Skip to content

University of Akron

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
302 E Buchtel Ave
Akron, Ohio 44325
(330) 972-7111
Email address
School Information
The University of Akron,is the region’s most influential public research university, contributing to the resurgence of the local economy, providing a workforce highly trained in diverse disciplines, and known for an innovative approach to higher education. With nearly 26,000 students and more than 300 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and law degree programs, UA offers career-focused and experiential learning that defines the polytechnic approach to education. UA brings together diverse disciplines in ways that provide students with life-long skills, internships and co-ops, opportunities for academic research, study abroad, on-campus student employment and service projects designed for diverse groups of learners, including full-time, part-time and online students, veterans, and adults returning to the classroom.
General Information
The University of Akron commissioned a “Social Justice Task Force” to report on the status of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University and make recommendations to alleviate issues. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion led by the Chief Diversity Officer oversees the implementation of these recommendations. The most wide-ranging goal is to deliberately hire more black staff, faculty, and administrators and to provide cultural competency and DEI training amongst current employees and academic advisors. Akron is also committing to hire new faculty to teach about “critical race theory.” To jumpstart this teaching and research, faculty and departments are offered financial incentives. Departments that do not meet “diversity goals” are to be "held accountable." Students are to be provided training on intervening to prevent racism. Ongoing optional workshops on micro-aggressions, implicit biases, and peaceful civil disobedience are strongly encouraged for all to attend.

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The Office of Inclusion and Equity's 2021-2022 Diversity Roadmap Strategic Plan states that it would "[i]ncrease Recruitment and Retention of Students with Diverse Backgrounds."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • "Provide training to academic advisors annually to continue to develop increasingly culturally competent services and to ensure they are able to identify stereotype threat, implicit bias and micro-aggressions." (Page 8)
  • "Provide training to students including tools to effectively intervene, to stop or provide support in response to harassment based on race, religion, ethnicity or other protected classes. Training should occur through University orientation programs, integrated and embedded within each academic program, and supported with a strategic communication plan to raise awareness." (Page 10). This is repeated for faculty. (Page 11).
  • "The University should seek either online or in-person diversity training workshops for its administrators to increase their awareness of, and sensitivity to their micro-aggressions, possible prejudice, glass cliff issues, and the lack of cultural agility in the workplace." (Page 13)
  • "Host workshops to help students develop better advocacy and nonviolent civil disobedience skills." (Page 13)
  • The Office of Inclusion and Equity's 2021-2022 Diversity Roadmap Strategic Plan states that it would "[i]ncorporate practices in faculty search committee training that will help identify and recruit qualified faculty of color while also addressing potential bias (implicit and explicit)...."
  • The Office of Inclusion and Equity's 2021-2022 Diversity Roadmap Strategic Plan states that it would "[d]evelop and Implement Comprehensive System of Education and Training that Assist Faculty in Identifying in their Curriculum Where Diversity Issues May Arise."
  • For students, faculty, and staff, the Office of Inclusion and Equity's 2021-2022 Diversity Roadmap Strategic Plan states that it would "[p]rovide Training, Education, and Experience Focused on Diversity."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • "Support the development of culturally competent faculty to ensure that the importance of diversity in curriculum is standardized across the University." (Page 19)
  • The Office of Inclusion and Equity's 2021-2022 Diversity Roadmap Strategic Plan states that it would "[i]ncrease [the] development of culturally competent faculty to ensure [that] the importance of diversity in the curriculum is standardized across the University...."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • "Provide financial support for community-based research projects focused on social justice, social inequality, and racism." (Page 18)
Program and Research Funding
  • "Reward programs and departments that are composed of culturally competent faculty. Incentivize programs and departments to become more culturally competent. Hold programs and departments accountable that are not achieving diversity goals." (Page 19)
  • The Office of Inclusion and Equity's 2021-2022 Diversity Roadmap Strategic Plan states that it would "[a]ssess and identify resources to establish scholarships to facilitate achieving a diverse student body including students of color, ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups."
  • Akron is making a deliberate effort to hire more black faculty. Specifically, the University seeks to accomplish "Multidisciplinary cluster hiring across departments to provide focused scholarship, teaching, and collegiality for a cohort of Black faculty or faculty of color. Potential themes include violence in society, social determinants of health, critical race theory, criminal justice reform, or climate science." (Page 19)
  • Akron created an "Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity" and appointed a "Vice President of Inclusion and Equity and Chief Diversity Officer." This Officer will also oversee the Office of Multicultural Development" and the "Multicultural Center."
  • Akron created a "Social Justice Task Force" which "released a series of recommendations designed to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion..."
  • The university hosted “Rethinking Race: Black, White and Beyond” (RTR) for its 15th year in 2021.
  • The Counseling and Testing Center provides students with Social Justice Resources.
  • In March 2021, the university hosted the "DEI Dialogue: Becoming a More Inclusive Leader" speaker event.
  • The Rethinking Race forum at the University of Akron "offers a series of films, performances, conversations, and keynote speakers to engage our community with important topics related to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion." As of Fall 2023, this forum became part of the university's "Diversity Week" which was held between November 6-10.
Symbolic Actions
  • In the "Social Justice Task Force's report," Akron identified that "critical areas are inadequate or ineffective to mitigate the persistent biases, microaggressions, and stereotypes that often confront and undermine the academic success of most underrepresented students on campus."
  • DEI plans that were released for the 2021-2022 academic year include "Conduct[ing] a Biennial Survey to Assess Campus Inclusiveness" and actively recruiting and maintaining faculty of diverse backgrounds.
  • UA's LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education issued a "Position Statement Supporting Black Lives Matter in Education" which reads in part as follows: "Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) have experienced racial injustice in classrooms and communities. We are committing to anti-racism work as a School and we also commit to supporting others doing anti-racism work."
Last updated February 5th, 2024
©2024 Critical Race Training in Education. All rights reserved.