Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.65
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 19, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Furman University
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Laura Bain
Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment
David E. Shi Center for 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:

Dr. David Eubanks, Assistant Vice President for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, piloted a study using the Global Perspective Inventory as an assessment of student attitudes, ideas, and experiences at the beginning of a sample of spring 2016 courses with content focused on diversity and/or global cultures. The results posed the opportunity for faculty to see the aggregate of their students’ attitudes, ideas, and experiences and could then determine if they needed to adjust their pedagogy. In addition, the Political Science and Psychology departments utilized the inventory in their classes. Beginning fall 2016, the Global Perspective Inventory will be administered to all incoming freshmen and again at the end of their senior year. The pre- and post- assessments will be one set of indicators of what attitudinal and ideological difference the academic and co-curricular experiences at Furman have made.


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

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:
Yes

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:
Yes

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

The Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee meets regularly to assess progress on goals outlined in the Diversity Strategic Plan created in 2011. Assessment includes metric gathering and evaluation,

The results of assessments are used to shape priorities for the year. For example, 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

Other needs and recommendations also addressed were:
• 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.

"Even though appropriate benchmarks can be determined by divisions/offices responsible for recruitment, retention, and/or upward mobility of individual employees, overall it becomes blatantly clear from the data that we must make access and equity a major focus for recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students from under-represented groups. Simultaneously, however, we must provide all members of the Furman University community the education and training needed to create a campus culture that will nurture and support individuals and groups that represent diverse identities."

Here are some of the most recent findings and results from these initiatives/programs/policies:

Attracted the most diverse class in Furman’s history. As of May 8, the Class of 2021 was composed of 22% students of color and 4% international students.

Created Transgender Resource Guide in collaboration with Student Life, Registrar, and Admissions, which consolidated existing policies in order for students to more easily navigate the university community consistent with their gender identity (www.furman.edu/transgender).

Increased under-represented students on the resident assistant (RA) and first-year advisor (FRAD) staff in Housing & Residence Life from 0% to 30.9% of the number of students serving in these roles from 2011-12 to 2016-17.

Piloted Diversity and Inclusion Resident Assistant positions patterned after a similar program at the University of Illinois with six students; the program will grow to 12 in 2017-2018.

Shucker Leadership Institute enhanced recruitment efforts, which resulted in 21% of its new class coming from under-represented student populations.

Recruited a diverse pool of faculty that includes the hiring of eight women and six faculty of color, all tenure-track of 13 total hires.

Recruited Chief Diversity Officer, Michael Jennings.


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:
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:
The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.