Many individuals, and student, faculty, staff, and alumni groups, have contributed to the discussion of how to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the University of Redlands. As conversations continue and initiatives progress, this FAQ will be updated to reflect the development of these important efforts.
While the nuances of each word are ongoing topics of discussion, one set of widely accepted definitions is provided by Damon A. Williams in Strategic Diversity Leadership (Stylus, 2013)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are extremely important, as expressed in part of the University’s mission statement that it welcomes “intellectually curious students of diverse religious, ethnic, national, and socioeconomic backgrounds” and its anti-racism statement, endorsed by the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees in the fall of 2020.
The University-wide Council on Inclusiveness and Community (UCIC) was founded in 2016 with a mission as “a university-wide body with broad representation committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders. The Council will pursue recommendations ensuring programs, policies, and practices that are just, equitable, and ingrained in the fabric of the University.”
The President’s Cabinet recently recommitted to DEI ideals, as stated on June 9 and June 29: “As members of a university, we believe in dialogue, interactive learning and teaching, and mutually respectful conversation. We will listen closely, speak from principles, and act to make the University of Redlands ever more inclusive . . . and as inclusively diverse as it can possibly be . . . We are committed to action, creating a University culture in which we all feel secure, heard, and respected.”
Individual departments and schools within the U of R have also articulated their own commitment to DEI. For example, the San Francisco Theological Seminary expresses this as “Imago D.E.I. (The Image of God Expressed Through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion),” stating “As a community, we are united in the desire to create an inclusive atmosphere where diversity flourishes in all its forms. We are called to live inside God’s beautiful family, and that means pursuing justice, knowledge, dignity, and well-being for all people. From our students to our staff to our faculty and beyond, we want to foster a just community that embraces differences—both here on campus and in the world.”
Yes, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer Christopher Jones, J.D., is spearheading the creation of a comprehensive DEI plan. This plan will incorporate a variety of initiatives from the President’s Cabinet on policies, practices, and organizational changes, training and collaborative partnerships, and new programs and events, as well as input from the community through forums such as a University-wide town hall on September 28. Groups that also wish to offer specific input are encouraged to reach out to the Office of the Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer directly.
DEI actions are also taking place across the University:
Several actions have recently been implemented:
As part of the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, the President's Cabinet announced the U of R has engaged the Diverse Learning Environments Survey to measure the campus climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. There will be three surveys—one for faculty, one for students, and one for staff/administration—to capture multiple perspectives. The faculty survey launches in the fall, followed by student and staff surveys in the winter. Benchmark data should be available in July 2021.
Yes. While the University does not formally endorse any particular organization, it does support the ideals of diversity and inclusion, as well as of a liberal arts education that values critical thinking and a wide variety of perspectives. To that end, the President and President’s Cabinet issued a statement on June 9, 2020, that affirms support for the Black Lives Matter movement. It begins:
“As a University, we are committed to addressing the problems of systemic racism and to be part of the solution. It’s time for change, and has long been time for change, within American society. While we have a longstanding commitment to racial equity, this historic moment gives us a chance to reflect on where we are and where we want to go.
As a Cabinet, we speak with one voice against racism and injustice:
We would like to acknowledge the pain we have been hearing from some members of our community. As a University, we must increase existing efforts toward creating an environment in which:
Following recommendations by a faculty study group and a University task force, U of R intends to seek designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) during the U.S. Department of Education's next application cycle (with an anticipated deadline of January 2021). As an HSI, the University would have the opportunity to receive resources to support programs, facilities, or services that expand educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans as well as other underrepresented populations. The University also intends to apply for the designation of Minority Serving Institution (MSI) when possible.
The deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and School of Education have a specific recruitment plan for faculty of color, including Black faculty, that was developed in 2016, in part a result of working groups within the University-wide Council on Inclusiveness and Community. The Provost requires each dean to provide evidence about search protocols to ensure that attention to diversity and equity is paramount in the process.
For example, in the College of Arts and Sciences, all faculty searches must:
These recruitment practices have been ongoing consistently and have resulted in an increased diversity of new faculty hires in recent years.
The faculty develop and approve the curriculum in each graduate/professional school and the College. Working with their deans, faculty members can prioritize resources for investment in classes and proposed faculty positions that expand the scholarship and teaching on race, privilege, and identity.
In the School of Business, a review of its course offerings to identify areas for enhanced inclusion of DEI issues, topics, and examples is under way. This has included a faculty workshop to determine the range of courses for modification, then work with course instructors to implement changes and enhancements.
In the School of Education, the assembly chair is distributing a survey to inventory curricular items that already address DEI-related topics, especially justice and race, as well as to solicit ideas about what more can and should be done. This work will translate into a DEI plan for the School to guide investment in human and financial resources.
In the Graduate School of Theology, the faculty has embarked on a review of course syllabi and pedagogy with the goal of increasing the use of underrepresented scholars.
In the College of Arts and Sciences, the faculty assembly resolved last year to discuss faculty position requests with attention given to priorities that cut across multiple academic departments and programs, as well as the Johnston Center and School of Music. Greater attention to the dynamics of race, inclusion, and equity is a priority to which the College faculty are committed.
The University has been increasing financial aid to students of color, as part of institutional financial aid that rose $25 million, or 48%, from FY2012-13 to FY2019-20.
In 2017, the University re-instituted the “Cal Grant full tuition guarantee”—a commitment to cover Cal Grant recipients’ full tuition in grants and/or scholarships—to entering students in the College, which resulted in a 31% increase in Cal Grant recipients from 2015 to 2019. Cal Grants, funded by the State of California, are awarded on the basis of financial need and GPA. In the entering class of 2019, 71% percent of Cal Grant guarantee recipients identify as first-generation college-bound and 83% identify as students of color.
The University established the Hunsaker Scholarship in FY2014-15, meeting full demonstrated financial need for each recipient. In the first five years, 51% of Hunsaker Scholars identify as students of color and 23% identify as Black/African American.
Through generous support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the University has established a program that meets 100% of demonstrated need for recipients of the San Manuel Excellence in Leadership scholarship. In the past three years, the average annual number of new Native scholarship recipients has nearly doubled.
As financial aid policies are developed for future recruitment years, additional consideration will be given to ways that enhance scholarship and financial aid to recruit Black students.
International students are supported through the Office of International Students and Scholars, which helps those students settle into life in the United States and succeed in their programs of study at the University. During the pandemic, the office is hosting two community meetings per week. The office also supports the international student organization Redlands International Student Association (RISA). It also works to support the university's global programs, including the Global Quarter located in North Hall and Merriam Hall on the Redlands campus and a network of faculty advocates for international students.
Yes, undocumented students are welcome. We currently have undocumented students attending the U of R, and we encourage prospective students who are undocumented to apply. In 2016, the University of Redlands signed on early to the Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. For more information, see President Ralph Kuncl’s statement on DACA.
The University is seeking to expand the training sessions that have been offered on its campuses for many years. Some of this work will be accomplished through the re-envisioned and expanded diversity and inclusion team under the leadership of the new U of R Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer, in collaboration with Director of Equity and Title IX Coordinator Erica Moorer. Additional training and discussion opportunities will be developed and orchestrated by each school and within administrative units. These opportunities will be tailored to the specific needs of each area.
Current plans include:
With any reduction in force that involves several positions, the University’s Director of Human Resources, General Counsel, and Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer evaluate all eliminated positions and people in them to ensure the layoffs have no disparate impact by race, ethnicity, or other protected category. As a further safeguard, their analysis is then reviewed by the President’s Cabinet and shared with the Board of Trustees. As a result of proactive review, there has been no disproportionate impact on underrepresented groups.
In review of all the feedback provided to the University in recent months, and in collaboration with many campus partners, the University has expanded its Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation, which now outlines the process to report Title IX sexual harassment matters as well as non-Title IX equity matters.
The policy includes: 1) definitions of equity, harassment, and discrimination; 2) a formal complaint process to report equity concerns via a single office; and 3) detailed procedures for investigating and adjudicating non-Title-IX equity matters. The expansion of this policy is a direct response to the advocacy of our current students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
For more on resources, confidentiality, filing a report, and other information, visit the Equity and Title IX web pages.
The University’s Department of Public Safety functions in a community engagement model of safeguarding the campus and its members. This model focuses on the reciprocal relationship of respectful dialogue, mutual understanding, and shared solutions to achieve the most appropriate outcome for everyone involved.
The use of force by members of Public Safety is extraordinarily rare; however, such action is strictly governed by policy, which is online for transparency, with excessive force and chokeholds being absolutely forbidden. Every uniformed member of Public Safety is required to maintain licensure through the State of California, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, and must comply with the annual training requirements prescribed. In addition to review by Public Safety management, as part of this licensing requirement, any use of force incident must be reported in writing within seven days to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. The Bureau then conducts an independent review of the circumstances and associated level of force utilized. The last instance of use of force requiring a report was in September 2014.
As with all departments and individuals at the University, Public Safety personnel are governed by the University’s policy on discriminatory practices. In a commitment to achieving the highest level of professionalism and inclusivity in daily contacts, Public Safety and the University Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer continue to engage in dialogue to further efforts in social equality. In addition, all Public Safety personnel subscribe in writing to a Code of Ethics, which reinforces the fair and equitable treatment of everyone encountered.
University of Redlands Public Safety staff members, who are unarmed, only request assistance from the Redlands Police Department (RPD) when in their professional opinion, based on their training and experience, such assistance is necessary for the well-being of the University community and/or upon request or needs of the victim of a crime. In addition, since Public Safety officers are not sworn law enforcement officers, any temporary detention made by Public Safety personnel requires the response of RPD to complete the legal requirements for arrest or disposition of the incident. Most commonly, the RPD is called for assistance in the situations when trespassers disregard the direction given to them by Public Safety and/or become threatening to the community. The relationship between the University of Redlands and the RPD is contained in a formal Memorandum of Understanding drafted in 2005 and reaffirmed in 2011.
The University supports the right of students, faculty, and staff to communicate protected speech, including through the exercise of peaceful protest. This is a difficult area, because different constitutional rights may often be in conflict. What some consider “peaceful protest,” others might consider “unlawful assembly.” What some consider free expression, others might consider harmful or hateful speech. The University cannot provide any guarantees because every situation is different. The University cannot guarantee, for example, that no consequences would follow from an individual’s decision to ignore lawful orders. Constitutional matters are, by their nature, determined on a case-by-case basis and require a fact-specific inquiry. Wherever there is uncertainty, the University will look to balance the interests in favor of a student, faculty, or staff member’s good faith exercise of protected speech.
The University embraces the goal of respecting all students, including students of color, and their contributions to the campus community. The U of R history web page acknowledges the role of student activism in the development of race and ethnic studies programs in the 1990s.
When the University brought consultant Jesús Treviño, Ph.D., to Redlands in the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019, the U of R Office of Communications sought out his advice on the University’s communications materials. Dr. Treviño encouraged continued representation of a diversity of students in the University’s web and print material as an important and visible part of the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. When stories are written about individual students, they have the opportunity to review and approve the content before it is published. Story ideas and other requests are welcome and can be sent to email@example.com.
The presentation of individual departments, for example Race and Ethnic Studies or the Center for Educational Justice, is determined by those departments when communications about their programs are developed.
Annual reviews by the Board’s Executive Evaluation and Compensation Committee each June include a portion of each Cabinet member’s assessment on their diversity and inclusion goals/impact, as required by the President for the past eight years. Additionally, questions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion topics are asked and discussed in every Cabinet candidate interview. The President has required that the initial candidate pool, and subsequent selection pools, for every Cabinet search be diverse. As a result, the racial and gender diversity of the Cabinet has increased.
The President is evaluated annually by the Board’s Executive Evaluation and Compensation Committee in a comprehensive process, including assessment in diversity matters such as leadership hiring.
The endowment and its management is the sole responsibility of the Board of Trustees Investment Committee, which has fiduciary oversight. None of the University’s investments are in single stocks (i.e. supporting a single company or business) or bonds; are all in mutual stock funds, stock indexes, bond funds, real estate investment trusts, hedge funds, private equity funds, and funds of funds. Due to its fiduciary responsibility, the Board is legally obligated to preserve the value of donors’ previous endowment investments in perpetuity, while balancing the University’s current needs.
Everyone at the University of Redlands plays a part in creating a welcoming community for all. You can make a positive impact by building collaborative and mutually beneficial working relationships with people of different backgrounds and by referring qualified candidates from underrepresented groups to support the goal of enhancing the University’s diversity and inclusion. Also, you can support others in an awareness and acceptance of cultural differences, participate in diversity training and programming, and recognize the benefits to our community of diverse and inclusive perspectives.
Suggestions for DEI initiatives, invitations for conversation, and requests for training are welcome and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on University DEI resources and opportunities for involvement, see the Racial Equity Resources web page. Or make a gift to support DEI programming at the University.