Innovations in Inclusion: The Purdue Faculty and Staff Diversity Story, 1997-2008

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Purdue University Press


Over the last ten years, Purdue University has undertaken a culture-change initiative. With leadership changes imminent at Purdue University in spring 2007, it seemed wise to document this effort to increase the awareness, knowledge, and skills of faculty and staff in the many areas of diversity. This work focuses on the faculty and staff in the colleges and schools of the University. The data for this report were gathered by the researcher and author of this document, who interviewed key informants and examined documents, archives, and websites during spring 2007. What is reported here does not represent the history of diversity at Purdue: There is a long history of recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority students and women (in the more technical fields) that is not covered here. There is also ongoing training and intervention work in the administrative side of the University and in the support units. This report describes work with faculty and staff in the colleges and schools to change the academic culture so that students, whatever their diversity and gender, will feel welcomed, supported, and included. It begins with the narrative of the ten-year development of this diversity initiative, which includes data on changes that have occurred in the academic culture at Purdue. A section on change in universities and the concepts that underlie the change process concludes the discussion.