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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana’s been trying to encourage more minorities to go on to college. Part of the solution may be to build diversity among instructors.

Expanding diversity of both students and staff is part of Ivy Tech’s newly updated strategic plan. President Sue Ellspermann says specific goals for faculty hiring will follow. She says it’s important for students of color to have instructors and advisers with life experiences in common, who can serve as mentors and as inspirations. Ellspermann says that’s even more important at Ivy Tech, which she says has the most diverse student pool of the state’s colleges and universities.

Ellspermann told a Commission for Higher Education conference on educational equity the school is being “much more intentional” about reaching out to potential minority faculty, not sitting back and waiting to see what applications come in. She says the school should be able to leverage its relationships with employers of Ivy Tech students and alumni to get in touch with potential recruits. And she’s vowing more attention to hiring from within, inviting successful staff members to look into teaching positions. 

The CHE has set a goal of erasing a gap in college attendance and completion rates across economic and ethnic lines by 2025.

(Photo: Leo Lintang/Thinkstock)