Our goal is to cultivate a community of people who have diverse ways of thinking, views, values, and perspectives and who represent the composition of our society with regards to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disabilities, political affiliation, and socio-economic backgrounds.

We seek to bring the qualities and differences that exist among individuals into the collective goals of our department, and we are committed to the broad participation of all of our members in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making. We seek to incorporate our diversity principles and practices into our relationships with the public we serve including the research community, cooperative extension, and students, among others.

Diversity is also an integral part of our academic success and productivity. We value the inherent benefit of diverse ideas. Fostering a diverse academic environment for our students, faculty, and staff increases creativity, innovation, and solutions to problems. In addition, research has demonstrated that diverse groups in academic settings produce higher quality research based on deeper critical analysis. As a scientific community, problem-solving skills are necessary for our daily tasks and considering multiple perspectives to solve problems can stimulate discussion of different aspects of a problem and offer otherwise unconsidered solutions. In addition, being able to relate to everyone in the workplace is an important employment skill for all members of our department. We are strongly committed to preparing our members to work effectively and competently with diverse people and in diverse settings.