Diversity Programs, Resources & Reports

Towson University values diversity and fosters a climate that is grounded in respect and inclusion, enriches the educational experience of students, supports positive workplace environments, promotes excellence, and cultivates the intellectual and personal growth of the entire university community. 

Diversity Initiatives Progress Report

In November 2015, a group of students and administrators agreed that the University would work toward the following 12 goals, many of whihc were already aligned with the University's strategic goals for diversity and inclusion. Here, you can track the University's progress.

University Diversity and Inclusion Awards

The University Diversity and Inclusion Awards recognize individuals and departments that foster greater awareness, understanding and advancement of diversity and inclusiveness at Towson University.


Committees

DIVERSITY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AT TU

University Diversity Council 

The University Diversity Council (UDC) facilitates the establishment and maintenance of a diverse, inclusive and equitable campus environment. The Council carries out its mission by:

  • Setting Priorities for resource allocation to address issues, concerns, and/or problems that may negatively impact the campus climate;
  • Conducting periodic climate assessment, including problem-solving based on results of survey data;
  • Providing Structure for the development and implementation of an institutional action plan consisting of measurable short and long-term goals;
  • Monitoring Outcomes to track the development and maintenance of college-level, department-level, and unit-level goals to support the institutional action plan;
  • Determining Expectations to provide clear guidelines and feedback to colleges, departments, and units; and
  • Working closely with the Diversity Action Committee (DAC) in cross-campus collaboration to review/approve goals that facilitate and advance diversity and inclusion.
Diversity Action Committee

The Diversity Action Committee is composed of a cross section of members of the academic and administrative divisions of the university and representatives of the student body. The committee exists to support the institution's Strategic Diversity Goals and makes appropriate recommendations for the success of campus-wide diversity initiatives to the University Diversity Council. To further fulfill its mission to promote awareness and acceptance of diversity, the committee will:

  • Identify barriers that may hinder diversity initiatives.
    Support diversity throughout the curriculum and in campus events and activities.
  • Commit to recognizing, appreciating, and celebrating the individual and collective achievements of TU's diverse faculty, staff, and student body. 
  • Facilitate and promote ongoing opportunities for public discourse relating to diversity. 
  • Support the implementation of university-wide initiatives in support of TU's Strategic Diversity Goals.
  • Collect, assess, and disseminate data on campus climate and attitudes toward diversity.
  • Coordinate institutional efforts to address diversity and inclusion.

Work Groups

Campus Climate Work Group 

The Campus Climate work group of the institutional Diversity Action Committee will support the establishment and maintenance of a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive by:

  • Reviewing existing data sets related to campus climate and making recommendations of future climate study needs.
  • Developing a multicultural conference for faculty and staff.
  • Developing and implementing programming for cultural competency across the campus.
Education and Scholarship Work Group

The Education and Scholarship Work Group of the institutional Diversity Action Committee has a mission to:

  • Increase diversity and inclusiveness across the curriculum, in individual courses, and in extra- and co-curricular settings. 
  • Encourage diversity and inclusiveness in faculty teaching, scholarship/creative activity, and service, and the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students

In order to accomplish these goals, it is necessary to encourage and support increased diversity and inclusiveness in the composition of the students, faculty, staff, and administrators of colleges and departments, with particular attention to underrepresented racial minorities. The committee will fulfill its mission by:

  • Review and recognize evidence of each college’s and unit’s diversity and inclusiveness efforts through mission and/or vision statements, how each department/program addresses diversity and inclusiveness through its curriculum, and how faculty address diversity and inclusiveness in individual courses as well as within their scholarship, creative activity, and service. These materials will be reviewed by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity. 
  • Review and recognize what specifically is being done by academic units and individual faculty to increase the enrollment, involvement, and graduation of students from underrepresented groups.
  • Review, recognize, and share, as appropriate, the strategies and programs currently employed by colleges and departments to support diversity and inclusiveness and support the assessment of programs.
  • Coordinate with the Office of the Provost to review current best practices in faculty recruitment and retention. 
  • Promote faculty involvement in TU's annual Multicultural Conference.
University Diversity and Inclusion Awards Work Group

The University Diversity & Inclusion Awards recognize individuals and departments that have made efforts to foster greater awareness, understanding and advancement of diversity and inclusiveness at Towson University. This work group of the institutional Diversity Action Committee will support the awards program by:

  • Developing tools for marketing the University Diversity & Inclusion Awards Program;
  • Ensuring that marketing tools are posted and/or distributed across campus;
  • Collaborating campus-wide to secure nominations for six award categories (student, faculty-general, faculty-research, staff, academic and administrative department); and
  • Overseeing the review of nominations and selection process.
Representation Work Group

The Representation work group of the institutional Diversity Action Committee will support the university’s ability to seek and maintain fully represented populations within the student body, and faculty and staff bodies by:

  • Supporting implementation of new and existing outreach efforts to increase representation of underrepresented groups of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Promoting access, retention, and success of students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups.
Hate/Bias Work Group

The Hate/Bias Work Group provides a coordinated multi-disciplinary university response to hate crimes and/or bias incidents by:

  • Meeting on a periodic basis to review reported instances of hate crimes and/or bias incidents;
  • Identifying any patterns, trends, or upsurges in hate crime and/or bias incident activity;
  • Advising TU's University Diversity Council of such patterns and making recommendations related to action-oriented steps to address identified patterns; and
  • Supporting the implementation of university-wide initiatives to curtail hate crimes and bias incidents.

Speak Up!

Speak Up! Is a program developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which fosters discussion of encounters that individuals have had with everyday bigotry, from stores to restaurants, the classroom, or workplace.

Participants openly share information about incidents with family members, friends, classmates, roommates or co-workers. They tell stories regarding what they did or did not say — and what they wished they did or did not say.

Workshop participation provides an opportunity for an individual to develop and practice appropriate responses in order to be ready to address bigotry in a manner that is both effective and civil. If you are interested in participating in a Speak Up! Workshop or would like to know more about this initiative, contact  or 410.704.0203.

Faculty and Staff Resources

Here are some useful faculty and staff resources regarding issues relevant to diversity:

Affinity Groups

  • Asian Faculty & Staff Association
    • The AFSA Association celebrates, supports and empowers faculty and staff of Asian origin.

  • Black Faculty & Staff Association
    • The BFSA supports the retention, recruitment, and development of the university’s students, faculty, and staff who identify as Black, African American, or African descent.

  • Latinx Faculty & Staff Association
    • The LFSA supports the development of a network of Latino/a faculty, administrators, and staff as well as encourage and promote the participation of Latino/as in all facets of TU.

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer + Faculty & Staff Association
    • The LGBTQ+FSA strives to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all TU community members.

  • Women's Faculty & Staff Association
    • WFSA brings together the women at TU to enhance the status of women, to foster networking among women, and to encourage the participation of women in all facets of the University System of Maryland.

  • Jewish Faculty & Staff Association
    • The newest Affinity Group, JFSA in partnership between Towson Hillel and the Baltimore Hebrew Institute, works to provide Jewish cultural and dynamic programs for faculty, staff, students, and guests on campus. The JFSA continues to raise awareness around the Jewish community, experiences, services, and opportunities' on campus.

For more information about the Affinity Groups please call (410) 704-3430.

office of the provost

You can learn more about the work the Office of the Provost does by following this link to their Diversity Initiatives & Resources page or contacting the people below.

Shaunna Payne Gold

Assistant Provost for Diversity & Inclusion

Gilda Martinez-Alba

Provost Fellow for Diversity & Inclusion

Student Resources

Diversity at Towson University is broadly defined to include: race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, gender, ability, sexuality and sexual orientation. Programs are offered to foster a receptive environment; facilitate recruitment, retention and graduation of students; and promote multiracial learning for all students, faculty and staff.

Resources for Undocumented/DACA Students:

Towson University's Office of Admissions provides undocumented/DACA students with information about applying for in-state tuition rates. The TU Financial Aid Office provides guidance on scholarships and aid options.

The Center for Student DiversityAcademic Advising Center, and Counseling Center also offer programs and resources specifically for undocumented/DACA students.