Chancellor Diversity Statement
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are core values at Indiana University. They also are important to me personally. Supporting and including students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds is both the right thing and the smart thing to do. We owe it to all people to support their academic and professional pursuits, and we must realize that our university, region, state, country, and world all stand the best chance of progress when we leverage everyone’s strengths, regardless of race, class, religion, or gender orientation.
As chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo, I am working with my colleagues to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in a variety of ways, as evidenced by our mission statement, civility statement, and, most importantly, our actions. In short, we seek to make IU Kokomo a destination campus, as well as an inclusive and supportive environment, for everyone.
Our recent DEIJ efforts include the following initiatives:
- IU Kokomo’s Faculty Senate passed mandatory annual DEIJ training for all our faculty. This training will be reported in and reflected upon in yearly reports. We have also developed the first of two self-paced modules that faculty can complete as part of meeting this requirement with another set of eight modules under discussion. Furthermore, 150 of our faculty and staff have undergone Safe Zone training.
- Since its founding a few years ago, our Multicultural Center (comprising the Black Student Center, Latinos Unidos: Hispanic Center, LGBTQ+ Center, and International Student Services) has sponsored dozens of in-person and online events, including Town Hall Community Conversations on a variety of relevant and timely topics. In one recent semester, for example, the center sponsored 17 in-person events and 24 virtual events, serving more than 1000 participants from both the campus and external communities.
- We have added a webpage featuring testimonials from diverse IUK faculty about their experience working for IU Kokomo and living in our service region in north central Indiana.
- We have begun staging two new, very successful events for diverse students and alumni. Specifically, we welcomed incoming black students to campus with a pinning ceremony, sponsored by the Black Student Center, and recognized outstanding Hispanic alumni with a ceremony and a celebration of Hispanic culture.
- Under our new Equity Ambassadors program, students serve as resources for fellow students, helping to support IUK’s DEIJ efforts.
- Nearly forty of our faculty and staff are engaged in a year long reading group for Do The Work An Anti-Racist Activity book for the 2022-2023 academic year. They are meeting monthly to process the book and how it can be implemented in their professional and personal lives.
As chancellor, I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to build on this foundation, doing even more in the years ahead to empower and support all the members of our campus community and to lead important DEIJ initiatives in our region, state, nation, and world. One of my primary goals in this area is to increase the number of BIPOC students, faculty, and staff on our campus. Diversity, after all, benefits everyone because it enriches our intellectual and cultural perspectives.
Whoever you are, whatever your background, you can expect the best from Indiana University Kokomo.
Mark Canada, Ph.D.
Indiana University Kokomo