Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Courtney Stoner
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Hannah Moskowitz
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
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Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

http://www.american.edu/president/announcements/February-29-2016.cfm

In December 2015, following a period of listening to students, faculty, staff, and alumni from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, I made a commitment to develop a plan of action, ready for campus deliberation and input by the end of February.

Lasting improvements in both the diversity and inclusiveness of our community will require long-term commitments, beginning now. I ask the community to consider the value and feasibility of the following actions to be undertaken promptly:

Establish a presidential council that will provide oversight and guidance on these plans, measure and monitor institutional progress in relation to goals, recommend new objectives, and plan necessary resources, with the council chair serving on the University Budget Committee.
Work with the Faculty Senate to implement the proposed general education program that, by Fall 2017, will introduce diversity and inclusion in a mandatory course for all first year and transfer students, and address the subject matter in at least one other required course selected from the AU curriculum. A pilot in 2016-17 will inform the content for these courses. In the interim, we will enhance the content of the diversity and inclusion session in the 2016 Eagle Summit and orientation programs for new students.
Revise and elevate awareness of discrimination policies, channels for complaint, and avenues for support, to assist members of the community who experience bias, threats, or impediments to learning.
Reallocate five tenure or tenure track positions, to recruit diverse candidates proactively to AU's faculty in 2016. This will accelerate the faculty diversity we have achieved among new hires in recent years through our existing processes.
In consultation with the Faculty Senate and the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning, develop programs to cultivate inclusive classrooms, including an entry program for newly appointed tenure track faculty in their first year at AU and dialogue sessions for current faculty in each department of our schools and colleges.
These initiatives are designed to accelerate progress and stimulate planning for new objectives to address the goal to "Reflect and Value Diversity" in our ten-year strategic plan, and to identify the resources necessary to achieve them in our next budget planning cycle, which begins this summer.

These proposed actions focus initially on issues of race and ethnicity. We recognize that diversity and inclusion extend to differences based on religion, nationality, gender, disability, and sexual orientation, not to mention political perspective. The actions we choose to implement are likely to have broader benefit and application to other dimensions of inclusion.


Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:
Yes

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:
Yes

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

In addition to the direct feedback we received, other sources reinforce the need for action. The AU Campus Climate Survey and the National Survey of Student Engagement show that gaps persist in support and satisfaction of students of color compared with students overall. Also, we examined best practices at a number of universities and consulted with leaders in Washington and around the nation to inform next steps for AU.


Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:
Yes

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

Results were emailed to the AU community and are publicly posted online.


Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:
Yes

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary:
The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.