Published: Oct. 15, 2020

Even before assuming his role as dean of the Graduate School in June 2019, Scott Adler knew that increasing access to graduate education for historically underrepresented students would be among his top priorities.

This priority was reinforced last year by the work of the Graduate School’s strategic planning committee when it identified access, diversity and community among the school’s imperatives. This fall, the Graduate School is making Adler’s priority a reality by launching a diversity recruitment initiative.

“I realize that it is easy to say we are committed to addressing the lack of substantive diversity that exists within CU Boulder’s graduate student body, but it is only through significant investment and action that we can achieve real change,” Adler said.

To increase the diversity of its student population, the Graduate School is incentivizing departments to redesign and expand their recruiting efforts for attracting, supporting and funding students from underrepresented groups. In support of these efforts, the Graduate School is investing more than $500,000 for diversity fellowships and grants to implement these new recruitment plans.

“I am very pleased with the steps the Graduate School and our graduate programs are taking to recruit and retain outstanding students from diverse populations,” said Bob Boswell, vice chancellor for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE). “This initiative is what we envisioned with the chancellor’s eight actions for immediate change and proposals laid out in the IDEA Plan.”

Once graduate programs outline their redesigned recruitment plans—including a diversity statement from each unit—they will be eligible for a guaranteed fellowship and a possible additional grant from the newly created Graduate School Diversity Recruitment Fund.

“This newly launched initiative is a critical step toward making real progress for CU Boulder to be a more inclusive university,” said Chancellor Phil DiStefano. “I applaud Scott and his Graduate School leadership and staff for their significant effort involved in making this happen.”

Adler is confident this initiative will serve underrepresented students and believes the Graduate School’s diversity recruitment initiative will benefit and improve the university as a whole.

“This is the first step in a multifaceted effort to broaden access and support a diverse community within CU Boulder’s Graduate School,” he said. “We are grateful for the engagement of our graduate programs and our campus community as we roll out this recruitment initiative. We encourage students, faculty and staff to reach out to us in the Graduate School to share their feedback, questions and concerns.”