We are working to facilitate proactive campus cultural change to cultivate a more respectful, inclusive environment that embeds diversity and equity into the Iowa experience.

The Welcoming and Inclusive Environment priority strives to create a culture where people of all backgrounds and perspectives feel welcomed and appreciated.

To make this vision a reality, we are evaluating policies and programs, engaging in activities that promote diversity and inclusion, and improving support for diverse students, faculty, and staff. Through this comprehensive approach, we aim to eliminate barriers and improve accessibility for all on campus.

Together, we will build a truly welcoming and inclusive community, where everyone can thrive. This initiative aims to inspire and empower every member of our community to make a positive impact on our campus environment, which will ultimately enrich the university experience for all.

Highlights and Success

Defining what it means to be a Hawkeye

The strategic plan outlines the core values that shape our university community. Celebrating and reinforcing these values can help us achieve a more welcoming and inclusive campus culture. 

Learn More
DDEI Event in the Iowa Memorial Union

Providing tools to create more accessible events

The Accessibility-Informed Events and Programming Guide assists with live and online event planning on campus. The comprehensive toolkit provides details on logistics, tools for shared equitable communication, marketing and material suggestions, and other resources for planning an inclusive event. 

Learn More
Old Capitol at dusk. Unity Week 2023

Celebrating our welcoming and inclusive environment

Unity Week is a campus-wide effort highlighting culture, community, and common ground through content like the 'Journey to Unity' video series.

Learn more
Gursharan Virk

Air Force ROTC cadet breaks barriers for those who follow

Third-year student Gursharan Virk recently became the first Air Force cadet granted permission to wear traditional Sikh garb as part of his military uniform.

Learn more
Art Building Flowers

BUILD initiative empowers employees to become leaders

The BUILD initiative helps UI faculty, staff, postdoc, and graduate students gain knowledge and skills to contribute to a welcoming and inclusive environment. 

Learn more
Screenshot of Cultivating Inclusive Communities module

Cultivating Inclusive Communities helps build communication skills

University of Iowa faculty and staff have access to a new voluntary online training program that simulates real-life conversations around important issues in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Iowa Edge students on Old Cap steps

Creating equitable access

Programs like Iowa Edge offer numerous benefits as students start their Hawkeye Journey – such as interacting with faculty and campus leaders, building community with a group of peers, and developing leadership skills for success in class, on campus, and in life. The program welcomed its largest-ever class in 2022. 

Learn more
Aerial photo of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Providing Inclusive Hair Care Products for patients at UIHC

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has become a model for enhancing health equity through a new initiative to provide inclusive hair care products for patients.  

Learn More

Measuring Our Progress

The university has set specific five-year targets for the following high-level indicators, and will report on progress toward meeting these targets annually.

First-Generation Student Success


  • Decrease fall-to-fall retention gap to 6-8%
  • Decrease four-year graduation rate gap to 9-11%
  • Decrease six-year graduation rate gap to 7-9%

Underrepresented Minority Student Success


  • Decrease fall-to-fall retention gap to 2%
  • Decrease four-year graduation rate gap to 7-9%
  • Decrease six-year graduation rate gap to 6-8%