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UMD Launches Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

October 3, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Jennings, 301-405-4618

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland announced the launch of the new Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, a national hub for research, policy, professional standards, and consultation for universities on critical issues related to diversity and inclusion in higher education. 

“Issues of diversity and inclusion are rippling through colleges and universities across the country, including our own,” said UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. “The Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education will not only provide cutting-edge, innovative research on these key issues, but will serve as a resource to our higher education colleagues at UMD and well beyond.” 

The Center will bring together key faculty from UMD and other major universities, and major national higher education associations, to form a high level think-tank and research center for diversity and inclusion issues across the country and abroad in higher education. 

Housed in the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education Department of the College of Education, the Center will be led by Executive Director Roger L. Worthington, interim associate provost and chief diversity officer, and professor; and Director Candace M. Moore, assistant clinical professor. 

“We will engage with a broad range of thought leaders with expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education representing diverse communities, governmental agencies, higher education institutions, and international partners to set an ambitious agenda for the development and distribution of research, scholarship, and best practices,” said Worthington. “We will work with colleges and universities to think through critical issues and develop customized plans to help move them forward.”

The Center aims to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary research among faculty, staff and students at the local, national, and international level; and promote, support, and showcase diversity and inclusion scholarship. Researchers will engage in critical reflection on the significance and transformative impacts of diversity and inclusion practices in higher education, and communicate the results of such research and reflection to national and international audiences. 

“By drawing on the expertise of faculty in the College of Education and across the university, the Center will provide consultation and guidance to other higher education institutions regarding diversity and inclusion,” said College of Education Dean Jennifer K. Rice. “The Center will establish a national research agenda around diversity issues in higher education and through consultation and conferences, ensure that our research informs and is informed by policy and current issues related to inclusion on campuses.” 

The Center plans to recruit postdoctoral fellows and doctoral-level graduate assistants nationally to collaborate on all Center activities; and develop and facilitate an online curriculum related to diversity and inclusion in higher education. The Center will also convene a biennial national summit of thought leaders, as well as a biennial national conference, to identify and summarize the highest priority issues, findings, and recommendations nationally regarding diversity and inclusion in higher education.