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UM System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force announces recommendations after audit release

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Following the completion of a systemwide audit of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and practices at the University of Missouri System, today the university’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force released its recommendations for how the institution can proceed in addressing the issues identified within. The audit, conducted by renowned diversity consulting firm IBIS, was part of a series of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives outlined by the University of Missouri Board of Curators on November 9, 2015.

 “This audit is part of a series of UM System initiatives to address DEI challenges while fostering real change and sustainable solutions,” Interim President Michael Middleton said. “We have made significant, tangible progress on the initiatives established one year ago by the board of curators, and today’s release of the audit and recommendations for the university based on the audit’s findings, represent another important step forward.”

The DEI Task Force, chaired by Dr. S. David Mitchell and representing all four campuses, released the following recommendations to UM System leadership in response to the audit. Of those, the task force identified 29 top priority recommendations across the four campuses and system, which are noted by an asterisk in the list of recommendations beginning on page 9 in the report:

(download here)

The IBIS audit in its entirety can be found here:

“The recommended action in response to the audit is a strategy to address gaps in what is provided to our students, faculty and staff in terms of diversity and inclusion when benchmarked against best practices in comparable higher education institutions,” said Dr. Mitchell, associate dean for academic affairs and the Ruth L. Hulston professor of law at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “This is another milestone in the effort to make our campuses more inclusive, welcoming and respectful for everyone in our university system.”

The UM System asset inventory of all DEI-related programming on each campus and at the system can be found here:

In addition to the diversity audit, other initiatives established by the board of curators in November 2015 that have been accomplished in the past year include the hiring of the first-ever UM System Chief Diversity Officer; diversity officers in place reporting directly to the chancellors on each UM System campus; providing additional support for the hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff; and launching a diversity, equity and inclusion leadership and training program.

For a complete listing of all diversity and inclusion initiatives across the UM System, please click on the following link:

Reviewed 2020-06-08