The excellence of our faculty forms the foundation for NIU’s vision, mission and values.
Moreover, faculty expertise drives the teaching, learning, research, artistry and engagement that underlies NIU’s promise to prepare our students and society for a century of change. Accordingly, we are committed to building an equity-minded academic community that challenges and eliminates exclusionary practices, and provides all faculty with the recognition and support necessary to achieve their full intellectual and professional potential.
Mentorship and Professional Development
In partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) offers the 8-week ACUE Microcredential in Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning, which has capacity to serve 90 faculty, staff, and graduate students annually. To date, 40 NIU faculty and staff have completed it, as well as 22 graduate students.
In the first two years of the partnership with ACUE, 61 faculty and staff have completed the year-long the year-long ACUE Course on Effective Teaching Practices, which results in the Certificate in Effective College Instruction. Those individuals are also now ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholars for NIU. This course will continue to serve approximately 30 faculty annually.
Faculty Academy on Cultural Competence and Equity
The Faculty Academy on Cultural Competence and Equity (FACCE) is a collaboration between NIU faculty, ADEI and CITL. It is being offered during the 2022-2023 academic year as a series of 10 monthly workshops, with up to 30 faculty and staff in each workshop. It will also be offered in the summer of 2023 as a week-long intensive.
Mentorship of Diverse Faculty
- The Preparing Future Faculty Conference for Graduate Students of Color is hosted annually by NIU, and brings together graduate students of color from universities across the state for workshops, presentations and opportunities to share their research.
- The Mid-American Conference Academic Consortium sponsors an academic leadership development program (ALDP) to identify and develop academic leaders from faculty at the 12 MAC member universities.
- The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is implementing a university-wide faculty mentoring program to support the career progression and success of our faculty. The initiative is focused on creating an inclusive, respectful and positive work environment and ensuring that all faculty receive mentoring support. A sample of the DEI initiatives within the program includes: supporting the retention and success of faculty of color; fostering a climate that values faculty diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence; and collaborating with the Division of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on related faculty initiatives and concerns.
Faculty Scholarship, Research and Artistry
Northern Illinois University is a research institution recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the category of Research Universities (high research activity). Faculty scholars across academic areas are engaged in research and artistry that advances equity, diversity and inclusion; student success; and social justice education. The summaries below highlight examples of the work being led by faculty in NIU’s seven degree-granting colleges and the University Libraries. Further, the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships highlights externally sponsored DEI scholarly and service activities on their website.
College of Business
College of Education
The NIU College of Business aspires to build, sustain and leverage the power of a diverse, inclusive community, in part because research has shown unequivocally that diversity is a key ingredient for innovation. In this context, our faculty scholars investigate topics such as the impact of gender diversity in management teams on organizational performance, and entrepreneurship in resource-constrained environments.
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
The NIU College of Education actively cultivates an equity-focused learning community that embraces diverse people, ideas and points of view. In this environment, faculty members across the college conduct research and engagement activities focused on social justice and on preparing educators to work with ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse students. For example, faculty in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education study ways that physical activity and sports participation can be used to accomplish goals such as building life skills in youth who are incarcerated, and helping young women gain agency over their bodies. Faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction explore the efficacy of various approaches employed to build cultural competency and bi/multilingualism.
The NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology is strengthened by the diverse perspectives and experience of its faculty, students and staff, and is committed to shaping students with different backgrounds and lived experiences into engineers who can improve the world. To this end, college faculty are extensively involved in pre-college outreach to students and teachers in underserved communities, as well as mentored research opportunities for underrepresented students. Moreover, college faculty and their industry partners are working together to make engineering curricula more accessible and inclusive.
College of Health and Human Sciences
The NIU College of Health and Human Sciences strives to promote health and well-being through scholarship that integrates teaching, research and service, and is committed to recognizing, cultivating and celebrating differences to achieve inclusivity and social justice. To this end, a number of faculty members are actively engaged in work designed to enhance the interest and success of youth from underserved communities in STEM and health professions careers. Other faculty scholars focus their research on eliminating health disparities and improving health care for vulnerable populations.
College of Law
The NIU College of Law encourages its diverse student body and faculty to maintain a deep concern for social justice. Accordingly, the scholarly interests of several faculty members in the college align with our institutional commitment to equity and inclusion. Their research encompasses themes of contemporary interest including: digital access among marginalized communities; public health threats posed by law enforcement to the poor and communities of color; and equity and broad inclusion in the jury system, focusing on race and gender. The College of Law is also known for innovative programs and initiatives aimed at helping college students and/or graduates from historically underrepresented groups successfully matriculate into law school and the legal profession.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences embraces diversity in all aspects of its research and scholarly activity, including the topics researched, the students engaged, and the colleagues and staff who serve as collaborators. The emphases are broad because of the size and breadth of the college, which serves as home to more than 25 academic departments, research centers and interdisciplinary programs. For example, faculty members from social and natural sciences develop and implement evidence-based practices to support the academic success of students from historically underserved communities. Faculty members from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds collaborate on research projects that contribute significantly to the fields of African American History, Gender Studies, and Latinx and Latin American Studies.
College of Visual and Performing Arts
The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to educating a new, diverse creative class who will imagine and contribute to a brighter future that is equitable and inclusive. In this context, our faculty scholars are engaged in a range of activities, such as: studying historical visualizations of foreignness, social hierarchies and power; challenging exclusionary narratives and repertoire; rethinking the canons they create for curricula; and developing hip-hop pedagogy. In addition, a number of faculty have been recognized nationally for their performances that feature and celebrate the legacy of African American arts and culture.
Equity, diversity and inclusion are fundamental values of the NIU Libraries that inform the framework through which we provide services, manage the collections and develop programs. At the physical and virtual heart of campus, we seek to be a leading advocate and trusted partner providing access to all. During past years, these values have manifested through a variety of projects, including the NIU Black Oral History Project, the LatinX Oral History Project and co-sponsorship of the Hateful Things exhibit in the Pick Museum. Moreover, the role of the University Libraries’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to evaluate and advise on library policies and procedures, and to encourage education of students, faculty and staff on issues related to EDI.
Be Recognized: Awards
Faculty at NIU are recognized by a variety of areas for work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. A list of awards are below.