NADOHE Affirms its Support for the Essential Role of Diversity Practitioners in Higher Education



CONTACT: Debra S. Nolan, CAE 
Phone: 800-793-7025, Email: [email protected]

August 3, 2018– Fort Lauderdale, FL. – For those who wish to undermine diversity in higher education, attacking the role of the Chief Diversity Officer is a frequent tactic. But on the contrary, in our rapidly changing global society, colleges and universities must attract and educate the widest possible pool of talent. The campus Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) plays a critical role in leading the complex work of equity, inclusion and diversity at higher education institutions.

CDOs do not work alone, and attempts to portray them as unnecessary or marginal are disingenuous. They serve their institutions as part of leadership teams made up of presidents, provosts, trustees, and others who share a common recognition of the importance of diversity to intellectual vibrancy and institutional health.

CDOs bring deep professional expertise to community building, compliance and strategic planning in diversity and equity.They provide scholarly insights so that colleges and universities can realize the educational benefits of diversity through student recruitment, faculty research and pedagogy, and co-curricular programming. These benefits have been widely studied and repeatedly affirmed by the Supreme Court.

In an evolving demographic landscape, CDOs assist campuses in responding effectively to the changing population of the United States. Census projections indicate that the United States population will cease to have a white majority in 2045, with the traditionally college-aged population of 18 to 29 year-olds expected to reach that tipping point in 2027 – less than a decade.

CDOs serve as leaders in responding to bias incidents and hate crimes by managing institutional complaint processes, working with law enforcement and other campus authorities, and communicating with the media and community. They help to manage compliance with laws, regulations, and policies regarding nondiscrimination, harassment, and affirmative action such as the Clery Act and Title IX. These responsibilities have become increasingly demanding due to a national increase in hate crimes and bias incidents. According to the U.S. Department of Education, reports of campus hate crimes grew by 25 percent from 2015 to 2016.

CDOs inform institutional decision-making and promote innovation and accountability through rigorous data analysisof such critical topics as academic achievement gaps, academic remediation, STEM participation, graduation and persistence rates, and campus climate.

The work of CDOs is guided by research-based Standards of Professional Practicedeveloped by the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).

As America becomes more diverse, our country’s economic success depends on preparing every college student to participate in the workforce and civic life.  Campus CDOs promote excellence in learning and research, address discrimination and bias, and provide dedicated expertise for institutional growth.

As the pre-eminent voice for diversity officers in higher education, NADOHE’s mission is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. For more information about NADOHE, please go to visit