Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Jennifer Lamy
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Emerson College
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sylvia Spears
Vice President for the Social Justice Center
Social Justice Center
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Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

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

Emerson College (“Emerson” or “the College”) is committed to fostering an environment of mutual respect among its students, staff and faculty, as well as others who participate in the College’s programs and activities. As part of this commitment, Emerson seeks to protect the rights of all members of the College community and any other persons having dealings with the College, and prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender or sex (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, race, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability or handicap, age, genetics, marital status, veteran status and any other category protected by law (“protected characteristics”).

Emerson expects that its students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, alumni and guests will conduct themselves appropriately and refrain from behavior that violates this and other College policies. Accordingly, individuals who discriminate against or harass others in violation of this policy, regardless of whether such conduct rises to the level of unlawful discrimination or harassment, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to, and including, immediate termination of employment, association with Emerson, or dismissal from Emerson.

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

From: http://www.emerson.edu/bias
We seek to actively support the living and learning experience of students, and the work and professional lives of faculty and staff. We value having a diverse community, and strive to create an environment free from bias and other hurtful acts that undermine the ability of our Community and its members to thrive.
We also value freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. The expression of controversial ideas and differing viewpoints enhances academic discourse and facilitates intellectual growth. Some behaviors may be contrary to the College’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence and may also be considered protected speech.
The Bias Response Program (BRP) is not a disciplinary process and does not function in lieu of any disciplinary or complaint processes within or outside of the College. The BRP is intended to provide support, advocacy, and resources to those affected by bias incidents, and to the Emerson community.

The Bias Response Program is designed to accomplish the following: Provide resources and support to those affected by bias incidents; develop and deliver programs and educational opportunities for the Emerson Community to prevent or eliminate bias activity; advise the College Community about the occurrence of incidents of bias; inform the Emerson Community about how bias incidents will generally be handled, with particular attention to the experience of Emerson students; and make referrals to campus resources, as needed.
The Bias Response Team supports the function of the Bias Response Program. BRT members include: Vice President, Social Justice Center; Vice President & Dean of Campus Life or designee; Director of Diversity & Inclusive Excellence; Director of Intercultural Student Affairs; Violence Prevention & Response Survivor Advocate; and other members of the Emerson Community on an as-needed basis.
Additionally, the College’s Associate Vice President for Title IX responds to all reports of violations of the College’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct (http://www.emerson.edu/social-justice-center/title-ix/sexual-misconduct-policy)

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

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

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

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

The diversity hiring program for faculty requires the development of recruitment plans for increasing diversity of applicant pools. We also instituted the Presidential Inclusive Excellence hiring program, which allows for the allocation of an additional faculty line for a faculty position that fills a curricular need related to diversification of the curriculum. With this often comes, a diverse pool of applicants. Department submit proposals and one new line is granted each year.

Faculty & Staff
The College's Human Resources team regularly participates in career fairs that cater to a diverse audience and underrepresented groups in higher education. Fairs include the Latino Expo put on by El Mundo and the Diversity recruitment fair put on by the Boston Herald. Additionally, on the Emerson Human Resources landing page, the office includes a values statement: The Office designs and implements Human Resources programs in collaboration with the College community to meet the needs of the workforce, while continuously evaluating and reviewing current trends. We work to plan, develop, and provide programs that foster an environment which encourages mutual trust and respect in a culturally diverse workforce.

On the Social Justice Center's (previously the Office of Diversity and Inclusion) website, they state "The office has made it a priority to recruit and retain more qualified faculty and staff from underrepresented groups. This commitment reflects our belief that a diverse and inclusive learning environment enhances the quality of an Emerson education and advances the College’s mission.”

The Undergraduate Admissions page states: Emerson is a vibrant and dynamic college that embraces diversity in all its forms. We value and welcome differences and strive to create a supportive and inclusive campus environment.
Our students come from across the United States and more than 40 countries. They come from urban, suburban, and rural communities, and many different types of schools. But for us, diversity isn’t just about geography. We value the contributions of students who have different backgrounds and seek to engage our community around Emerson’s core values: freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, cultural awareness, integrity, civility, and the responsibility of ethical choice. We invest our resources to bring together a diverse group of individuals to ensure they have a voice in the classroom, on stage, in community conversations, and in their future workplace.

College Wide
In the fall of 2012, as part of his inaugural address, President Lee Pelton asserted that the College would redouble its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Within days of that address, he announced the launch of a new initiative for Inclusive Excellence at Emerson. Inclusive Excellence is the active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities (AAC&U, 2012). The six pillars below define Emerson College’s Inclusive Excellence goals. Work in these areas is achieved across campus, both academically and administratively. More information and highlights of programs can be found at Programs & Services.

Access & Success: Increase access to Emerson College for prospective students, faculty, and staff while also enhancing our support for the academic and professional success of members of our community.

Climate & Human Relations: Develop a more inclusive campus environment, build community, and enhance human relations.

Teaching, Learning, & Scholarship: Innovate in teaching, learning, and scholarship to enhance student intercultural development. Grow scholarly work focusing on diversity and inclusion.

Civic & Global Engagement: Develop local and global relationships and partnerships that address pressing problems and serve the common good.

Recognition & Accountability: Recognize and reward innovative practices toward inclusion and establish measures of accountability for the achievement of goals related to diversity and inclusion.

Infrastructure: Build the infrastructure necessary for the achievement of Inclusive Excellence.

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Staff & Faculty
The Social Justice Center sponsors employee resource networks (ERNs) to provide support, development, and leadership opportunities to all staff and faculty members. Fusion is a group for staff and faculty of color, supporters, and allies. eQual is a group for staff and faculty who identify as LGBTQ and their allies. Additionally, one of the core practice areas of the Social Justice Center is community and movement building that builds authentic and reciprocal relationships and centers those who are systemically marginalized.

Emerson’s "mutual mentoring" program, named neXus, engages first-third year faculty members (mentees) at the center of a hub that connects with multiple mentoring partners. This includes a senior department faculty mentor, a faculty colleague outside their department assigned by chairs and deans, and others such as an external mentor, and internal or external peer mentors that may be selected by the mentee. Mentees make the ultimate decision about the array of mentoring opportunities that best suit their needs. The goal is to provide opportunities for informal, non-evaluative conversations that contribute to the faculty member's professional development. Additionally, the Social Justice Center works with individuals to navigate systems and structures through community and movement building, including semi-annual gatherings for faculty of color.

Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) At ECAPS, "strives to help students build on strengths and address these concerns in ways in which allow them to make the best of their college experience. We offer free and confidential individual, couples, and group counseling, as well as consultation and workshops."

The Office of Student Success is focused on student retention, satisfaction, and success, making sure that students have the support they need to realize their fullest potential at Emerson. Students may encounter obstacles or difficulties associated with college life—academic, financial, personal, interpersonal, or wellness—or simply seek greater connection and support. Emerson has fantastic resources designed to address the holistic needs of students. The Office of Student Success helps students to explore their options, navigate campus systems, and connect to services, supports, and each other. Support services include: One-on-one sessions, Share A Concern, Student Assistance Fund, Food Pantry, Emerson's First Year Experience Program, Veterans Affairs & Resources, Notary, College Access Program, Help, and Leave of Absence.

The First Year Experience Program (Emersion) is free of cost and exclusively for first semester students. The course focuses on four key areas to set new students up for success in college and beyond: Academic Success, Personal and Intercultural Development, Community Engagement, and Health and Well-Being.

Veterans Affairs and Resources
Emerson College welcomes former and current members of the armed services and their families to our community. We aim to support your continued success by assisting you in the utilization of military educational benefits and connecting you with campus, local, and national resources. As an institution, we are committed to working with you to understand and support your needs in transitioning from a military to a collegiate environment. To access resources, benefits, and additional information, please select the appropriate tab from the left-hand navigation.

The International Peer Mentor Program matches first year and transfer undergraduate international students with current Emerson undergraduate students. The Program's mission and goals are:
Connect first-year and transfer international students to current Emerson students for social and academic support
Assist new international students with academic, cultural, and social transitions
Introduce new international students to campus and community resources
Develop current Emerson students’ leadership skills and cross-cultural communication abilities
Involve new students in campus activities and programs and foster friendships between new and experienced Emersonians
Connect new international students with the larger Emerson community and support internationalization at Emerson

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:

Emerson College has hosted post-doctoral students through Fellowships in collaboration with Howard University. Read more about Emerson's "Preparing Future Faculty" program at Howard University's graduate school here: http://www.emerson.edu/news-events/emerson-college-today/emerson-helps-prepare-future-faculty#.WtTPUrYrKi5

The program was launched by Howard in 1994 to help give future academics practical experience, and provides Howard graduate students who are working toward their doctorate degrees real job experience as faculty at partner host institutions. Emerson is the only host institution in the Northeast. Other hosts are in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, and Texas.

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?:

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:

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.