Durbin Holds Roundtable at Dominican University to Discuss $2.5 Million in Federal Funding Through Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program

RIVER FOREST – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Dominican University to discuss $2.5 million in federal funding it received through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program to close the digital divide by helping Minority-Serving Institutions expand their broadband capacity and hire additional information technology personnel.

“Dominican University has long been a champion of diversity and inclusion, and this federal funding will further enhance its ability to support students from all walks of life,” said Durbin.“By providing access to quality technology and internet connection, Dominican is not only investing in the future of its students’ education and career development, but also in the future of our nation.”

“Dominican University is extremely grateful for the federal funding we have received through the Connecting Minority Communities grant program,” said Dr. Todd Kleine, Chief Information Officer of Dominican University. “We are also thankful to Senator Durbin for visiting our campus, meeting with our students, and learning about all we have been able to achieve with the grant funding. Through upgrades in information technology infrastructure and the creation of educational programming, this grant is helping to dismantle the digital divide that exists for our students, faculty, and staff. It also ensures that our university community can benefit from state-of-the-art technology without the cost being passed along to our students and their families.”

With the $2.5 million in federal funding it received, Dominican was able to update student computer labs and equip classrooms with technology that supports hybrid-learning opportunities. This funding has also allowed Dominican to hire four IT personnel and two library technology coordinators, as well as provide STEM majors the opportunity to become Digital Navigators—a paid internship opportunity that allows students to coordinate digital skills workshops for students and staff and provide IT support.