March 5, 2018

Dear UD Community,

Building a more diverse and welcoming community is one of the University of Delaware’s top priorities. Our shared success depends on the unique voices, perspectives and talents that we all bring to UD. We are pursuing this goal of inclusive excellence through many initiatives, focusing on our people, our programs and our places. To this end, one initiative is a multicultural center on our campus, so we are pleased to announce that a report recommending its creation is now available on the website of the Multicultural Center Working Group. We invite your feedback on its findings this month as we chart our path forward.

The report details the campuswide conversation led by external consultants in October 2017 and recommends several next steps. As a university, we will continue discussing possibilities around what a multicultural center could provide for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the larger community. The report also makes clear that a multicultural center could take a variety of forms at this time, as long as it helps build a more diverse and more welcoming community. We are working from a blank slate, and this initiative could become a model for other institutions.

The multicultural center is just one element of our overall efforts to assure that the University reflects the broad diversity of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual identity, physical ability and viewpoints present in our world. We are reaching out to attract more students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups. Our current first-year class is the most diverse in our history, and enrollment of URM undergraduates on the Newark campus is up 22 percent over the past five years. New staff in the Division of Student Life will increase support for all students and engage them in understanding various aspects of human identity. We are increasing support for URM graduate students through programs like the Bill Anderson Fund and the Bridge to the Doctorate. Our UD ADVANCE initiative and our Inclusive Excellence Cluster Hire Initiative are helping to diversify our faculty ranks, while the Office of Equity and Inclusion provides training on more inclusive employee searches. We are clearly making progress, but there is always more work to do.

You play a vital role in all of these efforts to ensure a more diverse and inclusive UD community. Please take a moment to read the new report and offer your comments on the Multicultural Center Working Group’s website or by email at before April 6. After reviewing this input, the working group will submit its plan to us, and the administration will work to implement the recommendations.

Working together, we can continue to enrich and strengthen the University of Delaware.


Dennis Assanis

Robin Morgan
Interim Provost

University of Delaware  •   Newark, DE 19716   •   USA  •