Guidelines for the University Outstanding Department or Unit Award for Enhancing Diversity
This award has been established by the provost
to recognize those departments or units that have made extraordinary
achievements to enhance diversity within the department, college
and/or the university. Units as defined here may include colleges
and administrative units and groups.
One department or unit will be recognized each year during the spring semester. A plaque and $2,500 will be awarded to the department or unit for that year.
Any department or unit within the university may demonstrate its achievements in the area of diversity by providing evidence that may include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:
- Developing innovative programs to enhance diversity within the unit or university
- Incorporating a clear statement of the importance of diversity in department or unit mission statement
- Recruiting students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups
- Increasing the retention and graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups
- Providing mentoring/advising for students from underrepresented groups
- Providing mentoring for junior faculty and staff from underrepresented groups
- Developing and implementing learning activities that prepare students for a diverse and global society
- Integrating diversity into the curriculum
- Supporting research and scholarships in the area of diversity
- Providing opportunities for professional development for faculty and staff of underrepresented groups
- Developing activities that support partnerships with minority-serving institutions, visiting scholars and guest lecturers from underrepresented groups
Any faculty or staff member, department or unit head, dean or administrator may nominate a department or unit. The nomination must include information on how the department has enhanced diversity. The nomination will be forwarded to a screening committee appointed by the provost. Normally, units that have previously received this award will not be eligible for a subsequent award within a three-year period. However, exceptions may be given.
Contents of Nomination Packet:
- Letter of nomination from a faculty, staff, department or unit head, dean or vice president describing in detail why the nominee is deserving of the award (maximum of three pages),
- Letters of support (not more than three total) from faculty, graduate or undergraduate students, classified or unclassified staff, administrators or alumni who work extensively with the department or unit,
- Description of the activities within the last calendar year that illustrates the outstanding efforts by the department or unit to enhance diversity (three-page limit).
The nomination and/or application materials are to be forwarded to the Office of the Provost by April 3. Notification of the award will be given by May 1, and presentation of the award will be made at the annual Department Heads Retreat in August.