Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commitment Plan

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has completed a 16 step DEI commitment plan for implementation.

  1. Develop a dedicated link to DEI and Multicultural Affairs [Progress: 100%]
  2. Establish a DEI Council at Lenoir Rhyne [Progress: 100%]
  3. Establish an anonymous system to report incidents of bias or discriminatory treatment [Progress: 70%]
  4. Review curriculum to seek opportunities for inclusiveness [Progress: 60%]
  5. Promote and Support DEI professional development for faculty and staff [Progress: 60%]
  6. Build Corporate partnerships to support a DEI mentoring and scholars program [Progress: 30%]
  7. Create inclusive workforce [Progress: 60%]
  8. Support campus events and create dialogue opportunities [Progress: 70%]
  9. Serve as a community partner to organizations that promote equity and inclusion [Progress: 30%]
  10. Work with faculty to establish and build a diverse speaker series [Progress: 60%]
  11. Implement online/certificate discriminatory and bias training for faculty and staff [Progress: 50%]
  12. Create an inclusion teammate system [Progress: 100%]
  13. Establish an annual DEI inclusion award for faculty, staff and a student [Progress: 25%]
  14. Identify an LR alumnus/a and board member to support DEI [Progress: 25%]
  15. Utilize social media to support a robust marketing campaign for DEI [Progress: 70%]
  16. Establish a university-specific policy that supports DEI [Progress: 30%]

Campus Wide Initiatives 

Academic Affairs 

Curriculum and Faculty 

  • Provided training opportunities for PRC regarding bias in the tenure and promotion process. 
  • Many of our majors include required courses in race, gender and ethnicity. 
  • Faculty are decolonizing syllabi for a more inclusive and equitable course. 
  • Recruiting and finding opportunities for all students - inclusion of special needs and in diverse settings. 
  • A focus on creating a more diverse faculty body, both in full-time and part-time faculty. 
  • Instituted rubrics for hiring staff positions. Developing a faculty hiring rubric to start with the current open position. 
  • DEI statement on all position announcements. DEI letter submission requirement for all applicants.

International Education 

  • Global Village which consists of 24-32 residential students that are a diverse population of United States students and International students in which they host student-led events and programming from their respective living areas. 
  • 200 tickets were offered to International students to assist in transportation around Hickory through the Greenway Transportation System.

Mission, Engagement and Innovation 

Undergraduate and Graduate Admission

  • Traveling to historically marginalized/underrepresented student population communities and high schools to recruit. 
  • Revamping orientation to include an overnight stay, breakout sessions for families and more.
  • Adding various campus entities to market their resources to showcase the diverse and inclusive environment  
  • Marketing through social media, the amenities and resources LR offers to stimulate more applicants.

Residence Life 

  • An annual mandatory DEI and multicultural training for residence directors and resident advisors that takes place prior to opening.  
  • Ensures that the staff is diverse to represent the students in the residential halls (i.e. LGBTQIA, African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, etc.) 
  • Pronoun usage and preferred names 
  • Director provides living accommodations if requested and required for religious faiths, gender-affirming housing, etc. 

Health and Wellness 

  • A diverse staff that is open-minded and competent in all aspects of counseling such as LGBTQIA, race and ethnicities, religions/beliefs, mental health, etc 

Spiritual Life 

  • Celebrating cultural holidays and holy days to celebrate with all religious faiths. 
  • A prayer room for Muslim / Islamic students 
  • Reaching out to diverse populations to assist with weekly worship so that all religions are represented. 


  • Athletic staff modules and monthly meetings with round table discussions  
  • Monthly listening sessions with each roster, different events/impacts on student-athletes 
  • Network with campus partners to foster a space of inclusivity. 
  • Established a Student-Athletes DEI Leadership Council comprising athletes from various sports teams, faculty, and staff to assist in an equity-minded and inclusive atmosphere. 

News & Events

Fred K. Whitt and Avery Staley on the Diamond Awards red carpet

Alongside leaders making a difference in diversity, equity and inclusion all over the nation, Avery Staley received an award for Lifetime Achievement in DEI.

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Jane Elliott

The Lenoir-Rhyne will sponsor and host the university’s second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Prayer Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 15.

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