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Augustana scores high in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has recognized Augustana College for its campus-wide diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Augustana is one of only seven schools in the country qualifying for the publication’s DOIT certification program in the area of institutional climate.

“Equity and inclusion are included in Augustana’s strategic plan,” said Dr. Monica M. Smith, vice president and chief diversity officer at Augustana. “The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion collaborates across the institution to develop programs that are inclusive of the varied diversity that exists within our student body and employee demographics. 

“We are intentional about acknowledging the cultural differences that exist at the institution and celebrating that diversity.”

This is not Augustana’s first award recognizing its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The college twice has been honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine and received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award in 2019 and 2020.

“The demographic composition of the college has been increasing for decades,” said Dr. Smith. “Diversity will happen. Inclusion is a choice. Equity is essential.” 

The college cites an extensive list of programs and events that contribute to institutional climate, including racial healing circles, the Presidential Fund for Racial Equity and Justice, campus-wide diversity training, a scholar strike and a student-led vigil for lives lost.

“This is not an exhaustive list of our efforts,” Dr. Smith said. “Instead, these are some of the activities that have led to increased knowledge and opportunities for involvement for all community members around DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion].” 

About Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education provides news and information on higher education issues with a unique perspective. Diverse is the most widely read trade magazine for and about underrepresented groups in higher education. 

The certification process and standards were developed during the fall of 2020 through the spring of 2021 after a full cycle of DOIT (Diverse Organizational Impact and Transformation) surveys and scoring.


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