DEIA Advisory Council

Latest News

Campus Climate Survey Complete

The University recently conducted a comprehensive climate survey to assess the current experiences and sentiments of community members around areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. These results will help inform future actions and initiatives. An executive summary of the results can be downloaded.

DEI Workshop Implementation

Jackie Lue Raia, president and owner of Alexena Consulting LLC, is actively engaging student groups in her diversity, equity and inclusion workshops, and the ones who have either completed or are already scheduled to participate are: Metropolitan Campus and Florham Campus resident assistants, Greek Life representatives, student-athletes, and the Student Government Associations. The University Core instructors as well as the President’s Cabinet and senior academic and student affairs leaders also participated in co-facilitated sessions with Lue Raia and Dr. Alta Mauro, associate dean for inclusion and belonging at Harvard College, this summer. Additional sessions for faculty, staff and students will be offered throughout the academic year.

DEIA Advisory Council

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Advisory Council is helping the University fulfill its commitment to creating and nurturing a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus environment, and to building a community that promotes and celebrates a culture of diversity, accessibility and inclusion, as well as mutual respect and understanding among students, faculty, staff, administration and alumni. Dale Caldwell, executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has served as council chair since its formation in 2020. “If the University can become a model of diversity, equity and inclusion, it has the potential to significantly increase its enrollment of students and engagement of employees,” says Caldwell. The DEIA Advisory Council includes subcommittees focusing on academic affairs and student and community life. These subcommittees are led by Michael Avaltroni, university provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Uchenna Baker, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. The committees are focused on four key areas including: campus culture and belonging, educational programming, engagement and retention, and building diversity pipelines.


The DEIA Advisory Council includes members from throughout the University (see list below). New members are now being recruited to continue this important work across FDU. If you are interested, please complete this brief screening questionnaire and a representative from the council will be in touch with you to share next steps.

  • Dale Caldwell, Chair
  • Michael Avaltroni, Co-Chair
  • Uchenna Baker, Co-Chair
  • Traci Banks
  • Luz Huertas Castillo
  • Otito Frances Iwuchukwu
  • Khyati Joshi
  • Marion McClary
  • Linda Raffaele Mendez
  • Mark Robertson

Commitment Statement


Fundamental to its mission, vision, and core values, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is committed to creating and nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environment that fosters mutual respect and understanding among students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni.

FDU embraces a culture of open mindedness, diversity of thought, and cultural expression. The University encourages multiple perspectives to enrich the educational experience for the University community. FDU emphasizes understanding cultural experiences and perspectives by cultivating respectful communication among members of the FDU community.

The University is focused on ensuring that students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni thrive personally and professionally in a global environment in order to challenge and reject racial divisiveness, prejudice, systemic privilege, and oppression. To this end, FDU does not tolerate discrimination or bias based on race, religion, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, sex, ability status, age, nationality, and socioeconomic class.