The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer is focused on three main priorities:
- Signaling the UF mission. “The University of Florida must create the broadly diverse environment necessary to foster multicultural skills and perspectives in teaching and research for its students to contribute and succeed in the world of the 21st century."
- Creating a sustainable and resilient network capable of supporting every Gator so they can thrive at UF and beyond.
- Shaping our climate and culture to foster the success of all Gators.
In July 2018, the office launched the network of Campus Diversity Liaisons--experts embedded in each college and business unit who are working to advance our priorities in a site-specific, intentional way. Some recent accomplishments and initiatives include:
- UF Inclusive Excellence Initiative. UF has partnered with Dr. Damon Williams' Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation to produce a comprehensive inventory of the university's DEI efforts that will result in an insight-to-action strategic DEI inventory report.
- National Initiatives. UF is involved in two national initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine)--the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) SEAChange and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) ASPIRE IChange Network. Both of these initiatives focus on institutional change through self-assessment and data-driven action planning.
- Affinity groups. The Office of the CDO supports the work of faculty/staff and graduate student affinity groups through microgrants and monthly meetings of the affinity group leaders.
- Mentoring. With the Office of the Provost and the International Mentoring Association (IMA), the Office of the CDO launched a mentoring initiative that brings together all the faculty and staff on campus who have a shared interest and expertise in mentoring. The office also instituted a reciprocal mentoring program among affinity group leaders and cabinet members. In 2020-2021, we offered a Certificate in Multicultural Mentoring.
UF is a leader among its peers and a known innovator. (We are ranked 4th and 9th nationally when it comes to LatinX and African American graduates who go on to receive PhDs in STEM. We are ranked #1 in the nation when it comes to the number of tenured and tenure track African American female faculty in engineering.) Gators need to make this true in the IDEA sphere. We need our peers to ask themselves, “What are they doing at Florida? How have they found success in building inclusive cultures where excellence, innovation, and people thrive?” Every Gator has a part to play in bringing forth a Gator Nation that lives its highest values – we welcome you on the journey!