To assist in understanding what work remains for the university in achieving our ongoing diversity goals, Northeastern has researched U.S. Census data and compared it to its racial and ethnic demographic data. The accompanying graphs provide a view of Northeastern’s racial and ethnic makeup among traditionally underrepresented groups and projects how those specific demographics might change if Northeastern is successful in its overall educational goals and diversity efforts. As this information makes clear, there is much work to be done if we want to make Northeastern a truly diverse university across all spectrums, and we’re committed to making real progress by 2026.
About our holistic assessment process: This information does not reflect, and is not intended to imply, that Northeastern seeks to meet any specific numerical goal regarding race and ethnicity. Northeastern already admits students, and hires faculty and staff, through a robust, holistic process that considers a number of different factors. Some of those factors are demographic, which include not only race and ethnicity, but also socio-economic status and geographic region. Other factors include personal skills, contributions to the community, and leadership. It is not Northeastern’s intention, and it will not be Northeastern’s practice, to replace that holistic assessment of the individual with a process focused exclusively on any one criterion.
By 2026, the racial diversity of our incoming U.S. students and newly-hired faculty and staff will more closely reflect that of the national citizenry. To achieve these goals for students, we’re establishing thoughtful recruitment and financial aid strategies to engage prospective students within the groups represented in the data below—particularly Black and Hispanic people—and creating opportunities open to anyone regardless of socioeconomic status. For faculty, we’re focused on increasing the percentage of new hires from underrepresented groups. And for staff, we’re reforming hiring, retention, and HR protocols, including the creation of new workforce development programs that ensure robust career pathways for people of all backgrounds within our community.
Data is updated annually.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2019.
Student curricular support
Create integrated curricula on racism and anti-discrimination by strengthening and further investing in the links between the colleges and our cultural centers.
Ask all academic departments to show how racism and anti-discrimination are specifically being addressed in their courses of study, in field specific as well as interdisciplinary ways.
Student programming support
Expand successful models, such as the College of Engineering’s Summer Bridge Program, to help students from underrepresented backgrounds across the university more quickly feel at home in our community.
Substantially increase funding for grants to students who develop educational programming related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Invest in programs, activities, and initiatives that specifically address the needs of our first-generation students.
Expanded feedback mechanisms for NUPD, allowing any member of the Northeastern community, including residents of our surrounding neighborhoods, to file a complaint, offer a commendation, or request information about NUPD policies and practices.
University-wide training and accountability
Mandatory cultural competency and anti-racism training programs for all faculty, staff, and students on a regular basis.
Meaningful diversity and inclusion goals for academic and administrative departments as part of annual goal setting and reviews.
An annual climate survey on diversity and inclusion, beginning this year, with regular updates to share and assess progress.
Deepen community service and expand service learning in the neighborhoods surrounding all of our campuses to strengthen the ties between our community engagement programs and our academic programs.
Over the next five years, double the total value of procurement contracts with businesses designated as women- and minority-owned, with a special emphasis on Black-owned businesses at our U.S. campuses.
Working with employer partners
Launch NU PLACE, the Northeastern University Professional Leadership and Career Engagement Program, to engage and learn from employer partners recognized for their success in recruiting and developing underrepresented minorities.
Create hiring pipelines for NU PLACE partners to recruit and retain diverse talent from Northeastern.