We strive to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space; to foster a culture of diversity in all forms, where everyone’s experience and opinion is respected and valued; and to give our students the tools to become agents of change for a more diverse and equitable business world after they graduate.

It's an ongoing journey, one that is continually evaluated and shaped by input and feedback from our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and corporate partners. We invite you to learn about our history of diversity, our current initiatives, and our goals and strategies for creating a more diverse and just environment going forward.

Read the Diversity Plan

Read the 2021 Diversity Report

Herman B Wells

Before becoming Indiana University’s progressive and longest serving president, Herman B Wells earned a degree from what is today the Kelley School of Business, which he also led as dean from 1935 to 1937. During his visionary tenure as IU president, he worked to desegregate the campus, community, and intercollegiate athletics prior to the civil rights era.

“Our victory can have little meaning or significance unless we proclaim our belief in the brotherhood of all men, men of all races, classes, and nations, and personally practice our belief by extending the cordial hand of fellowship to all men.”

–Herman B Wells, March 5, 1944

A Founding Member of The Consortium

In 1966, the Kelley School of Business became one of three founding members of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Two years earlier, of 12,000 students enrolled in MBA programs across the country, only about 50 were Black. The Consortium has since enabled more than 10,000 men and women of color to earn MBA degrees, including more than 1,000 Kelley alumni. Consortium member institutions are committed to furthering the mission of enhancing diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership by reducing the significant underrepresentation of Black, Brown, and Indigenous students in their programs. Students become members of The Consortium by showing a similar commitment to and active engagement in this mission. They further these values when they come to Kelley through leadership opportunities and their involvement in clubs, programs and class discussions.

“I heard a speech some time ago, and the speaker said that in order for you to be your best, you need to have in your mind that there is support, a home-court advantage. The Consortium gave us that home-court advantage so we could go out and compete for those top jobs. It gave the confidence; it provided a support mechanism that you needed to have to go out and compete.”

–Clarence A. Wilson, MBA'80

PhD Project

The Kelley School has participated in the PhD Project since it began in 1994, with the shared goal of increasing the proportion of business school faculty in the US who are from under-represented minority groups. Both the PhD Project and Kelley view this increased diversity in business school faculty as an important component for encouraging more under-represented minority students to pursue business degrees, which leads to more diverse future business leaders and enables all students to be better prepared for serving a diverse customer base.

“The PhD Project understates its networking and supporting capabilities. It is a collegiate collective that shares resources, experiences, and encouragement, such as, ‘Hey, we’ve all been there, and you’ll make it,’ which is remarkable. The PhD Project allows me to tell my story so I can help those who are years under and above me. ” 

–Brittani Shantel Jackson, PhD’23


In 2002, the IU Kelley School of Business was an early higher education partner with Forté, an organization that launches women into fulfilling careers through access to business education, professional development, and a community of successful women. Initially, Forté served women pursuing an MBA, but in 2015 the Kelley School was one of just 10 institutions invited to participate in its “Rising Star” mentorship program that encourages, supports, and prepares undergraduate women for careers and to compete for top jobs.

“Having access to Forté has truly enhanced my MBA experience, especially as someone pursuing a career in financial services. Forté offers conferences, networking opportunities, and access to companies aligned with their mission, which complements the Kelley MBA network quite well. I have learned immensely from Kelley Forté alumna who have graciously shared their experiences post-MBA when they visit Bloomington. On the whole it continues to inspire me to encourage others to challenge themselves.”

–Ashley Emerole, MBA’20

Pre-college Programs

The Kelley School’s student recruitment efforts include several unique programs geared toward high ability, underrepresented high school students. MEET Kelley brings students to Kelley to experience the opportunities available if they attend the Kelley School after high school. MEET Kelley stands for Meet-Educate-Experience-Transition to Kelley, and began in 2002 as the Junior Executive Institute. The students not only learn about Kelley during this summer program, but they get a taste of life at IU Bloomington and learn about scholarships to help pay for college. Other targeted recruitment efforts include the annual Young Women’s Institute, held for 14 years, and the Up-Next Business Academy, which began in 2014. In recent years, a majority of participants have chosen the Kelley School, with many receiving scholarships.

“I never imagined I would study business because I was never introduced to it in high school. When I saw how friendly and encouraging the staff was during MEET Kelley, I knew that if I tried something new like business I would have a support system. So, I came to IU as a marketing major and I have never regretted it.”

–Donnesha Robinson, BS’20

Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives; Diversity Directors

Since 2002, the Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives has served and celebrated the rich diversity of Kelley’s student body. KODI staff help recruit students to Kelley and offer programs and community for undergraduate students to feel supported, welcomed, and affirmed. This support includes academic advising, mentors, financial literacy programming, substantial scholarship programs, and an annual retreat that has become a highlight for many students. Kelley Prep Academy is an academic and engagement support program for IU students who are studying to get into Kelley after their first year. It includes professional and academic development events, social events, study tables and tutors, and opportunities to interact with Kelley Faculty outside of the classroom. The Kelley FUTURES Mentoring Initiative has been pairing directly admitted and pre-business first-year students with juniors, seniors and graduate Kelley students since 2009. KODI is led by the Undergraduate Director of Diversity Initiatives. In 2019, Kelley added a staff member to oversee initiatives for women and the LGBTQ+ community. In early 2020, Kelley added a director position to manage diversity and inclusion efforts across all of Kelley’s graduate programs.

“The Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives is here to support you, advocate for you, and to ensure that you are seen, heard, listened to and valued as a member of the Kelley community.”

–Carmund White, Director of Diversity Initiatives, 2020

Diversity Scholarships

In addition to financial support through The Consortium and Forté Foundation at the graduate level, the Kelley School has many scholarship opportunities that give special consideration to diverse students. Through a generous $15 million gift in 2008 from Kelley alumnus William R. Fry, Kelley established an undergraduate scholarship program for financially challenged underrepresented students. In addition to financial support, a Fry Scholarship connects students with mentors, study groups, study abroad opportunities, advisors, leadership opportunities, corporate recruiters and other networking opportunities. The Dean's Council Scholarship, which has a similar aim, was established in 2015 through support from the 150 members of the school’s Dean’s Council. Soon after came the first class of first-year students in the Conrad Prebys Scholars Program. A $2.2 million gift from alumnus Doug Hamilton and partner Don Vossburg enabled Kelley to create the OUT in INformation Technology Scholarship in 2019 to support LGBTQ+ undergraduates interested in operations and decision technologies and graduate students majoring in business analytics.

“It gave me that courage to know that I could do anything and that validation that I had the ability to make an impact.”

–Ashley Martinez, BS’16

National Diversity Case Competition

The Kelley School of Business annually hosts the National Diversity Case Competition, which was created here at the Kelley School in 2012 by students in the Student Diversity Council. Originally called the Midwest Diversity Case Competition, it’s now the largest such event, bringing together some of the best and most diverse talent in undergraduate education and drawing from more than 40 schools, including from historically Black colleges and universities. Students travel to Kelley the weekend preceding Martin Luther King Jr. Day to solve diversity-related business issues and share ideas while benefiting from workshops and networking with top companies that value inclusion.

“I learned that I am capable of doing anything that I set my mind to. If you would have told me as an incoming first-year student that I would be representing Kelley in a national competition, I would have laughed in disbelief. I used to be terrified of public speaking, but I’ve come so far in the past four years.”

–Diana Rath, member of Kelley’s winning team in 2019, who graduated that same year

Targeted Degree Programs

Launched in 2018, the Finance Diversity Program works to increase the diversity of high-potential students choosing a finance major and pursuing a career within corporations and the financial services industry. The program strives to empower individuals to be confident being their authentic selves in the workplace and beyond. Students become mentors, coaches, and ambassadors during their four years in this leadership program. The ultimate goal of the program is to create more diversity among professionals in corporate America, with this diversity leading to better corporate decision-making. In 2013, the Graduate Accounting Program began inviting undergraduates who are underrepresented minorities to the annual Accounting Leadership Weekend to discuss how a graduate accounting degree could help their career options.

“The (Finance Diversity) Program aims to bring together students from underrepresented communities, so whether that be women, LGBTQ, or under-represented minority students, we educate them about the different opportunities that exist within the financial services industry as well as create a positive and professional community.”

–Mona Sehgal, BS’19, program founder.

LGBTQ+ Initiatives

In addition to support from diversity staff members and ally training for faculty and staff, Kelley has Out@Kelley student organizations in the undergraduate and MBA programs. Out@Kelley emphasizes community involvement, business trips, and networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, alumni, and allies, and it prepares students to become equality-oriented leaders in the business world. Since 2016, the MBA program has been a sponsor of Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA), which works to increase the influence of the LGBTQ+ community in business. This partnership allows MBA students to attend ROMBA’s professional development events, such as the annual conference and treks, and to take on leadership and mentorship roles within ROMBA. Kelley also funds two-year ROMBA fellowships annually. The LGBTQ+ Culture Center at IU Bloomington has been providing support and resources for the LGBTQ+ campus community for more than 25 years. IU Bloomington was recognized in recent years as one of Campus Pride’s Best-of-the-Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges (2018) and one of the top 25 LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the country according to College Consensus.

“The LGBTQ+ community at Kelley, allies included, has been extremely supportive of me reaching my goals. Bloomington itself is queer friendly. I’ve definitely felt supported, celebrated, and recognized, and that’s very important to thrive.”

–Tyler Patrick Ray, ROMBA Fellow, MBA’21.

Leadership, Learning, and Community

Student-run clubs and associations at Kelley provide opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom and to join peers with similar backgrounds, lifestyles and aspirations. Students celebrate their culture and strengthen both professional networks and leadership skills in these organizations, which provide a space for students to learn about challenges faced by peers. Some of these organizations include Ascent at Indiana University, the Asian MBA Association, Black MBA Association, Chinese Business Association, Diversity Champions, Jewish Association of MBAs, Global Business Women, Kelley Association of Women MBAs, Latino MBA Association, Out@Kelley, and many more.