DePaul University 


Ensure a welcoming, engaging, diverse, and inclusive campus environment

DePaul reaffirms its commitment to be an inclusive community that draws on diversity as a source of learning and understanding. It is our collective responsibility—as faculty, staff, and students—to support this commitment, which is grounded in our core values as a Catholic and Vincentian institution. We believe that a diverse community is essential to preparing students to engage the complexity of the world today, and we commit to recruiting and retaining faculty and staff to reflect the rich, vibrant diversity of our student body. We will nurture an inclusive and welcoming community in which every member is empowered to express themselves fully and supported to realize their full potential. Together, we dedicate ourselves to engaging all students, faculty, and staff more deeply in the life of the university to improve their sense of belonging and their overall experience at DePaul.

Interactions with Diverse Populations

People of a race or ethnicity other than your own


People with religious beliefs other than your own


People from an economical background other than your own


People with political views other than your own


Source: 2014-15 and 2017-18 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). NSSE is administered to all first-year and senior students during the winter/spring quarters of the academic year. The data presented here are for seniors only.
Percentage of students indicating Often/Very Often on a four-point scale to the item "During the current school year, about how often have you had discussions with people from the following groups?"

DePaul moves toward inclusion

DePaul outperformed our Carnegie peers in exposing students to people whose race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, and/or economic status are different from their own, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement. However, like the United States itself, DePaul has more work to do in creating opportunities for students of varying political views to interact.

Assembling such a diverse student body is the first step to DePaul's ultimate goal, which is an inclusive community that draws on diversity as a source of learning.

During the 2018-19 academic year, the university achieved diversity records in its student profile yet again when the fall 2018 freshman class reached a historic level. Students of color who accepted our invitation to enroll represented 44% of the class, while out-of-state students tallied 35% and first-generation students constituted 33%.

When students from diverse backgrounds come together in the classroom, the potential for a wider scope of perspective and experience exists, deepening the conversation and leading to a broader, more nuanced comprehension of the subject matter.

Inclusion and belonging—the sense of being an equal part of the whole and enjoying the benefits that accompany that reality—are more difficult to achieve. They cannot be counted by number. They are human needs that are satisfied differently for each individual.

The Division of Student Affairs has led the charge to create a sense of community among students outside the classroom through a set of large-scale initiatives that focus on commonalities, such as festive holiday celebrations and the intense shared experience of finals week.

In November 2018, about 1,500 students, faculty and staff attended the first-ever Christmas tree lighting ceremony and ugly sweater party held on the Lincoln Park Quad. It was so successful that it will become an annual tradition to engage students before they depart for their winter break.

Now in its second year, the Midnight Pancake Breakfast attracted more than 1,200 students, who were served a protein and carbohydrate meal as fuel for exams. Many volunteers—including members of the university's administrative leadership—served the brain food, which came with a dose of encouragement, giving students something for the body and something for the soul.

Faculty and staff experience the university differently than students do. Elizabeth Ortiz, vice president for Diversity and Equity, says the sense of inclusion and belonging for them are rooted in such concepts as fairness, equity, opportunity and a role in decision making.

Results of the university's most recent climate survey, shown below, indicated a decline in faculty views on DePaul's culture of supporting employees of diverse backgrounds, while staff perspectives on that issue trended upward. Such point-in-time status checks are evidence that inclusion is an aspiration the university must strive for continuously.

Perceptions of Culture of Diversity: Faculty and Staff

Source: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016 Faculty and Staff Climate Survey. For the most recent administration of the survey (2016), 493 (54%) of FT faculty, 451 (24%) of PT faculty, and 1,102 full- and part-time staff (54%) completed the survey.
Percent Agree/Strongly Agree on a five point scale with the item "There is a supportive culture for employees from diverse backgrounds at DePaul."
Average is the unweighted average across the five administration years.