Record of Progress

Since making a pledge in February 2016, American University has taken numerous steps toward improving both the diversity and inclusiveness of our community. Learn what progress we've made thus far through our milestones and accomplishments.

Charting Progress

  • American University Experience (AUx), a set of two required transition courses, is rolled out to all first-year students in academic year 2018-2019
  • The first pilot of AUx1, which launched last year, had a retention rate of 98%
  • University-wide discussions on implementing additional courses related to diversity and inclusion into the AU Core begin
  • A new African-American and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) major launches within the College of Arts and Sciences
  • The program examines African American history and culture in the U.S. in the context of contemporary and historical African cultures, theories of racial ideology and race politics, and the distinctive artistic, literary, and cultural practices of African people worldwide
  • The program is offered by the Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Collaborative, a vibrant and inclusive community that explores diverse voices, histories, and experiences through socially-engaged scholarship
  • Ibram X. Kendi, best-selling author and award-winning historian, is announced as the founding director of AU's new Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center
  • The Center will bring together teams of faculty and student researchers to conduct cutting-edge, intersectional, and interdisciplinary research of racial inequality and discrimination of a national and international scope
  • AU believes the Center will serve as a global leader for anti-racist research and policymaking
  • PCDI provides input on the Undergraduate Campus Climate Survey to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Revisions to survey are made to gather more comprehensive data from current undergraduate students regarding diversity and inclusion on campus
  • A plan for diversifying and retaining diverse faculty — Target of Opportunity Program (TOP) — is developed by Mary Clark, Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost and Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dean of the School of Education
  • Human Resources examines every phase of staff hiring process with the goal of increasing diversity and inclusion
  • HR leaders meet with 60 staff members of color to identify changes the university could make to improve racial climate and establish a new staff and faculty people of color affinity group
  • Complex Problems, the first-year seminar course, is piloted with 42 Faculty Fellows and is expected to be rolled out to all first-year students in 2018. More than 75 additional full-time faculty have had course proposals accepted and will participate in faculty development workshops this year.

  • Habits of Mind proposals, for courses that will be offered in 2018-2019, will be accepted until October 13, 2017. Proposal-writing workshops will be hosted throughout the month of September.

  • Campus conversations about learning outcomes and course requirements will continue for Written Communication & Information Literacy (W2) and Quantitative Reasoning (Q2) and begin for Diverse Experiences.

  • PCDI hosts a series of listening sessions in residence halls where students can have one-on-one conversations about AU's environment of diversity and inclusion
  • PCDI drafts recommendations for diversity and inclusion objectives that President Kerwin incorporates into the university's strategic plan
  • PCDI engages with AU community through interviews and discussions with key AU stakeholders, student leaders, faculty senate, and administration members
  • American University Experience (AUx), a set of two required transition courses, is tested with a core of trained faculty and staff and is expected to be rolled out to all first-year students in 2018
  • Starting in 2015, professors Dr. Andrea Brenner (sociology) and Angie Chuang (communication) researched and developed AUx through town hall meetings and working sessions with students, faculty, and staff
  • American University Experience II (AUx2), the follow-up course, delves into social and culture relations, and issues of diversity, identity, and race

President's Charge February 29, 2016

To make lasting improvements in both the diversity and inclusiveness of our community, AU is committed to the following actions:

  • Establish a presidential council to oversee these plans, monitor institutional progress, recommend new objectives, and plan necessary resources
  • Introduce a mandatory course on diversity and inclusion for all first year and transfer students
  • Revise and elevate awareness of discrimination policies, channels for complaint, and avenues for support
  • Reallocate five tenure or tenure track positions to recruit diverse candidates to AU's faculty
  • Develop programs to cultivate inclusive classrooms, including an entry program for newly appointed tenure track faculty and dialogue sessions for current faculty