CMU consistently tracks upward in its commitment to reflect the diversity of the student body and the faculty and staff. The Central community is one whose diversity is sometimes surprising to new audiences discovering the institution. For example, CMU is above average for all ranks in the national categories of gender and racial diversity among our regular faculty.
The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion created Venn diagrams reflecting First Generation, Students of Color and Pell recipients and their intersections. What's important about these diagrams is the large number of students in each group that don't actually intersect with the other groups. The data revealed:
- Over half of low income students are not first generation and not students of color
- Over half of students of color are not first generation and not low income students
- Over half of first generation students are not low income nor students of color
Here is that data: Venn CMU Fall 2018.pptx
CMU's faculty fares higher than national campus averages when breaking out data based on race and gender. Read that data here:Faculty CMU Race and GenderNat'l.pdf.
The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS) is a national survey whose study revealed CMU students are significantly more open-minded than their counterparts in all areas and become more open-minded during their time at CMU.
Here are the findings of the IDEALS study of the entering class of Fall 2015 :Central Michigan University_Time2 Report.pdf
An internal inquiry of national data comparing CMU's ethnic and gender diversity among students showed Central as comparable/about average in comparison to our national peer overlap and Michigan public institutions.
Those statistics are here: Student Diversity Table 2018 (2016 data).xlsx
periodically administers institutional surveys to assess the
climate for racial/ethnic minorities and gay and lesbian members of our
community. Surveys have been conducted in 2005, 2007, and 2008, and 2009. The most recent campus climate surveys completed by Dr. Mary Senter, CMU faculty, was completed in June, 2015. Following are some important survey
findings you need to know:
- The vast majority of CMU students in 2007, 2010, and 2015 recognize the value of diversity in higher education, and significant numbers support an enhanced administrative commitment to diversity. (Senter, 2015, p 32.)
- Students of color at CMU have more varied and intimate contact
with ethnically and racially diverse people than their white peers
(Senter et al., 2007, p. 68).
- 61% of students of color at CMU have heard negative comments about a racial or ethnic group from other students on campus (Senter, 2015, p 19).
- Central Michigan University provides students with multiple opportunities - both within the classroom and outside- to learn about racial, ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity, although a large majority of CMU students do not take advantage of these opportunities. (Senter, 2015, p 33).
- CMU students do report attitudes and experiences that reflect a negative climate for diversity. (Senter, 2015, p 34.)
- More than half of minority employees do not believe that CMU
employees support and promote diversity and do not believe that there
are many opportunities for minorities to advance at CMU (Senter, 2008,
- Key findings from a Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual (GLB) 2005 focus
group study indicated that GLB students reported the most negative
experiences occurring in the residence halls (Humiston, 2005).
A recent New York Times article - NYT May 2019 - explored what's being called a crisis in college dropout rate. Too many schools are failing to retain students for a wide range of reasons. CMU finishes among the top five Michigan schools for expected and actual graduating students. The Office for Institional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion broke out this information through internal research and presents it here.