Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.66
Liaison Enid Cardinal
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rochester Institute of Technology
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
0.88 / 1.00 Enid Cardinal
Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President
Office of the President
"---" 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:

RIT uses a multidimensional assessment approach in an effort to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. An annual Diversity Profile compiled by Institutional Research and Policy Studies provides the institution with university-level and college-level assessment information pertaining to the proportion of historically underrepresented students, faculty, and staff, including success metrics such as persistence and graduation data for students and retention rates for faculty. Additionally, RIT uses an inclusive Diversity Index to track the historical racial and ethnic diversity of students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty (by rank and tenure status), and staff (by exempt/non-exempt status) to encourage dialogue and guide the development of diversity programs and initiatives.
RIT also uses an Inclusive Excellence (IE) Framework which is aligned with the university’s Strategic Plan. The IE framework has four dimensions: 1) Access and Success, 2) Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations, 3) Education and Scholarship, and 4) Institutional Infrastructure. Each dimension of the model represents an area in which institutional initiatives are designed to achieve excellence. Programs emanating from the Division of Diversity & Inclusion are designed with intention to engage our diverse student, faculty, and staff populations. The institution uses an Assessment Management System (AMS) to track the goals and objectives of each administrative unit and has incorporated an annual Progress Report process for the past three years to encourage demonstration of continuous improvement.
In 2015, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and Human Resources collaborated on the implementation of an Employee Satisfaction and Climate survey in partnership with ModernThink, LLC, the company commissioned by the Chronicle of Higher Education to administer the Great Colleges To Work For program. The instrument included 60 of ModernThink's core belief statements, 12 customized climate and engagement statements, 17 demographic questions, and 2 open-ended questions. The survey was used to assess employees’ perception of the institution’s commitment, support and promotion of diversity, their work environment with senior management, supervisors and colleagues, and race, gender, religion and sexual orientation bias in the workplace.
RIT is also a member of the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. COACHE surveys faculty about their experiences and views related to several important areas of their work lives. COACHE results provide insights that can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses among university practices and policies. RIT last participated in the COACHE survey in 2016. The university-level survey results were shared with the RIT community on the Provost’s website and individual college data was shared by Deans at their respective colleges.
Student diversity experiences and engagement in activities that reflect cultural diversity were most recently captured in 2017 with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity module.

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

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

Our student diversity has increased consistently over the past decade and continues to rise. This is a particular point of pride at RIT as we approach a celebratory milestone projected to occur sometime within the next several years, where it will become more likely than not that two students selected at random will be of a different race or ethnicity.
On average, our assistant professors are more diverse than our student body, and our associate professors are as diverse. If we can maintain the diversity we’ve established at the assistant and associate levels, this bodes well for the future diversity of our full professors through the promotion and tenure process — an observation that drives institutional dialogue around retention efforts.
Comparatively, the diversity of exempt staff and non-tenure-track faculty provides opportunities for us to grow as an institution. An executive level committee led by the VP of Finance & Administration was formed to look intentionally at staff diversity.
From the Employee Satisfaction and Climate survey, five of the top ten most favorable response items and zero of the bottom ten least favorable response items were from the Diversity and Inclusivity domain pertaining to climate. University level results were shared with governance groups and college, division, and unit level results were shared accordingly. Some actions were initiated locally at the college and division levels to address areas of greatest concern. For example, some areas adopted communication forums to enhance organizational dialogue, while at the institutional level, the employee Performance Appraisal process was modified to include a self-reflection component pertaining to RIT’s core values of diversity and inclusion.

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:

University level results of the most recent Employee Satisfaction and Climate survey were shared with governance groups and college, division, and unit level results were shared accordingly. The University-level results of the COACHE survey were shared with the RIT community on the Provost’s website and individual college data was shared by Deans at their respective colleges. The Board of Trustees Diversity sub-Committee receives annual updates via assessment and analysis conducted through the Division of Diversity & Inclusion.

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:

The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.