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:
- Grants. UF has joined AAAS SEAChange, which aims to support institutional transformation in support of diversity, equity and inclusion in STEMM, and the Association of Public and Landgrant Universities ASPIRE IChange Network, which is focused on increasing diversity in STEMM+ faculty.
- Affinity groups. The leaders of both faculty/staff and graduate student affinity groups are networked into the Office of the CDO.
- 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.
- Crucial Conversations. The foundation of an inclusive culture is the ability to have authentic conversations, especially when the stakes are high and we aren’t in agreement. UF has trained almost 300 faculty and staff members in Crucial Conversations, and have supported 10 of these to become certified as trainers.
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!