University Policies, Practices, and Organizational Changes
As outlined in a communication on June 29, 2020, the University's commitment to an equitable and inclusive University community is being expressed through a range of actions. In addition to training and collaborative partnerships and new programs and events, these include the following policy and organizational initiatives.
- Campus climate survey. The University will conduct a campus climate survey beginning in the fall of 2020, using an instrument that is impartial, valid, and reliable so it can be used repeatedly and, ideally, within a larger national context.
- Leadership reorganization. Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer Christopher Jones, whose expertise includes civil rights, law, and equal opportunity programs, joins the President’s Cabinet as of July 1, 2020; he also assumes leadership of the Office of Campus Diversity and Inclusion and Native Student Programs. Jones will lead the effort to create a University-wide diversity and inclusion plan that includes strategies that focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Anti-racist statement. An anti-racist statement has been created and endorsed by the faculty, administration, and trustees.
- Inclusive strategic plan. The next strategic plan, which is currently being started, will incorporate our diversity, equity, and inclusion work. The senior diversity and inclusion officer (SDIO) will join the strategic plan leadership group in the fall, and the University-wide Council on Inclusiveness and Community (UCIC) will be engaged in a consultative capacity.
- Anti-discrimination policy. The University has created a more robust policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. This policy will be similar to the University’s Title IX policy in clearly outlining the procedures for making a report and the process the University will follow to investigate complaints/reports received. The pros and cons of developing a Bias Incident Reporting process with a web-based form for submitting reports will also be evaluated.
- Performance evaluation change. Performance evaluations will be modified to include accountability for the advancement of an inclusive and diverse work environment (e.g. “Please assess employee’s commitment to, and what you believe they have done, to make the University more diverse and inclusive.”). Provide training for supervisors and staff once modifications are made.
- Hiring procedure modification. Hiring procedures will be revised so candidates are expected to submit a statement about what they will contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of the institution (a practice of the University of California); this also helps set expectations for our future employees.
- Board member recruitment priority. Trustee recruitment strategies will prioritize demographics to increase racial, ethnic, and gender diversity over the next three years to keep our University in touch with the needs of all our constituencies and to help hold the Board accountable to those they serve. Additionally, the trustees commit to building a culture of inclusion within the Board.
- Trustee resources and training. Diversity, equity, and inclusion resources and training will be available to support members of the Board of Trustees as they work to be more intentional in their critical role in leading an institution that prioritizes, supports, and invests in diversity, inclusion, and equity.
- Advisory body. The UCIC will continue to act as an advisory body to the Cabinet, the Board of Trustees, and the entire University community.