In his first State of the University address, Illinois State University President Larry Dietz outlined his priorities for enhanced campus diversity.

Enhancing diversity among faculty and staff is a high priority for Dietz. Discussions with campus leaders and new data collection methods will help to assess the climate for diversity on campus and in the community.

“I will place a personal emphasis on attracting administrators from underrepresented groups,” said Dietz. “In addition, I am currently working with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics and Access to bring more diversity to that important office. I will also be working closely with the shared governance committees charged with selecting candidates for our vice presidents, and I will place high importance on seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds.”

Diversity among the student body has increased in recent years and Dietz believes there is room for additional growth. Expanded marketing, course availability, financial aid opportunities and retention efforts will help to build on the momentum created by this year’s large freshman class. Efforts will also be made to increase the number of international students coming to Illinois State.

“While we will never deny access to academically motivated in-state students to attend Illinois State, I believe this University has the ability and the capacity for moderate growth and I believe some of that growth can be achieved with students from diverse cultures,” Dietz said. “Illinois State University has a great deal to offer these students. As we answer the charge of our new strategic plan for International Studies, it is time to achieve a more globally reflective student population.”

Dietz also outlined plans for the creation of a Center for Civic Engagement to coordinate campus initiatives that connect students with leadership and community service opportunities. “The Center for Civic Engagement would also have an outward focus, inviting the collaboration and participation of local and state groups and individuals to join our efforts to produce an educated, active and engaged citizenry,” said Dietz.