New EDI Scorecard highlights the impact of EDI initiatives

For nearly five years the division for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Utah has worked to increase a sense of belonging for all amongst the growing diversity within our campus community and our state as a whole. The cultural paradigm employed by the division was grounded in the ideals of creating an inclusive society where everyone has an opportunity to thrive. It is important to note that studies continue to demonstrate this approach holds immense value for overall social and physical wellbeing.

EDI has served as the home to cultural and resource centers and a national leadership program with hundreds of alumni currently in administrative positions in institutions of higher education around the country. The division has also solidified itself as a connector to internal and external communities across the state and nationally, established the University of Utah Health as a thought leader in eradicating health disparities, and emerged as a new interfaith initiative hub through our partnership with Interfaith America.

Ensuring belonging for all has been foundational to the work of the EDI cultural and resource centers including the American Indian Resource Center; Black Cultural Center; Center for Equity and Student Belonging (CESB); Dream Center; the University of Utah Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion; and a host of other on-campus and community relationships. EDI has continuously built long-term, sustainable programs that not only address the needs of diverse students, faculty, and staff, but all members of our campus community as reflected in the newly released 2024 edition of our EDI Scorecard.

We have prided ourselves on our work in providing tools and building bridges. We want to remind you, our colleagues and friends, that universities and colleges must continue to serve as the fertile fields where our future leaders and innovators are cultivated and developed. A diverse and inclusive academic environment enriches the learning experience of every person on our campus, and it makes us better thought leaders and community participants. As Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, former president of Spelman College and Bennett College, aptly puts it, “In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength”—but there is also a growing aptitude for new social dynamics. Exposure to diverse perspectives in higher education cultivates critical thinking skills, prepares students for the multicultural workforce, and nurtures a global mindset. This is why universities that prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion end up creating spaces where students can thrive academically and socially, setting the stage for a more understanding and productive community.