Diversity Catalyst Lecturer


Prof. Bill Tolman (Chair of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) created a diverse and inclusive environment within the department for faculty, staff, post-docs and students.

His accomplishments towards improving diversity climate include:

1. Created Committees:

  • Diversity committee – that included graduate students and faculty
  • CCGS
  • Student Seminar Committee
  • Joint Safety Team

2. Demographics: 

  • UG Climate via Student experiences in research university survey
  • Meet and greets – sense of social events
  • Mental Health survey – attention to mental health of graduate students
  • Open faculty searches with search committee preparation
  • Outreach (K-12): high participation URGs

3. Communication:

  • Developed mission statement embracing diversity of communities and ideas
  • Striving for inclusivity

4. Continuing Education:

  • Diversity/ally training, civility workshop, mental health workshops
  • Developed an AlLY sticker

5. Community Building

  • Community of Chemistry Graduate Students (CCGS):
    • Student driven group that promotes a healthy academic environment for all graduate students.
    • Connect students with existing University resources and refine and/or develop new resources aimed at increasing graduate student health, happiness and productivity.

6. Recruitment

  • Graduate Student
    • Removed requirement for chemistry subject GRE
    • Discussed attention to diversity/equity during recruiting
    • GLBTQ Ally training for faculty & students