Holy Names University Diversity Statement*
I. Statement and Definition
Founded in 1868, Holy Names University is consistently ranked as having one of the most diverse student populations in the nation. About 70% of our students are from under-represented ethnic backgrounds in higher education and our student body represents over 30 nations. We are a living lab of how a diverse community can come together, and celebrate similarities and differences. We are a community that reflects where we live and work.
As set forth in the University’s Mission Statement, Holy Names University is committed to the full development of each student, and empowering a diverse student body for leadership and service in a diverse world. Holy Names University is a center of rigorous teaching and scholarship in the Catholic tradition and serves as a model of diversity promoting cultural competency.
The University has determined that emphasizing diversity as a matter of institutional policy is an integral component of educational excellence. Student learning is greatly enhanced in a diverse educational environment, and as such they are better prepared to become active participants in our pluralistic, democratic society once they leave such a setting. Holy Names University has traditionally fostered inclusion and openness in the institutional planning process. Achieving and engaging diversity among students, faculty and staff is a cornerstone of that tradition and Holy Names University’s institutional policy. The University’s Strategic Plan has incorporated the continuing goal to explore, appreciate, and critically engage the meaning and dimensions of diversity within our multicultural community. To successfully accomplish this goal the University will
- Cultivate an environment where faculty, staff, administration, and trustees reflect the diverse experiences of our campus and demonstrate a commitment to multicultural competence.
- Value and integrate multicultural perspectives in the creation and development of curriculum and academic programs at Holy Names University.
- Engage with and serve the diverse needs of our students.
- Leverage resources in a data driven process to ensure that the diverse needs of our campus population are met.
- Create and sustain a physical environment that recognizes, supports, and promotes an inclusive community.
Consistent with this Strategic Plan, the University shall continue to recruit, admit, retain, and graduate students who meet the University’s requirements for academic success and who bring to the University a variety of talents, backgrounds, experiences, and personal characteristics, including but not limited to: race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic background, age, disability, and geographic origin. The means of achieving and promoting this diversity shall remain flexible, and the manner in which race, ethnicity, and gender are to be considered shall meet standards evolving in federal and state law.
II. Educational Benefits of a Diverse Community
The University expects the impact of a diverse community on academic and co-curricular programming to be beneficial to our students, the institution, and the environment in which they both function. Holy Names University inspires students to learn, lead and serve in a diverse and changing world. Opinions rendered by a diverse community further the University’s educational goals by challenging traditional educational practices, and by contributing new perspectives to the curriculum and other scholarly pursuits. The University believes that a community of students bringing a variety of perspectives and experiences, coupled with instruction offered by a diverse faculty results in a richer educational experience. Our graduates have had and will continue to have a significant impact on business, education, the arts, and sciences for generations to come. We must create a learning environment enriched by diversity on campus so our students will be prepared for professional careers and positions of leadership, and for successful and productive participation in a global economy.
Excellence in education requires diversity so as to foster
- The capacity to see human experience from the perspective of others who encounter and interpret the world in significantly different ways;
- The open exchange of different beliefs, experiences, and values so that individuals acquire the necessary critical skills that will serve them throughout their lives; and
- The broadening and deepening of the educational experience and the scholarly environment, so that students and faculty have the resources to participate in an increasingly complex and pluralistic world.
The University recognizes that the positive effects of diversity do not automatically accrue from a simple focus on numerical representations of various populations within our University community. Rather, diversity produces benefits through thoughtfully structured policies and programs designed to support and facilitate interaction among students as part of the academic and co-curricular experience. These include outreach and enrichment; recruitment; financial aid; scholarships; general education diversity course requirements; programs designed to improve retention; and to cultivate a learning environment, in and out of the classroom, which enhance the individual and collective experiences of the campus community.
III. Periodic Review
Diversity is not an end result, but a means of achieving a concrete set of educational objectives. Accordingly, the University shall periodically review its diversity-related policies and programs to determine their achievements, and to adjust them as necessary to further those objectives.
*Adapted from Seattle University Statement on Diversity