The University of Iowa Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion announced two name changes for the Center for Diversity and Enrichment and the Diversity Resources Unit to better reflect the programs, services and amenities offered by these centres.
Two prominent programs in the University of Iowa’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion changed names this spring.
The Center for Diversity and Enrichment will now be called the Center for Inclusive Academic Excellence, and the Diversity Resources Unit has now become the Inclusive Education and Strategies Initiative.
By changing the names of these two centers, the department hopes that students will be better informed about the services and amenities they offer.
Charlie Taylor, director of communications for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division, said the changes were made to encourage students to take advantage of these services.
Going forward, Taylor said, the division has no plans to change the names of any other services, programs or centers they offer.
Zoe Dervin, an undergraduate UI student, said she finds comfort in the programs offered by the division, but thinks the name changes won’t expand the benefits she enjoys.
“I don’t know if a name change would be enough on its own,” Dervin said. “I think I’m neutral on that personally, because I don’t necessarily think it’s harmful.”
Paras Bussuk, a first-year UI student who frequently uses the division’s study space in downtown Old Capitol and other resources, agreed with Dervin.
“I’m not very keen on name changes, and I don’t know anyone who says ‘yes, it’s the best thing that ever happened,’ or I don’t know anyone who says it’s something particularly upsetting. ,” Bassuk said. “I’m curious if the students were involved in the name change.
Taylor said the name changes were suggested by Liz Tovar, the division’s chief executive and associate vice president.
“She identified a need to more clearly communicate institutions’ DEI efforts,” he said. “The new names better convey the specific services of each unit, leading to better understanding and increased engagement with our students, faculty and staff.”
The idea for the name change originated in April 2021, when the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and two investigators from the Office of Student Accountability merged to form a joint operation, now known as the Office of Institutional Accountability. Equality, Taylor said.
Taylor said the Center for Inclusive Academic Excellence provides coaching assistants who can provide insight into academic skills building, financial literacy, career development and wellness.
“For students from diverse backgrounds, the Center for Inclusive Excellence provides academic coaches and programs to enhance the cultural, social and academic experience at Hawkeye,” Taylor said.
The Inclusive Education and Strategies Initiative operates as part of an emulation of the mission of the Center for Inclusive Academic Excellence for a more inclusive environment at UI. Services are constantly evolving as the initiative strives to support a multitude of identities on campus.
“Choosing to call our office ‘Diversity Resources’ was useful and appropriate for the work we were doing,” said Brianna Marcelo, director of the Inclusive Education and Strategies initiative. “As with most new offices, the demand and need for our services has evolved over time, including expanding educational opportunities as well as coordinating campus-wide strategic efforts. »
Regardless of the name changes, students say they still find comfort in the services at these centers and Dervin and Bassuk said they felt it was important that these services be shared with the campus.
“I feel like the more people who could use it, the better. I use it a lot, and people I know use it a lot too,” Bassuk said.