|Submission Date||Jan. 19, 2018|
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination
|2.00 / 2.00||
Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment
David E. Shi Center for Sustainability
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?:
A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee advises the President, Provost, and other senior administrative officers on matters pertaining to diversity issues as they concern the University community, facilitates ongoing assessment of the campus climate, and implements a strategic plan concerning the diversity of the university.
The diversity vision and diversity statement were created by the 2011 University Diversity Committee and adopted by the Vision 2020 Strategic Planning Committee to be incorporated into the university’s strategic plan. The vision is stated as follows:
Furman University embraces diversity as an implicit value and as an explicit practice in all of its endeavors. In keeping with its educational mission and the ideals of its founding, the University seeks to build a community that upholds the inherent worth of individuals in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and civility.
Enhancing the University's commitment to diversity expands the intellectual engagement of its members. Recognizing and respecting the inherent worth of each individual and respecting differences among groups, the University aspires to create a community of people representing a multiplicity of identities including, but not limited to, gender, race, religion, spiritual belief, sexual orientation, geographic origin, socioeconomic background, ideology, worldview, and varied abilities. Furman aspires to integrate the value of diversity into the fabric of campus life: curricular, co-curricular, and administrative. Furthermore, Furman is committed to attaining diversity in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups. Most importantly, Furman expects all members of its community to honor the values implicit in this vision and to demonstrate a genuine willingness to move from an awareness and tolerance of difference toward understanding and acceptance.
The specific priorities selected for the academic year 2015-2016, related to the goals of the Diversity Strategic Plan, were:
• Establish a Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) for faculty, staff, and students
• Establish an Ombudsperson resource for faculty
• Hire a Chief Diversity Officer
• Create and disseminate an annual report to the Furman community
In addition, other recommendations of the Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee (D&IC), in its 2014-2015 report to President Davis, emerged as needing to be addressed this year:
• Create an inaugural mini-grants application opportunity for diversity initiatives generated by faculty, staff, and students
• Create the inaugural Meritorious Faculty and Staff Awards for Diversity and Inclusion, and more broadly recognize the student diversity award already in place (Rosa Mary Bodkin Award) as part of the Shucker Center for Leadership Development
• Create a communication plan to include an accessible website hub for diversity initiatives and related campus-wide communications
• Initiate conversations with Mike Hendricks, Vice-President for Enrollment Management, regarding plans for recruitment and financial support of a greater number of students from under-represented groups, specifically those more representative of South Carolina’s demographics.
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:
At Furman, we call this type of training "cultural humility" training because "competence" indicates a level of proficiency where you may stop learning. We recognize that cultural issues are ongoing and ever-changing, therefore humility and understanding must be ongoing.
SAFE ZONE PROGRAM
Safe Zone at Furman University is an educational program geared towards creating an inclusive environment for the LGBT+ community at Furman University. It began to take shape during the summer of 2016 when Meg Bolger of the Safe Zone Project conducted a Train the Trainer session with a number of Furman University staff. Shortly after, Rob Essaf was brought on board to create the basic tenets, such as structure and introductory workshops, that would be the foundation of the program. It was built over the course of the 2016-2017 Academic Year with input coming from faculty, staff, and students to determine what type of format and content would best serve the Furman University community. It is open to ALL students, staff, and faculty. The goal of this program is to raise awareness about the dynamics of gender and sexual orientation while exploring different ways to embody inclusive allyship for people of all orientations, genders, sexualities, identities, and levels of being out.
In addition to our current Safe Zone curricula, we are happy to explore specific or tailored presentations on LGBT+ identities for particular groups and communities (such as medical / healthcare community, mental health groups, teachers/educators, religious communities, etc) upon request. The availability of these specialized topics will depend on the expertise/interests of the facilitators and the time available.
Resident Assistants for Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity (RAISE)
A residentially-based diversity & inclusion initiative aligns with Housing and Residence Life's efforts to cultivate "a strong and inclusive community that encourages collaboration and self-discovery." D&I Resident Assistants receive specialized training that allow them to be identified as allies for residents from historically underrepresented populations and create and facilitate monthly programming for all residents on topics related to diversity & inclusion.
Cultural Life Program (CLP)
The intent of the Cultural Life Program (CLP) is to encourage students to attend a variety of high-quality events that provide enriching, challenging cultural experiences. Collectively, events designated as CLPs should engage students in a spectrum of issues, ideas, and artistic expressions from various disciplines and cultures. Events foster a sense of community on campus and help those in attendance see multiple compelling and legitimate views on cultural issues, inspiring a life-long pursuit of intellectual fulfillment and cultural engagement. All students must attend a minimum of 32 CLP events to graduate.
Dins Dialogue Series
The Dins Dialogue Series provides an open forum for the exchange and critical evaluation of diverse ideas within the Furman community. These provocative, sometimes controversial topics allow students to discuss critical issues related to multiculturalism and social justice, through civil discourse. The goal is to foster a campus environment that is competent, respectful and inclusive of the diverse cultures and identities encompassed within the community.
Past dialogue topics include: "The Big Deal about Microaggressions, and the Messages they Send," "More than Meets the Eye: Sexuality and Intersecting Identities" and "In the Wake of Missouri: A New Wave of Student Activism." Dins Dialogues are hosted at least twice a semester, moderated by Furman faculty and community leaders, and open to everyone!
I Am Furman Campaign (#IAmFurman)
The #IAmFurman campaign is an initiative where the faces and voices of underrepresented students are highlighted, bringing awareness to the microaggressions and stereotypes many multicultural and LGBTQ+ students face on a daily basis. The purpose of these campaigns is to educate the community, while giving students a platform to express their experiences, in hope for a more tolerant and inclusive community.
Faculty and staff serve an important role in preventing and responding to sexual harassment and other types of sexual misconduct. As such, all Furman employees are required to complete online training called "Intersections" as a component of our sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention initiative.
Faculty Chairs and Program Directors were taught how to avoid and eliminate bias in the hiring searches, the hiring and tenure processes, and were encouraged to facilitate the conversation in each of their departments.
They continued engaging the topic of bias by discussing portions of Joann Moody’s book, Faculty Diversity: Removing the Barriers.
Professors Lloyd Benson, Brandon Inabinet, and Steve O’Neill created a faculty-led reading and dialogue group centered on the Reconstruction and reading of Race and Reunion by Dr. David W. Blight of Yale. This was an opportunity for interdisciplinary shared learning by faculty, staff, and students.
Of the 195 CLPs offered 81, or 42%, were on topics of diversity-related issues (as determined by title).
Faculty Chair, Kate Kaup, led a two-day fall 2016 faculty retreat around the theme “Recruitment and Retention: Expanding Inclusive Excellence at Furman."
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.