Diversity Matters

Diversity Definition, Vision, Mission, and Strategic Priorities

An understanding and appreciation of society's human diversity is an essential component of an excellent education and a foundation for responsible citizenship. At the University of Northern Iowa, we educate citizens and leaders who will influence our society in the future, and our graduates take with them the knowledge and values they learn or refine while with us. Thus it is our institutional priority to value, promote and teach about diversity.

In order to effectively teach about diversity, we must be a diverse community, where all are welcomed and each is provided with the support needed to achieve goals and attain success.


Diversity describes the rich differences that people bring to the University of Northern Iowa community.  It can refer broadly to culture, identity and ideology, or more specifically to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, gender identity, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, marital status, national origin, or veteran status.  Diversity is a dynamic concept, shaped by history, and changing as our understanding of the world and its people evolves.


Our vision is to create a more welcoming community that celebrates the unique contributions of each person.  To this end, we strive to remove obstacles that impede equal opportunity, to embrace vigorous and open dialogue in the search for understanding across differences, to promote cultural plurality and social justice, and to treat each person with respect and dignity.


At the University of Northern Iowa, our mission is to create and maintain an inclusive educational environment which prepares students to thrive in a diverse, global environment. 


Adopted by Diversity Council, August 17, 2009

Approved by President, August 19, 2009

Strategic Priorities:

  • Educate all students to ensure that they are prepared to live and work successfully in a diverse world.
  • Enhance the diversity of the student body.
  • Enhance the diversity of the University's workforce.
  • Maintain a welcoming and supportive environment for all.
  • Promote success for students, faculty, and staff who are in the minority.

In order to make progress on these strategic priorities, we must commit ourselves to:

  • Institutionalize our planning and assure persistent attention to goals.
  • Allocate financial resources to align with our efforts.
  • Measure our progress and routinely report outcomes to the community.
  • Develop and maintain meaningful collaborative relationships with communities and community organizations.
  • Enhance faculty and staff professional development on matters associated with diversity.
  • Communicate publicly about our initiatives, and recognize contributions that are exemplary.

Adopted by Diversity Council, September 2, 2009