Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.30
Liaison Stephen Ellis
Submission Date May 31, 2024

STARS v2.2

Boston University
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.56 / 2.00 Gabrielle Brewer
Sustainability Analyst
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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?:
Both students and employees

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

The story of Boston University is constantly evolving, informed by a rich history of inclusion and a present-day influenced by thousands of unique perspectives. The staff at Diversity & Inclusion seeks to strengthen and expand that narrative by providing leadership, vision, management, and strategic direction for initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion for individuals, groups, and communities across BU’s Charles River, Medical, and Fenway Campuses. Boston University Diversity & Inclusion (BU D&I) works closely, and collaboratively, with academic leaders in all 17 schools and colleges, countless centers and institutes, as well as administrative units across the University to build a positive and inclusive campus environment, to help ensure that not only are we more diverse but also that pathways to success and participation are open to every member of the BU community. URL: https://www.bu.edu/diversity/about/

Additionally, in August 2020, Boston University established the Office of the Senior Diversity Officer which builds on the work of the University's DEI efforts. The Senior Diversity Officer (SDO) focuses on policy changes that are coordinated, consistent, and consequential across the entire institution. The SDO reports directly to the University President and works closely with the Board of Trustees, placing diversity among the University’s top priorities. Initiatives led by the SDO include the Antiracism Working Group, the Trustee Committee on Diversity Equity & Inclusion, the Taskforce on Workplace Culture, and the Community Safety Advisory Group. URL: https://www.bu.edu/diversity-officer/

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:


  • The Howard Thurman Center offers a number of inclusion and dialogue based activities to students throughout the year. The Center's staff also hosts facilitated dialogue on inclusion for constituents when asked (i.e. student clubs/organizations). URL: https://www.bu.edu/thurman/programs/ In addition, during orientation for incoming undergraduate students, there is at least an hour dedicated to cultural competency activities.

  • The Newbury Center [https://www.bu.edu/newbury-center/] was established in January 2021 to foster the holistic success of first-generation undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. This centralized, university-wide Center provides opportunities for first-gen students to build community and create a sense of belonging through professional and personal development workshops related to High Impact Practices for retention and student success; social events; and individual advising. While the first-generation identity is the common denominator, the students come from a wide range of intersecting identities (race/ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, low-income, etc.).

Academic Staff:

  • "A member of the Association of American Universities, Boston University is committed to the highest levels of intellectual and creative achievement and to developing an extraordinary, world-class faculty. Crucial to that mission is a significantly increased breadth of cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity among our teaching and research ranks. We seek to normalize the inclusion within our 17 schools and colleges, and departments of people who are underrepresented in academia, including faculty and scholars from marginalized racial, ethnic, social, and religious groups. In service of this goal, the University has developed several programs to assist our search efforts and serve as a resource to better enable our faculty in its efforts to diversify." Four programs/initiatives/trainings are provided through BU Diversity & Inclusion which address faculty's cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion:

    • 1. University Scholars Program: The University Scholars Program seeks to enliven our curricula and intellectual and creative endeavors through regular, substantive engagement with emerging and leading faculty and scholars from historically underrepresented racial groups.

    • 2. Target of Opportunity Program: The Target of Opportunity Hiring Program (ToO), aims to provide nimbleness and flexibility in hiring and to allow academic leadership to capitalize on potential hires that represent an extraordinary opportunity for the University to support the above-stated goals. The Target of Opportunity Hiring Program is comprised of two distinct tools: the Target of Opportunity Mechanism and the Target of Opportunity New Lines Program.

    • 3. Recruitment Committee: Candid conversation in a safe space: The BU Faculty of Color Recruitment Committee is a non-evaluative committee consisting of BU faculty of color. Faculty candidates may opt to meet with Recruitment Committee members as part of their interview process. The intent of the Recruitment Committee is to provide faculty candidates with an opportunity for informational interviews and candid conversations where candidates can ask questions and have a frank and honest discussion about faculty of color experiences at BU and in the Greater Boston Area

    • 4. Great Topics Program: The Great Topics Program provides funds to departments to host important, bold, and beyond-the-typical conversations among leading thinkers and makers about issues explicitly related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    • 5. BU D&I STARS: Launched in fall 2022, BU D&I STARS (Supporting Thriving, Achievement, Retention, & Success) is a learning community of up to 20 early career BU faculty on the Charles River Campus who meet regularly throughout the academic year to engage in professional development, mentoring, wellness, and community-building opportunities. BU D&I STARS supports faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the academy who are within their first-ever two years of a faculty appointment.

  • More information about all of the above Faculty programming can be found here: https://www.bu.edu/diversity/initiatives-data/faculty-hiring/ Non-academic and academic Staff: The Terrier F1RSTS Advocates Training for faculty and staff was developed and launched in summer 2021. This 3-part training series educates and raises awareness about BU’s first-generation students so faculty and staff can provide appropriate resources and referrals as needed. [https://www.bu.edu/newbury-center/faculty-staff/mentorship-training/] 

Non-academic Staff:

  • "The aim of the Faculty & Staff Community Networks (FSCNs), or employee resource groups is to foster and promote a healthy and supportive culture for individuals engaged with issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and full participation within the BU community. The overarching mission: to catalyze a deeper sense of unity among individuals from underrepresented communities and their allies and to ensure that the University remains an institution where differences are understood to be a source of mutual power, insight, and effectiveness." There are four FSCNs overseen by BU Diversity & Inclusion which provide activities that address cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion:

    • Faculty and Staff of Color

    • Staff and Faculty Extend Boston University Disability Support (SAFEBUDS)

    • Faculty and Staff who are LGBTQIA+ identified

    • Faculty and Staff Allies and Advocates

    • URL: https:/www.bu.edu/diversity/our-communities/fscn/

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

This represents FY2023 BU Metrics.

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.