Initiatives

To both advance and support increased diversity and inclusion in the Notre Dame community, the University invests in a range of initiatives and programming for students, faculty, and staff.

Below is a selection of new and ongoing activities. Whenever possible, links are provided for more information.

Faculty Initiatives

Moreau Faculty Development Fellowships

This Graduate School initiative seeks to increase the number of scholars who contribute to the intellectual vibrancy, cultural competency, and research excellence of Notre Dame. Recently, three of the program fellows were hired into tenure-track positions at the University. The program has also been expanded to fund the hiring of even more fellows in the future.

Faculty Experience Survey and Interviews

During the 2014–15 academic year, a faculty committee examined results of the University’s recent faculty experience survey, which covered topics such as institutional climate, work/life balance, the tenure/promotion process, mentoring, research and scholarship infrastructure, and benefits. Survey results showed high levels of satisfaction across most areas examined, but the data also suggests areas in need of significant improvement. A series of related interviews have also been conducted with women faculty and faculty of color. Members of the committee and the Office of the Provost then hosted open forums, conversations that will continue in the coming year, and met with interested groups (such as the University Committee on Women Faculty and Students, the Faculty Senate, and the Deans Council) to identify strategies for improvement. The deans also led discussions with faculty in each school and college. During the 2015–16 academic year, the Office of the Provost and deans are compiling a portfolio of the initiatives now being generated across campus to enhance Notre Dame’s faculty experience. A follow-up faculty experience survey will also be conducted in the future to assess our improvement in key areas.

Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty

The deans of each college and school continue to develop and update their plans to more effectively recruit and retain underrepresented faculty. To inform this effort, the deans also meet as a group to share best practices. The Office of the Provost is actively involved in supporting the deans and department chairs with recruiting goals.

Director for Academic Diversity and Inclusion

Pamela Nolan Young was appointed Notre Dame’s first director for academic diversity and inclusion in 2016. Her work focuses on expanding the University’s diversity and inclusion training for faculty, with an eye toward enhancing Notre Dame's faculty climate and integrating such training into new faculty orientation. She also provides leadership to colleges and departments on implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives, and she facilitates recruiting efforts for under-represented populations into faculty, postdoctoral and graduate student positions. 

Librarian-In-Residence Program

This two-year program recruits recent library school graduates who can enhance the diversity of the library science profession and the University while developing career interests in various aspects of academic librarianship.

University Committee on Women Faculty and Students (UCWFS)

The UCWFS considers policies, practices, and the general environment of the University as they relate to women faculty and students. The committee serves in an advisory capacity reporting to the President through the provost and may make recommendations for action to the President, or, as he directs, for action by the other officers of the University and the Academic Council.


Student Initiatives

Student Diversity and Inclusion Study

In 2014, the Office of Student Affairs conducted almost 150 interviews—including 100 with students—which, together with data collected from student satisfaction surveys, led to the formulation of 21 recommendations on diversity and inclusion. The recommendations fall into four categories: improving the readiness and presence of Student Affairs staff to serve a diverse student body; augmenting the services offered by Multicultural Student Programs and Services with targeted programs across Student Affairs; creating a comprehensive, cohesive system for supporting students with high socioeconomic need; and demonstrating visible commitment to diversity through communication, facilities, and measurement of programs.

Student Recognition Awards

  • The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Award annually honors a graduating senior whose contributions have significantly advanced the climate of welcome and inclusion within or beyond the University community. 

  • The Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F. Leadership Award annually honors a post-baccalaureate student who has displayed leadership in promoting a more diverse, inclusive campus community for students. 

Advisory Committee for Student Climate Related to Race and Ethnicity

Created as part of the implementation of the Student Affairs Diversity Recommendations, this committee is made up of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, administrators, and faculty. The committee offers input to the vice president of Student Affairs about the Notre Dame campus climate for students, especially related to topics around diversity and inclusion.

Advisory Committee for Student Climate Related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Students (LGBTQ):

In December 2012, the University of Notre Dame released “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of LGBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame.” Created as part of this pastoral plan, the committee is made up of undergraduate and graduate student representatives, administrators, faculty, and theological and pastoral consultants. The committee offers advice and input to Student Affairs about the Notre Dame campus climate for students, especially related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and relevant Church teaching in these areas.

Fighting Irish Initiative Program

Established to support students with high socio-economic need, the new Fighting Irish Initiative complements funding from Financial Aid for tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation, and personal expenses by providing a comprehensive enrichment program that will help these students get the most from their Notre Dame experience. Pending the hire of the initial program director, the rector fund offers financial support to students to experience many events at Notre Dame.

University Committee on Women Faculty and Students (UCWFS)

The UCWFS considers policies, practices, and the general environment of the University as they relate to women faculty and students. The committee serves in an advisory capacity reporting to the President through the provost and may make recommendations for action to the President, or, as he directs, for action by the other officers of the University and the Academic Council.

Residential Life Initiatives

Residence Hall Multicultural Commissioners include a representative from each hall on campus. Each commissioner’s role is to raise awareness about different cultures and traditions within their respective halls. Gender Relations Center Residence Hall Commissioners promote the mission of the GRC in various ways with their leadership and communication skills.


Staff Initiatives

ND Voice Survey and Upward Feedback Assessments

Diversity and inclusion questions have been added to both the ND Voice and Upward Feedback assessments to gather feedback from employees and assist with appropriate action planning aimed at addressing issues of diversity.

Director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion

Eric Love was hired in 2014 to serve as Notre Dame’s first director of staff diversity and inclusion. Among other responsibilities, he is responsible for developing new strategies for diversity and inclusion in concert with the work of the University’s Staff Diversity Subcommittee.

Staff Diversity Plans

Notre Dame’s executive vice president and his leadership team meet to review progress on diversity initiatives within their divisions. Goals for the three areas of focus in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (climate, recruiting/hiring, and training) are being developed and implemented.

Employee Resource Groups

Sponsored by the Office of Human Resources, these groups support networking and provide social outlets; they also assist the University with recruitment, retention, and educational activities. Current groups include Young Leaders, Women’s Leadership (Thrive), and Black Faculty and Staff Association. The formation of an Hispanic group and an international group are being finalized.

Diversity Discussions

Designed to be participatory and highly interactive, the Discussion Series presents an opportunity for all Notre Dame staff to share experiences, learn from each other, and ultimately grow to make the University a more diverse and inclusive place where everyone can do their very best work. Visit hr.nd.edu for more information on this series, presented by the Office of Human Resources, the director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion, and Campus Dining. 

Office of Institutional Equity

The mission of the Office of Institutional Equity is to provide leadership and support to the Notre Dame community regarding principles of fair treatment and equal opportunity for all students, faculty, staff, and job applicants.