University joins C3 fellowship program for minority graduate students

“We are eager to create opportunities for our students and to help contribute to the national dialogue on diversity in graduate education and academia.”

By Cairo Lewis

On November 24, President Zimmer and Provost Eric Isaacs announced the University’s involvement in the Creating Connections Consortium (C3). This program helps students from underrepresented groups attain faster and more efficient access to graduate programs and academic positions.

Launched in 2012, C3 is an undergraduate and graduate student fellowship program that helps liberal arts colleges and research universities hire faculty from underrepresented groups and recruit diverse adults. The Consortium also holds a yearly conference to assess progress and to offer suggestions for improvement in the future.

The University of Chicago and the University of Michigan are the most recent institutions to join C3. Middlebury College, University of California at Berkeley, Williams College, Columbia University and 20 other member colleges of the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Consortium (LADO) and the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School are also a part of the program.

In the statement, President Zimmer acknowledged the importance of addressing matters of diversity, inclusion and equity of treatment as they relate to the University.

“Because many of these issues are cultural in nature, often with powerful historical roots, this broad engagement is necessary for making significant progress. As a community and an institution, we must recognize that we have much work to do, and recognize the importance of the work of the many individuals directly involved in these efforts.”

The University and the institutions involved are enthusiastic about the growing program and hope to further its initiatives.

“The University of Chicago is honored to join C3. This resource is one of an increasing number of options available to our graduate students. We are eager to create opportunities for our students and to help contribute to the national dialogue on diversity in graduate education and academia,” said the University’s Vice Provost for Academic initiatives Sian Beilock.

“The addition of the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago to C3 enables us to better promote full engagement and inclusion regardless of identity or background. Their addition as members also permits us to expand the reach of the C3 programs to students and faculty from a broader range of institutions,” said Provost at Middlebury College Susan Baldridge.

In addition to C3, the University has recently launched a number of other programs targeted at low-income/first generation students. These include the No Barriers initiative to provide financial aid and increased academic and career support and The College’s Center for College Student Success, which offers additional advising and resources to undocumented students, first generation college attendees or students from lower-income families. The Center for Identity and Inclusion and faculty-led programs such as the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture have also expanded.

To ensure that matters of equity and equality are also addressed off campus, the Office of Civic Engagement has developed the Civic Leadership Academy and UChicago Local, two programs that work with individuals from local government agencies, not-for-profit community organizations and local businesses to build local communities. The University works with the Diversity Leadership Council to address non-academic diversity issues in the workplace.

The University will release its next Campus Climate Survey, which will look into diversity and inclusion issues,  in 2016.