Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Two students walking on Dame Mall“Our obligation as a learning community is to engage the tough but necessary conversations which challenge bias and prejudice and together create a stronger, more unified, beautifully diverse nation. Our purpose is not simply to graduate educated citizens. It is to graduate leaders capable of and committed to making our communities, our states and our nation more fair, more just and more compassionate. That potential requires education, to be sure, but it also requires the courage to speak and the confidence to lead. Those are qualities we strive to help our students develop at Franklin College. The future of our world demands them.” — President Kerry N. Prather, June 1, 2020

“For too many years, we have witnessed the shocking violence of racism in images and names in the media. All are poignant reminders of the reality that Black lives matter, which has never been more vital.” — Board Chair James Due and President Prather, June 17, 2020

Franklin College affirms its commitment to racial equity, justice and inclusion as an institution dedicated to making the world a better place for all people. We pledge to work intentionally and proactively with all our constituencies to create an equitable, supportive and respectful environment for our Black students, faculty, staff and alumni within our campus and within the community of Franklin. In addition to on-going initiatives through the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, faculty and staff are identifying appropriate next steps toward inclusivity and anti-racism. Please access the links below to see more detail. This site will be updated with information and opportunities to learn more.

Campus Communication

August 28, 2020 – Message to the College Community from President Prather Concerning Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
June 17, 2020 – Message to the College Community from Board Chair James Due and President Prather
June 1, 2020 – Message to Franklin College Students from Dean Jones
June 1, 2020 – Message to the College Community from President Prather

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Objectives 2020-2021

Franklin College has been engaged in a deep and broad conversation about how to better serve our Black students, faculty and staff on campus, how to improve the climate of inclusiveness and respect within the city of Franklin and Johnson County, and how to extend our influence in the world through the leadership of our alumni. The result of that conversation is encapsulated in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Objectives listed below.

These objectives represent a holistic, institutional approach; each Cabinet member has committed their respective division to the work as described. This list is not exhaustive, but rather a representation of important next steps we will take to live our vision for an inclusive, anti-racist institution. The analysis and actions taken as we fulfill these objectives will inform future decision making, resource allocation, and strategic planning.

The President’s Cabinet will meet monthly with representative students to hear about their experiences, ascertain new needs, and course correct as necessary. They will provide important feedback on our progress towards these stated objectives. The President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion will also contribute to evaluation, implementation, and assessment of our progress towards these objectives.

We are committed to this critically important work, to our Black students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to diversity, equity and inclusion at Franklin College.

Office of the President

Engage services of Ontay Johnson, Fellow with The Mind Trust (formerly Executive Director of 100 Black Men Indy), as consultant to the President and PCDI and liaison with the city of Franklin.

Cultivate partnership with Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett on improving the inclusive climate of the city and making the community more welcoming, respectful and supportive of its Black citizens, including Franklin College students, faculty and staff.

Establish Arthur Wilson Black Experience Living/Learning Community to address a request from the Black Student Union.

Engage Black faculty and staff as Ombudspersons to help support Black students in moments of need; compensate them for their service.

Increase representation of Black students on President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion; engage PCDI in a more focused mission to address the quality of the Black student experience.

Establish a working group of Black student representatives to meet with the President and Cabinet monthly to discuss unique issues, concerns and needs as well as progress meeting 2020-2021 diversity and inclusion objectives.

Analyze the institutional systems, structures, policies, and procedures in place to ensure that they don’t disproportionately adversely affect under-represented populations.

Audit the language on our website, in campus communications, etc., to ensure we are promoting diversity and inclusivity.

President's Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI)

Reconstitute PCDI with more representation of Black students, faculty and staff.

Engage the entire campus community to pursue the 2020-2021 PCDI goals by answering the following questions:  

How do we improve the experience of Black students at Franklin College to ensure it is qualitatively equivalent to that of majority students?

  • How do we make FC the small liberal arts college of choice for Black high school students?
  • How do we improve retention rate of Black students so it is consistent with that of majority students?
  • How do we collaborate with the city of Franklin in help make the community more welcoming, respectful and supportive of its Black citizens, including Franklin College students, faculty and staff?
Student Development

Provide stipend to Diversity Advocates as compensation for their important contributions.

Allocate resources from the student activity fee to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion for programming and education geared specifically toward underrepresented students.

Include Anti-Racism training as part of the Lunch & Learn Faculty/Staff training series sponsored by the CDI, HR, and Office of the President.

Expand diversity, equity, and inclusion aspects of new faculty/staff onboarding.

Encourage expanded inclusion of Black students in leadership positions within non-culturally-specific student organizations, e.g., Student Foundation, Student Congress, SAAC, etc.

Survey minority and majority students regarding CDI programming to help increase overall student engagement with CDI events and opportunities.

Increase engagement of Student Development Division staff in support and retention efforts for current Black students. 

Include education on diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in Welcome Week and Community Hour sessions for first-year students.

Explore expansion of Greek life to include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

Utilize social media to provide educational information and resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Research and pursue appropriate grant opportunities aimed at supporting historically underrepresented and minoritized populations.

Diversify programming to meet the needs and capture the interests of students with diverse perspectives, interests, and experiences.

Academic Affairs

Examine courses and conduct an audit of the diversity presented through chosen readings, videos, and speakers.

Provide resources (e.g. honorariums for speakers) to faculty who bring in diverse speakers to complement course content.

Provide ongoing professional development for faculty on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Leverage digital fluency initiative to strategically partner with diverse members of the tech community and organizations serving diverse populations (e.g. Black Girls Code). In addition to the benefits obtained by our current students who engage with such organizations, having these partnerships creates possible pipelines of future prospective students as well.

Incentivize faculty to create courses that connect their major to issues of diversity and inclusion. The VPAA office will provide stipends for Immersive Term work for up to 10 faculty to develop these courses. Preference will be given to areas that do not have traditionally strong ties to diversity and inclusion in their curriculum, and balance across academic programs will be sought.

Collaborate with Student Development, asking faculty with experience in facilitating challenging conversations to serve as facilitators for co-curricular programming.

Prioritize diversity of the applicant pool in two anticipated full-time faculty searches this academic year and work with Human Resources to ensure these positions are posted in publications frequently accessed by minority scholars.

Development and Alumni Engagement

Emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion in fundraising efforts.  Commensurate with existing college-wide fundraising priorities, we will emphasize financial aid for underrepresented students; support for engaged learning such as internships and travel abroad opportunities; and infrastructure support for a new Living-Learning Community (LLC), Arthur Wilson House, for Black students. 

Initiate new offerings via our Alumni Engagement programming this year. These will include intentional partnership with Student Development team and Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) to consider programming for Black alumni.

Ensure Black and minority representation in all alumni publications, including the alumni magazine (in partnership with Marketing and Communication), direct mail and email messaging, and all alumni social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Support the Board of Trustees in their efforts to diversify that important governing body by providing more opportunities for diverse alumni to share information with their alma mater via surveys and updated website and actively seeking to identify and engage diverse prospects for trusteeship.

Increase engagement of Black alumni in support of retention efforts for current Black students.

Business and Finance

Increase the pool of qualified candidates in all personnel searches through engagement with strategic media outlets.

Establish long-range (e.g., five-year) targets for diversifying faculty and staff.

Identify exposure and partnership opportunities that raise the profile of Franklin College as a workplace committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Establish minimum minority participation requirements on major contracts with the College.

Seek a broader minority supplier base in all routine supply areas of the College.

Enrollment (Admissions and Financial Aid)

Recognize and communicate to staff the responsibility to recruit an increasingly diverse cohort of students each year. 

Charge Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment to promote increased recruitment and increased relationship building with various groups and schools that will diversify our student body. 

Increase focus on Marion County, Lake County, Allen County and other areas in Central Indiana where there are opportunities to engage with large populations of Black and underrepresented prospective college students.

Engage in on-going training for counselors to develop communication skills and mentoring skills to help connect students of underrepresented populations with Franklin College.

Build relationships with existing schools and identify new schools with significant populations of underrepresented students.  

Focus on our existing institutional relationships with The Kipp School, Indiana Latino Higher Education Consortium, Indiana Latino Institute, InterAcquilla International Recruitment and Study International.

Engage with EAB, INACAC, NACAC, and other groups to assist the College in identifying Black high school students and others of color to allow the widest possible pool of prospective students for Franklin College.

Increase the involvement of current Black students in minority student recruitment, building on institutional progress in the quality of the Black student experience. 


Seek diverse representation in SAAC so all students have a voice. Ask coaches to help identify minority candidates on their rosters for SAAC participation.

Seek the assistance of minority coaching staff members to provide support, discussions, and other programmatic involvement.

Focus on support, education, and communication that lead to positive action and outcomes.

Maintain equity in programming goals.

Focus 2020-2021 student education and modified convocations on diversity recognition and advocacy.

Provide diversity training for entire coaching staff.

Ensure a pool of diverse candidates in each job posting.

Establish long-term planning which includes diversity and equity goals and balance.

Pursue departmental position with specific diversity and inclusion responsibilities via the NCAA Grant program.

Better utilize the NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Resources.

Research hosting Diversity Education Workshops on campus offered by the NCAA.

Promote NCAA Internship program.

Promote NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program.

Engage NCAA Leadership Institutes for Ethnic Minority Males and Females (12-month program) for minority staff members.

Engage NCAA Men’s Coaches Academy run by NCAA, AFCA and BCA (8 years or more coaching) for minority staff members.

Engage Future Football Coaches Academy (exhausted playing careers within 2 years of applying) for minority student-athletes interested in coaching careers.