UIC lauded for its diversity efforts
The University of Illinois Chicago has been awarded the 2021 Institutional Excellence Award by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, or NADOHE, for its efforts as a four-year public institution.
The award was presented at the NADOHE annual conference, which was held virtually on March 12. Through the award, the organization seeks to recognize institutions that have “demonstrated measurable progress in promoting and sustaining innovative diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within their campus community.”
Over a decade ago, UIC recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion across the campus at all levels and embarked on an ambitious plan to develop an integrated network that identifies and resolves diversity, equity and inclusion issues.
Chancellor Michael Amiridis called it an honor to be recognized for the progress UIC has made. He pointed to the university’s determination to advance its mission toward greater inclusion and pointed to such efforts as the Crossing Latinidades initiative, how UIC is a leader among HSI universities, and also campus programs, like the Advancing Racial Equity Initiative.
“While we are faced with significant social justice challenges, we are more committed than ever to improve the student experience and our community engagement,” Amiridis said.
UIC is both an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) and a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education. UIC is one of only 16 Research 1 HSI institutions in the country, and the majority of its undergraduates are eligible to receive federal Pell Grants.
Amalia Pallares, associate chancellor and vice provost for diversity at UIC, explained that the achievement is a reflection of UIC’s values and aspirations, not just administrative milestones. “Students are attracted to UIC because of its growing diversity, but we want to deliver much more,” she said. “It is our mission to ensure that all our UIC community works towards the goals of equity and inclusion that undergird our diversity initiatives.”
NADOHE President Paulette Granberry Russell stated that “the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education extends our appreciation and congratulations to the University of Illinois at Chicago for engaging in efforts that represent demonstrable change in advancing institutional excellence and the goal of full participation of the UIC campus community. To be acknowledged by your peers who understand the challenges associated with creating structural change and dismantling barriers to being a more inclusive campus community through active, engaged leadership, education and development, and valuing accountability is a tremendous testament to the strategic work UIC has embarked upon and provides a model for others to emulate going forward.”