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Second Diversity Plan to Build on Strategic Successes

The University of Toledo has developed its second diversity plan with engagement from more than 3,100 campus and community stakeholders to advance the progress made during the inaugural strategic diversity plan.

“Diversity, inclusion and equity are core values of our University infused into every action we take,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion and vice provost, said. “We are proud of the strategic ways we have strengthened the environment throughout UToledo campuses over the last three years, and we must continue our critical efforts.”

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established in 2016 with the development of UToledo’s first Strategic Diversity Plan, which expired at the end of 2019. The mission of the office is to ensure every member of the campus community feels included, respected and free from discrimination. It also works to promote a diverse and culturally aware environment that prepares students for success in today’s global world.

The goals in the updated plan, which has a timeline of 2020 to 2023, focus on leadership and accountability, education and awareness, recruitment and retention, and community engagement.

The goals are similar, but not exactly the same as the first diversity plan. For example, the new plan establishes supplier diversity as its own goal rather than it being part of the community goal as it was previously, McKether said.

This second plan also has a greater number of strategies focused specifically on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students.

“Since 2016, we’ve added two key positions, one in enrollment management and one in the provost’s office, that focus specifically on these areas and reflect the University’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity,” McKether said.

Accomplishments during the first three-year diversity plan include:

  • Increasing student, faculty and staff feelings of inclusiveness, according to a campus survey;
  • Increasing the African-American student retention rate by 8 percentage points and the Hispanic student retention rate by 5.4 percentage points;
  • Reducing the equity gap by 7 percentage points;
  • Increasing the African-American six-year graduation rate by 6 percentage points and by 2 percentage points for Hispanic students;
  • Expanding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to include an office on Health Science Campus;
  • Establishing diversity plans, committees and leaders in all colleges; and
  • Implementing a Dialogues on Diversity initiative.

View the diversity plan on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website.

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