|Submission Date||March 5, 2021|
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination
|2.00 / 2.00||
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:
Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:
The mission of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) is to advance American University’s commitment to respecting & valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff, and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach, and advocacy. To achieve this mission, the center is dedicated to: Enhancing LGBTQ, multicultural, first generation, and women’s experiences on campus; Promoting student retention, graduation, and academic achievement; Collaborating with campus partners, in particular those that work with international students, students with disabilities and students with active religious affiliations to create a safe, supportive & empowering community for all, regardless of identity.
The Center for Diversity & Inclusion initiates conversations and implements programming in the spirit of diversity and inclusion in order to promote a supportive environment where all students are celebrated and valued.
The President's Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI) serves as the eyes and ears of the AU community. One of the hallmark engagements is "PCDI Listens," which is an ongoing series of listening engagements in the campus residence halls. As the name implies, we actively sit with our students, meeting them where they are, hearing their concerns, and connecting the students with appropriate resources. PCDI also regularly meets with various campus stakeholder groups (e.g., Muslim Students Association, Black Faculty Staff Association, the Interfaith Council, student leadership, Faculty Senate, etc.). PCDI also reviews and provides guidance on institutional policies and procedures, metrics and measurements, assessments, and cultural competence trainings/workshops.
AU's Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence affirms our priority to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion at a strategic, tactical, and operational level. This starts with a critical examination of the systems, policies, curricular frameworks, faculty and staff development, student engagement, resources, and communications.
Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
Students: The American University Experience (https://www.american.edu/provost/undergrad/auexperience/) is a full-year graded General Education course specially designed for students transitioning into their first year of college at AU. AUx is a become a mandatory course for all first-year students which began in the fall of 2018 as part of the new AU Core Curriculum. Through classroom discussions, assignments, and office hours, AUx1 provides a place for students to build academic skills for college success; learn about issues of privilege and bias; and explore their own personal identities. AUx2 is unique to American University, and has been created specifically as a call to action by AU students, staff, and faculty who want to ensure that diversity, inclusion, free speech, and freedom of expression are part of the core curriculum at American University. AUx2 aims to equip students to become part of a community of learners whose members come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a range of experiences.
Staff: It is mandatory for all staff and administrators to take unlawful harassment prevention and Title IX training. In addition, a diversity and inclusion course series is available for faculty and staff (these are not mandatory) with courses such as Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace, Building a Shared Vocabulary for Inclusive Excellence, and Managing Bias.
Faculty: It is mandatory for all faculty to take unlawful harassment prevention and Title IX training. There is a Faculty Development Leadership Cohort on Diversity and Inclusion. The original cohort was trained in-depth in Fall 2017 around issues of diversity, race, and inclusion, and oversaw a series of peer education sessions in the academic units, training ~750 faculty members in over 25 workshops in total as of 2020. Additionally, 100% of faculty search committees were trained in inclusive search principles and practices.
In addition, the Center for Teaching, Research, & Learning (CTRL) offers faculty trainings/workshops along with noontime lunch conversations (open to the larger community) throughout the academic year (e.g., Reducing Unconscious Bias in Teaching and Learning: Strategies for Inclusive Pedagogy; Canons Under Fire: Struggles in Decolonizing University Curriculum, All Due Respect: Speech, Inclusion and Academic Freedom in a Diverse & Politicized Environment; Engaging International Students In the Classroom, and Working with Students with Disabilities and the Accommodations Process).
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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