Diversity Programs & Resources

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. 

Towson's Strategic Diversity Goals

Towson’s goal to become a National Model for Diversity is one of the institutional priorities in the university strategic plan TU 2020: A Focused Vision for Towson UniversityIn June 2014,  the President's Council adopted and approved five strategic diversity goals to take Towson's diversity efforts to the next level. They are: 

  • Promote appreciation for and advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion at TU
  • Enhance recruitment and retention of students from underserved and/or underrepresented populations
  • Close achievement gap for first generation, low income and students from underrepresented groups
  • Enhance recruitment and retention of faculty and staff members from underserved and/or underrepresented populations
  • Support respectful and mutually beneficial community collaboration

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.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS: FOUR AWARDS, $500 EACH

  • Current student
  • Faculty member (two awards: research-based; general)
  • Staff member

DEPARTMENT AWARDS: TWO AWARDS, $1,000 EACH

  • Academic department
  • Administrative department

Criteria 

The criteria for evaluation of nominations will be as follows:

  • Nominees have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments that have increased awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion. 
  • Nominees have demonstrated outstanding efforts to promote the advancement of diversity and inclusiveness. 
  • Nominees have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in support of the institutionalization of diversity and inclusion. 
  • Nominees have demonstrated outstanding efforts to promote the advancement of diversity and inclusiveness within the TU community and external community at large. 

Nomination Process

The nomination process typically begins each October and ends the first week of January. Nomination forms are provided here:

If you have questions about the nomination process, please contact LaVern Chapman, 410-704-0203,  

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, that 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 didn’t say — and what they wished they did or didn’t 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

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.

Nursing Rooms

TU Nursing Rooms provide a private, secure, clean space for breastfeeding. Locations of the rooms are listed below. They are available to all students, faculty and staff, as well as spouses and domestic partners.

Nursing Room Locations

  • Administration Building, room 115B
  • College of Liberal Arts, room 2231
  • Cook Library, room 527
  • Psychology, room 508N
  • Stephens Annex, room 174
  • Towson City Center, room 324
  • Van Bokkelen Hall, room 009
  • West Village Commons, room 320