Diversity audit

Students in class

Search for chief diversity officer begins

October 2014

The search for a chief diversity officer is underway. In 2013, President Steven Leath commissioned a consulting firm to study ISU diversity programs and initiatives. Recommendations from that study included creation of a chief diversity officer position.

Leath receives diversity report, recommendations

May 2014

President Steven Leath will appoint a task force to consider a consulting firm's recommendations on strengthening diversity at Iowa State and come up with an implementation plan. The consulting firm, which has been reviewing ISU diversity programs and resources over the past year, recently submitted its final report to the president.

Most comprehensive diversity study ever

March 2013

In its most comprehensive diversity study ever, Iowa State University is taking stock of its current diversity programs and initiatives and looking for ways improve the university environment for all.

President Steven Leath announced the study in mid-March 2013, saying the university is "as diverse as it has ever been, but we have a responsibility to build upon past successes and ensure that we strive every day to create an environment that is as welcoming as possible to all people -- regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation."

Key components: Inventory, audit, report

The study consisted of three key components:

  • Asset inventory: A comprehensive look at all diversity-related programs, initiatives and resources on campus.
  • Audit: In-depth interview with individuals and groups to assess how they perceive the climate for diversity and how it might be improved. Interviewees will include individuals and groups, such as students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni and community representatives.
  • Final report: The report, including recommendations, was submitted to the Office of the President and, subsequently, released publicly.

About the consultant

Jerlando Jackson


Jerlando Jackson, founder of The Jackson Consulting Firm, Madison, Wis., and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, led the inventory and audit. Jackson received a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State (2000), and offered to donate his services.