Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.85
Liaison Stephen Ellis
Submission Date Oct. 7, 2021

STARS v2.2

Boston University
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.92 / 3.00 Stephen Ellis
Director, Data Analytics
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

Since its founding in 1869, Boston University has been dedicated to equal opportunity and has opened its doors to students without regard to race, sex, creed, or other irrelevant criteria. Consistent with this tradition, it is the policy of Boston University to promote equal opportunity in educational programs and employment through practices designed to extend opportunities to all individuals on the basis of individual merit and qualifications, and to help ensure the full realization of equal opportunity for students, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. The University is committed to maintaining an environment that is welcoming and respectful to all.

URL: http://www.bu.edu/eoo/policies-procedures/equal-opportunity/

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

The Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) at Boston University provides "professional, rapid, confidential, and free-of-charge advocacy and assistance to BU students who have experienced a traumatic incident." Although SARP's particular focus is on sexual trauma and rape, they "also assist survivors of physical assault, interpersonal violence, and other crimes." Because a "Bias Response Team" does not exist at Boston University, historically, SARP has been the go-to office for those that have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime. SARP's team includes Crisis Intervention Counselors and staff with a background in social work. In cases of those that have experienced discrimination, SARP works with the individual by giving them information and support to make decisions. An example of this includes how SARP works with the University Police Department to address the needs of the Clery Act (the University is required to compile and publish crime statistics in an Annual Security Report), SARP only reports an incident if the victim/witness feels comfortable. According to the director of SARP, in the future, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion may be the office dedicated to discrimination response.


Another office worth highlighting is the Office of the Ombuds. Established in fall 2009 at the recommendation of the Council on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, the office mission is to provide a confidential place for people to voice concerns, develop options, and problem-solve. The Ombuds also provides summary data to senior university officials on trends and patterns so that problems may be prevented from escalating or recurring without breaching the confidentiality of communications with individuals.


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:


Boston University is committed to ensuring that students from underrepresented backgrounds have access to and are knowledgeable about BU. The University has strategically hosted, visited, and partnered with organizations that serve students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. BU has hosted nearly 200 community-based organizations (CBOs) and schools with predominantly low income and underrepresented students, and visited over 500 CBOs over the past five years. In addition, BU has partnered with the Strive for College (formerly known as Center for Student Opportunities) which gives the University access to over two thousand CBOs and a growing number of first-generation students through the campaign “I am first”.  BU also maintains strong partnerships with the Posse Foundation, Chicago Scholars, Say Yes to Education, A Better Chance, Venture Scholars, The National Hispanic Institute, YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, TX, Prep for Prep, and many other organizations that serve students from underrepresented backgrounds. Additionally, this year, we began working with the Charles Hayden Foundation, and specifically the schools the Foundation supports in New York and New Jersey. Locally, BU has partnered with Boston Public Schools (BPS) and created annual programming that gives students early exposure to college through summer and fall programming. Finally, BU is a partner with the Leadership Scholar Program out of the Marine Corps which helps Marines continue their education.

Leadership Scholar Program URL: http://usmc-mccs.org/services/education/leadership-scholar/


Through the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, faculty are offered recruitment training programs and are provided an updated Faculty Search Manual that includes a guide on "SEARCHING FOR EXCELLENCE & DIVERSITY". Through the manual, faculty have access to tools, templates, and resources such as: "Diversity Indicator Language Guide", "ARROWS (Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM) Faculty Search References and Best Practices", and "Fellowship and Grant Programs Often Supporting Students of Color". This manual also highlights the demographics and the legal landscape of searching for diverse candidates. For example, the "Earned Doctorates by Gender and Race" dataset complied by the NSF and the "AAAS Diversity and the Law" handbook.


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs designed specifically to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs designed specifically to support academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support non-academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

Boston University has many programs to support underrepresented students, staff, and faculty on campus. Details of the programs can be found at the following website: http://www.bu.edu/provost/diversity/

For example, the Howard Thurman Center provides individual and group mentoring, peer support, and community building through specific programs and relationships with the Director, Associate Director, Assistant Directors, graduate interns and student staff and volunteers. The HTC hosts retreats for student groups around topics of identity, campus climate and dialogue every September. The Center also hosts Welcome Receptions for under-represented groups at the beginning of the semester. We also support other schools and departments mentoring and training programs.

More specific examples of mentoring/support programs for students includes the First Generation Connect, Artemis Project, and Posse Foundation Scholarship. First Generation Connect is a University Service Center program that provides regular receptions, workshops and publications designed to enrich the undergraduate experience for students who are the first in their families to attend college. The Artemis Project is a five-week summer program directed by undergraduate women at Boston University. Founded in 1996 at Brown University, Artemis introduces rising 9th-grade girls to computer science, targeting them at the critical age when the disparity between males and females in the sciences becomes most pronounced. The Posse Foundation Scholarship, provided by BU in partnership with the Posse Foundation, identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes.

An example of a counseling/support program for staff & faculty is the Faculty & Staff Assistance Office (FSAO). FSAO can serve as a transitional liaison for between an employee (considering gender transition) and their department/office by protecting the employee’s confidentiality while developing a plan, assisting in the negotiation process and suggesting a timeline.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) at Boston University strives to create a community to support and promote women in STEM fields. Through professional development seminars and workshops, social events, mentoring, and outreach, GWISE fosters interaction across disciplines at Boston University and connects graduate students to postdocs, faculty, and broader networks in Boston and beyond.

From pre-college to undergrads, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, ARROWS (Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM) aim to facilitate the advancement and success of Boston University’s women in STEM. For example, ARROWS connects women to the resources BU has in place to support and advance women STEM postdocs such as the Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA) office. PDPA helps postdocs establish individual development plans to help them identify their career goals and professional development needs. They can also be a great conversation tool between postdocs and faculty mentors to ensure that postdocs develop the skills they need to be successful both here at BU and throughout their career.


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

This represents FY2020 BU Metrics.

Special needs of transgender and transitioning students are met based on an individual's need.

Additional URLs:

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.