Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.34
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

James Madison University
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 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:

Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Statement, accessed October 12, 2021
source: https://www.jmu.edu/oeo/non-discrimination-statement.shtml

"Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity
James Madison University does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race or color, 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. The responsibility for overall coordination, monitoring and information dissemination about JMU’s program of equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and affirmative action is assigned to the Office of Equal Opportunity. Inquiries or complaints may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity Director: (540)568-6991, OEO homepage, oeo@jmu.edu

JMU prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment including sexual assault and other forms of inter-personal violence. The responsibility for overall coordination, monitoring, and information dissemination about JMU’s Title IX program is assigned to the Title IX Coordinator. Inquiries or complaints may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator: Ms. Amy Sirocky-Meck (540)568-5219, Title IX homepage, titleix@jmu.edu

Additional Information

The above statement is JMU's official statement of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity. The Office of Equal Opportunity requests that it be printed in JMU catalogs, all recruiting materials (student and personnel), program brochures, and other official JMU publications. It can be set in a smaller typeface and is usually positioned on an inside front or back cover or in the first few pages of a publication. It is available for download in both PDF and MS-Word formats below.

All JMU publications must carry the name and contact information of the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, Section 504 Coordinator, and the Title IX Coordinator as shown below:

The JMU ADA Coordinator, Section 504 Coordinator is Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, (540) 568-6991, OEO homepage, oeo@jmu.edu

The JMU Title IX Coordinator is Amy Sirocky-Meck, (540) 568-5219, Title IX homepage, titleix@jmu.edu

Revised January 2020

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

JMU has a number of confidential resources available to students who may wish to receive support and resources because of an incident of harassment or discrimination including Victim's Advocacy, confidential mental health counseling through the Counseling Center, and confidential medical assistance through the University Health Center. Individuals may make anonymous reports using the "Not at JMU" online reporting option to report incidents or harassment and discrimination to the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Title IX Office. Individuals may also report incidents for themselves or as third parties directly to the Title IX Office or Office of Equal Opportunity. Both offices provide information about reasonably available supportive measures, options and support for reporting an incident to police, and the option of filing a formal complaint to have an incident investigated and addressed through the appropriate campus conduct process. Reasonable supportive measures are available to complainants regardless of whether they file a formal complaint and may include but are not limited to academic assistance, assistance with accessing temporary on-campus housing changes, No Contact Orders, coordination of a safety escort with JMU PD, and for employees, if needed temporary changes to work location. Retaliation is prohibited against any individual participating a Title IX or OEO process.

JMU Policy #1302: Equal Opportunity: https://www.jmu.edu/JMUpolicy/policies/1302.shtml states the university’s commitment to providing equal opportunity and a work, education, program, and activities environment free from any discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic in compliance with applicable law. Policy 1302 provides information for where applicants, visitors, employees, students, or affiliates may direct questions and file complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics.

JMU Policy 1324: Discrimination and Harassment sets out the university’s commitment to providing a workplace and learning environment free from illegal discrimination and harassment as defined in Policy 1302 and sets out the university’s procedures for responding to reports and formal complaints of alleged discrimination and harassment, other than sexual harassment. Policy 1324 provides contact information for the Office of Equal Opportunity, which is responsible for receiving and responding to reports and formal complaints of alleged harassment and discrimination under policy 1324. https://www.jmu.edu/JMUpolicy/policies/1324.shtml

Policy 1340: Sexual Misconduct sets out the university’s commitment to providing a workplace and learning environment free from sexual misconduct for students and employees and the university’s procedures for responding to formal complaints of sexual misconduct that falls outside the scope of Policy 1346: Title IX Sexual Harassment. Sexual Misconduct encompasses sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and non-consensual sexual relationships. Policy 1340 provides contact information for the Title IX Office which is responsible for receiving and responding to reports and formal complaints of alleged sexual misconduct under Policy 1340.

Policy 1346: Title IX Sexual Harassment sets out the university’s commitment to providing a workplace and learning environment free from sexual harassment pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Policy 1346 and the university’s procedures for responding to formal complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment are defined and required by applicable federal regulations. Policy 1346 provides contact information for the Title IX Office which is responsible for receiving and responding to reports and formal complaints of alleged Title IX Sexual Harassment under Policy 1346.

The OEO at JMU has instructions on their website for reporting options (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. JMU encourages the reporting of any discrimination or harassment and provides multiple reporting options. The Office of Equal Opportunity will conduct preliminary investigations of all reports.

Guidance on filing a complaint: http://www.jmu.edu/oeo/how-to-file-a-complaint/procedures-overview.shtml
Formal Complaint Form: http://www.jmu.edu/oeo/how-to-file-a-complaint/formal-complaint.shtml
Not @ JMU other reporting:

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 is

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

Title IX Website: http://www.jmu.edu/access-and-enrollment/titleIX/index.shtml provides information and instructions for reporting incidents of sexual misconduct or Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Title IX Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct can be reported to Title IX in person, online, over the phone, or via email.
Guidance and instructions for reporting are available at:

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Online Reporting Form: https://jmu-advocate.symplicity.com/titleix_report/index.php/pid538819?

Criminal sexual misconduct can be reported to JMU PD either in person, over the phone, or anonymously.
JMU Public Safety: https://www.jmu.edu/publicsafety/index.shtml
Silent Witness anonymous reporting: https://www.jmu.edu/publicsafety/silent_witness_form.shtml

The Title IX Website provides information for filing a formal complaint of sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment https://www.jmu.edu/access-and-enrollment/titleIX/how-to-file-a-complaint/how_to-file_a-complaint.shtml
A complainant may file a formal complaint alleging sexual harassment, as defined in Policy 1346, or sexual misconduct, as defined in Policy 1340, against a respondent who is currently employed by or a student of the institution, and requesting that the university investigate the allegation, directly with the Title IX Office.
This can happen electronically, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by emailing the formal complaint to titleix@jmu.edu, or by mailing the formal complaint to Title IX Office, Attn: Title IX Coordinator, MSC 7806, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.
A complainant may also submit their written formal complaint to the Title IX Office in person during regular business hours. The complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in an educational program or activity at the time of filing a formal complaint.
Information to Include in the Formal Complaint
The formal complaint must include the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicate that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint. In addition to the complainant’s name, the formal complaint document that is filed should include:
• The name of the respondent
• The approximate date, time, and location of the alleged incident
• A description of the incident that the complainant would like the university to investigate
The Title IX Website also includes information on the procedures the Title IX Office uses to investigate formal complaints of sexual misconduct or Title IX Sexual Harassment https://www.jmu.edu/access-and-enrollment/titleIX/procedures.shtml

The Title IX Office website provides information on the procedures used by the university to adjudicate formal complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct naming students as respondents https://www.jmu.edu/access-and-enrollment/titleIX/processes/adjudication-for-students.shtml and the procedures the university uses to adjudicate formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment or sexual misconduct naming employees as respondents https://www.jmu.edu/access-and-enrollment/titleIX/processes/adjudication-for-faculty.shtml

JMU complies with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, The Clery Act, Violence against Women Act, and other applicable federal and state directives and laws to respond to, address and prevent sexual misconduct.

For more information on Clery Act compliance and JMU’s Annual Security Report refer to: https://www.jmu.edu/publicsafety/clerycompliance/index.shtml
Alternative Resolution is available to address formal complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct.
Adaptable Resolution is the alternative resolution option available for formal complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct that involve student complainants and student respondents. Information about Adaptable Resolution may be found on the following page of the Title IX website: https://www.jmu.edu/access-and-enrollment/titleIX/processes/adjudication-for-students.shtml

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

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

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

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

Instructional faculty:

-Preparing Future Faculty (PFF). The PFF concept dates back to the respective conversations of the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and American Council on Education (ACE) in the early 1990s. They identified a need to provide teaching opportunities to doctoral candidates prior to the completion of the dissertation and also to create opportunities to attract more minority candidates to the teaching profession. James Madison University (JMU) adopted the PFF concept a decade later and has since established partnerships with Howard University and Morgan State University. On the average, a total of four dissertation-year doctoral candidates from our partner institutions receive fellowships to participate in the JMU PFF experience. Though partnership with HBCU institutions is the PFF practice, we have also recuited BIPOC dissertation year fellows from universities such as Michigan, Ohio State, Emory, LSU, and SUNY at Binghamton.

-Post Doc Experiences. JMU has continued to increase the number of post doctoral experiences for past PFFs and the recruitment of faculty from other universities as they complete their doctorates. Currently, four of our former PFF fellows are full-time tenure track faculty at JMU.

-New Faculty Recruitment Process. A new process was established for all search chairs and implemented fall 2016. See https://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/recruitment/faculty-recruitment/index.shtml Also, an updated faculty manual was reviewed this September of 2021 to incorporate clear steps in diversity and faculty hiring at JMU (See: https://www.jmu.edu/academic-affairs/documents/faculty-hiring-manual.pdf).

-There is a required diversity training program for Academic Unit Heads and faculty search committee chairs and members.

Classified staff:

-Work closely with local representatives from the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Wilson Workforce Rehabilitation Center by providing training to JMU search committee members regarding disability etiquette and by offering work experiences, on the job training, internships, etc. to those with a disability.

-Provide annual training, “I’m a Search Committee Member…Now What?” for JMU search committee members that focuses on the role and responsibility of search committees and how they can enhance and promote diversity throughout the recruitment process.

-Distribute newly posted positions through a listserv that includes HACU/HBCU schools.

-Work with a Local Veteran Employment Representative at the Harrisonburg VEC and also send him a weekly listing of newly posted positions.

-Use the Local Job Network (an OFCCP Compliance vendor) to distribute postings to their network of local employment and diversity sites.


-The Centennial Scholars Program. This program provides financial assistance and a multi-level academic support network to retain eligible underrepresented 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 step parents 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:
-Summer programs for high school students such as the Middle School Leadership Academy (https://www.jmu.edu/diversity/programs-and-events/pir-middle-school-leadership-academy.shtml)
-Partnerships to facilitate campus visits for school systems with a high percentage of underrepresented students (urban and rural), including open houses and the Middle School Visit Program. https://www.jmu.edu/diversity/programs-and-events/middle-school.shtml
-Partnership with pre-collegiate programs include:
1. Advancing Via Individual Determination (AVID): https://www.avid.org/
- Partner with AVID Middle and High Schools throughout Virginia and the District of Columbia
- Have averaged about 1000 students and 200 parents/teachers/chaperones to attend an AVID day at JMU (2015-2019)
- Academic and university open house for the day for AVID students
- Moved the program to a virtual format for 2020-2022 academic year
2. College Partnership Program of Fairfax County: https://www.fcps.edu/academics/academic-overview/college-success-program/college-partnership-program-cpp
- Annual Summer campus experiences at JMU
- Typically bring over 250 students (middle and high school students)
- Focused on motivation and support for underrepresented students by race and social economic status from Fairfax Co. Va.
3. Partnership for the Future (Richmond VA): https://www.partnershipforthefuture.org/
- Bring 100 students to JMU for the fall open house
- Each April, coordinate to bring PFF admitted students to JMU for the Choice’s program (program designed to showcase the university and assist with matriculation of admitted students)

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

A description of resources available for students can be found at:

Examples include:

"The Center for Multicultural Student Services celebrates diversity by heightening awareness and educating students regarding ethnic and cultural diversity. There are a number of programs, events and student organizations designed to support you.

The CMSS D.E.E.P. (Diversity Education Empowerment Program) Impact is designed to influence meaningful change throughout the James Madison University campus community through the development of programs and services that heighten awareness, increase knowledge, and celebrate the value of diversity in all forms. Our student staff of Diversity Educators create and implement programming that focuses on promoting inclusion, advocacy, and respect in order to equip students with the cultural capacity to change and shape the world.

The vision of the JMU Interfaith Coalition is to facilitate mutual understanding of any and all religions and world views, and to promote positive civic engagement in the JMU and local communities.

The Office of Admissions offers opportunities to join Students for Minority Outreach or Student Ambassadors to recruit future students to JMU. Student Ambassadors offers various recruitment weekends to visit the campus in the fall and spring semesters.

The Office of Disability Services assists the University in creating an accessible community where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in their educational experience.

The Furious Flower Poetry Center aims to advance the genre of African American Poetry by providing opportunities for education, research, and publication."

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:

Center for Global Engagement. https://www.jmu.edu/global/index.shtml
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/

Academic Programs (Area Studies Programs designed to support underrepresented populations)
African, African American and Diaspora Studies (AAAD): https://www.jmu.edu/africana/index.shtml
Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies: https://www.jmu.edu/lacs/index.shtml
Asian Studies: https://www.jmu.edu/asianstudies/index.shtml
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: https://www.jmu.edu/womens-studies/index.shtml

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

JMU provides and disseminates information on gender neutral restrooms and lactation rooms. On this map http://www.jmu.edu/map/, one can select any campus building and details of that building are available under the "accessibility" tab: types of restrooms, lactation rooms, elevator, accessible entrances. This information was included in a 2018 HR newsletter: https://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/cpc/_files/Mar18-HRUpdate.pdf

$1M from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was awarded to engage students of all backgrounds in science. James Madison University is creating the BioCommons, an intentionally inclusive physical space for student and faculty interactions that instills a sense of belonging. This five yearlong grant is about encouraging colleges and universities to change the way they do business ­­­─ to become institutions with a significantly greater capacity for inclusion of all students, especially those from nontraditional backgrounds. See http://www.jmu.edu/news/2018/06/23-grants-and-awards.shtml and https://www.hhmi.org/news/33-schools-support-diversity-and-inclusion-campus-through-2018-hhmi-inclusive-excellence

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:

The Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) previously mentioned is not only used to recruit Ph.D. students from underrepresented groups but also to support them.

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?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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

Non-discrimination statement and discrimination response team entries updated and reviewed by Amy Sirocky-Meck, Title IX Coordinator.

Information on housing is available at the URL provided in the optional reporting: http://www.jmu.edu/lgbta/resources.shtml.

Information on gender neutral bathrooms is available at https://www.jmu.edu/oeo/resources/universal-restroom-list.shtml

Information about recruitment of classified staff was provided by Richard Larson, AVP, HR Training & Performance.

Updated information provided by Arthur Dean and entered by Amanda Bodle on December 2, 2021.

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.