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Drake University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
(515) 271-2011
Email address
School Information
Drake University is a private university in Des Moines, Iowa. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including professional programs in business, law, and pharmacy. Drake's law school is among the 25 oldest in the United States.
General Information
In 2015, Drake University commissioned a “campus climate assessment” to determine the status of diversity and inclusion on campus. Spurred by the report’s findings, Drake created the position of Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion and an Office of Equity and Inclusion. The university has undertaken a systematic effort to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism principles. Drake requires all first-year students to complete an equity and inclusion training session; the university is developing a “What is Oppression” training session for faculty. Drake is seeking to increase non-white enrollment and hiring. It recently tripled the size of a race-based scholarship program to help reach this target. The university publishes a variety of anti-racist toolkit resources and encourages professors and students to recognize discrimination and oppression; it is in the process of developing a grievance reporting outlet for violations. Law School faculty unanimously passed a resolution lauding recent efforts to incorporate DEI into mainstream curriculum, require DEI training for students and faculty, and create a new course centered around race and the law. The faculty asked the Dean to provide more financial support for anti-racist events. The law library offers extensive anti-racist books, videos, articles, and explainers. Drake’s School of Education also commits to anti-racism, with its dean promising to use his “white privilege” to promote equity. The School of Education looks to foster teachers who advance DEI in K-12 education. To do this, they hired two new professors explicitly dedicated to anti-racism and required first-year training for students. See below for developments:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Drake tripled the size of its "scholarship and mentorship program for students of color." The "Crew Scholars" program is open to first-year non-white students.
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Drake provides "Self-Guided DEI Learning" through the office of Equity and Inclusion. These "educational tools" include "Understanding Race," "Understanding Allyship," and "Understanding Implicit Bias."
  • Drake Law faculty received "training and resources such as a series on Racialized Interactions in the Classroom."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • On October 15, 2020, Drake Law faculty "unanimously adopted a "Curriculum Committee Resolution in Support of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives."
  • Drake hosted an event titled "Let's Talk About It: Critical Race Theory and the Drake Community." It writes, "This inclusive discussion will cover ways we can better understand different reactions to CRT, sort through our own perspectives about it, and get prepared to support students and their families in understanding what CRT does (and doesn’t?) have to do with a Drake education."
  • Drake Law School launched a new course in January 2021 called "Current Topics in Race and Law." It "explores how race intersects with various aspects of the law. Topics included why race matters, implicit bias, access to justice, prosecution and sentencing, reparations, policing, and antiracism in legal education."
  • Drake Law faculty unanimously agreed to integrate "issues of antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion into the core curriculum as well as developing and implementing courses, workshops, lecture series, and other programs designed to instill awareness and deeper understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues that will challenge and confront Drake law graduates as they pursue their careers in the years to come."
  • Drake Law faculty unanimously agreed to develop a "3-credit, semester-long course, tentatively entitled “Law and Social Justice,” which will examine the ways in which law can and has been used as an instrument to achieve or promote gender, racial, social, and other equality."
  • Professors in the College of Arts and Sciences are asked to include an "Equity and Inclusion Statement" which involves "Discussing the use of sensitive language in the classroom," and "Discussing the possibility of difficult or sensitive course texts." It also seeks to alleviate "biases inherent in the material included in the syllabus."
  • In the School of Education, all first-year education students take an introductory course. "Changes to the curriculum included a focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion to emphasize how fundamental and critically important these issues are to being an effective teacher."
  • Drake Law faculty unanimously agreed to integrate "topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion into existing courses, including Family Law, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law." The law school also added a course on "Race and the Law" during the "summer start program."
  • Drake Law faculty unanimously called on the Dean to facilitate the "integration of dialogue regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in existing courses, including the first-year curriculum." Faculty also ask to "survey how diversity, equity, and inclusion dialogue is being integrated across the curriculum."
  • "Drake is requiring all first year students to complete an online educational program on Equity and Inclusion. Additionally, online trainings for faculty and staff on “What Is Oppression” are in progress of being completed." The training lasts 45 minutes to one hour. Students who do not complete this training are put on academic hold.
  • Drake Law faculty unanimously agreed to incorporate "diversity, equity, and inclusion--and specifically antiracism--into the first-year orientation program."
Disciplinary Measures
  • Drake is developing a "comprehensive dispute resolution and grievance policy."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • Drake commits to "Teaching all faculty, staff, and students to recognize discrimination and oppression, as well as giving each individual tools to address and prevent it."
  • "The Office of Campus Equity and Inclusion is changing the face of the faculty and staff at Drake University."
Program and Research Funding
  • Drake Law faculty unanimously called for "Providing financial support for antiracism initiatives, including workshops, course offerings, and brown bag and other presentations by Drake law faculty and guest speakers..."
  • The School of Education recently made two DEI hires. It writes, "Two new faculty hires are committed to anti-racist practices and pedagogy. One of the new faculty member's research centers on working with historically language-minoritized students to provide them with equitable and inclusive learning environments and preparing teachers with culturally and linguistically sustaining orientations. The second faculty member's scholarship focuses on a range of areas, including critical citizenship."
  • The School of Education has a Diversity Statement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources. One of the recommended books is "Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America."
  • The School of Education launched an "Equity Audit" within the counseling program to "ensure our curriculum reflects racially and culturally diverse authors and perspectives." Drake also started an "equity audit" in its "curriculum library." This audit seeks to "determine growth areas and how to best serve our students and the K-12 students..."
  • Drake publishes a "Social Justice Toolkit" and "Anti Racist Toolkit." These toolkits teach about "how white supremacy impacts the issues you work on." It recommends reading "The New Jim Crow," and "so many other great books and articles that illuminate oppression and structures of white supremacy and white privilege."
  • Drake Law School provides extensive race-related library resources. The "Anti-Racism Work" page recommends books such as "How to Be an Antiracist," and "How to Be Less Stupid about Race." It also provides a video explainer on "systemic racism" and "institutional racism." Other guides teach about "implicit bias," "microaggressions," and "white privilege." For lawyers, it advertises material on "Building an Antiracist Law School" and "Becoming an Antiracist Lawyer."
Symbolic Actions
  • Drake's "commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion acknowledges the role of Drake University can play in redressing historic injustices that result in continued marginalization of members of specific groups, and seeks to understand and response to contemporary calls for inclusivity as necessitated by social justice."
  • Jennifer Harvey, Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion gave a speech in which she called for a way to "figure out how to raise a different generation of white children." She also said, "We don't even have the language we need yet."
  • Dr. Ryan Wise, Dean of the School of Education, wrote, "As a white man in a leadership role at a predominantly white institution that trains future teachers, counselors and administrators, I am obligated to listen, lead and use my privilege for the benefit of others."
Last updated September 29th, 2022
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