Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.67
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Dr. Malika Carter
Chief Diversity Officer
Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
"---" 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:

ESF's Nondiscrimination Policy:

Pursuant to State University of New York policy, ESF is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic.

ESF's policy is in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and harassment. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, and the New York State Human Rights Law. These laws prohibit discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and other laws, regulations and policies prohibiting discrimination are directed to:

-For students: Dean of Student Affairs, 110 Bray Hall, aelombard@esf.edu
-For employees: Director of Human Resources, 216 Bray Hall, mabarber@esf.edu
-For athletics equity: Dean of Student Affairs, 110 Bray Hall, aelombard@esf.edu
-For general inquiries, including vendors, visitors and guests: Vice President for Administration, 208 Bray Hall, jlrufo@esf.edu

More information can be found at: http://www.esf.edu/administration/titleIX/discrimination.htm

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

Title IX is the federal anti-discrimination law that states: "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid." (Title IX 1972 Education Amendments).

Title IX bans discrimination throughout the College and campus community -- in all programs and activities including, but not limited to, academic and athletic programs, financial aid and student records and accounts, health and counseling services, and housing and residence life programs. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence, which is a crime.
All students, employees and visitors should be aware of these expectations.

Reporting an Incident:

If someone experiences or observes an incident of sexual discrimination, harassment, violence or exploitation on or off campus, the incident should be reported to: ESF University Police (24/7) at (315)-470-6666. University Police Officers have received specialized training to attend to the needs and concerns of victims of sexual offenses and relationship violence.

Or, individuals responsible for Title IX (noted above) and may be reached during College business hours, Monday through Friday, 8am-4:30pm:

The individual will be asked to make a written acknowledgement describing: (1) the College employee or representative who spoke to or worked with the individual as well as the date; (2) which options the individual would like to pursue, if any including the criminal justice system and the student conduct process; and (3) that the individual received information about resources (medical, counseling, environmental relief).

If a complaint is filed, the individual has a right to adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of the complaint, the right to present evidence and witnesses, and the right to appeal the conclusions of investigators or hearing officers. If the individual does not file a complaint, the College is obligated by federal mandate to investigate the incident in order to seek further understanding for the protection of recurrences.

The College will issue a "cease all contact" order to the accused (with a copy to the individual) that prohibits any contact—personal, written, electronic—by the accused or his/her associates acting on behalf of the accused with or without their knowledge.

The College can address conditions in the individual's living, learning or working environment to reduce the level of hostility in that environment, such as room assignment changes, class changes, work location changes, or limits on access for the accused.

The individual will be notified of the time frame within which the College will conduct a full investigation related to the report or complaint. The College will decide outcomes of the complaint, the sanctions imposed upon the accused, and all aspects of the complaint that relate to the individual and may affect the individual's learning, living, or working environment. The individual will be notified of the outcome of the complaint submitted and any conditions of the outcome that may affect the individual.

If the individual, or the individual's witnesses are subjected to retaliation (pressure, intimidation, or coercion by the accuser or his/her associates, with or without the accuser's knowledge), the individual should immediately report the incident so the College can investigate and take action.
The individual may opt for a voluntary informal method of resolving the complaint (mediation, alternative dispute resolution, etc.). if the College deems the incident to warrant an informal approach, the individual may choose to end such informal resolution methods at any time and choose to proceed with formal stages of this complaint process.

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

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

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

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

ESF has designed and is implementing for the second year, a diversity pipeline project specifically targeting underrepresented students from the New York City area via the SEO (Sponsors for Education Opportunity) program.

As for faculty, SUNY created a faculty diversity hiring initiative allowing institutions and departments to put together proposals to attract underrepresented faculty candidates to their campus. ESF's Department of Environmental Studies participated and was successful in hiring a candidate. https://www.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/diversity/2018-19_FDP-Guidelines.pdf

For staff, ESF Employees have completed Race & Equity Institute in which campus leaders completed an eight-week professional learning series that included eight 90-minute virtual modules taught synchronously one day each week. One group focused on Race "Equity Project: Diversifying our College Community through Effective Pipelining of Faculty and Staff". The objective of this group is to effectively and strategically increase representation of staff and faculty with diverse identities in the recruiting pipelines to our college community in the next five years, and creating a plan to do so. Details on the effort available at the following URL: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Afl9BrlQpXHIgf2fOU619nW1Q4Ay0cfnmVpIqowrHfc/edit#slide=id.p1

Members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​​"Diversifying the Hill" initiative​ ​in Syracuse, of which ESF is a leader, provide ​leadership​ ​strategies​ ​focused​ ​on expanding​ ​the​ ​economy​ ​of​ ​the​ ​City​ ​of​ ​Syracuse,​ ​expanding​ ​high-skill​ ​employment​ ​opportunities, creating​ ​new​ ​wealth​ ​and​ ​generating​ ​a​ ​better​ ​standard​ ​of​ ​living​ ​for​ ​all​ ​those​ ​who​ ​live,​ ​work,​ ​and play​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city,​ ​at​ ​the​ ​member​ ​institutions,​ ​and​ ​partnering​ ​businesses.​ ​​Diversifying the Hill organize​s ​its​ ​programmatic​ ​vision​ ​through​ ​seven​ ​dimensions​ ​of​ ​workplace​ ​diversity​ ​and​ ​wellness: Spiritual,​ ​Social,​ ​Intellectual,​ ​Occupational,​ ​Environmental,​ ​Physical,​ ​and​ ​Emotional.

Activities​ ​include,​ ​but​ ​are ​not​ ​limited​ ​to:

-Exchanging ​notification​ ​of​ ​job​ ​openings
-Personal​ ​contacts​ ​(face-to-face,​ ​phone​ ​conversations,​ ​etc.)
-Invitation​ ​for​ ​facility​ ​tours,​ ​open​ ​houses,​ ​and​ ​agency​ ​events
-Build​ing ​relationships​ ​even​ ​when​ ​not​ ​hiring
-Activities​ ​are​ ​tied-in​ ​to​ ​charitable​ ​giving​ ​and​ ​uplifting​ ​concealed​ ​community​ ​resources
-Sharing ​interagency​ ​outreach​ ​events/job​ ​fairs/conferences​ ​that​ ​target​ ​diverse candidates
-Recruiting​ ​from​ ​organizations​ ​that​ ​serve​ ​target​ ​groups​ ​at​ ​educational​ ​institutions
-Develop​ing ​strategies​ ​for​ ​inter-agency​ ​partner​ ​placement
-Develop​ing ​strategies​ ​for​ ​climate​ ​enrichment
-Develop​ing ​strategies​ ​for​ ​talent​ ​pipelining 

Faculty researchers play a vital role in recruiting, teaching, evaluating, and recommending the most qualified students for study at ESF, internships, and long-term employment. Unfortunately, due to societal ills, underrepresented people, including, but not limited to gender and race minorities are, not often deliberately supported within industry, academic fields, and training grounds of postsecondary institutions. Each faculty member has an opportunity to represent their respective fields and ESF as increasingly diverse and welcoming during the research grant application process.

If faculty researchers have an NSF grant, there are a number of supplemental mechanisms that they can apply for that will fund expansion for research experiences of underrepresented high school (RAHSS) and undergraduate students (REU). Additionally, there are a number of opportunities that are targeted towards specifically increasing diversity in NSF programs.

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The primary support entities for underrepresented students at ESF are housed in the Student Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Office which includes mentoring, peer support, and coaching along with programming. Mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, etc. are all available to students who are members of the state sponsored CSTEP and EOP programs.

The most prominent support group on campus for faculty and staff would arise from the ESF Women's Caucus, as SUNY defines gender identity as a part of the system's diversity and inclusion definition. Further, ESF has an informal Professional of Color group that is organized by the Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Office. General supports are available for all employees via the ESF Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

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 Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (OIDE) at ESF recognizes that academics are not trained any issues of inclusion. Rather, they are trained in their academic disciplines. The opportunity to present anti-bias modules to of the ESF community became a goal of OIDE. Consequently, OIDE worked with faculty and student leaders to construct the outline, flow, and other aspects anti-bias professional development. Please see this mock webpage (still in draft form) where we hope to post names of module completers (with their permission) https://www.esf.edu/ide/antibias.htm/

While this professional development opportunity is marketed to the entire campus community, there is specific value embedded inside of the content that speaks to the experience of underrepresented people on our campus.

The institution also has a diversity fellowship available as part of a partnership with Sony system. More information can be found at following website: https://www.suny.edu/diversity/diversity-programs/

The Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program is a SUNY-wide initiative housed at ESF that offers fellowships to students who have been admitted to graduate or professional study. This program is intended to assist in the recruitment, enrollment and retention of students in doctoral and master’s level programs who can demonstrate that they contribute to the diversity of the student body, especially those who can show that they have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education.

The Doctoral Diversity Fellowships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is awarded to academically exceptional students who have been admitted to SUNY’s doctoral degree granting institutions and will commence their graduate studies in STEM fields.

The ‌Exploration in Diversity and Academic Excellence initiative provides SUNY’s state-operated universities and colleges with support for innovative approaches that illuminate and strengthen the intersections between diversity and academic excellence. SUNY ESF benefitted from this program 2018-2019, with funding to support a New Faculty Orientation whereby faculty were encouraged to think about their curricular resources and approaches to retain underrepresented scholars and the orientation was also designed to teach faculty new skills and give timely campus-specific information toward classroom and campus climate improvement.

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?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

An additional program ESF has that is offered to Women on campus: ESF Women’s Caucus.

The ESF Women's Caucus was formed by a group of ESF students, staff, and faculty who wanted an opportunity to work and socialize with other women. The first meeting convened November 17, 1994, as a brown-bag lunch discussion. The Caucus aims to raise consciousness about women's concerns, work for change to improve the climate for women at ESF, and create a community that is a respectful forum for diverse ideas. The goals are to increase the number of women students and faculty at ESF, find ways for women to better communicate and coordinate or sponsor activities that benefit them, and improve services for ESF families. Any woman student (undergraduate or graduate), staff member or faculty member, including any woman that is at ESF part-time, can join the Women's Caucus. The Women’s Caucus facilitates numerous environmental lectures on the ESF campus each semester.

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.