Diversity Revitalization Plan

In spring of 2014, the IU School of Medicine embarked on an aggressive 18-month plan to revitalize the diversity efforts within the school.

Why revitalize diversity?

Our nation is changing and our higher education institutions need to reflect these changes. More than half of all U.S. babies born today are people of color.   By 2050, our nation will have no clear racial or ethnic majority. From 2005 to 2030, Indiana is projected to have a 26% increase in the number of African Americans, a 54% increase in the number of Asian Americans, and a 100% increase in the number of Latinos.  Communities of color will provide many of tomorrow’s patients, physicians, scientists, and leaders. Diversity, however, is about much more. In its broadest meaning, diversity goes beyond race, ethnicity, and gender to consider other areas of difference such as religion, socio-economic status, age and generational differences, sexual orientation, people with disabilities, work styles, and character traits. Each person has his or her own unique combination of such characteristics. The School of Medicine thus embraces the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) Group on Diversity and Inclusion’s (GDI) definition of diversity:

Diversity as a core value embodies inclusiveness, mutual respect, and multiple perspectives and serves as a catalyst for change resulting in health equity. In this context, we are mindful of all aspects of human differences such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability and age.

Our challenge is to prepare a workforce for the future.  This cannot happen without a renewed commitment and new approach that involves all members of the medical school community.


  • To create a culture where all individuals within the IUSM community feel included, valued, and respected
  • To expand and enhance opportunities within the School of Medicine at all levels for individuals from all backgrounds
  • To increase the diversity among  IUSM learners, faculty, and staff so that  the population of IUSM reflects the general population of Indiana
  • To increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the School of Medicine
  • To promote cultural understanding and cultural competency as a cornerstone of providing the highest quality, patient-centered care
  • To increase engagement with the community in order to advance the health and health equity of Indiana citizens

How was the plan created?

This revitalization plan was informed by the following:

  • The UMass Diversity and Engagement Survey results
  • Discussions with Dean Hess, chairs and directors as well as IUH/IUHP leadership
  • Institutional data regarding the diversity of IUSM faculty, students, and housestaff
  • The School of Medicine Affirmative Action report
  • LCME requirements
  • Discussion of best practices with leaders at other medical schools that have achieved significant outcomes through diversity initiatives

The review of these data indicated that new or expanded efforts are needed in several areas including, but not limited to:

  • Systemic integration of diversity efforts across all aspects of the IUSM tripartite mission
  • Ensuring that diversity efforts reach across the state
  • Establishing a shared commitment to, and common goals for, enhancing diversity with IUH/IUHP
  • Increasing the emphasis on cultural competence in order to transform care at the bedside
  • Increasing the partnership with chairs, division directors, and other leaders regarding strategies to diversify their units
  • Reassessing and refining the IUSM approach to recruitment and selection of underrepresented learners

Short-Term Strategies to be launched during the 2013-2014 academic year

  • Appoint a new Associate Dean and Assistant Deans of Diversity Affairs to serve as liaisons between Diversity Affairs and IUSM several units.  Potential units could include:
    • Medical Student Affairs/Admissions
    • Undergraduate Medical Education/Curriculum Council
    • Graduate Medical Education
    • Graduate Division

Each individual would work in collaboration with the leaders in each office to comprehensively integrate issues related to cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion into the mission areas and state-wide functions of each respective office. These initiatives would be documented in diversity plans for each unit. Further, each champion would be expected to work in partnership with one another and with OFAPD.

  • Revisit the charge, goals, activities, and membership of the Diversity Council
    • A new co-chair will be appointed as members of the Council
    • New member(s) will be appointed to represent IUH/IUHP
    • A new charge for the Council will be issued that includes more concrete, active responsibilities such as outreach to departments to establish diversity plans, and establishing an institutional definition for diversity (see Strategy 3).
  • Develop an institutional definition of diversity and establish a formal commitment to diversity and inclusion that is ratified by the Faculty Steering Committee and School Executive Committee
    • The Diversity Council will be charged to lead this initiative
    • IUH/IUHP will be engaged proactively in the process with the intent of establishing a shared commitment and common goals
  • Establish a diversity plan for each department within the School of Medicine.  The plan will be developed by representatives of the department with the assistance of the Chair or an appointed designee, and in partnership with the Diversity Council and/or OFAPD.
  • Benchmark the racial/ethnic and gender diversity within our own institution at various professional levels, collectively and departmentally, with available data from peer institutions, especially in the Midwest.
  • Expand training opportunities about culturally competent care through enhancing the Cultural Competence Grand Rounds program and partnering with departments within the School of Medicine as well as undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education.
  • Conduct a rigorous evaluation of pipeline programs and medical student recruitment initiatives to determine which efforts provide the most return on the investment of resources.

Long-Term Objectives

While IUSM will revitalize diversity efforts through these new strategies, many of our long-standing objectives related to diversity remain unchanged.  These include:

  • The School of Medicine will be at the forefront of developing policies, programs, and resources to improve the recruitment, education, retention, professional development, mentoring, rewarding and recognition of minority learners, post-docs, staff, and faculty.
  • Increase the diversity of the medical school leadership.  This will be done through continued enhancement of the executive leadership recruitment initiative, which was launched to institutionalize best practices in leadership recruitment across the school.
  • Increase the number underrepresented minority students* that apply, matriculate, and graduate from IUSM.
  • Increase the number of underrepresented minority graduate students that apply, matriculate, and graduate from IUSM.
  • Increase the number of underrepresented minority residents and fellows that apply to, match, and graduate from IUSM graduate medical education programs.
  • To Increase the participation from diverse groups in IUSM alumni activities and donations, thereby increasing scholarships for underrepresented minority students.
  • Increase the recruitment, advancement, and vitality of underrepresented minority faculty members.

IUSM Diversity efforts are managed via the Office of Diversity Affairs.


For more information, contact:

Office of Diversity Affairs
(317) 274-1939