the academic and social communities found on campus.

The Disability Resource Center provides support services to enable students with disabilities to participate in academic and non-academic activities. Services include, but are not limited to, admissions assistance, orientation to the university, priority registration, adaptive testing arrangements, auxiliary aids (interpreters, note takers, readers, etc.), advisement, counseling, adaptive equipment/computers, books on tape, and residence hall arrangements.

The Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services is a resource center and lounge space for any NIU student. The department focuses its attention and expertise on students who live off campus, commute from home, have children, are veterans, or are over the age of 25.

The Campus Child Care offers childcare subsidies to students from underrepresented groups through both state and federally funded programs. The goal is to make childcare affordable, and thus allow students who are parents to continue their education.

The mission of the Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) is to support the academic, emotional, social, and cultural development of students. Its student-centered programs include counseling, assessment, outreach, consultation, training, and educational services. The department helps students resolve personal difficulties and acquire the attitudes, abilities, and knowledge that will enable them to take full advantage of their college experience and be successful.

The CSDC values an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable for all individuals, regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, age, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship, or disability. It embraces diversity and strives to foster and promote awareness, empathy, and cultural competence within a multicultural environment through sponsoring sessions and trainings on cross-cultural interaction, racism, culture shock, being a first-generation college student, and being an ally.


The Oscar Matasar History Scholarship honors an alumnus of the NIU History Department who cared deeply about education, social responsibility, and altruism. The scholarship in his honor recognizes a student of high academic achievement with financial need. Students from a non-traditional background or those belonging to an underrepresented group are especially encouraged to apply.

The James R. Shirley Award in Asian History recognizes a faculty member who was renowned for his teaching in the Department of History and who popularized Asian history for students during the thirty years he taught at NIU. The award recognizes a student who wrote an essay of unusual academic distinction on any topic in Asian history.

The late Jeannie Armstrong Hainds was a long-time supporter of NIU and the humanities. The Department of History awards scholarships in her name to two students who exemplify past and potential academic achievement through their outstanding credentials and/or through overcoming a significant physical, financial, academic, or other obstacle.

The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology strives to provide support services to students from underrepresented groups through programs and scholarships: Grade Retention in Progress (GRIP), Pre-engineering-Bridge program, Carter-Rodriguez Scholarship for Women in Engineering, Leadership Tuition Program for Women and Minorities, and Dean's Diversity Scholarship for Freshmen and Transfers.

The Inez H. Nelson Family Scholarship in International Relations is a full tuition scholarship for an academic year, renewable for an additional year, sponsored by the Department of Political Science. It assists worthy undergraduates who wish to study international relations and encourages research on the role of smaller countries within the international community.

The Rhoten A. Smith Assistantship program provides financial support through the Graduate Recruitment School for students from underrepresented groups. The program offers to pay up to 50 percent of the cost of student graduate assistantships, with the department or cost center contributing the balance.

The Joseph Harry Endowed Scholarship, sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, provides tuition scholarships to undergraduate students who have participated in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender organizations or activities.

The Mothers Memorial Scholarship Fund honors those who are or act as mothers to members of the NIU community by providing scholarships to upper division and graduate students at NIU whose current activities and career goals include improving the lives of women.

The Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship Fund is established to provide scholarships to upper division and graduate students at NIU who make major contributions to NIU Women's Studies and/or lives of women at NIU and to honor the memory of Austin Sawicki.

Peer and Mentor Programs

The Black Male Initiative (BMI), through the Student Association, is composed of young black males who are successfully achieving their academic, social, and personal goals as they focus on completion of their chosen academic degree requirements. The purpose of BMI is to increase the retention rate of regularly admitted black males who progress from freshman to sophomore year in good standing and who persist to graduation through activities consisting of community service, academic achievement, mentoring, participation in leadership development opportunities, motivational speaker presentations, and social outings.

The Center for Black Studies supports the peer mentor program "Success and Succeed Program" (S-Plan), which assists first-year black students with matriculation to NIU by providing a support network. Peer mentors are recruited from black student organizations; mentors introduce protégés to supportive faculty and professional staff members. Workshops place strong emphasis on study and time management skills.

The Black Alumni Council is dedicated to the recruitment to NIU of qualified African American students; the retention of existing African American faculty; the retention and graduation of enrolled African American students; and engagement of African American alumni in NIU Alumni Association events.

COMRAD is a School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders organization that encourages students from diverse cultures and backgrounds to consider a possible career in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and Rehabilitation Counseling, and to complete successfully the necessary academic program. The organization's primary objectives are to retain minority students through mentoring and support, and to increase the number of minority enrollees within the Department of Communicative Disorders.

The Asian American Center's Peer Mentor Program "Ohana!" assists first-year Asian American students with their transition to college. Protégés are recruited during summer orientation, and matched with a mentor. Mentors are selected on the basis of leadership skills, academic achievement, and positive role modeling.

The Alumni Association is developing an Asian Alumni Council dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Asian American students, and the recruitment and retention of Asian American faculty and staff.

The Latino Resource Center's mission is to recruit Latino/a students, increase the retention rate of Latino/a students, and provide cultural, social, and academic programs that enhance the quality of Latino/a student life. This mission is accomplished through several programs including Supporting Opportunities for Latinos (S.O.L.), a student group that meets the needs of Latino males by providing academic, social, cultural, and leadership opportunities that enhance their retention and graduation.

The NIU Alumni Association is developing a Latino Alumni Council to stimulate and foster an environment of positive interaction between Northern Illinois University, the NIU Alumni Association, and the Latino alumni community. The council will organize, support, and promote NIU Alumni Association events that will contribute to the existing diverse cultural background of NIU to establish an avenue whereby Latino alumni can form relationships among each other and maintain the integrity and rich tradition of educational excellence.

Efforts to Increase Application, Employment, and/or Retention of Diverse Faculty and Staff

The Center for Diversity Resources

Human Resource Services' Center for Diversity Resources has the mission of engaging university diversity as a purposeful and strategic initiative. The Center for Diversity resources houses the AADR program which maintains policies, services, and practices that facilitate the recruitment and retention of a representative and diverse faculty and staff workforce. In part, this mission assists in achieving a consistent pursuit of excellence characterized by an institutional culture that values and reflects diversity as an essential component of the human capital development mission of the university. The Center for Diversity Resources is committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity for employment and maintains active recruitment, retention programs designed to facilitate the development of a qualified diverse faculty and staff workforce. AADR is a multifaceted department that provides resources related to Equal Employment Opportunity and Search Procedures, Non-Discrimination/Harassment compliance programs and training, maintenance of the university Affirmative Action Plan and related programs, and other Outreach Services. Specific programming is summarized below:

Equal Employment Opportunity and Search Procedures

AADR participates in and coordinates the approval of Faculty, Supportive Professional, and Civil Service staff searches conducted pursuant to the university search procedure guidelines. This process is designed to ensure that equal employment opportunity and affirmative action principles are maintained and that offerings of employment are made on the basis of equal employment principles. The Center for Diversity Resources also offers several resources and services that assist with effective recruitment of diverse candidates and services that improve the retention of diverse faculty and staff through a focus on the organizational climate of NIU. These efforts also relate directly to search committee procedures and training consistent with NIU’s fundamental commitment to diversity. As part of this training, search committee chairs and members are provided with strategies on how to attract diverse candidates through job postings, advertisements, networking, and alternate recruitment options. Moreover, AADR ensures that search committee membership is diverse and that members are aware of illegal employment practices as it relates to the evaluation and selection of any candidate. The Center for Diversity Resources monitors the process through a continuous review of the advertisement/job posting, applicant interview, selection, and the final hiring process to ensure compliance with all equal employment rules and procedures. Additionally, all candidates are offered the opportunity to self-disclose their race/ethnicity and to provide the Center for Diversity Resources with feedback regarding the overall process. In administering the Affirmative Action Plan, AADR provides all departments with access to specific data regarding the utilization of minorities and women within the department/college in order to encourage a focus on qualified diverse candidates, especially for positions in areas where representation analysis indicates an underutilization. Dual career opportunities, trainee, learner employment opportunities, targeted hiring opportunities, and/or internal promotion/mobility options are some of the resources available to departments as a facilitator of diverse recruitments and selections.

Retention Efforts through Policy Development and Programming

In general, the university has a variety of services, resources, and programs that are dedicated to diversity as an integral component of the institution. Various departments are charged with this responsibility. The Center for Diversity Resources is dedicated to maintain the primary programming and responsibility related to compliance including non-discrimination/harassment and complaint procedures. All NIU employees are required, as a condition of employment, to attend Non-Discrimination/Harassment training. The training is comprehensive in nature and provides critical information regarding acceptable behaviors in the workplace, employee rights and responsibilities, and complaint procedures. The training covers additional topics including sexual harassment, retaliation, and provides a full overview of the university policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the workplace. As part of this training effort, a continuous review and dissemination of employment policy statements is maintained. This training, combined with other diverse programming conducted by the university, is intended to provide a climate that is conducive to a diverse faculty and staff workforce. Workforce diversity is the primary focus of the Center for Diversity Resources.

In addition to training, programming and policy development, the Center for Diversity Resources provides a comprehensive affirmative action complaint procedure that allows employees who believe they have witnessed and/or experienced acts of discrimination and/or harassment have an avenue for addressing such conduct. This process is confidential in nature and involves a thorough investigation process. Upon determination that a violation of the university's policy prohibiting discrimination and/or harassment has occurred, corrective action in the form of sanctions and/or other forms of resolution are employed with focus on resolving the behavior and/or the effects of such actions. In addition to the formal affirmative action complaint process, employees have access to a university grievance procedure related to the application of university policies generally. AADR also maintains additional options such as the informal complaint process and/or mediation as a form of resolution. These programs all focus on the same goal of resolving identified issues and restoring a productive workplace environment and working relationship.

Campus Involvement and Outreach Efforts

The Center for Diversity Resources is extensively involved with the campus to emphasize diversity and affirmative action, while also monitoring related areas of concern. This is accomplished by staff membership on all university commissions and committees that are devoted to improvement of the diverse climate on campus and retention of a diverse workforce. AADR staff members are also involved in several state and federal affirmative action affiliations and committees. A video training series and program is offered to university employees and campus constituencies as an avenue to promote diversity. Additionally, a member of the Center for Diversity Resources has acted in the capacity of an instructor to facilitate diversity education in the UNIV 101 university orientation courses.

The Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources Advisory Committee serves in an advisory and collaboration capacity for the Center’s AADR program by working to continuously improve NIU's workplace and educational environments. In an effort to provide resources for the campus community to engage in and build upon the economic development of regional business enterprises, AADR maintains the Supplier Diversity and Business Enterprise Program associated with the State of Illinois Minorities, Females, and/or Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise Act (MAFBEA). All of these community efforts have the goal of complimenting existing university programming and improving the workplace climate in an effort to maintain and improve the diverse culture of the university.

Administration of the University Affirmative Action Plan

Administration of the Affirmative Action Plan is a critical component of recruiting and maintaining diverse faculty and staff. In general, it is the responsibility of all hiring officials to understand and incorporate affirmative action principles into hiring practices. The Affirmative Action Plan facilitates the recognition of representation goals related to minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities and focuses on strategies to address the underutilization of these groups. Representation statistics are communicated regularly to departments and coordinated with departmental search procedures to ensure placement goals are clearly identified. Annual assessments are conducted by AADR to review progress, assist with representation goals, and to reinforce efforts made by departments to address underutilization. Affirmative steps utilized by each department are acknowledged and reviewed with the Affirmative Action Representatives to recognize departmental achievements.

Programs and/or Activities Designed to Promote an Inclusive Level of Awareness and/or Appreciation of the University's Diverse Community

Departmental Initiatives

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognizes that learning must be applied beyond the classroom, in the field. Theory becomes practice when students travel to archeological, geological, or cultural sites that span the globe. In cooperation with the Division of International Programs and the departments of Anthropology, English, Geological and Environmental Sciences, and Sociology, students join their professors on research adventures in Italy, Hawaii, Africa, Southeast Asia, Stratford, and the American West.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences proudly hosts NIU's chapter of the Lifelong Learning Institute, an active group of approximately one hundred members who are 55 years of age or older. Members meet year-round for study groups, field trips, and the Notables Lecture Series. Every summer, the College also hosts one-week residential Elderhostels, bringing together seniors from across the country with NIU faculty experts to explore topics as varied as the Mississippi River, U.S. Presidents, or the history of Iraq.

In recognizing the unique concerns of students, faculty, and staff who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, NIU is taking formal steps to foster a university climate that supports the academic and professional success and personal well-being of the LGBT members of the university community. Through the LGBT Resource CenterLGBT Studies Program, and Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, NIU offers a variety of programs, services, and activities to serve the needs of individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and for the benefit and enrichment of the entire campus.

Students are becoming more aware of global issues, reaching new levels of cross-cultural understanding, and gaining a better understanding of the interdependent world in which they live. International House, a collaborative program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Housing and Dining, is comprised of two academic residential programs and three general interest floors. In NIU's Global Village, students, international scholars, and artists interact in a convivial atmosphere to share ideas about living on an increasingly vital world stage. Engaged students come from over 32 countries and speak more than 15 different languages. Special activities include a visiting scholar-in-residence program; opportunities for foreign language students to focus on language skills in French, German, Russian, and Spanish; and discussions and activities related to political science and public service. Students who live in the International House may prepare for any of the over 15-faculty-directed study abroad programs in countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, England, France, Ireland, Ghana, Italy, Russia, Spain, South Africa, and Uganda. Most NIU-administered programs are directed by an NIU faculty member, with cooperation from various NIU departments, and offer specialized credit and residential study abroad during the summer session and winter break period.

A primary emphasis at NIU Law is to build upon its emerging reputation as a law school that embraces multi-cultural awareness and service in the public sector. NIU Law celebrates its commitment to diversity, as reflected by the students, faculty, and alumni. It is dedicated to providing quality legal education for the benefit of all, and to fostering a sense of lifelong responsibility toward public service and awareness. Thus, all students are encouraged to engage regularly in pro bono activities, and NIU Law provides a number of "public interest stipends" each summer to support students in full-time public interest work.

The Unity in Diversity Steering Committee (UID) promotes and funds activities designed to acknowledge, educate, and celebrate the diversity of the campus community relative to race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, religion, and physical ability. Collaborating with the Department of English and the Department of Communication, UID co-sponsors the Diversity and Equity Speech, Essay, and Poster Contests.

The Student Diversity and Equity Board provides opportunities for students to cultivate their leadership abilities on behalf of their constituency group, their organization, or themselves. It is composed of dynamic student leaders who promote better understanding and relationships among the diverse students in the campus community. The goal is to establish an inclusive community for all students and campus partners by offering opportunities for students to develop or sharpen skills that include intercultural and cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, ethical decision making, social justice awareness, and diversity education.

Represent! Diversity newsletter delivers news and issues relative to building an inclusive campus community. Its purpose is to ensure a representative voice for all underrepresented groups, and strategically to connect all students to services and programs that welcome and celebrate the entire NIU community. The newsletter seeks to engage students, faculty, administrators, and staff across the campus so that they may become change agents who will to encourage dialogue, discussion, thought and action, celebrate success, and overcome challenges in a diverse, complex, multicultural world. Represent! is published twice each semester.

The Anthropology Museum was founded in 1965 with the mission to collect, preserve, research, and exhibit artifacts of human cultures in order to foster an understanding and appreciation, among students on campus and members of the surrounding communities, of the diversity of human cultures. The ethnographic collection has regional strengths in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the plains and southwest regions of North America. Ethnographic specimens from Africa, Mesoamerica, and South America are also represented.

The Center for Child Welfare and Education assists the education and development of children and youth who have been abused or neglected. Its work contributes to the body of knowledge and influences training and practice positively to affect educational outcomes of this population. The Center is a partnership between Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Being a part of a sorority or fraternity is a unique experience that can last a lifetime. Students make lifelong friendships and enjoy a supportive environment away from home. Membership in NIU’s Greek community provides leadership, scholarship, and community service opportunities, and is supported and advised by the staff of Student Involvement and Leadership Development. One of four NIU Greek Councils, the United Greek Council stresses community, collaboration, and teamwork through programs that enhance the campus and build the Greek community. National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the umbrella organization that supports the nine historically African American Greek-letter organizations.

Programs and Events

Rock Tha' Mic! is a Welcome Days event for incoming and returning students, and is sponsored by the Diversity and Equity Office. The event promotes diversity by providing talented students an opportunity to perform on stage. It also permits student leaders time to introduce incoming students to the diversity of campus organizations.

The American Notions Fine Art Series is a lecture series that highlights representational elements of disability, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, and religion. "Notions" explores historical and contemporary topics through which students explore how images complicate or enhance our understanding of diversity.

The American Roundtable Series coordinates a cross-cultural discussion on topics that educate, enhance cultural literacy, promote understanding of one another as citizens of the world, and facilitate a greater dialogue between diverse individuals. The series seeks to heighten learning outside the classroom in order to enhance intellectual and personal growth.

The Bridge Builder Program is a collaboration of the Multicultural Transformation Institute and student organizations. In this program, faculty members with scholarly interests in diversity topics provide opportunities for dialogue with student organizations that have agreed to participate in a yearlong program.

The Diversity and Equity Awards Gala recognizes efforts of NIU students—individuals, groups, or organizations—that promote an inclusive campus community. The submission of projects, activities, and events that increase community awareness and understanding of diversity issues (including, but not limited to essays, poems, fashions shows, volunteer projects, film, dance, graphic art, plays, forums and panel discussions) is encouraged in eleven competitive categories. Winners are announced during an annual awards ceremony during the spring semester.

The Diversity and Equity Office sponsors Dialogue on Diversity, Race, and Conflict, which provides opportunities for student organizations to participate by sharing their racial/ethnic experiences and cultivating their leadership abilities on behalf of their constituency group, their organization, or themselves. The program promotes better understanding and relationships among the diverse students in the campus community by establishing an inclusive community for all students and campus partners through opportunities to develop or sharpen skills such as intercultural and cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, ethical decision-making, social justice awareness, and diversity education.

In the Dialogue on Diversity, also sponsored by the Diversity and Equity Office, students share their identity experiences and cultivate their leadership abilities. The weekend program promotes better understanding and relationships among diverse students in the campus community.

Presidential Commissions

The Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PCSOGI) is the primary channel through which advice is given to the president on issues and concerns affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals at NIU. It is a university-wide commission of students, faculty, and staff that makes recommendations on actions needed in areas including academic programs, student services, workplace matters, university policies, and the general campus environment. Acting on behalf of the entire university community, PCSOGI monitors issues relevant to sexual orientation and gender identity, and collaborates with individuals and departments throughout the university to assure equitable treatment of all students, faculty, and staff regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) is the primary channel by which advice is given to the president on issues and concerns related to the status of women on campus. Commission members serve on behalf of the whole university community, and independently and impartially advise the president on research and actions that are needed.

The Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities (PSCM) advises the president on the status of minority students, faculty, and staff, makes recommendations to improve the quality of life and opportunities for minorities on campus, and assures that the university will consistently and comprehensively reflect, sponsor, mandate, and totally support actions designed to enhance the status of minorities. The Commission presents three awards at the PSCM Annual Spring Banquet.

The faculty, staff, and student-advocates who serve on the Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities advise the president regarding the needs of people with disabilities. At monthly meetings during the academic year, the Commission discusses current events and plans activities to elevate awareness of the important issues.

Awards and Scholarships

The Deacon Davis Diversity Award, conferred by the Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities, recognizes significant contributions made to the improvement of the status of minorities on the NIU campus by current NIU undergraduate, graduate, or professional students; faculty; Supportive Professional Staff or Civil Service staff; and academic units, offices, programs, or organizations.

The Presidential Commission on the Status of Women Outstanding Women Student Awards encourages the full participation of women students in all facets of the university experience and in their communities; supports their development of corresponding strengths, both cooperative and competitive; and celebrates their achievements and contributions, including those not usually recognized by other award programs.

The Award for Enhancing the Climate on Campus for Women created in 1995 by the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and named for Wilma Stricklin, recognizes an individual who contributed significantly to the status of women on campus.

The Eychaner Award, sponsored by the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Prism, annually recognizes individuals affiliated with NIU who have made outstanding contributions that enhance the lives of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.

Efforts to Increase Curricular Diversity, and Descriptions of Credit or Non-Credit Courses Related to Diversity

The Center for Burma Studies enjoys a unique relationship with the Burma Studies Foundation, which assures that all Burma/Myanmar-related items donated to the foundation will be offered to the Center for inclusion and conservation within the university's collections. Oversight by the foundation combines strong support of the Center with lasting responsibility to the field of Burma/Myanmar studies.

The following programs and courses offered are current as of July 2009. For the latest available course listings, please visit the NIU online catalog.

Courses: A listing of Burmese Courses can also be found on the Center for Burma Studies website.

The Center for Black Studies is an interdisciplinary academic program that offers undergraduate courses related to African and African-American life and history. The Center also researches, collects, and analyzes data on all aspects of the African experience on the Continent and in the Diaspora.

Courses: The following programs and courses offered are current as of July 2009. For the latest available course listings, please visit the NIU online catalog. A listing of courses is also available on the Center for Black Studies website under Black Studies Minor.

The Center for Latino and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) serves the university’s faculty and students through a variety of research and cultural programs. The Center offers a minor in Latino and Latin American Studies, a graduate concentration in Latin American Studies, research grants for affiliated faculty and graduate students, undergraduate scholarships, a speaker series, cultural programming, and outreach activities.

Courses: The following programs and courses offered are current as of July 2009. For the latest available course listings, please visit the NIU online catalog. A link to the courses can also be found on the CLLAS website.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies provides leadership, focus, and coordination for Southeast Asian studies at NIU, and provides outreach and K-12 teacher training for communities throughout northern Illinois. One of its most unique resources is SEAsite, a comprehensive and varied set of interactive learning resources for studying Southeast Asian languages, literatures, and cultures on the World Wide Web, was developed at NIU by faculty and students, and is accessible from the NIU home page.

Courses: The following programs and courses offered are current as of July 2009. For the latest available course listings, please visit the NIU online catalog. A listing of courses is also available on the SEA website.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies is an interdisciplinary program that fosters research and teaching related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Students may earn a Certificate in LGBT Studies at the undergraduate or graduate levels. The certificate is recommended for all students who are interested in examining issues of gender and sexual orientation and who wish to function as informed citizens and successful professionals.

Courses: A listing of courses is available on the LGBT Studies website.

Women's Studies Program, as an interdisciplinary field, offers courses that focus on women's experience in the analysis of human culture; examine the contributions and status of women in society; explore the meaning of gender in our lives; and investigate the impact of race, ethnicity, age, social class, sexual orientation, and other factors on women's experiences. Women in Contemporary America (WOMS 230) focus on the political, economic, legal, and social status of American women in today's society. Women Across Cultures and Centuries (WOMS 235) explores the experiences of diverse groups of women through women's literature studied in historical context. Both WOMS 230 and 235 fulfill general education credit for the interdisciplinary area. A third core course, WOMS 432, concentrates on Feminist Theory.

The graduate certificate in Women's Studies addresses gender and its significance by engaging students in feminist theory and criticism, research methods, and scholarship. The core courses examine the theoretical and methodological implications of feminist thought and research, and assists students in developing analytical skills for applying feminist critiques in traditional disciplines. In elective courses across the university, students study such topics as communication and the sexes, equal opportunity and employment, women and politics, growing up female, marriage and family, gender and crime, visual images of women, and women in U.S. history. In addition to the graduate certificate, the Women's Studies Program offers an undergraduate minor. Students may also design their own contract major in women's and/or gender studies.

Courses:  The following programs and courses offered are for the Minor in Women's Studies. For the latest available course listings, please visit the NIU Online Catalog Listing.

The following programs and courses offered are for the Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies. For the latest available course listings, please visit the NIU Online Catalog Listing.

The College of Business provides opportunities for students to experience the global business arena. For 24 years, the college has exposed students to the new realities of an increasingly complex global business environment. These efforts range from increasing the internationalization of the business faculty and student body, to presenting expanded academic seminars and building long-term relationships with academic institutions in other countries.

The college's International Business Seminar, established in 1983, provides an opportunity for students to study problems, issues, trends, and practices in business within the international environment, and to experience different cultures through visits to European cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest Cologne, Florence, Frankfurt, Geneva, Heidelberg, Innsbruck, Lausanne, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, and Rome. The program is open to under-graduate, graduate, and visiting students who earn academic credit; their studies are guided by accompanying College of Business faculty members.

The Department of Management's Social Entrepreneurship course helps deepen business students' understanding of all aspects of business, including profit maximization and societal responsibility. Through this course, business students gain exposure to microfinance, a field in which organizations make tiny business start-up loans to the poorest of the world's poor. In fall 2007, students in the Social Entrepreneurship class traveled with their professor to Guadalajara, Mexico, for first-hand exposure to the day-to-day lives of the women-owned enterprises that benefit from micro loans.

The Department of Marketing's Professional Sales Program is the first collegiate program ever accredited by the Professional Society for Sales and Marketing Training, placing the quality of the NIU sales curriculum and instruction on par with training provided by leading professional sales units. It is also the first academic sales program to engage in long-term exchange programs specific to the study of sales in the global environment. The Professional Sales Program has conducted student exchanges with the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland since 2000 and with the University of Applied Sciences in Austria in 2006. NIU students and faculty travel abroad in the winter, and students from Austria and Ireland travel to NIU in May each year to study with NIU students.

The NIU College of Law provides opportunities for course credit in Clinical Experiences. The primary objective of Clinical Experiences is to further educate students to be professionally responsible and reflective lawyers capable of providing high quality representation that is both respectful of and responsive to their clients and their interests in a diverse and changing world. The Clinical Experiences seek to provide high quality legal services to persons who have limited access to legal representation.

The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, in partnership with high-need school districts (West Aurora High School and Harlem High School in Rockford, Illinois), utilizes an Illinois Secondary Board of Education (ISBE) grant to develop cohorts of 25 teachers to receive master’s degrees in interdisciplinary engineering by 2011, in order to strengthen the quality of mathematics and science for certified science and math teachers in high schools and middle schools.

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures prepares students to interact successfully in one or more foreign languages, by offering undergraduate courses in over 15 Western, Southeast Asian, and classical languages. In addition, students can pursue interdisciplinary minors in classical studies, comparative literature, Latino/Latin American studies, linguistics, Japanese and Chinese Studies, and Southeast Asian studies. Language majors may choose either a language and literature emphasis or a business and translation emphasis for their program. Language majors in French, German, and Spanish may also pursue teacher certification. The department also offers graduate degree programs in French or Spanish. The department’s language-learning experience is enhanced by a state-of-the-art Multimedia Learning Center where students expand their exposure to languages with computer-based audio, video, foreign satellite TV, and translation database software. The Foreign Language Residence Program, based in university residence halls, allows students to live out an intensive language experience.

The Department of Sociology emphasizes training in the knowledge and analytical skills necessary for successful careers and informed citizenship. Faculty members’ areas of expertise represent diverse topics within the field of sociology including Racial and Ethnic Relations, Migration, Social Inequality, Women's Health Issues, Medical Sociology, Health and Aging, The Sociology of Gender, Work and Inequality, and Research in Women's Studies. Faculty experts offer students a challenging curriculum in the context of effective advising, faculty instructional support, a research orientation, and opportunities to apply sociological imagination to the real social world.

The School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders' emphasis on deafness rehabilitation is the only undergraduate program of its kind in the nation. Students in Rehabilitation Services are usually preparing to be paraprofessionals or professionals providing human/social services to deaf and hard-of-hearing persons. The required courses provide a basic background in speech-language and hearing sciences, with additional study of basic psychological principles and statistics; communication skills for use with deaf persons; and an introduction to counseling techniques.

The School of Music offers individualized degree programs for graduate and undergraduate students interested in nontraditional courses of study. The diverse faculty lists numerous accomplishments in research and artistic activities of national and international significance. The school's ensembles include choirs, orchestra, concert and marching bands, instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles, early music ensemble, percussion ensemble, steel bands, Javanese and Balinese gamelans, tabla, West African drumming, Chinese percussion, and chamber music ensembles, among others.

A unique feature of the School of Music is the active program in world music. In addition to academic courses in world music survey, ethnomusicology, and regional studies, the school offers ensembles not found in most colleges. Students learn to perform regularly on authentic musical instruments such as the steel drum, gamelan, North Indian tabla, and Chinese instruments. The percussion area offers West African drum, East African xylophone, Central American marimba, Brazilian drum, and Afro-Cuban percussion. Other ensembles offered on demand include Thai ensemble and Southeast Asian tribal music. Descriptions of ensembles with a world music focus follow:

  • The Latin Jazz Ensemble is a vehicle for students interested in musical traditions from countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, etc., to learn traditional rhythms and styles and to gain experience performing this music in a small jazz combo formation. 
  • The NIU Steel Band, the first actively performing steel band formed in an American university, has performed extensively throughout the United States, Trinidad, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Trinidad, and the Czech Republic. Compositions often attempt to show the versatility of the instruments by combining several musical styles, such as calypso and jazz. 
  • Gamelan is a percussion-dominated ensemble from Indonesia. It is the most popular Asian ensemble in the world, having 120 sets in the United States. The School of Music teaches the Central Javanese and Balinese gamelans and gives regular concerts and demonstrations. Many students and faculty members write new compositions for the gamelan. 
  • The Klezmer Band, "The Klezmer Hit Parade," was formed in 2002 to perform klezmer music (Eastern European Jewish folk music) and offshoots thereof, including polkas, waltzes, and even a little swing. Emphasis is on cultural performance practice, in which the band plays, sings, and dances. 
  • The Jazz Ensemble has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the Jazz à Vienne Festival in France, and twice at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

The certificate of graduate study in Museum Studies enriches the backgrounds of students and museum professionals working with anthropology, art, history, physical science, or other museum collections. It can also enrich K-12 teachers' use of museum collections in their teaching. The certificate combines course work and internships that review major principles of museum collections and program management, giving graduate students in various disciplines a solid grounding in museum practice.

University Libraries provide instruction sessions on using library services for persons with disabilities. Instructions include individualized reference service support and specialized technology; furniture and accessibility aids; and Braille and/or tactile resources. A specialized study room in Founders Library contains CCTVs for magnification; JAWS screen reader text to speech software; Zoomtext computer magnification software; Braille Voyager 44-cell for Braille computer access; Kurzweil 1000 plus scanner/printer; and Reading Edge software for scan and read. Assistive Technology (AT) is also available for users with disabilities.

Diversity-Related Training Activities and Programming

The Committee on Multicultural Curriculum Transformation conducts an institute to facilitate discussion about multicultural issues and provide support for tenured and tenure-track faculty, instructors, and teaching supportive professional staff to incorporate multicultural perspectives and content into their teaching that can lead to curricular and personal transformation. The institute format includes plenary addresses by invited scholars, presentations by NIU faculty and staff, panel discussions, syllabi reviews, videos, and small group activities that focus on race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disabilities.

The NIU Conference for Young Women offers female high school students the opportunity to explore the academic side of college life through interaction with successful women faculty and students, and to investigate careers in a variety of fields. Now in its twelfth year, this popular conference continues to attract praise from many participants with diverse interests and backgrounds.

Through grants specifically for teachers, the College of Education provides three programs to train teachers in the support of students from diverse backgrounds. The Department of Literacy Education offers Project Quality Instruction for Language Learners (QUILL), a program to increase the number and improve the quality of teachers who serve English-language learners in northern Illinois. The department also offers Project Success to increase the number and improve the quality of mainstream teachers in northern Illinois who have English-language learners in their classrooms. Project REAL, the Rockford Education Alliance, is a partnership between NIU, Rock Valley College, and Rockford School District 205, which focuses on dramatically improving student performance and enhancing the quality of educators.

The Division of International Programs strives to advocate for and stimulate the internationalization of NIU. The division oversees all international programs and activities to ensure that they are consistent with the mission of the university. The International Training Office (ITO) is committed to strengthening the capacities of international professionals and leaders from public, non-profit, or private sector organizations, so that they might become catalysts for change in their home countries. ITO accomplishes this mission through innovative training programs and outreach activities that address institutional, professional, and societal needs of clients from Chile, Pakistan, Malawi, the Philippines, Botswana, Indonesia, Kenya, Cyprus, Thailand, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education, under the Higher Education Cooperative Act (HECA), awarded NIU a three-year renewable grant to identify and enhance faculty, administration, and supportive professional staff awareness and knowledge about disabilities and legal mandates, provision of accommodations, and/or development and dissemination of policies and procedures germane to students with disabilities. One strategy to accomplish this goal is the development of a Web site as a resource on disabilities for faculty, administration, and supportive professional staff. It may also be useful to students with disabilities who wish to know more about the policies applicable to students with disabilities on campus, and/or innovative accommodations or strategies provided to enhance success found on the Strategy Exchange Section. The Enhancing Success Web site provides information on areas relevant to higher education faculty, administrators, and supportive professional staff.

Human Resources Education provides Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) training programs that include Dealing with Difficult Communications and Sensitive Issues in the Workplace, which address cultural/religious differences and how to sensitize people in the workplace to accept and respect such differences; and topics addressing federal/state/local employment-related laws and regulations (e.g., Title VII, ADA, ADEA, USERRA, EEOC, Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, Immigration Reform and Control Act, and Internal Revenue Code), as related to workforce planning and employment. The Workforce Planning and Employment module specifically addresses legal and compliance issues related to staffing and selection, employee recruitment, forecasting, and hiring and termination practices.

Procurement Services strives to purchase needed goods and services, whenever feasible, from businesses owned and controlled by Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities, in accordance with the Illinois Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act, effective August 28, 1994. Under the State of Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP), organizations, once certified and approved, may have their Illinois sales transactions used to report progress toward meeting pre-established agency and university goals. In return, businesses may receive added exposure for their products and services and the possibility for expanded opportunities statewide.

The Adapted Physical Activity Research and Teaching Clinic is a university-based community service program that offers individualized instruction to children with unique needs. The program emphasizes development and/or remediation of skills in gross motor development, health-related physical fitness, sport-leisure skills, play-social skills, swimming, and dance-creative movement.

The Student Conference on United States (SCUSA) is a four-day undergraduate student conference held at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. During the conference, visiting student delegates from top U.S. and foreign universities sit on functional and geographic roundtables and discuss with leading scholars and practitioners what U.S. foreign policy should be in these issue areas and regions.

The Ally Program, organized through the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center, is a campus-wide program that fosters a welcoming and supportive campus environment for LGBT individuals by creating a visible network of allies. The Ally Program creates opportunities for non-LGBT individuals to learn about LGBT identity and builds connections between the broader campus community and LGBT individuals.

The Diversity and Equity Office provides diversity training for professional and student employees through its Enhancing Inclusive Campus Communities Series and through ongoing training programs for staff in Housing and Dining.

The Women's Resource Center advocates for female and male students, faculty, staff, and community members who are passionate about issues of gender equality. The staff is dedicated to gender equity and enhancement of the campus climate for women through advocacy, personal development, and social justice programming. The Center provides a central space on campus where individuals can come together around issues of inclusiveness and activism, and envision an environment of mutual respect and equality for women and men on campus and in the community, where diversity of age, race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, physical and mental abilities, class, and gender are accepted and appreciated.

Housing and Dining supports the student organization Believing in Culture (BIC), which represents and plans programs based on the great variety of cultures and viewpoints represented on campus and in the residence halls.

Activities Consistent with NCAA Guidelines that Improve Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics

The Athletic Compliance Office is committed to a comprehensive compliance program that educates everyone about the importance of adhering to NCAA, Mid-American Conference, and institutional rules. It oversees shared responsibilities that operate to maintain institutional control over the athletics program. The goal is to create a "compliance conscience" within the university and throughout the community. Maintaining a commitment to compliance ensures institutional control over the Department of Athletics and furthers the mission of the university. The office conducts compliance-education programs for all coaches, administrators, staff, student-athletes, and boosters to familiarize these individuals with applicable NCAA, Mid-American Conference, and institutional rules and to reduce the risk of a rules violation.

The Athletic Compliance Office creates, implements, and oversees systems to monitor recruitment, academic eligibility, financial aid, awards, extra benefits, ethical conduct, amateurism, agents, employment, occasional meals, and playing and practice seasons for all sports. These monitoring systems are intended to discover violations that have occurred, and to deter violations from occurring. While it is a goal of the Athletic Compliance Office to reduce the occurrence of rules violations, it is important that appropriate actions are taken when violations occur. It is the responsibility of the Compliance Office to determine how the violation occurred and how to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. The Athletic Compliance Office reports violations to the NCAA or Mid-American Conference and self-imposes appropriate penalties.

Huskie Life Skills Program provides NCAA student athletes with services, support, and resources to help them navigate the challenges they may face as students and athletes within the university setting, to prepare them for graduation, and to help them plan for their future professions.

Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) is the academic unit within the Vice Provost Office that services student athletes. Members of the SAASS staff work collaboratively with other university offices to provide student athletes with the tools necessary for success. The SAASS staff maintains strong working relationships with departmental academic advisors, professors, and university-wide student-support service departments to ensure that student athletes are aware of, and have access to, all resources and programs on NIU's campus. The SAASS staff provides academic and life skills programs to achieve NIU’s goal of enhancing student-athletes academic, athletic, and social skills.

Last Updated: 2/11/2014