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

STARS v2.2

Boston University
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Gabrielle Brewer
Sustainability Analyst
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

  • Affirmative Action Plan: Boston University, like all federal contractors, prepares an Affirmative Action Plan annually. It is not possible to provide results in this format, since the plan analyzes the entire employee population by job group and it is a very extensive analysis. The results are used to assist the University in understanding whether our employee population has an appropriate representation of women and minorities in the various types of employee groups. This information informs us of where efforts need to be directed to improve recruiting for certain kinds of positions.

  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE): BU participates in the NSSE biannually to assess the campus environment. The survey asks general questions about academic engagement and inquires about the inclusion of diverse perspectives in discussions, conversing with people outside of one's demographic (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.), and whether students feel included in the University's community. The results of the survey are used to improve student experiences at the University, including student interactions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The content below references a survey that was taken in April 2022.

  • 2022 Flexible Staff Survey: In June 2022, the Task Force on Workplace Culture (TFWC) launched the Flexible Work Survey. The purpose of this survey is to understand BU’s perspectives from BU Staff on the current remote work arrangements. This survey is intended to inform further research and decision-making, as we strive to establish an equitable workplace for all staff members within the BU community. The TFWC anticipates receiving feedback from as many staff members as possible and using their voices to support the vision for a “Flexible Workplace Culture” at BU. The results of this survey will be used to inform discussions of our remote work guidelines.

  • Belonging & Culture Survey: In the spring of 2023, Boston University released a first-of-its-kind University-wide assessment that measures students, staff, and faculty’s sense of belonging and culture at BU and identifies successes and opportunities for improvement. More than 11,000 community members responded, and the results will help the University better understand your experiences and inform the development of programs and policies that increase a sense of belonging for all on campus.


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

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:
Yes

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:
Yes

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

  • Affirmative Action Plan: N/A

  • NSSE: The National Survey of Student Engagement is jointly sponsored by Student Affairs and Undergraduate Affairs. The data received is provided to each school and college for use in the assessment of their academic programs, and is used at the university level to inform and support advising, academic assessment and learning outcomes, DEI initiatives, and strategic planning. 

  • 2022 Flexible Staff Survey: Survey participation was high, with 50% of eligible staff members sharing their opinions and experiences. The survey results guided the TFWC’s recommendations to senior leadership regarding improvements to the current remote work policies submitted in December 2022. The recommendations included the following:

    • Increase remote work options

    • Formalize guidelines for flexible work & seasonal flexible work

    • Institutionalize a staff advisory council

    • The subcommittee also presented the results to several leadership groups on campus. After much consideration, President Robert A. Brown announced that remote work is here to stay, and BU needs to implement university-wide guidelines for flexible work, flexible seasonal work, and establish a BU Staff Advisory Council (BU-SAC).

      • The BU-SAC will foster direct and regular communication between staff and University leadership to identify and address issues that affect our workplace culture and identify areas of improvement.





  • 2023 Belonging and Culture Survey: Boston University's findings were consistent with those found in Rankin Climate's work with higher education institutions across the country. For example, 64% to 75% of respondents in similar institutions found the campus climate to be "very comfortable" or "comfortable". A relatively high percentage (75%) of BU respondents indicated that they were "very comfortable" or "comfortable" with the overall climate at BU. 16% to 22% of respondents in similar reports indicated that they personally had experienced exclusionary conduct. At BU, a comparably low percentage of respondents (17%) indicated that they personally had experienced such conduct. Some notable differences from other schools' reports are that there were overall higher rates of comfort with campus climate and lower percentages of those who experienced exclusionary conduct at BU. There were overall positive views about workplace climate from Postdocs and Staff and positive views about the academic experience from students. This climate assessment report provides baseline data on BU student, faculty, and staff experiences of the institutional environment. The findings illustrate important strengths for BU to build upon, as well as a deeper understanding of the challenges faced. BU's senior administrators, collaborative leadership, and campus community are in a prime position to take advantage of these opportunities for improvement and institute organizational structures that respond to the needs of its dynamic campus community.


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:

  • Affirmative Action Plan: The results are used to assist the University in understanding whether our employee population has the appropriate representation of women and minorities in the various types of employee groups. This information informs us of where efforts need to be directed to improve recruiting for certain kinds of positions.

  • NSSE: Summary data is shared with senior leadership, the Trustees, academic advisors, program development committee members, and others involved in academic affairs via the AS&IR website and Kerberos access. 2022

  • Flexible Staff Survey: The results were shared with senior leadership, a campus-wide email from the Office of the Senior Diversity Officer and has been posted Office of the Senior Diversity Officer website URL: https://www.bu.edu/diversity-officer/our-work/task-force-on-workplace-culture/

  • 2023 Belonging and Culture Survey: The results were shared with the campus community in two town hall presentations, one on the Charles River Campus and one on the Medical Campus. A campus-wide email publicized this event and the slides were posted online following the events for the members of the community who were unable to attend the town halls.


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 (upload):
Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.