Task Force Recommendations AY 2017-18


1. Administration and Accountability:

Develop and implement the appropriate administrative and institutional structure to coordinate, assess, and provide accountability for university initiatives focused on diversity, inclusion, equity, and access. The Task Force recognized that a dedicated office with the appropriate degree of autonomy would be well positioned to coordinate strategic and visible leadership for diversity and equity initiatives across all program and administrative areas within the university. At the same time, to be effective, ownership for the work must be shared and not marginalized as the sole responsibility of any one office or position.

Responsible: President

2. Statement of Community Values:

A. Conduct a university wide, interdisciplinary assessment of UMW’s Statement of Community Values. Establish an interdisciplinary ad-hoc committee of students, staff, and faculty from across campus to review UMW’s Statement of Community Values, to revise it as appropriate, and to promote the new version across the University. This committee would meet monthly over the 2017-18 academic year.

B. Related to the above revision of the Statement of Community Values, the Task Force also recommends revisiting the UMW “Statement of Guiding Principles on Diversity and Inclusion.” This statement could be raised to a status similar to that of the honor pledge; highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion as UMW core community values in venues like Honor Convocation, student orientation, and student events; the ultimate goal would be to make diversity/inclusion a widely diffused, shared culture and norm at UMW similar to the honor system.

Responsible: President; Vice President for Student Affairs; Provost

3. Data collection:

Develop a systematic and sustained process to monitor and collect data on campus climate for faculty/staff/students; these surveys on students, faculty, and staff should be conducted regularly. Specifically, conduct the next full climate study of faculty/staff in fall 2017.

  • Particular effort should be made to increase response rates, especially those of under-represented groups such as commuter students. The committee also recommends qualitative data collection such as focus groups and Town Hall meetings. Conduct systematic collection/analysis of exit surveys for faculty and staff (including wage staff and staff who are involuntarily terminated); further exit survey analyses on students; track retention rates for students, faculty, and staff of color and LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. Finally, Institutional Research needs to continue to collect and coordinate all campus climate data, exit survey data, etc.
  • Add the Topical Module on Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity for future iterations of the NSSE survey.

Responsible: Provost; Institutional Research

4. Curriculum:

The subcommittees have a number of recommendations pertaining to curriculum and pedagogy including:

  • A consideration of FSEMs, (First Year Seminars) and how this experience can provide a foundation for the development of cultural competencies;
  • Conduct academic department assessments on diversity and inclusion, (with some initial focus on the natural sciences);
  • Explore new programs and majors that are responsive and relevant to the increasingly diverse populations we serve as well as prepare them for living and working in a global environment; for example, encourage faculty and student efforts to develop African-American or Black or Latino Studies or similar programs that provide a focus for issues of diversity and inclusion;
  • Provide opportunities for faculty to research, develop, and practice culturally relevant pedagogies;
  • Explore the development of a conflict resolution program;
  • Provide opportunities and support for faculty research on diversity topics.

Responsible: Provost; Academic Deans; Department Chairs

5. Cultural Competency:

Begin a process of developing a “cultural competency” model with both academic and student development outcomes; provide sustained cultural competency/sensitivity training to faculty, staff, and students.

Responsible: Provost; Vice President for Student Affairs

6. Student Activities:

Coordinate student activities and privilege more diversity related events–the committee found what UMW needs to work on is not a shortage of diversity-related events or programs but raising the profile of some events and boosting more participation and engagement. For student-led events, Student Affairs can assist in coordinating events/programs to encourage cross-participation of currently very disjoined club events. The committee also recommends making one or two diversity/inclusion-related events (either from the existing events or from new ones) university-wide, high profile events such as the Honor Convocation.

Responsible: Vice President for Student Affairs

7. Faculty Recruitment:

Develop procedures to ensure the consistent expectation and application of current faculty and staff recruitment practices including:

  • Mandatory training for all members of search committees;
  • Approval of all search plans (including the proposed advertising, recruitment languages, etc.);
  • Collect and review data on all searches, including current data on the terminal degrees available in discipline applicant pools, data on candidate campus visits, finalists for positions, etc.;
  • Ensure that all sources for potential candidates are pursued, including non-traditional sources, to recruit diverse faculty.

Responsible: Provost; Associate Vice President for Human Resources/AAEEO

8. Student Recruitment:

  • Continue implementation of the tactical plan for recruiting underrepresented students;
  • Work with advancement to create an endowment to provide competitive offers to underrepresented students and support more students with financial need.

Responsible: Vice President for Enrollment Management; Advancement

9. Community Support:

  • Create “affinity” groups for students, faculty, staff, and alumni;
  • Create a Peer Diversity Education group for students and develop intensive training workshops to provide students, faculty, and staff the skills and tools to become effective educators and allies for an inclusive environment.
    These groups can also support recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff.

Responsible: Vice President for Student Affairs; Provost; Human Resources; Advancement/Alumni Relations

10. Bias Reporting:

  • Review and revise Bias policy to align with current practices and train faculty, staff and students on this policy and its related procedures;
  • Create an online mechanism for reporting incidents involving faculty and staff;
  • Ensure a commitment to quick, public reporting of bias incidents and tangible actions toward ensuring a safe community (in conjunction with careful investigation, which we believe is already happening);
  • Institutional Research Office should collect and maintain a repository of bias-motivated incident data and develop an annual report comprised of a detailed set of indicators including demographic data, type of offense, submitter status, etc.;
  • Develop appropriate protocols for what to communicate, when to communicate, and how to communicate outcomes to reported incidents.

Responsible: University Relations, Human Resources, Provost. Note that HR will take lead on training faculty, staff, students; University Relations takes lead on creating on-line environment for reporting, developing practices for reporting, etc.; IR will keep and analyze the data.

11. Athletics:

Conduct an examination of our athletic program:

  • Assess UMW’s involvement in the Division III Diversity and Inclusion initiative;
  • Perform an assessment of the culture and climate for students, faculty, and staff in athletics;
  • Establish goals for diversity, inclusion, and accessibility of programs, and develop a specific plan to meet those goals.

Responsible: Vice President for Student Affairs; Department of Athletics; Athletic Director

12. Campus Environment:

Conduct an inventory of the art and artifacts displayed in the campus common areas and residence halls with an eye to preserving institutional history but also updating displays to reflect the changes in our student body and to create a fully welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff; make sure that the physical environments on our campuses also reflect our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Responsible: President

13. Institutional focal point for Equity and Access:

Conduct an assessment of the resources and activity of the James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) and develop a plan to position the JFMC to become a central, highly visible, University-wide programmatic entity, a focal point for issues of equity, access, diversity and social justice.

Responsible: President; Vice President for Student Affairs; Provost

14. Communications:

Develop a comprehensive Outreach and Communications Plan around our diversity and inclusive excellence initiatives; activate and establish regular meetings with the President’s Community Advisory Committee on Diversity.

Responsible: President; Vice President for Advancement and University Relations

15. Develop specific goals for 2018-2019.

Responsible: President