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For Immediate Release
November 15, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Rich Schneider, 317-278-4564 rcschnei@iupui.edu

IUPUI Chancellor Vows To Improve Diversity at IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS – IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz today said the campus must improve its climate of diversity.

After listening to students, faculty, staff and members of the community talk about their experiences at IUPUI for a total of seven hours on Monday and Tuesday, November 13 and November 14, Bantz said, “We heard reports of hostile behavior and discrimination at IUPUI.”

“We are committed to a safe, civil, hospitable environment for all students, faculty and staff,” he vowed. “The campus will not tolerate anyone's being disrespectful of, or threatening to, another person.”

IUPUI students, faculty and staff who feel they have experienced discrimination are encouraged to contact Affirmative Action Director Lillian Charleston at (317) 274-2306, he said. “Each report will be fully investigated.”

“Anyone with a complaint should feel free to come forward without fear of retribution,” Bantz said.

Bantz cited action steps the campus will take: 

  • Engage the Indianapolis Urban League to help the campus address diversity issues and facilitate discussions with student leaders.  The Indianapolis Urban League has agreed to assist the campus.
  • Begin a search for a full-time campus diversity officer, who will report directly to the chancellor. The duties of campus diversity officer had been assigned to a vice chancellor in addition to other duties. “We need a full-time diversity officer working everyday to improve diversity at IUPUI,” Bantz said.
  • Launch a complete review of how funds are dispersed to student groups and examine the level of funding for student activities, using an outside university expert in administration of student programs.
  • Evaluate cultural competency training provided to employees of the campus and determine if cultural competency training programs should be mandatory.
  • Assemble a working group comprised of representatives of several groups, including students, faculty, the community, and alumni to help monitor campus diversity improvement efforts.
  • Establish a team to implement a multicultural center within IUPUI facilities.

Bantz said he is committed to meeting early next week with three leaders of a student initiative who championed the call for action to improve diversity at IUPUI.

The campus, however, will not rush to meet a deadline set by the students to respond to their requests by 5 p.m. today. “These issues are too important to IUPUI to be treated in haste.”

“We will take whatever time it takes to work through these issues,” he said.

More information and documents can be found in the planning section of the IUPUI Diversity pages at http://www.iupui.edu/diversity/planning/

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