Equity at NIU

In alignment with the president’s vision, the Committee for Academic Equity and Inclusive Excellence was charged with developing a statement that operationalizes and institutionalizes equity at NIU. The charge involved:

  • Developing an equity statement.
  • Establishing benchmarks for our equity goals.
  • Implementing initiatives to reduce equity gaps.

The Committee for Academic Equity and Inclusive Excellence has completed the plan and developed the following equity statement:

Northern Illinois University strives to improve outcomes for all students by identifying and removing barriers that disproportionately hinder the academic achievement and student experience of historically and currently underserved populations.

What Is Equity?

Simply put, equity gives each student what they need to succeed. It differs from equality, which provides the same measures to all students, regardless of need. An equity-minded framework requires us to be conscious of the academic achievement gap and work to reduce it. This begins by changing policies and practices to better support each individual student. Our approach toward equity is centered on Estela Bensimon's definition of equity-mindedness and Frank Harris' concept of equity.

Committee Members

Among other duties, the members of the Committee for Academic Equity and Inclusive Excellence identify academic achievement gaps and implement strategies to ensure equity for all students.

  • Vernese Edghill-Walden, chair, Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Destiny McDonald, Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning.
  • Paula Frasz, School of Theatre and Dance.
  • Edward (Ed) Klonoski, Office of the Provost.
  • Deb (Debra) Miller, Disability Resource Center.
  • Sherry Fang, School of Family and Consumer Sciences.
  • Anne Marie Edwards, Center for Black Studies.
  • Joseph Flynn, Center for Black Studies and Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
  • Gregory Barker, Testing Services.
  • Janice Hamlet, Office of the Provost.
  • Eric Jones, Southeast Asian Studies and Department of History.
  • Kari Hickey, School of Nursing.
  • Merlynette Griffin, School of Nursing.
  • Michelle Pickett, Academic Advising Center.
  • Kate Cady, Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality and Communication.
  • Carolyn Davis, Housing and Residential Services.
  • Meredith Stange, College of Law.
  • Sarah Marsh, Department of Management.
  • Christina Abreu, Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and Department of History.
  • Benedito Fonseca, Department of Electrical Engineering.
  • Dana Isawi, Department of Counseling and Higher Education.
  • Monique Bernoudy, Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Tawanda Gipson, Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
  • DeeAnna Phares, University Libraries.
  • Tamara Boston, Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Contact Us

Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Health Services 408
DeKalb, IL 60115


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