At Northern Illinois University (NIU), diversity, inclusion and equity all play a key role in the institution’s overall vision.
Including those elements in its institutional mission extends to all parts of NIU, including the athletics department, which emphasized in its recently updated vision statement and strategic plan that diversity, inclusion and equity are an important part of the athletic program’s core values. In addition, personnel within the athletics department were specifically assigned to oversee these initiatives.
NIU Athletics works in a variety of ways to deepen the awareness of equality and diversity issues, including campus programs and partnerships with the local community.
For instance, it provides training seminars and webinars to staff and campus administrators on topics such as Title IX, diversity/inclusion and sexual violence prevention. It also offers programming to at-risk students aimed at ensuring they complete their degrees.
Other work undertaken by the athletic department includes events that join campus constituents from all areas of the university, student-athletes and members of the athletics department and the community together for open discussion.
NIU was recently honored with the NCAA and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association’s 2016 Award for Diversity and Inclusion for its supportive initiatives, policies and practices.