A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is at the very bedrock of a liberal arts education. In Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, we extend the mission of the University — “fostering respect for human differences” and “preparing students to be global citizens and informed leaders” — to critically examine problems and enact solutions for complex issues facing our society.

We understand that advancing social equity, inclusivity and justice requires commitment to action over time. Black Lives Matter. Our faculty, staff and students apply disciplinary expertise and interdisciplinary perspectives as we examine the different systems and processes that perpetuate injustice. This important work will never be finished — there is much left to be learned and accomplished in our classrooms, in our community and beyond.

Student resources

The Diversity Course Database assists students in identifying courses that address elements of diversity and inclusion (based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and global dimensions) for deeper study and personal growth.

In addition to majors housed in academic departments, interdisciplinary majors and minors provide deep opportunities to explore multiple aspects of identities and the experiences of those affected by bias, discrimination and oppression.

  • The Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education is the central support for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds and for all who seek to foster a more inclusive, equitable Elon and society. The center hosts events, lectures, and educational workshops focused on building community and necessary dialogue on campus. Contact the center at crede@elon.edu for specific information about workshops, seminars, and anti-racist resources.
  • Elon’s Gender & LGBTQIA Center supports, advocates and educates around issues of gender and sexual identity to create a welcoming and equitable campus for students, faculty and staff. The center hosts a range of groups, events, and educational opportunities for a broad range of the campus community. Spectrum is Elon’s queer-straight student alliance with general meetings Mondays at 6 p.m. in Moseley 211. Contact them at spectrum@elon.edu. EFFECT (Elon Feminists) seeks to improve campus climate by spreading the values of intersectional feminism via discussion and activism. It meets Mondays at 6 p.m. in Moseley 216/217 and can be reached at elonfeminists@elon.edu.
  • Elon seeks to support and empower first-generation college students. The Center for Access and Success’s First-Generation Student Services connects students with resources, information, and a community of first-generation faculty, staff, and fellow undergraduates to assist them on their paths to graduation.
  • Elon University is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. One of the ways we express our commitment is in our efforts to accommodate qualified students with disabilities as they face the challenges of university life. Faculty, staff, administrators and students work together to find approaches and accommodations that enable students to benefit from the variety of programs and activities on campus.
  • Bias response website: The Center for Equity and Inclusive Excellence provides comprehensive response to issues of violence, bias, harassment and hate.

Academic departments and interdisciplinary programs

Multidisciplinary study of different human experiences and societies happens in our academic programs, and opportunities to explore and deepen knowledge around these issues is available through a network of courses, as well as mentored experiences with faculty. While no single class or experience can lead to the nuanced understanding of the human condition, the availability of disciplinary and interdisciplinary coursework broadens our abilities to see beyond our individual lived experiences toward a greater understanding of the need for equity.

In addition to majors housed in academic departments, interdisciplinary majors and minors provide deep opportunities to explore multiple aspects of identities and the experiences of those affected by bias, discrimination and oppression.

Among programs that include critical examination of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are:


Faculty resources

As outlined in the Boldly Elon strategic plan for 2030, Elon is committed to building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community where all members experience belonging and well-being. Powerful relationships with faculty are the foundation of students’ success at Elon.

Faculty and staff create professional development plans that indicate ongoing strengthening of inclusive pedagogy that deepens learning for all students. At the same time, faculty and staff undertake training and practices that build our own understanding of the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our work and in our lives.

Faculty can use available professional development funding for professional development in their disciplines and specifically around opportunities to advance DEI.

Coordinated through Elon’s Office of Leadership and Professional Development, a range of Employee Resource Groups exist around common interests, shared bonds and backgrounds.

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning supports the implementation of inclusive pedagogy into Elon’s classrooms. Inclusive teaching practices have been shown to support greater learning in all students, not just those from traditionally marginalized groups, and foster belonging that helps all students thrive.

The Center for Equity and Inclusive Excellence plans interactive workshops, training and resources to foster individual and collective reflection on the complexities of identities and skill building around reducing and preventing bias and prejudice. Experiences can be tailored to department-specific objectives. Beginning fall 2020 grants will be available for academic/staff departmental collaborations around diversity and inclusion.

Knowing there are many outside organizations that provide pathways to strengthening inclusive and equitable approaches, some options faculty may consider include:

Faculty can contact the Elon College Dean’s Office with specific questions or additional guidance.


Dear Elon Community,

The deans of the schools and colleges at Elon University stand unequivocally united against racism and police brutality. We believe Black Lives Matter. We are working to ensure our faculty and staff colleagues are better equipped to teach and lean into conversations that will help our nation and world change for the better. Hold us accountable to promote diversity and inclusion. Hold us accountable for recruiting and retaining diverse students, faculty and staff. Hold us accountable for meeting our diversity and inclusion goals. We are here to support our students, our faculty and our staff colleagues. We will work in our personal and professional spheres to make a difference.


Luke Bierman, Ph.D., JD, dean, School of Law
Ann Bullock, Ph.D., dean, School of Education
Rochelle L. Ford, Ph.D., APR, dean, School of Communications
Rebecca Neiduski, Ph.D., OTR/L, CHT, Dean, School of Health Sciences
Gabie Smith, Ph.D., dean, Elon College of Arts and Sciences
Raghu Tadepalli, Ph.D., dean, Love School of Business

—Originally published June 1, 2020