Boston University School of Medicine Policy on Diversity Categories 

Boston University School of Medicine Policy on Diversity Categories

(Approved by the BUSM Executive Committee on April 18, 2018)

  1. Purpose: This policy addresses student, faculty and senior administrative staff diversity and inclusion policies and procedures at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and defines mission-appropriate categories for focused recruitment and retention.
  2. Covered Parties: students, faculty and senior administrative staff.
  3. Defined Terms: Underrepresented in medicine (URM) indicates racial and ethnic populations underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general US population.
  4. Policy: BUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment of students, faculty, and staff.  BUSM policies for diversity are built upon our commitment to the identification of groups of people who are relatively absent from the learning environment and whose presence contributes value.  These groups are likely to address the nation’s disparities in health care quality and access to health care for all.

After a review of the existing learning environment, the BUSM identified the following groups for special focus:

Medical Students Faculty & Senior Administrative Staff
Black/African American



First generation college,

Low socio-economic status

Black/African American




* Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

BUSM is committed to:

  • Recruiting, retaining and tracking URM students, faculty and staff and the numbers of women and their leadership roles for faculty and senior staff.
  • Pipeline programs for URM groups to increase their number in the regional and national applicant pool and to provide support systems to enhance retention.
  • Safe and supportive environments for women, URMs and LGBTQ students, faculty and staff as evidenced by intermittent climate surveys.
  1. Responsible Parties: All administrative units, but particularly the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, are responsible for overseeing implementation of and ensuring compliance with this policy.
  1. Related Policies and References: See appendix 1.
  1. Policy History: This policy addresses an LCME requirement for a “mission-appropriate diversity policy with identification of diversity groups for students, faculty and senior administrative staff.” No previous policies specifically defined mission-appropriate categories.

Appendix 1: BU Resources for diversity

Diversity at Boston University: http://www.bu.edu/provost/diversity/

Central to the Boston University experience is a student and faculty community reflective of the world around it. So much of our institutional strength throughout history has derived from an environment that at once celebrates academic rigor and inclusiveness to individuals of all backgrounds, creeds, cultures and beliefs. Today, BU is proud to boast a diverse, truly global campus community – a vibrant intellectual hub of students and faculty representing every ethnicity and orientation and more than 140 countries around the world.

Simply put, each of us is more complete for the connections we build with classmates and colleagues of backgrounds different from our own, for the unique perspectives, ideas and experiences they bring to our campuses, and for the commitment we all share for excellence in research and scholarship.

As Boston University works to promote diversity at every level of our community, the resources on this page represent the continually growing range of programs for professional, academic and social development we proudly offer to support this effort. We hope that you find it helpful and that you’ll assist us in continuing to build this page by letting us know of new opportunities as they arise.

— Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

BU Search Manual: https://www.bu.edu/apfd/files/2015/11/Boston-University-Faculty-Search-Manual.pdf

This guide provides advice from successful search committee chairs and reviews the literature on avoiding bias in search processes.

ARROWS: Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM

The ARROWS: Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM mission is to organize, align, and vertically integrate programs created to advance women throughout the STEM community at Boston University. BU has a strong commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which is reflected throughout the campus through educational opportunities and the career paths of our alumni/ae. The Office of the Provost instituted the ARROWS program to bolster STEM. With the launch of ARROWS, BU has taken a step forward to vertically integrate all programs on the Charles River and Medical Campuses to increase awareness of events, policies, and opportunities for women in STEM.

Artemis Project

The Artemis Project is a five-week summer program directed by undergraduate women at Boston University. Founded in 1996, Artemis introduces rising 9th grade girls to computer science, targeting them at the critical age when the disparity between males and females in the sciences becomes most pronounced.

BU Admissions Student Diversity Board

The Admissions Student Diversity Board (ASDB) helps keep BU one of America’s most diverse centers of learning by actively recruiting from multicultural communities. This student organization works with Admissions to increase enrollment and enrich the experience of African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Native American students at BU.

BU School of Medicine Diversity and Inclusion Office The Boston University School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs serves as the Dean’s proponent for diversity and cultural competence among students, faculty, and staff. The Office of Diversity will accomplish this mission through collaboration with all departments to develop model recruitment and retention strategies and for curriculum and faculty development.

BU Women’s Guild

Established in 1956 by then Dean of Women Elsbeth Melville, the Guild is a woman-to-woman organization that provides the women of BU with a forum to discuss topics of common interest and with the opportunity to meet women from across the campuses whom they otherwise might not get to know.

The Office of the Provost’s Faculty Development website offers a host of diversity-relevant resources and services – both internal and external – designed to assist with faculty recruitment, professional growth, and inclusion.

First Generation Connect

This University Service Center program provides regular receptions, workshops and publications designed to enrich the undergraduate experience for students who are the first in their families to attend college.

Graduate Women in Science and Engineering

Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) at Boston University strives to create a community to support and promote women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Through professional development seminars and workshops, social events, mentoring, and outreach, GWISE fosters interaction across all disciplines at BU and connects graduates students to postdocs, faculty, and broader networks in Boston and beyond.

Howard Thurman Center

The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground preserves Dr. Howard Thurman’s legacy of breaking barriers of divisiveness, providing opportunities for personal growth and community building through special programs, events, and resources.

Posse Foundation Scholarship

This four-year, full-tuition scholarship, provided by BU in partnership with the Posse Foundation, identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes.

Student Activities Cultural Groups

With more than 450 student organizations, BU provides opportunities for students to connect with classmates across a range of areas and interests, from hobbies, athletics and academic pursuits to cultural backgrounds. Browse all of the cultural groups on the Student Activities website.


Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy

Since its founding in 1869, Boston University has been dedicated to equal opportunity and has opened its doors to students without regard to race, sex, creed, or other irrelevant criteria. Consistent with this tradition, it is the policy of Boston University to promote equal opportunity in educational programs and employment through practices designed to extend opportunities to all individuals on the basis of individual merit and qualifications, and to help ensure the full realization of equal opportunity for students, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. The University is committed to maintaining an environment that is welcoming and respectful to all.

Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities, including admissions, financial assistance, educational and athletic programs, housing, employment, compensation, employee benefits, and the providing of, or access to, University services or facilities. Boston University recognizes that non-discrimination does not ensure that equal opportunity is a reality. Accordingly, the University will continue to take affirmative action to achieve equal opportunity through recruitment, outreach, and internal reviews of policies and practices.

The coordination and implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Executive Director of Equal Opportunity. The officers of the University and all deans, directors, department heads, and managers are responsible for the proper implementation of equal opportunity and affirmative action in their respective areas, and they are expected to exercise leadership toward their achievement. It is expected that every employee of Boston University will share this commitment and cooperate fully in helping the University meet its equal opportunity and affirmative action objectives.

Boston University has developed detailed procedures, described in its Complaint Procedures in Cases of Alleged Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment, by which individuals may bring forward concerns or complaints of discrimination and harassment. Retaliation against any individual who brings forward such a complaint or who cooperates or assists with an investigation of such a complaint is both unlawful and strictly prohibited by Boston University.

Inquiries regarding this policy or its application should be addressed to the Executive Director of Equal Opportunity, Equal Opportunity Office, 19 Deerfield Street, Fl. 2, Boston, MA 02215, 617-353-9286. Inquiries concerning application of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex may be also directed to the Executive Director of Equal Opportunity, who serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights at U.S. Department of Education, 5 Post Office Square 8th floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 617-289-0111. Inquiries concerning the application of Section 504 to students with disabilities and campus accessibility matters should contact Lorraine Wolf, Director of Disability Services (and Section 504 Coordinator), 19 Deerfield Street, Fl. 2, Boston, MA 02215, 617-353-3658. Inquiries concerning the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504 to employees and applicants for employment may be made to the Executive Director of Equal Opportunity.


Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action: Responsible Office: Equal Opportunity Office,

Effective Date: June 2015