Diversity Initiatives

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Diversity Initiatives

Imagine the Possibilities

A first-generation immigrant discovers her dream career.
An inner-city kid becomes the first in his family to attend graduate school.
People learning from others' experience.
A school without barriers that fosters success.
That’s diversity. That’s University of the Rockies.

Diversity at University of the Rockies

Diversity at University of the Rockies means we encourage students of all cultures and experiences to seek higher learning opportunities and learn from one another. At University of the Rockies, we define diversity by the difference we make in people’s lives. Diversity is more than just our mission statement — it is who we are.

Watch alumni explain how diversity, a core value at University of the Rockies, has been a significant and positive aspect of their experience at the institution. "It's not something we just sit around and talk about," says President and CEO Dr. Charlita Shelton. "We really put diversity into action in terms of creating an inclusive environment for our faculty, for our staff, and for our students."

Diversity Matters

More than 53% percent of graduate students at University of the Rockies belong to an under-represented group.

  • In fall 2011, 18.2% of all US university faculty members were ethnically diverse (excluding persons whose race/ethnicity was unknown). 
    - U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2012
  • 1.5% of all doctorate recipients in 2009 reported having one or more disabilities. 
    - National Science Foundation. 2010. Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2009

Issues of diversity have been recognized as integral to the successful and ethical functioning of institutions of higher education. Research demonstrates that students of traditionally underrepresented ethnic backgrounds remain underrepresented in institutions of higher education. Research also suggests that a number of factors help to attract and retain diverse students, including the presence of:

  • Faculty and staff who are sensitive to diversity issues;
  • Support for diverse students, both academically and in a strong sense of community;
  • Opportunities for multi-faceted areas of study; and
  • Availability of mentors and advisors.

Our Actions

Administrators, faculty members, staff, and students must strive to encourage and support diversity in their actions with individuals both inside and outside the Rockies community. University of the Rockies leaders have created three groups to spearhead our diversity efforts.

President’s Diversity Council

The President’s Diversity Council is charged with framing the strategic intent for the University’s diversity operations and for owning the mission and vision of diversity. The Council meets twice each year to review plans and provide leadership and resources to the Diversity Task Force and its sub-groups.

Diversity Task Force

The Diversity Task Force is the driving force for diversity work at University of the Rockies. This team of individuals leads work groups to implement strategy and monitor growth. Membership consists of staff, faculty, and students who develop initiatives to create a welcoming and inclusive climate.

Faculty Diversity CouncilFaculty Diversity Council

The Faculty Diversity Committee is a set of faculty members from all functions of the University community. This committee supports curricular and co-curricular activities in pursuit of scholarship as students and faculty members become partners in the community.

Core Initiatives

To ensure that we reach our strategic goals for diversity, the University of the Rockies is implementing the following four Core Initiatives:

Recruiting and Retention

  • Attract and retain the best-qualified faculty, staff, andstudents for optimum achievement.

Organizational Design

  • Create procedures, policies and practices that are inclusive of our entire community.
  • Establish an environment that demonstrates respect and value for differences.
  • Provide forums for discussion and open exchange of ideas.


  • Assess the curriculum for learning outcomes that incorporate diversity knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  • Assure that these learning outcomes are being achieved.
  • Review pool of curriculum developers for multiculturalism among developers and material.

Training and Education

  • Create educational opportunities for students to learn about the variety of diversity topics.
  • Provide forums for exposure to learn from one another.
  • Implement a deliberate process for training classes (students, staff & faculty) to drive diversity results.

For more information, please contact the Director of Diversity, Francesca Galarraga, at 866.475.0317, ext. 6027 or via email at diversity@rockies.edu

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