Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.72
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date May 12, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

James Madison University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Arthur Dean
Executive Director, Campus and Community Programs
Office of Access and Inclusion
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

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

James Madison University does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race or color, height or weight, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation or belief, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, parental status (including pregnancy), marital status, family medical or genetic information, in its employment, educational programs, activities, and admissions. JMU complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination, affirmative action, and anti-harassment. JMU prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault, and other forms of inter-personal violence. http://www.jmu.edu/oeo/non-discrimination-statement.shtml

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):

Policy #1302 addresses Equal Opportunity: https://www.jmu.edu/JMUpolicy/policies/1302.shtml

The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) administers JMU’s commitment to providing an equitable and safe environment free of discrimination for the entire JMU community. The OEO at JMU has instructions on their website for a person who believes he/she has experienced discrimination or harassment (http://www.jmu.edu/oeo/how-to-file-a-complaint/index.shtml). The instructions are, "JMU is committed to providing a workplace and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. The Office of Equal Opportunity can provide information and assist you in understanding the process of filing a complaint of any form of discrimination or harassment. The OEO also conducts preliminary investigations to determine the validity of complaints.

Note: Harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity is defined as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment also includes sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. All complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct are managed by the Title IX Office. If you are experiencing sexual harassment please contact the Title IX Office.

Procedures for addressing discrimination or harassment are somewhat different for staff (including student employees), faculty, students, visitors and affiliates." There are links for each of these university affiliations.

As an example, the link to the procedures for staff states,
"Below are step by step options available to you if you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment. Please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity if you would like to further discuss your options, need additional information or procedural support.

DO NOT follow these steps if you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, please contact the Title IX Office.

STEP 1 – Attempt Resolution
STEP 2 – File a formal complaint
STEP 3 – Formal complaint investigation procedures
STEP 4 – State of Virginia Grievance Procedures"

Each step has further details. As an example, details for STEP 1 are
"Initially, staff are encouraged to attempt to resolve complaints informally at the lowest level through the administrative structure of the employment unit or academic department involved. Direct communication with the respondent, discussions with your immediate supervisor or the respondent’s supervisor may be effective ways to seek solutions to work-related problems. However, this is not required and formal complaints may be filed directly.

One-on-one attempts at resolution

If you feel comfortable dealing with the situation without the direct involvement of a third party, you can communicate directly with the person whose behavior is unwelcome.
It is appropriate to use face-to-face, individual communication only when you do not feel threatened, there is no risk of physical harm and you believe the other person will be receptive.
E-mail is the preferred method of communication. If you choose to communicate face-to-face, you also should send an e-mail, if possible. Keep copies of any communication.
The communication should include:
A factual description of the incident(s) including date, time, place, witnesses and a description of the specific unwelcome behavior.
A description of any consequences you may have suffered due to the unwelcome behavior.
A request that the unwelcome behavior cease.
If you do not feel comfortable with individual communication or you believe the communication was not successful, you should consider other informal and formal complaint procedures.

Employee Mediation Services

JMU offers Employee Mediation Services to all employees. Mediation is entirely voluntary. Failure to participate in mediation or another form of informal resolution will not be considered adversely against either you or the respondent in any subsequent investigation or hearing. To schedule a mediation session please contact your department’s HR Consultant or email mediation@jmu.edu."

Further, the formal complaint investigation procedures (STEP 3) are
"1. Any formal complaint made to the OEO will be investigated by the Director of Equal Opportunity (DEO).
2. You, the respondent, and the appropriate VP will receive a copy of your complaint.
3. The DOE will conduct an investigation within 60 days. The DOE will use the preponderance of evidence standard to determine if there has been a violation.
4. The DOE’s report of preliminary findings will be provided to you, the respondent, the respondent’s supervisor, and the appropriate VP.
5. If the DOE determines there has not been a violation all parties will receive a notice of dismissal of complaint. The DOE’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
6. If the DOE determines that the evidence justifies a preliminary finding of violation, all parties will receive notification that the complaint is being referred to the appropriate VP for potential further proceedings.
7. It is up to the appropriate office to determine what steps to take, including whether to institute disciplinary procedures against the respondent for misconduct, subject to review by the appropriate VP."

Similarly, for those who have witnessed harassment, the OEO oversees the protocol for reporting and has information posted on their website. See http://www.jmu.edu/oeo/how-to-file-a-complaint/harassment-witness.shtml.

Due to confidentiality, specifics cannot be provided publicly, but disciplinary actions have been taken following the OEO protocols.

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:

For staff, Human Resources has created the C3 program: Career, Community, Connection. C3 supports the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff who are new to the area. JMU recognizes the importance of attracting and retaining the very best professionals in the field of education, and the program provides essential support to new and prospective faculty, staff, and their families. Support will vary from simple guidance and information about community resources and organizations to assisting the relocating spouse/partner with their area job search. Services are provided by the Employment Outreach Specialist and are personalized to meet each employee's needs. For more information see http://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/recruitment/c3/

For faculty, the Faculty Recruitment, Selection and Retention On-line Informational Session was launched in January 2016. For more information, see http://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/recruitment/faculty-recruitment.shtml

Multiple programs exist to recruit students including:

-The Centennial Scholars Program. This program provides financial assistance and a multi-level academic support network to retain eligible under-represented students. https://www.jmu.edu/centscholars/index.shtml

-The Valley Scholars program. This program serves first-generation, financially eligible students, who are motivated and show academic promise in middle school and throughout high school. Current partner school districts include Augusta County, Harrisonburg City, Page County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Staunton City, and Waynesboro City Schools. After completing the application and interview process, students are selected in the spring of the 7th grade year, with program participation beginning in the 8th grade. http://www.jmu.edu/valleyscholars/about.shtml

-Professors in Residence (PIR) program. Faculty members serve as PIRs in schools across Virginia, acting as ambassadors for the university and the academic division and providing support for underrepresented and underserved Virginia students to access opportunities to pursue higher education. https://www.jmu.edu/diversity/programs-and-events/pir.shtml

- First Generation Scholarship Program. First-generation college students are those with custodial parents who have never attended college. A custodial parent can include biological and stepparents at the student’s primary residence. Students must also be Pell Grant eligible. Nominations for recipients are accepted only from the PIR Professors, as this a financial aid program for students attending from PIR high schools.

Additional programs include:
-“Prospective Students Weekend” for under-represented students who have been admitted to JMU,
-Summer programs for high school students such as the Male Academy and Female Institute.
-Partnerships to facilitate campus visits for school systems with high percentage of under-represented students (urban and rural), including open houses and the Middle School Visit Program. https://www.jmu.edu/diversity/programs-and-events/middle-school.shtml

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:

A description of the programs available for students can be found at:

In addition, every unit on campus that serves students (such as the Counseling Center) explores the need for programs for particular groups and pursues these as warranted by student need and interest. A few examples of specific offices that support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups are below:

Office of International Programs. https://www.jmu.edu/international/
LGBTQ & Ally and Education Program. http://www.jmu.edu/lgbta/
Office of Disability Services. https://www.jmu.edu/ods/
Center for Multicultural Student Services. https://www.jmu.edu/multicultural/

The University has provided resources for support for all employees. A description of some of the programs available for staff can be found at:
A description of the programs available for faculty can be found at:

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:

Individual departments do provide support, and JMU is pursuing the McNair Trio grant to create a university-wide program.

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:

Responsible Party: Arthur Dean, Executive Director, Campus and Community Programs, Office of Access and Inclusion.

Entered into the reporting tool by Melissa Altman.

Responsible Party: Arthur Dean, Executive Director, Campus and Community Programs, Office of Access and Inclusion.

Entered into the reporting tool by Melissa Altman.

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.