[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

ODU Student sitting by the Webb Lion Fountain

Best Practices: Diversity Statements

With the increasing numbers of diverse students on university campuses, many institutions, as part of their application packet, now request diversity statements. You can still find some colleges and universities that make it optional for candidates to include a diversity statement in their materials (Schmaling, Trevino, Lind, Blume, & Baker, 2015). Institutions that ask for diversity statements may do so as an expression of genuine commitment to advancing diversity on their campuses (Flaherty, 2018). In this article we explore suggestions made by researchers on how to frame the request for diversity statements and what candidates should be expected to include in a diversity statement.

Best practices for the use of diversity statements include:

  1. When asking candidates for diversity statements, it is important to frame the request in terms that indicate to potential candidates, the university's commitment and or mission to diversity and inclusion (Schmaling et al, 2015; University of Delaware Advanced Institute, 2019).
  2. The diversity statement request should also list concise specifics of what the university has done and plans to do to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive campus, among faculty, staff and students (Golash-Boza, 2016).
  3. Request for a diversity statement is not an opportunity for employers/universities to ask candidates to self-disclose personal information, this information is usually collected by your Human Resources. The diversity statement is an opportunity for the candidate to show his/her commitment to diversity and inclusion through his/her teaching, research and outreach. If your institution is truly commented to human difference, then self-disclosure will come naturally (Schmaling et al, 2015).


Flaherty, C. (2018, November 12). Inside Higher Ed. Making a Statement on Diversity

Golash-Boza, T. (2016, June10). Inside Higher Ed. The Effective Diversity Statement

Schmaling, K. B., Trevino, A. Y., Lind, J. R., Blume, A. W., & Baker, D. L. (2015). Diversity statements: How faculty applicants address diversity. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 8(4), 213-224.

University of Delaware Advanced Institute (2019, July 29). The Use of Diversity Statements in Faculty Hiring: Some Considerations

Site Navigation

Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!