The Office of the Deputy Provost for Research and Minority Issues (now Office of Academic Leadership, Advancement and Diversity) was created in 2005 on the recommendation of the Provost’s Initiative on Minority Issues (frequently referred to as PIMI), a task force Provost Saller established to focus on issues related to diversity at the University of Chicago. Saller indicated that if the University hoped to be a leader and example of innovation in the areas of race and diversity, “we need a senior-level administrator to oversee, cultivate, and maintain our momentum” in attracting a more representative body of faculty and students, as well as improving the environment for faculty and students of color presently at the University.
The PIMI taskforce specifically highlighted five areas for the University to act on to ensure social and intellectual diversity at the University:
- recruiting and retaining faculty of color,
- improving the institutional communication on diversity,
- improving student services for students of color,
- developing curricula around issues of race, and
- developing diversity training for students, faculty, and staff.
Currently, the office works toward monitoring and improving the University's approaches to recruiting and retaining minority faculty, students, and to a lesser extent, staff. The Office also coordinates and promotes research, teaching, and programming initiatives that address diversity and ameliorate inequality on campus and in the broader community. Since its inception, the Office of Academic Leadership, Advancement and Diversity has expanded its staffing and now includes an Administrative Assistant, Special Assistant, Director of Graduate Diversity Recruitment, Director of Summer Diversity Initiatives, and Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives.