About the Plan

The purpose of this Strategic Diversity Plan is to define and clearly identify, within a sustainable structure, goals and measurable outcomes for diversity at the University of South Alabama. The University recognizes and values the contributions made by African-American and other under-represented populations and desires to make the University an even more attractive and inclusive place for people of all races, ethnicities, faiths and cultures to study and work in a supportive, diverse community.


In 1985, as part of litigation affecting the public four-year post-secondary institutions of higher education in the state, the University of South Alabama entered into a consent decree with the United States government in a case known as Knight, et al v. United States of America, et al. The purpose of this litigation and the decrees which flowed therefrom was to “eliminate the vestiges of racism which still exist in Alabama’s college and university system.” As part of that decree and subsequent extensions, the University entered into a twenty year enforcement period wherein its diversity efforts were monitored by the Court. In 2006, upon conclusion of the enforcement period, the University entered into a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs which the Court recognized as a demonstration of the institution’s “commitment to continuing to operate in a constitutional and non-discriminatory fashion. . .” The Court went on to find, and the plaintiffs agreed, that the University of South Alabama is “in full compliance with the law, and that, therefore, there are no continuing policies, or practices, or remnants, traceable to de jure segregation, with present discriminatory effects which can be eliminated, altered or replaced with educationally sound, feasible and practical alternatives or remedial measures. . .” (Order and Final Judgment, Knight, et al. v. United States of America, et al., December 12, 2006). As part of the settlement agreement made with the plaintiffs in 2006, the University of South Alabama agreed to draft a Strategic Diversity Plan to help guide the University in its continued efforts to expand and increase diversity at the University.