Date of Presentation


Name of Conference

National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Date of Conference


Location of Conference

Lewisville, Kentucky

Document Type

Conference Presentation


School of Education, Leadership, and Public Service


Diversity of students, faculty, administrative staff, community, and curriculum is an asset thought to strengthen and enrich students’ academic experiences. Responding to a charge from a Northern Michigan University president to place diversity at the center of a University Strategic Plan, members of a diversity advisory council proposed a plan to prepare the university and its students for a future in an increasingly diverse and globalized society. Integral to this plan was a diversity conference, UNITED (Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity), which went from an annual September event to an integral part of the university's academic fabric. Our research describes an eight-year history of the diversity conference, which has hosted more than 12,000 participants and has become a vital component in the curriculum of the university. The research assists in outcomes assessment efforts to determine whether the diversity conference has lived up to its original purpose and perceived importance in the curriculum, recruitment of students, and program accreditation efforts.