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This audit is part of a series of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives undertaken to evaluate and support existing programs, policies, procedures and practices and to develop sustainable and effective programs, policies, procedures and practices for the purpose of building a more diverse and inclusive community, one which reflects the values and aspirations of the entire University of Missouri System.

Purpose of audit:

To conduct a comprehensive audit, including an inventory of programs, policies, procedures and practices within the UM System regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. This will enable UM to examine existing efforts, to highlight effective practices and to determine where there are gaps in what is provided to students, faculty and staff when benchmarked against best practices in comparable higher education institutions.


  • Review policies, procedures and practices;
  • Gather data on the implementation and execution of these policies to determine how effective they are and what their impact is from a diversity, equity and inclusion perspective;
  • Analyze the specific ways in which the policies, management, leadership and culture are supporting or acting as barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Gather data on staff, faculty and student perceptions of how inclusive the overall climate is on our campuses and in the system;
  • Evaluate attitudes and beliefs on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as existing support and willingness for embracing change;
  • Gather data on the perceptions of the effectiveness of the services provided by the system and campuses relative to diversity, equity and inclusion (the “end-user experience”).


  • Review of policies, procedures and practices from a legal and compliant perspective, as well as a comparison with other college and university diversity, equity and inclusion best practices to assist university legal counsel in providing legal advice to the university;
  • Focus group sessions with faculty, staff and students at the UM system and campus levels;
  • One-on-one interviews with key stakeholders (board, senior administration, including president, chancellors, vice chancellors and deans, department heads and alumni);
  • Online survey for academic units.

Timeline overview:

  • Policy reviews began in May/June 2016.
  • Interviews with senior administrators and alumni (recent and other) began in June/July 2016.
  • Focus groups with staff were conducted in July/August 2016.
  • Focus groups with students and faculty were conducted in September 2016.

Also see the Audit Timeline webpage.


The full audit findings report (PDF) synthesizes all data to identify strengths and opportunities relative to diversity, equity and inclusion systemwide, and includes recommendations provided to the Diversity Task Force, the UM System Chief Diversity Office and UM System President. The UM System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force has put forth its recommendations report (PDF) based on the full audit report. An inventory of DEI-related assets is also available.

IBIS (Interactive Business Inclusion Solutions) background:

  • IBIS Consulting Group is a diversity and inclusion consulting and training company based in the Boston area. IBIS has nearly 3 decades of experience doing diversity and inclusion assessments, strategic planning, e-learning, training, coaching, global leadership and design/implementation of initiatives.
  • IBIS’s status as external experts enables them to conduct objective, unbiased assessments benchmarked against similar education systems.
  • IBIS’s diverse team of consultants and trainers brings a wealth of diversity and inclusion experience and expertise; IBIS consultants have backgrounds in psychology, law, organizational development, business management, HR, communication, sociology and higher education.
  • IBIS’s higher education clients include Harvard University, University of Denver, Tufts University, Ferris State University, Boston University, Framingham State University and Lesley University. Representative other clients include Microsoft, Xerox, Staples, Campbell Soup, ESPN, Nestle and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Reviewed 2019-08-05