Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Garry Morgan
Special Assistant, Inclusion & Diversity Education
Office of Inclusion & Diversity
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Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights on campus?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

The institution has a Chief Diversity Officer Cabinet that is focused on the coordination of diversity and inclusion related work occurring in colleges, schools and other academic and administrative units throughout campus. The work and scope of Auburn University's Chief Diversity Officer is focused on institutionalizing diversity with a broad purview in academic affairs and throughout university administration.

Diversity at Auburn University encompasses the whole of human experience and includes such human qualities as race, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, and veteran status. These and other socially and historically important attributes reflect the complexity of our increasingly diverse student body, local community, and national population.
Auburn University recognizes and values the considerable educational benefits emanating from diversity as we prepare our students for life and leadership in a multicultural world. Students who interact with and learn about people from a variety of backgrounds are more apt to understand, appreciate, and excel in the community they inhabit. In this context, diversity is aligned with Auburn University’s land-grant mission of providing its students with a superior education in service to the needs of Alabama, the nation, and the world.
The primary purpose of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity is to accomplish the mission set forth in Auburn University’s Strategic Diversity Plan (SDP): Establish diversity as a core value at Auburn University.
Create, promote, and encourage a supportive and friendly campus environment that is welcoming and attractive to people of all races, ethnicity, nationalities, religions, gender, sexual orientation, and those with disabilities. (SDP Goal 1)
Assist Auburn University in its efforts to recruit and retain minority and women faculty, students, and staff at all levels. (SDP Goal 2)
Develop and strengthen alliances with external communities to support diversity in and outside of Auburn University. (SDP Goal 4)
Develop efforts that enhance external support for diversity programs and scholarships. (SDP Goal 1,2)
Foster a community that values diversity through educational and training programs. (SDP Goal 3)
Regularly monitor and assess Auburn University’s diversity efforts for effectiveness, identify new and better “best practices” for success, and publish reports for dissemination. (SDP Goal 1,5)

Student Excellence Programs: Student Excellence Programs (SEP) foster an inclusive academic environment for prospective and current students at Auburn University. SEP serves as a resource for all students with the following goals and activities: Implementing best practices for recruiting and retaining underrepresented students from diverse backgrounds. Providing underrepresented students with information about financial aid, scholarships and fellowships, careers, tutoring, mentoring, and other success strategy skills. Bridging the gap between international and domestic students. Increasing access to Auburn University for prospective and current students while enhancing support for academic success to members of the community. Informing underrepresented students about resources to help them succeed and excel at Auburn University.

Cross-Cultural Center for Excellence: The primary focus of the Cross-Cultural Center for Excellence (CCCE) is to ease the social transition of underrepresented students to Auburn University. The CCCE provides programming and activities for student engagement, facilitating cross-cultural learning experiences where all students can engage in dialogue, develop leadership skills, and build collaborative relationships that will help them be effective in an increasingly global society. Though the focus of the CCCE is to support and celebrate specific affinity groups, including African American/Black, Asian American, American Indian/Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, International, LGBTQ+, and faith communities, all are welcome to participate in CCCE events, programs, and services.

Education and Training: With rapidly shifting demographics and consistent globalization, organizations must embrace diversity and inclusion not only as a means to enhance business performance but also as an imperative for innovation. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity works collaboratively with university departments to design strategy and implementation plans to match specific diversity and inclusion needs. In addition, we consult with students, faculty, and staff members to utilize best practices that foster diversity and cultivate inclusion.

Women’s Initiatives: Women’s Initiatives represents the concerns of and supports all Auburn University women including faculty, staff, students and administrative and professional personnel. Women’s Initiatives provides programming and strategically collaborates and guides efforts to facilitate the recruitment, hiring (for employees), retention, and professional development of women by addressing issues that affect personal well-being and professional needs of women across campus. The primary focus of these efforts involves attending to Campus Climate issues for women through programming, research, advocacy, outreach, consultation, assessment, scholarship, and recommendations about policies and procedures to University officials. To best attend to Campus Climate issues for women, Women’s Initiatives is eager to discuss challenges and successes experienced by women across campus and those invested in supporting Auburn women. Some of the programs house within Women’s Initiatives include the Women’s Center, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Institute, and the Pathways to Full Professor and Beyond program. Each year the Women’s Center hosts the Women’s Leadership Conference and collaborates with units across campus to promote health and wellness of women. The WISE Institute recognizes the unique needs experienced by women when they train, learn, and work in fields where women are underrepresented. WISE works to support these women as well as women scholars across campus and WISE collaborates in programming designed to increase the representation of women and girls in science, math, and engineering. These programs are under the direction of the Assistant Provost for Women’s Initiatives within the Office Inclusion and Diversity. Women’s Initiatives also collaborates with numerous other programs and offices that support women on Auburn’s campus and seeks to supplement the important work done across the University.

Chief Diversity Officer: Taffye Benson Clayton, PhD, Associate Provost and Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity. Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton is the inaugural Vice President and Associate Provost for Inclusion and Diversity at Auburn University. Dr. Clayton and her team are tasked with expanding Auburn’s diversity and inclusion footprint within the institution and nationally. Dr. Clayton formerly served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer at East Carolina University. Throughout her 20+ career as an executive administrator leading diversity and inclusion efforts at major universities, Dr. Clayton has served students, faculty, staff, community, visitors and alumni. Dr. Clayton is the designated executive administrator for coordinating the University’s diversity and inclusion strategy and is the principal advocate and adviser to the Provost, President and senior University leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion. Dr. Clayton is known nationally for her presentations on faculty diversity recruitment and retention, integrating diversity and inclusion in higher education institutions, strategically positioning diversity and inclusion, and translating corporate diversity and inclusion promising practices into the higher education context. She is a former Convener for North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Partners, a statewide network of diversity and inclusion professionals. Dr. Clayton is an Educational Associate with The Conference Board, a board member and membership committee co-chair for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and a member of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of staff (including administrators) that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of faculty that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence trainings and activities for each of the groups identified above:

Currently, the Inclusion and Diversity Education sub-unit within the Office of inclusion and Diversity provides two general learning sessions to the broader campus: Contemporary Issues in Workplace Diversity and Inclusion (a cursory look into diversity terminology and the benefits of diversity) and Informing an Everyday Diversity and Inclusion Mindset, Understanding and managing Implicit Bias (explores bias and how it influences work, asks participants to make an individual action plan). In addition, a variety of campus constituents have requested customized training on issues of cultural competence. Air Force ROTC and Student Leadership Programs both asked to explore CC in leadership. Auburn Global asked to explore CC in engaging with international students. The College of Veterinary Medicine has invited me to speak with their students on the importance of a mindset for inclusion with regards to the field of veterinary medicine. This is not all of the sessions conducted but these mirror the scope of how we have operated in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Cultural competence trainings and activities are available to all students through the Multicultual Center, located in the Auburn University Student Center. Cultural competency is also addressed in the curriculum of Auburn’s UNIV 1000 “The Auburn Experience” courses.

Human Resources Development Courses for faculty, staff, administrators:

Safe Zone (ER500)
Every member of the Auburn Family deserves the opportunity to be successful academically and socially, and this seminar explains how participants can become informed about and willing to provide a safe environment for all Auburn students but particularly the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. This interactive program focuses on the issues facing this community and how participants can assist in providing a Safe Zone for them.

Diversity in the Workplace: Learning and Practicing Cultural Competence (MG530)
Diversity in the workplace is frequently, and mistakenly, viewed as a legally mandated program in the same vein as Affirmative Action (AA) and/or Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). By equating diversity with organizational “cultural competence,” this workshop helps participants distinguish how diversity differs from AA and EEO; realize the importance and impact that diversity has on overall productivity and workplace success; understand what it means to be able to recognize and respond effectively to the similarities and differences in people and to make better decisions based on that understanding; and learn and practice an approach to achieving a “cultural competence” that celebrates diversity in the workplace.

Understanding the Impact of Four Generations in the Workplace (MG540)
Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generations Y–for the first time, the
American workforce is composed of four generations. This situation, when complicated by the large numbers of the Baby Boomer generation nearing retirement age, has created a new set of workplace dynamics affecting the numbers available to join the workforce, the skills necessary for organizations to be competitive in a knowledge-based economy, and, potentially, the smooth operation of the workplace environment. To begin to understand how to effectively use the strengths, skills, and perspectives of a multi-generational workforce, participants will learn in this introductory seminar who the four generations are and the people, places, events, and things that have shaped them; what the impact of four generations is on the labor force; how we can plan for that impact; and, most importantly, how we can employ the multi-generational workforce productively.

Generations: M.E.E.T. for Respect in the Workplace (MG550)
Using realistic workplace situations, this program shows participants how to recognize, respond to, and resolve differences involving generational issues that can impact productivity, teamwork, and customer/stakeholder satisfaction. Participants will learn how to recognize and understand generational issues in the workplace, identify those situations where generational issues frequently occur, determine how these issues are affecting important relationships, minimize the negative impact of such differences, and increase the opportunities for individual, team, and organizational success.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Auburn University Strategic Diversity Plan: https://cws.auburn.edu/diversity/files/diversityplanfinal.pdf

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.