More than 60 individuals from 22 higher education institutions in New Mexico were represented recently at the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit held at the University of New Mexico.

UNM’s Division for Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Chaouki Abdallah and Vice Provost Emeritus Jerry Dominguez, organized the conference.

“The purpose of the meeting was to initiate discussions about how New Mexico’s institutions of Higher Education can serve an increasingly diverse student population,” said summit coordinator, Jozi De Leon, vice president, Equity and Inclusion. “This includes enrollment of race/ethnic groups in increasing numbers, meeting the needs of New Mexico’s diverse groups, and traditionally under-served groups, gender shifts of the college-going population from more male to female, LGBTQ and nontraditional student needs, veterans returning to college and a focus on recruiting more international students.”

During the six-hour meeting, colleagues from 22 institutions received an overview on Diversity in the state of New Mexico and the way data is used in relation to reporting diversity in the state, and engaged in discussion relevant to institution-type (i.e. 2-year, independent community colleges, 4-year universities, etc.).

A panel of representatives from Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Community College and New Mexico Highlands University presented on what they are doing at their own institutions to address diversity.

Jose Garcia, secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department, provided attendees with an update on working with the institutions to close the achievement gap, generate more degrees and bolster New Mexico’s workforce.

A final report was produced following the convening and a post-event survey was completed with the goal of planning future statewide conversations and incorporating group recommendations.

New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M. will host the next Summit in fall 2014 or spring 2015.

UNM established the Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in 2007 to strengthen the organizational capacity in order to serve UNM’s diverse student body. DEI provides leadership for addressing institution-wide equity and inclusion and lends its support to student, staff and faculty efforts that build on the university’s diversity initiatives. DEI supports system-wide diversity initiatives to enhance student recruitment and retention, academic excellence, employee diversity and a campus climate that embraces its diversity as an asset. In addition, the Office for Equity and Inclusion is the only university entity of its kind in a very diverse state, serving a diverse student population. 

If you would like more information, visit Diversity at UNM.