barriers, targeting outreach to URM students, and engaging prehealth advisors. Just as importantly, institutions should develop comprehensive strategies to retain URM students, by providing a range of academic and social supports, including faculty and peer mentoring, tutoring, academic skills assessment, and instruction in study skills. Institutions may increase opportunities for URM students to integrate themselves into the campus community (and take advantage of support programs) through both ethnic- and racial-group interest organizations, as well as general campus programs, such as orientation programs that clearly outline the institutions’ expectations regarding diversity-related policies and goals, and sensitivity training programs that increase awareness and understanding of diversity in the campus context.
Recommendation 5-1: HPEIs should develop and regularly evaluate comprehensive strategies to improve the institutional climate for diversity. These strategies should attend not only to the structural dimensions of diversity, but also to the range of other dimensions (e.g., psychological and behavioral) that affect the success of institutional diversity efforts. These strategies include, but are not limited to efforts to:
recruit and retain URM students and faculty through a range of academic and social supports, including but not limited to mentoring programs, academic supports, and other strategies integrated into ongoing programs;
educate faculty and students regarding the benefits of diversity to the institutional mission; and
encourage participation by diverse faculty on core institutional committees, including but not limited to admissions, faculty search, internal review, and promotions and tenure.
Education is a critically important initial step toward increasing diversity at many HPEIs. HPEIs must provide all members of the campus community with an explicit rationale for diversity efforts and communicate the principles that underlie such efforts. Educational programs should be ongoing, integrated into regular programming, and regularly evaluated to assess their effectiveness. As with other institutional goals, faculty should be evaluated, as part of ongoing merit and promotion review, on their progress toward achieving the institution’s diversity-related objectives.
Recommendation 5-2: HPEIs should proactively and regularly engage and train students, house staff, and faculty, via orientation programs and ongoing training, regarding institutional diversity-related policies and expectations, the principles that underlie these policies, and the importance of diversity to the long-term institutional mission. Faculty