The office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) is housed in the division of Academic Affairs. The Associate Vice Chancellor of EDI is the chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer at UCCS. The AVCEDI is primarily responsible for advancing all equity, diversity and inclusion programming on campus (including staff and faculty development, research, and teaching), and supporting historically underserved or marginalized campus and community stakeholders (including faculty and staff of all ranks, and undergraduate and graduate students). The AVCEDI also collaboratively and individually coordinates and facilitates a range of annual/bi-annual programming; serves on a host of campus-wide committees; represents the office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at community and campus events; and acts as a liaison to her counterparts within the CU system, as well as those at local academic institutions in Colorado Springs and the larger southern tier of the Front Range.
Empirical evidence confirms that achieving long term, sustainable and deep-rooted goals in respect to equity, diversity and inclusion demands that a range of stake holders shoulder the responsibility for addressing campus climate change. Nationwide trends—as revealed by a recent, 2017 survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education—suggest that equity, diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives rarely succeed when they are top down or mandatory.
Given the vast demands and expectations placed on the AVCEDI at UCCS, the lack of a multi-tiered administrative infrastructure, and a modest budget, the AVCEDI created a Diversity Assembly and Steering Committee to assist in:
* gathering information regarding current staff and faculty equity, diversity and inclusion programming, curriculum, and initiatives at UCCS;
* establishing shared goals, parallel initiatives, and complementary practices;
* identifying specific needs;
* prioritizing and developing shared initiatives, programming, and development trainings;
* connecting faculty, staff, students and/or community;
* and streamlining or centralizing equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives and programming across the campus and/or the community, and thereby maximizing time, energy and funding
The EDI Diversity Assembly and Steering Committee is composed of:
* Fellowship teams consisting of paired academic staff and tenure track faculty representatives from all 7 colleges (*due to its size/mission, LAS and the Helen & Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences will each, respectively, have 2 pairs of academic staff and tenure track faculty representatives);
* the director of the Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion;
* 2 tenure track faculty fellows responsible for researching and collaboratively developing student and faculty mentoring programs (respectively), which focus on the life-cycle of faculty and/or students, rather than solely on the hiring or recruitment process;
* Faculty Assembly representatives from the Minority Affairs Committee, Women’s Committee, PRIDE and the Disability Committee;
* 2 Student representatives from the Student Diversity Assembly (see Appendix A).
The EDI Diversity Assembly Steering Committee, which was formally constituted in September 2018, meets on a monthly basis during the regular academic year. Beginning in the spring of 2019, representatives from various units/groups across campus will meet with the EDI steering committee both individually in order to exchange information about their units and thereby identify shared initiatives and programming, as well as collectively on a biannual basis during the regular academic year. (see appendix B)
The goal of the proposed support structure is inspired by a Restorative Justice model in that it is fundamentally grassroots and focuses primarily on promoting and restoring community through an inclusive process that engages all willing campus stakeholders. In addition to creating a communication network, cultivating equity, diversity and inclusiveness leadership across the campus will alleviate cultural fatigue for those who are disproportionately called upon to serve in roles related to equity, diversity and inclusiveness. In addition to enfranchising stakeholders who have traditionally been overlooked, and creating multiple avenues for communication, advocacy and raising awareness, a multi-tiered structural model will also encourage more participation in diversity initiatives and more representative participation in decision-making.
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The tenure track faculty fellows on the EDI Diversity Assembly Steering Committee serve as the chief equity, diversity and inclusion officers in their respective colleges; and act in a collaborative, advisory capacity to the AVCEDI.
Faculty fellows representing colleges that do not currently have diversity committees/councils were charged with creating fellowship teams with designated academic staff partners, who will sit on Diversity Counsels.
In the spirit of a shared governance model, faculty fellows are in the process of either interfacing with existing equity/inclusion/diversity committees in their respective colleges, or constituting diversity councils (consisting of tenure track faculty, lecturers, instructors and staff members) in an effort to:
* more efficiently gather information regarding both current initiatives and programming (including curriculum and research) in order to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion, and identify current needs or gaps;
* identify shared goals and individual/department/college equity, diversity and inclusiveness efforts in order to potentially streamline parallel efforts, and thereby maximize time, labor and funding.
* assess climate for faculty and staff;
* highlight best practices, points of intersection and potential collaborations, and thereby address the unevenness of diversity efforts across the campus;
* develop methods to recognize and reward 1.) curricular innovation respecting infusing diversity and inclusiveness into course content and teaching strategies; 2.) activities and efforts to make positive contributions to department/college/campus diversity and inclusiveness goals; and 3.) efforts to address the needs of students from diverse backgrounds and experiences;
* develop an ‘inclusive recruitment tool kit’ for search committees in collaboration with Human Resources, which will include information that addresses 1.) pro-active affirmative action practices; 2.) training regarding implicit or unconscious bias toward underrepresented groups (this will include scholarship and service that focuses on underrepresented/historically marginalized groups or theoretical perspectives) 3.) inclusive language for job descriptions, 4.) specific strategies and methods for identifying and attracting/recruiting a diverse candidate pool;
* strategically create college- and campus-wide actions and implementation plans regarding equity, diversity and inclusiveness development opportunities, which 1.) enhance diversity skills and inclusive teaching strategies; 2.) deepen cultural responsiveness across the campus; 3.) improve understanding of the increasingly complex and evolving global nature of social and cultural identity; and 4.) support improved diversity teaching and programming;
* evaluate existing anti-discrimination and harassment policies or civility codes.
*The expected time frame for constituting the Diversity Councils and gathering information is spring 2020.