Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.71
Liaison Greg Kozak
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northwestern University
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sarah Tulga
Sustainability Program Coordinator
"---" 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 Statement
Northwestern University does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information or any other classification protected by law in matters of admissions, employment, housing or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates. Harassment, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination.

Northwestern University complies with federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on the protected categories listed above, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex (including sexual misconduct) in the University’s educational programs and activities. In addition, Northwestern provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants, students and employees with disabilities and to individuals who are pregnant.

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:

This is the avenue for students to report bias incidents:  The following language is taken from the following website, https://www.northwestern.edu/inclusion/respectnu/birt.html

BIRT and RespectNU
The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a group of administrators who are committed to creating a proactive response to instances of hate and bias. When a student reports a bias/hate incident through RespectNU one of the BIRT members will support the student, connect them with the appropriate resources, and follow-up with them until the situation has been resolved.

BIRT and RespectNU are:
Systems that will assist students who report bias or hate incidents
Dedicated to fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus community for all students
Action oriented initiatives that will provide early intervention and education on acts of bias and hate for the campus community

BIRT and RespectNU are not:
Investigative units (BIRT will connect students with the Student Conduct Office or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access as appropriate)
Replacements for existing reporting or support mechanisms at NU
Crisis or emergency services. Any student in need of police intervention or immediate assistance should call the Northwestern University Police Department at 847-491-3246 or, if the student is not on campus, local police at 911.

Staff or faculty who have experienced bias are instructed to report to the Office of Equity:

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:

Student Recruitment:
Northwestern Posse Scholars:
The Posse Foundation is a college access and leadership development program with sites in 9 U.S. cities. Posse identifies high school students for academic and leadership potential for admission into a partner college or university. Northwestern University became a partner institution with the Posse Foundation in 2012. Undergraduate Admission and Posse Los Angeles selected the first class of 10 Posse Scholars, who began their undergraduate career in Fall 2013.

This group of students begin working together in their senior year of high school to prepare for college, and once on campus, they meet weekly with their campus mentor. The Department of Campus Inclusion and Community oversees the program on campus, and the Executive Director, Lesley-Ann Brown-Henderson, serves as the campus liaison.


Academic Staff Recruitment:
Northwestern is committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty—success in this requires concerted, well-planned action on the part of search committees, department chairs, deans, and the institution at large. To assist schools and search committees in identifying, recruiting, hiring, and retaining the most diverse and excellent faculty, we have developed a robust set of online resources for Faculty Search Committees.
To read more about these guidelines for faculty searches and Northwestern’s commitment to increasing the diversity of our Faculty see here:

Northwestern has also mandated the designation of an Equity Representative for all full-time faculty search committees. This individual is a senior faculty member serving on the search committee who is charged with helping to ensure objectivity throughout all phases of the search. The Equity Representative helps to educate search committee members around best practices and the role of implicit and explicit biases throughout the entire search process.
To read more about this role, see here:

The Office of the Provost and the Faculty Diversity and Excellence Group are also working with schools, departments, and faculty search committees to provide targeted training around implementing these best practices. If faculty or departments are interested in engaging our office for any in-person training or guidance, please contact them at assoc-prov-faculty@northwestern.edu.

Non-Academic Staff Recruitment:
To recruit staff from underrepresented groups, creating a broad and diverse pool of prospects is essential. The Office of Equity provides a host of diversity recruitment resources for all staff to utilize within the search process. These highlight Northwestern resources, such as Graystone Group Advertising, HR Talent Acquisition Partners and the Office of the Provost for faculty searches. Also, they highlight resources and education around online recruitment and outreach focusing on the following categories: General diversity recruitment, LGBTQ+ recruitment, veteran and disabled recruitment, African American recruitment, Asian recruitment, Hispanic and Latino recruitment and Industry-focused resources.

Read this statement from HR on Diversity and Inclusion in Hiring:
Here is a resource page for managers to develop a strategy for hiring that includes diversity recruiting:

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:

Programs for Students:
AccessibleNU serves all undergraduate, graduate, professional school, and continuing studies students with disabilities. The goal of the office is to “provide students with disabilities and other conditions requiring accommodation a learning and community environment that affords them full participation, equal access, and reasonable accommodation.” (http://www.northwestern.edu/accessiblenu/)

The University Academic Advising Center helps Northwestern University students to access tutoring services and other academic support resources across campus. All NU students are encouraged to take advantage of these types of resources, regardless of current academic standing. (http://www.northwestern.edu/nuhelp/academic/academic-advising-center/)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is housed within the Division of Student Affairs and serves as the primary mental health service at Northwestern University. CAPS provides a set of core services, including clinical services, educational workshops, and consultation with faculty, staff, and parents. CAPS' mission is to assist all students in developing healthy minds and balanced lives, allowing them to overcome obstacles and achieve their academic and personal goals. (http://www.northwestern.edu/counseling/about-us/diversity-value-statement/index.html)

Multicultural Student Affairs, Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs, African American Student Affairs, Asian/Asian American Student Affairs, and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center all focus on advocating for underrepresented groups on campus and providing students of all identities with support and resources. The offices provide programming, advocacy, outreach and mentorship to students. In addition, For Members Only, the black student union on campus, offers a peer-run Freshmen Mentoring Program to incoming black students to help them transition to college life at NU. (http://www.northwestern.edu/msa/)

Programs for academic staff:
Women faculty receptions – held twice annually and alternating between the Evanston and Chicago campuses, these events bring all women faculty together to connect, network, and learn about the work of a prominent female faculty member. Learn more.

Underrepresented minority faculty events – underrepresented minority faculty members are invited to annual events during fall and spring quarters. These events are hosted by Jabbar R. Bennett, Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer and coordinated by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Change Makers for Faculty – This is a year-long program that utilizes the evidence-based Intergroup Dialogue Model and allows participants to explore their own social identities and apply this understanding in creating more inclusive classrooms, departments and centers. This program is offered in partnership with the Women’s Center. Learn more.

CRLT Players – Though Northwestern University aspires to cultivate a climate that is welcoming to the members of its diverse student, faculty, and staff bodies, we know that the lived experiences of many in our communities don't always align with these aspirations. Join the CRLT Players for an interactive sketch, “Cuts: Responding to Student Climate Concerns,” which invites participants to experience and discuss the many forces that can shape campus climate both positively and negatively.

Programs for Staff:
Northwestern strongly encourages all employees including women and racial/ethnic minority employees to participate in educational and development activities to advance in their careers. Many of these resources/courses offered by the University are free for employees and the University also offers a great reduced tuition benefit for those programs that do have costs.

HR Workplace Learning provides opportunities by the Learning & Organization Development team. These include trainings, workshops, consulting, coaching, retreats and tools (both online and in person).

Northwestern now offers all of it’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) at no cost to its students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Counseling support is available through our Employee Assistance Program.

There are a number of staff affinity groups which aim to enhance the personal and professional development of staff and foster a sense of community. There are five University-sanctioned staff affinity groups: AHEAD (Association for Higher Education Administrators' Development), ANUW (Association of Northwestern University Women), ASAG ( [Asian Pacific Islander Desi American] Staff Affinity Group), BPN (Black Professionals Network), and UNIDOS (Latinx Professionals Coalition). All University-sanctioned groups and activities must be open to all employees and may not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by law in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates.
See more on this here: https://www.northwestern.edu/diversity/resources/staff-affinity-groups/

The Women’s Leadership Program, is a partnership between HR and the Association of Northwestern University Women (ANUW). this program elevates and supports more women/womxn-identified individuals to achieve leadership roles across Northwestern.
See more here:

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:

Two programs support this initiative from The Graduate School:
1) Summer Research Opportunity Program
The Summer Research Opportunity Program is an eight-week competitive research experience at Northwestern University for sophomores and juniors from colleges and universities across the United States.
2) Introduction to Graduate Education (IGEN)
The Graduate School hosts an annual Introduction to Graduate Education at Northwestern (IGEN) for diverse rising juniors and seniors interested in doctoral study in a STEM or quantitative discipline.
Other initiatives include:
• Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program: The Graduate School partners with the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at various colleges and universities to recruit a diverse graduate student body.
• Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship: For current Northwestern students, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship provides a summer research opportunity for promising undergraduates considering graduate studies.
• HSI (Hispanic Serving Institutions) Pathways: TGS partners with the University of Pennsylvania and the Andrew Mellon Foundation with the HSI (Hispanic Serving Institutions) Pathways program which provides access to Latinx students at Hispanic Serving Institutions.

For faculty, tThe University has launched sections of and developed the full program plan for the Faculty Pathways Initiative. This initiative aims to enhance faculty growth and development across all career stages from postbaccalaureate through senior faculty.

It’s four main goals are 1) Strengthen intellectual community and networks and provide a physical space to bring people together, 2) Expand the pool of underrepresented individuals at all levels along the continuum by cultivating faculty, defining pathways, and supporting individuals in navigating their career options, 3) Align and enhance existing programming to foster collaboration across disciplines and career stages and drive impact and 4) Develop a culture of inclusion and excellence all along the continuum.

This initiative will target increasing and supporting people from underrepresented groups for along the entire pipeline including, post-baccalaureate, graduate students, post doctorate trainees, pre-tenure/early career professors, and post-tenure/established career professors.

For postbaccalaureate students:
The Causeway Postbaccalaureate Program for students historically underrepresented in mathematics and statistics will begin in summer of 2020. Of the 294 Ph.D.'s granted in mathematics and statistics in 2017 from peer institutions, only 16 went to underrepresented minorities. Northwestern’s Math Department has proposed a 12-month program designed to enhance participation of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in mathematics, and the National Science Foundation has funded it, along with support from the Office of the Provost. This Northwestern-based post-baccalaureate program plans to expand into a national consortium where other universities will fund their recent graduates to participate in Northwestern’s program. Learn more about the Causeway Program here: https://sites.northwestern.edu/causeway/

Read more about all of the programs and this initiative here:

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:

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.