The diversity course requirement was adopted by the Academic Senate after a broad and collaborative effort among academic departments and individual faculty and administrators. After a series of faculty meetings to discuss the need for and nature of a diversity requirement for the campus in early 2002, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) invited faculty to submit full proposals for a requirement. During fall 2002, the UCC discussed three proposals and a survey of comparable university’s curricular diversity requirements, and decided to move forward with modifications of one of the proposals. Faculty committees and academic administrators contributed to revisions of the proposal through the spring 2003 semester, finally submitting a draft to the UCC in May 2003. Once the UCC approved the draft, it was forwarded to the Academic Senate in September 2003. After vigorous deliberation, the Academic Senate passed the proposed diversity course requirement in March 2004.
The purpose of the requirement is meet the Core Values Statement’s call “to prepare students to dedicate themselves to diversity that values the richness of human society as a divine gift and to pursue justice by making an action-oriented response to the needs of the world,” as is stated in the undergraduate catalogue. More, the University's mission – to “inspire students to learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world" – and the Undergraduate Learning Aims are met when students develop an awareness of and sensitivity toward differences among people and cultures.
All students, beginning with the Class of 2010, must complete one (1) designated diversity course before graduating from the University. Students can fulfill the diversity course requirement with a core, major, or elective course that carries the "D" designation.