Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 34.87
Liaison Courtney Gallaher
Submission Date June 4, 2024

STARS v2.2

Northern Illinois University
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Courtney Gallaher
Associate Professor, Sustainability Coordinator
Earth, Atmosphere and Environment
"---" 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?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:
NIU administers a campus climate survey bi-annually to assess and improve DEI initiatives. The 2020 instrument was developed by a cross-sectional team of faculty, staff, and students from various departments and disciplines. The team conducted focus groups on campus and reviewed 20 DEI surveys from other institutions to develop the final instrument.
The survey was open to the NIU employees and students with individuals providing their primary role and routed to the appropriate survey. The survey was open for 5 weeks with the link to the survey sent to individuals’ email, via NIU Announcements and tabling at various locations on campus.
The 2022 survey was developed by Insight Into Diversity Viewfinder with a group of faculty and staff vetting and revising questions to reflect the semantics and concepts used in the previous survey. The data from the 2022 survey is being disaggregated and reviewed.
The data from the 2020 survey were shared with the campus community and some were incorporated into the FY22 university goals.

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

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs, and initiatives:
Plan and launch a re-enrollment campaign that targets students who “stopped out” of NIU over the past five years, emphasizing students who did not persist from Spring 2021 to Fall 2021. An expanded formal campaign is under development, and critical details such eligibility, incentives, support services and outreach strategies will be decided no later than the end of the Spring 2022 semester.
• Develop appropriate advising and academic services to support the retention of students who have gaps in their attendance at NIU.
• Key indicators of progress to include increase in number of advisors trained to work specifically with such students.
• creation of a re-orientation program.
• Pursue equity goals articulated in our Higher Learning Commission Quality Initiative Proposal (HLCQIP) and Illinois Equity in Attainment (ILEA) Equity Plan to increase student success by removing structural barriers, adopting appropriate strategies from other partners such as Every Learner Everywhere.

• Support ongoing work of task forces empowered during FY21 to mitigate barriers to transdisciplinary scholarship and curricular innovation as they produce analyses, recommendations and plans for implementation.
• Provide groups with professional development focused on shared leadership.
• Support aspirations of Faculty Senate Social Justice Committee to review and reassess tenure and promotion processes, annual faculty evaluation and the environment for early-career faculty.
• Empower, support and incentivize teams to develop transdisciplinary initiatives in the areas of social, racial and ethnic inequities, environmental justice, STEM education and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), encouraging them to frame research questions with multiple lenses and seek to address inequitable conditions.
• Resultant projects will generate transdisciplinary opportunities for student engagement and learning and could include cross-disciplinary coursework, credentials, capstone experiences for both graduate and undergraduate students, extended research opportunities for students and proposals for academic programs that intersect with these themes.
Create a Shared Equity Leadership (SEL) model for NIU that will support our efforts to make meaningful and lasting changes in university policies, practices and structures that promote and sustain inequity.
• Key indicators of progress: DRAFT SEL model created, and strategies shared with campus stakeholders for feedback; formation of a formal NIU Equity Community of Practice (CoP)
• Adoption of accountability mechanisms by Equity CoP participants (these might include annual reports or presentations that highlight work, success, challenges and progress toward goals).
• The NIU Equity CoP will use a shared leadership model to engage departments, committees and commissions whose focus is to advance equity. As part of this process, engagement will include community stakeholders focused on faculty and staff hiring, mentoring, faculty cultural competency and equity (FACCE), antiracist education, conversations on diversity and equity (CODE) trainings, and professional development.
• In addition, the CoP will encourage dialogue across the NIU community on bias, systems and structures that impede the success and advancement of students and BIPOC faculty.

This approach will elevate recommendations from the Faculty Senate Social Justice Committee and the Transdisciplinary Scholarship Task Force.
Establish Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center at NIU with funding received from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) subaward funded by Wiley Education Services.
• The newly established TRHT center will provide space for social justice, racial healing and restorative justice work. The TRHT will take a trauma-informed approach to promote a campus culture of healing through restorative dialogue; for example, by incorporating programming in student centered healing circles.
Increase the recruitment, hiring, retention and professional advancement of diverse faculty, staff and administrators, using an approach that continues effective practices and introduces innovative strategies and tactics.
• Continue effective practices. Key indicators of progress: evidence of sustained effort to deliver programs (e.g., implicit bias training, mentoring programs, position advertisement in diverse publications) to support the retention and success of new faculty of color; and to improve our faculty and staff search processes to reduce bias, achieve diverse applicant pools and ensure fair evaluation of all candidates.
• Support aspirations of Faculty Senate Social Justice Committee (FSSJC) to review and reassess tenure and promotion processes, annual faculty evaluation and the environment for early-career faculty.
• Expand the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Post-doctoral/Post-graduate Fellowship program that was established by the NIU Division of Academic Diversity Equity and Inclusion and the NIU Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships with the goal of creating a pipeline to diversify the faculty workforce. Seek applicants with perspectives and expertise that will enhance transdisciplinary scholarship at NIU in the areas of social, racial and ethnic inequities, environmental justice, STEM education and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML).

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:
A summary of the assessment findings are incorporated into the university's annual goals, which are posted publicy.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary (upload):

Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.