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Faculty Diversity and Excellence

Northwestern University is committed to increasing our faculty diversity and enhancing our climate of equity and inclusion so that all faculty members are empowered to do their best work. President Morton Schapiro stated, “True diversity is defined not only as differences in individual backgrounds, personal identities, intellectual approaches, and demographics; it is also the removal of barriers and the creation of space that allow individuals

Photo of Lane Fenrich and Nitasha Sharma

to fully engage in the life of the university. As individuals of our own unique identities—be it comprised of faith, race, sexuality, gender, abilities, socioeconomic class, etc.—we each offer an irreplaceable opportunity to examine the issues before us from a newly encountered dimension. The commitment to providing these opportunities equally to each and every member of our community is the force behind creating a diverse, ideal Northwestern University.”

Our initiatives are designed to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects—including, but not limited to race/ethnicity, and gender, as well as disability, sexual orientation, and gender expression and identity. A Faculty Diversity and Excellence Group, which met from 2015-2017, guided many of these initiatives, as does the Provost’s Advisory Council on Women Faculty.  

Photo of the 2018 Faculty Diversity Award recipients Lane Fenrich (left) and Nitasha Sharma (right).

Inclusive Teaching

We are committed to fostering inclusive learning environments for our diverse academic community. To assist instructors in developing and maintaining an inclusive learning environment that acknowledges and promotes the diversity of the Northwestern community, we have created the Northwestern Guide to Inclusive Learning Environments (forthcoming).

Career Development and Community Building

We are committed to providing opportunities for faculty to connect with each other across discipline, school, and campus and to gain skills and support for career success. These include career development workshops and receptions for women, underrepresented, and LGBTQ+ faculty.

Faculty Searches and Hiring

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty—success in this requires concerted, well-planned action on the part of search committees, department chairs, deans, and the institution at large. To assist schools and search committees in identifying, recruiting, hiring, and retaining the most diverse and excellent faculty, we have developed a robust set of online resources and Faculty Search Guidelines

Faculty Awards and Funding

Through an annual grants and awards program, we fund faculty-led initiatives to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable climate on campus. These funding mechanisms are intended to increase our faculty diversity across all spectrums including, but not limited to race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, age and political affiliation.