Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 88.00
Liaison Sam Lubow
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights on campus?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

The Diversity and Access Office (D&A) is responsible for ensuring compliance with the federal and state non-discrimination laws, as well as the university's non-discrimination policy. D&A is responsible for responding to concerns and complaints regarding discrimination. In addition, the office provides disability-related accommodations to staff, faculty and the public. The office also oversees the eight staff affinity groups. The Office of Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity is charged with programmatic efforts to advance inclusion and diversity among the faculty. This is carried out through incentive programs for recruitment, professional development programs, strategic communications (internal and external), and ad hoc interventions at individual, departmental and school-levels.

There is also a committee that meets the intent of this credit at Stanford: the Diversity Cabinet (university-wide) which is co-convened by the Vice Provost for Faculty Development, and Diversity; the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

The Diversity Cabinet serves as the university’s executive body charged with keeping the issue of diversity at the forefront of the university's agenda. The Cabinet consists of executive officers and provides strategic advice to the Provost on how to continue to improve campus diversity.

Please visit the following website for more information:
For more information, please visit:

Stanford University was originally founded as a tuition-free institution and has a history of supporting the education of first-generation and/or low-income students. The Office of Financial Aid keeps this spirit alive with its generous need-based financial aid packages.

In 2011 Stanford created the Diversity and First Gen (DGEN) Office to support the campus life of first-generation and/or low-income students. The DGEN Office provides campus leadership for students, faculty and staff to consciously and actively affirm intersectional identities and foster intergroup relationships. Through research, forums, classes and workshops, the office builds student capacity and confidence to experience a sense of belonging and develop authentic connections with people from different backgrounds. Within this mission is a special focus on enriching the experience of first-generation and low-income college students by supporting their academic and social transitions, empowerment and community building.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of staff (including administrators) that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of faculty that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence trainings and activities for each of the groups identified above:

The President and Provost have delegated responsibilities for the implementation of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action programs and activities at Stanford University to the director of the Diversity and Access Office. The director assists in developing the University's Affirmative Action Plan (AAP), oversees its implementation, and reviews employee recruiting, hiring and training. The office also coordinates and monitors the University's compliance with the training requirements of federal and state non-discrimination laws, including providing guidance and evaluating efforts to improve equal employment and access to campus facilities, programs and activities, and providing training to faculty and staff regarding disability accommodations. The Diversity & Access Office provides resources to support a community of fairness and respect, while complying with related laws and guidelines.

Overseen by the Diversity & Access Office, all staff undergo cultural competence training through both mandatory trainings and optional workshops. For instance, the Sexual Harrassment Policy Training is a required training for all staff every two years and includes content related to bias, gender, and diversity. Cultural differences and diverse lifestyles are also addressed in Stanford New Hire Orientation. In addition to required trainings, the Faculty Staff Help Center provides confidential and free counseling services and workshops for employees and their families.

Finally, Residential & Dining Enterprises offers a training for new employees titled, "R&DE Workplace Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Awareness." This course teaches key concepts about regional culture, cultural awareness, diversity/inclusion and how these concepts are applied to help create R&DE's Culture of Excellence. Employees learn basic concepts about emotional intelligence (EI) and how core EI skills help to recognize and respect differences in others to effectively resolve conflict. The course also reviews R&DE's core values and Stanford's commitment to inclusion and diversity and related policies, all of which sets performance standards for workplace diversity and inclusion practices.

All faculty undergo cultural competence training through both mandatory trainings and optional workshops. Presentations during New Faculty Orientation (NFO) by the Vice Provosts of Undergraduate Education, Graduate Education and Teaching and Learning point to the diversity of our student body and their diverse needs. NFO also includes presentations by senior staff leaders of the WorkLife Office and of the Student Disability Resource Center, who both speak very specifically to issues related to cultural differences, diverse student needs and perceptions and the faculty experiences and resources in working with those students in and out of the classroom.

All Stanford faculty are also required to attend Sexual Harassment Policy Training every two years. That training, whether in live theater or in the online modules, includes content related to bias, gender and diversity. In addition, the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences requires a Respectful Workplace training from all of its new members at the school (faculty, staff and students). This training also includes substantial content related to cultural and gender diversity, both in student-student interactions and in student-faculty interactions. The School of Medicine has also instituted a Respectful Workplace training that was mandated at its inception from all of the School’s faculty and staff, and is now offered at regular intervals.

Department Chairs are expected to attend quarterly workshops on various topics related to their roles and the university. In November 2017, the Diversity&Inclusion@Stanford initiative within the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, hosted the nationally-acclaimed scholar and author, Scott E. Page, who held a closed-door conversation with university faculty leaders and administrators as well as a well-attended public talk on the Diversity Bonus. The talk presented the economic incentive for a diverse workforce in a knowledge economy.

Faculty search committees are required to undergo a discussion related to diversity recruitment and bias in hiring and document those efforts in their recommendation of candidates for positions at Stanford. The Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity carries out those conversations, provides training to search committees, and offers resources to facilitate targeted recruitment of underrepresented minorities and women.

Finally, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity funds and runs a number of activities (workshops, training, seed funding grants) for faculty that aim to advance the University’s recruitment, support and retention of a diverse faculty. VPFDD funds small grants that support efforts made by faculty across departments and schools to explore, research and cultivate conversations on the various dimensions of diversity and its implications on campus. The grants range from a historical account of Stanford’s history on student advocacy and diversity, to a needs assessment for early career academic women in medicine, to a speaker series, workshops and seminars in the Departments of Classics, Writing and Rhetoric, Music and Materials Sciences and Engineering. This year, the office carried out a comprehensive campus-wide strategic planning effort focused on recruitment and engagement of diverse faculty under the Presidential IDEAL Initiative (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in Learning). The process focuses on engagement areas of climate, access to opportunities and leadership advancement.

All incoming students receive cultural competence training upon entering Stanford during New Student Orientation (NSO). The primary cultural competence training given to all students during NSO is entitled Faces of Our Community (Faces for short) and is orchestrated by the DGEN office. In fact, this training is the highest rated New Student Orientation program. It is designed to introduce incoming students to the unique and varied personal stories and talents of current students. Faces strives to be honest, representative, evocative, and encouraging. The objectives of Faces are:
1. To provide new students with a sense of the culturally rich environment they are entering.
2. To promote respect and appreciation for the range of dynamic people who are integral to our community's health and success.
3. To encourage reflection on one's own identities and the range of identities one will encounter.
4. To encourage further exploration and learning about cultural differences and similarities, and how our interactions enhance the quality of the education process.

As a follow-up to Faces, residential staff are available to further engage incoming students on the important issues of intersectionality raised by the Faces program. Prior to NSO, all residential staff are trained and given a “tools for engagement” handout with basic facilitation tips to encourage open and honest discussion. Following the Faces presentation, RAs are invited to facilitate a dorm discussion to assist students in reflecting and sharing the feelings and insights that they gained from the event. Students often cite Faces as one of the most powerful and positive aspects of their welcome to Stanford, and the dorm discussion can enliven and enrich that sentiment.

DGEN also hosts a suite of other trainings that complement the mandatory Faces of our Community training and keep students engaged in cultural competence trainings throughout their time at Stanford. DGEN hosts Residential Education trainings in student houses, trains RAs in diversity and inclusion, holds forums for Residential Fellows, and hosts ongoing trainings for ResEd professional staff, classes, campus, student clubs, staff groups, and community centers. Engaging Difference is the DGEN office’s foundational workshop designed to introduce participants to the guiding frameworks utilized by the office. The workshop covers: Intent and Impact, From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces, Cultural Humility and Intersectionality.

The DGEN office has also developed a new workshop in partnership with Residential Education entitled, “Beyond the Line” (BTL). The goal of Beyond the Line is authentic engagement across differences. Through responding to a series of statements, participants engage in deliberate dialogue and discussion on issues of critical importance. The statements included in BTL aim to dig deeper into contentious identity-based topics at Stanford, supporting all participants in actively listening and engaging with different viewpoints. In giving participants the tools to listen and acknowledge their own preconceived assumptions about others, BTL equips them to interrogate their own experiences and engage new perspectives and ideas. Beyond the Line has been held with a wide range of students, staff and faculty including ResEd professional staff, executive groups, all RAs and Row House staff, Resident Fellows (faculty), and other student and staff groups. Staff and students are also able to undergo Beyond the Line Facilitator training.

The Courageous Conversations Forum was a student-led program that hosted students engaged in an interactive dialogue about how to explore difficult topics at Stanford through Stanford's OpenXChange forum. Consistent with findings in other forums, students reported that they wanted more discussion of identity topics in both residential and academic settings and are currently developing a proposal to train additional students to facilitate dialogue across difference.

Finally, Faces of Our Year is an expansion of the Faces program designed to reconnect students to the powerful conversations started their freshman year about identity, culture and community at Stanford. Many students have expressed that after their first experience with Faces of the Community, the conversation it created was never fully addressed again. Given the ever-increasing number of Faces applicants, there is definitely a student demand for more opportunities to share their stories. This provides a natural link for students and the OpenXChange mission. There will be separate events for sophomores, juniors and seniors that feature 3-4 monologues by speakers from their class followed by a dinner conversation on identity and community.

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:

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.