Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.02
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

Furman University
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Laura Bain
Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment
David E. Shi Center for 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 Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at Furman University works collaboratively with units and individuals across campus to grow and sustain Furman’s commitment to encouraging the pursuit of diversity, inclusion and equity as essential components of creating education that transforms, connections that endure and communities that flourish. In undertaking this work, the CDO partners with other campus leaders to advance the concept of inclusive excellence. Inclusive excellence is a framework designed to support the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts into the core functions and operations of the university. Inclusive excellence advances The Furman Advantage by institutionalizing educational equity and reflecting an explicit understanding that diversity, equity and inclusion are catalysts for institutional and educational excellence and are not isolated initiatives.

The Vision, Mission and Values of Furman University call on the campus community to “promote diversity and foster equity.” The philosophy and practices inherent in The Furman Advantage embody this ideal by encouraging the pursuit of diversity, inclusion and equity as essential components of creating education that transforms, connections that endure and communities that flourish. To accomplish this, we have created a strategic diversity plan that expresses our philosophy around the concept of inclusive excellence while laying out a set of common goals and objectives.

Goals & Objectives
1. Improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of students from underrepresented communities.
• Objective A: Create and implement innovative policies and practices that are intentional in their efforts to successfully recruit students from underrepresented communities.
• Objective B: Develop innovative policies and practices to support and retain students from underrepresented communities.
2. Improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of faculty and staff from underrepresented communities
• Objective A: Create and implement innovative policies and practices that are intentional in their efforts to successfully recruit, retain and promote faculty from underrepresented communities
• Objective B: Develop and support professional development opportunities that are intentional in their efforts to successfully train and support staff from underrepresented communities.
3. Support inclusive excellence within the formal curriculum and within our co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences.
• Objective A: Encourage diversity content in and across academic programs, co-curricular activities and the social dimensions of the campus environment
• Objective B: Provide support and professional development for faculty that emphasizes inclusive pedagogy and advising in ways that enhance their ability to address the learning needs of all students
• Objective C: Enhance students’ diversity-related educational opportunities and experiences to ensure that all students are prepared to live and work effectively in a diverse, globally integrated world.
4. Engage with our alumni and with local, national and international communities to encourage the pursuit of inclusive excellence beyond the boundaries of Furman’s campus
• Objective A: Develop a plan to better connect with underrepresented members of our alumni community
• Objective B: Expand relationships with underserved communities in our local and regional area with the intent of growing opportunities for institutional development and impact.
• Objective C: Strengthen initiatives to promote interaction among international and domestic students, faculty, staff and community partners.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in 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:

Heritage Month Celebrations
Cultural heritage and awareness months are an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the history and achievements of marginalized communities in the U.S., and around the world. In partnership with student organizations and University departments, the CIC collaborates on events and programs that commemorate diverse identities, heritages and cultures such as Asian/Pacific Islander, African American/Black history, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBT, Native American and Women’s history, along with other recognized heritage celebrations throughout the academic year.

Furman Alternative Breaks (FAB) are immersive, service-learning experiences offered during spring break that are student-led and facilitated. Program themes are rooted in social justice issues, hands on service-learning opportunities, community partnerships, and reflection exercises. Participants explore a social issue in partnership with stakeholders at many levels in the community. FAB trips work with a campus learning partner prior to the week-long experience for a deep dive into the context of the issue. https://www.furman.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion/inclusive-communities/programs-events/furman-alternative-breaks/

First Gen Programming
First-Gen Fridays Each year Furman enrolls nearly 100 students seeking to become the first in their immediate family to graduate with a baccalaureate’s degree. On the first Friday of each month in the fall semester, faculty, staff, and students who are first-generation wear t-shirts to build community. The first semester is critical to the retention of all our incoming students. These t-shirts signal to our first-generation students that others like them have been successful in college and provide encouragement during their time of transition.

Safe Zone at Furman University is an educational program geared towards creating an inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community at Furman University. It is open to ALL students, staff, and faculty. The goal of this program is to raise awareness about the dynamics of gender identity/expression and sexual orientation while exploring different ways to embody inclusive allyship for people of all orientations, genders, sexualities, identities, and levels of being out.: https://www.furman.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion/inclusive-communities/programs-events/safe-zone/

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
Dins Dialogues are co-curricular, peer facilitated workshops aimed to equip students with the skills to collaborate across difference in a diverse and global world, as they work to create lasting, sustainable impact within their communities. These interactive, student facilitated workshops will enhance group solidarity and focus on a variety of social justice topics. https://www.furman.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion/inclusive-communities/programs-events/dins-dialogue-workshop-series/

Fellowship of the Oak
Leaders. Builders. Citizens. The Furman Advantage includes the goal of making “real the citizenship promises of a liberal arts education.” To be an engaged citizen in any community requires a belief you have the ability to affect change whether you hold a formal leadership position or not, the ability to build coalitions of diverse stakeholders to work toward positive change, and desire to question who within the community is privileged or marginalized so that those disempowered can be brought to the table to lend their voice to the decision-making. This pre-orientation program is free as members of the Fellowship are expected to contribute to the Furman community over their four years in order to leave it better than they found it.

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.

Furman is committed to maintaining and strengthening a community founded on civility and respect. Sexual harassment and assault are antithetical to the values and standards of the Furman community and are not tolerated. As members of this community, you play an important role in making our campus a safe place where everyone feels respected and valued. All faculty and staff are required annually to complete an online course on sexual misconduct. This required training contains important information about responsibilities if a student or another employee report concerns regarding sexual misconduct.

Faculty Chairs and Program Directors are taught how to avoid and eliminate bias in the hiring searches and the hiring and tenure processes, and are encouraged to facilitate the conversation in each of their departments. In the 2018-19 year, we conducted 13 workshop trainings on inclusive hiring practices for the following academic departments conducting searches this year: Art, Asian Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Director of Bands, Economics, Health and Exercise Sciences, History, Latin Studies, Library, Math, Modern Languages, Politics and International Affairs, and Psychology. Moving forward, the training will be updated and departments who have been trained will not have to repeat if the training occurred within the last calendar year.

Interviewed 44 faculty candidates. The purpose of faculty interviews is to impress upon the candidates Furman’s commitment and valuing of diversity, to assess the candidates’ commitment to diversity and to provide an opportunity for the candidate to ask questions of a faculty member who is not affiliated with the department they are interviewing with or administration about topics they want the interviewer to keep confidential. Moving forward, these interviews will be thirty minutes with that time split between the committee and Michael Jennings.

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

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