Diversity and Inclusion Statement

What Constitutes Diversity?

We view diversity holistically, understanding that the definition is constantly evolving. Our definition of diversity includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, class, religion, disability, age, military status, visa status, economic status, geographic location, and language/linguistic ability. Diverse and well-reasoned ideas, approaches, and experiences are also essential parts of inclusion and equity.

What Are Our Guiding Principles and Values?

Miami University is committed to and fully embraces the philosophy and belief that a diverse academic community is among an institution's greatest strengths. As decades of research and experience have shown, every unit and individual on campus benefits from diversity when there is an environment where people from a wide variety of backgrounds learn from one another, share ideas, and work collaboratively to ask and solve questions. This is especially important given Miami's commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning. A diverse and inclusive campus enhances the living, learning, and working environment for every student, staff, and faculty member. Together, these benefits help Miami achieve its special mission as a public institution in Ohio, educating students across the state and preparing them to be leaders in a variety of fields who are ready for the demands of the 21st century workforce. We therefore aspire to attract and retain a broadly diverse group of faculty, staff, and students.

What Actions Do We Commit to Taking?

Creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment where active and successful engagement occurs across difference requires effective policy and practice. These are the responsibility of all Miami administrators, faculty, staff, and students. These practices and policies include (but are not limited to):

  • Actively recruiting, admitting, hiring, and retaining the widest array of talented students, faculty, and staff, nationally and internationally
  • Providing appropriate financial aid to those who need it
  • Deliberately designing and offering curricula that promote deep learning (including opportunities for deep learning about human diversity) and provide critical learning opportunities
  • Providing support, professional development, and working conditions for students, faculty, and staff that lead to long-term retention, satisfaction, and growth
  • Examining these and other practices and policies for impact and effectiveness, and changing them when we find them lacking

In addition to taking proactive steps like these, we also actively work to address and eliminate acts of harassment, hate, and violence that negatively impact the ability of our community members to engage in their intentional work together. We oppose activities that threaten our educational mission and the rights, dignity, or humanity of the students, faculty, and staff who are fulfilling that mission and working in good faith to engage respectfully across difference. In these ways, we work to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff experience and recognize Miami as a community environment where a diversity of thoughtful ideas and lived experiences are welcome, valued, and contribute to collaborative and respectful knowledge-making.

What is the Rationale for Our Position?

Actively engaging with a variety of people, perspectives, experiences, and ideas is part of a comprehensive and meaningful education in the 21st century. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that engaging with a variety of perspectives and dialoguing across diverse experiences can provide opportunities for those involved to think critically, increase understanding of disparate ideas, deepen learning, interact in meaningful ways with varied communities, and effectively participate in a heterogeneous world with increasingly porous borders. This research also tells us that students who interact with diverse peers and take courses that include multicultural perspectives are more engaged learners, more likely to become involved in community service programs, more successful in occupations that require teamwork and collaboration, and more likely to remain enrolled in school and pursue professional or graduate degrees after completing undergraduate degrees. ¹ We have seen this research play out in our own Miami community through stories and perspectives shared by our students, faculty, administrators, and staff.

There is a robust body of research and court rulings that affirm the educational and workplace value of diversity—a confirmation echoed by a wide variety of stakeholders from business, the military, government, academia, faith-based organizations, and beyond. The research underscores our belief that opinions rendered by a diverse body and community further the University's goals by challenging traditional educational practices and knowledge, by allowing new and different world views to flourish, and by positively impacting the ways of seeing and thinking about problems and issues which consequently allow for new perspectives and answers to emerge, curriculums to shift, and new scholarly pursuits to develop. The position we take here is a reaffirmation of the position we have long taken. This is evident in our Mission and Values statements, 20/20 Strategic Plan (Foundation Goal #2 Diversity, Inclusion, Global Experiences), and Code.

¹ See, for example, Gurin (2004); Gurin, et al (2002); Milem (2003); College Board (2009, 2010); Coleman et al (2006); Gratz v Bollinger (2003); Grutter v Bollinger (2003); Parents Involved in Community Schools v Seattle School District (2007); Regents of the Univ of California v Bakke (1978); Fisher v Univ of Texas at Austin (2013; 2016).