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UM System announces comprehensive audit of diversity and inclusion policies and practices

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John Fougere

May 23, 2016

Continues significant progress on November 2015 Board of Curators initiatives

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System Interim President Michael Middleton today announced the launch of a systemwide audit of diversity and inclusion polices, practices and procedures, continuing the process of building more diverse and inclusive environments throughout the UM System. The audit, part of a series of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives announced in November 2015 by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

“Our goal is to conduct a critical and honest assessment so we can strengthen and coordinate our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion across the UM System,” Middleton said. “This assessment will help us understand where we stand in comparison to our peer institutions and best practices in higher education. The start of this audit is the latest illustration of the significant progress we are making on the Board’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that were announced last year.”

The audit was one of several initiatives announced by the Board of Curators last November to address diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the UM System. Other initiatives include hiring the first-ever Chief Diversity Officer for the UM System; establishing a systemwide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to develop long- and short-term plans and metrics, and providing support for the hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff.

The audit will include focus groups and individual interviews with students, faculty, staff and leadership at all four campuses and at the system, as well as surveys and a complete review of policies, practices and procedures through the lens of diversity and inclusion. Separate focus groups with students and faculty will be conducted in the fall.

The audit is being conducted by Interactive Business Inclusion Solutions (IBIS) Consulting Group, a nationally-recognized firm with nearly three decades of experience on diversity and inclusion assessments, strategic planning, e-learning, coaching, global leadership and design/implementation of initiatives.