In the New Synergies strategic plan, Purdue commits itself to creating “A learning environment immersed in a rich and dynamic culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion for all people, with widespread support and a diverse educational climate for an evolving global society.” Indeed, diversity, equality, and inclusion are concepts at the core of the strategic plan because they are values that are central to Purdue’s mission not only as Indiana’s land-grant university, but also as a world-leading institution. Purdue’s commitment to diversity and inclusion are evidenced in President Daniels' establishment of a cabinet level position, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and in the August 2010 issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which features Purdue and President Daniels on the cover and includes an article about the President’s initiatives to increase the number of minority and women administrators and students.
The College of Liberal Arts similarly has a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion. CLA is consistently among the leading units at Purdue in terms of the numbers of women and minority faculty and students. More importantly, Liberal Arts is a center for teaching and research that address diversity and inclusiveness. Through courses taken by students from across the university to its interdisciplinary programs including African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies, and through the varied international research programs of its faculty and study abroad opportunities and programs in Asian Studies, Italian Studies, and Global Studies, Liberal Arts leads the university.
The College of Liberal Arts Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion will bring together faculty and students from Liberal Arts and across the university to capitalize on these already existing research interests and to encourage new research projects designed to explore fundamental questions about what diversity and inclusion mean, about the challenges of creating communities that are not simply diverse but that are actually inclusive, and about policies, practices, and laws that support or hinder efforts to create diverse and inclusive communities. The Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion will promote research on a wide range of issues including but not limited to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, age, religion and ability; and the social, political, and cultural support for and impediments to equal treatment and inclusion.
As the Center grows its support, it will sponsor and co-sponsor symposia, lectures, exhibits, conferences, readings, and other events. It will support faculty and student research, and it will, as resources permit, begin a peer-reviewed journal.