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Bradley University plans to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts

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Bradley University
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It's no secret Bradley University president Stephen Standifird sees diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as a key component of his plan to grow the institution.

Dr. Warren Anderson was hired last year to become the university' first vice president for DEI. The university also upgraded the aging Romeo B. Garrett Cultural Center.

Standifird said the next steps include a campus climate survey. A Bias Incident Response Program will also be launched to provide an outlet for concerns.

"A lot of what's happening today, is to really build a foundation to create a university that is more inclusive in nature," he said.

A new women's center, LGBTQ+ Center, and Adult Center for Inclusive Excellence are also in the works.

"My intent is to find a partner that helps us endow that at $10 million. So that creates a constant sense of funding for programming and activities in the inclusivity space," Standifird said.

Interviews with 1,600 prospective Bradley students about what they are looking for in a higher education experience reinforced the idea that emphasizing diversity and inclusion efforts are important, Standifird said.

"We know it's something students are fundamentally looking for in an institution. So it's really important that be there. And if it's there, students will find it and they'll make it resonate with them," he said.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.