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When one looks at a career path, a frequent stepping stone is from a University into Corporate America. Some of the diversity and inclusion battles being fought in corporations and organizations, are being fought first at colleges and universities.diversity and inclusion

Recently, Florida State University was recognized as one of seven universities in the country for its efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion within the campus culture. We can all learn from their efforts.

Although FSU has made progress, there is still much progress to be made. As recently as 2013, a fraternity chapter was suspended following a hazing incident.

Some of the steps that have been taken at FSU include:

  • Established more than a dozen programs that are geared toward increasing enrollment of black students.
  • Removed legacy as a factor in the application process.
  • Reduced emphasis on SAT/ACT scores, instead focusing on academic achievement in high school courses.
  • Increased the number of students enrolled in its CARE program, which focuses on recruiting and admitting students from lower economic backgrounds.
  • Increased the percentage of diverse (no-white) students from 26% in 2004 to 31% in 2013.

How does this translate to the corporate world? Try these actions:

  • Collect diversity and inclusion data on a regular (annual) basis.
  • Align diversity programs with strategic plans.
  • Create a diversity committee.
  • Be deliberate with hiring practices.
  • Use your company intranet as outreach, for feedback and engagement.

Besides FSU, other universities receiving the Diversity Champion designation were: Columbia, Kennesaw State, Penn State, Rochester Institute of Technology, Texas Tech and the University of Central Florida.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat, “FSU gets honors for its efforts in diversity, inclusion,” Byron Dobson, March 14, 2016