|Submission Date||March 5, 2021|
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups
|3.00 / 3.00||
Chief Diversity Officer
Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
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.
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)?:
A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:
The process starts with notification. To that end, the ESF Bias Reporting System is in place and functional. Should an infraction to our policy regarding discrimination and harassment occur, the institution is well-equipped to manage claims of protected class discrimination. For more information https://www.esf.edu/ide/retaliation.htm and https://www.esf.edu/ide/bias.htm and https://www.esf.edu/administration/titleix/
When investigations are conducted, the College completes the following steps:
JURISDICTIONAL REVIEW and ASSESSMENT
Once a situation has been identified, it is reviewed and routed to the appropriate office, department, or community resource. This may be OIDE. It may be Student Affairs. It may be Human Resources.
If the alleged conduct may violate one or more College policies the respondent and complainant (if participating) will be notified that an investigation will proceed. The investigation may involve, among other activities, interviewing parties and relevant witnesses and obtaining relevant documents or other evidence.
Individuals who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination, or hate crime are supported by the TIX Coordinator/AAO. An individual meeting is held and they are provided with a variety of community and campus resources for support. A standard follow up and check in is also done on the student/employee community member later on. See the files section below for more information about resources provided.
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:
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. Additionally, PRODiG ("Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Growth") aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty at SUNY ESF including underrepresented minority ("URM") faculty in general and women faculty of all races in STEM fields (“WSTEM”).
Regarding 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 the 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 organizes 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
- Building 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
- Developing strategies for inter-agency partner placement
- Developing strategies for climate enrichment
- Developing 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. This is encouraged by the chief diversity officer and vice president for research.
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.
More specifically regarding recruitment of students from underrepresented groups, the College partnered Sponsors for Educational Opportunities until 2019 (pre-pandemic). This was a summer STEM precollege program intended to develop a pipeline of underrepresented high school students from the New York City metro area. The College is looking at the SEO program and other similar community based organizations (CBOs) to continue a relationship post-pandemic. The intent is to build out the pipeline to include touchpoints throughout the academic year, create career exploration and other services via the aforementioned touchpoints, and include opportunities for paid internships and job placement.
The College will be increasingly utilizing its current ESF in the High School program to recruit underrepresented students from other metro areas in upstate New York. Other partnerships included with groups like the Onondaga Earth Corp and the ESF Alumni of Color, and leadership with the nascent Diversifying the Adirondacks initiative. In addition, pipeline and reciprocal arrangements continue to grow with community colleges across the state (to encourage transfer students from underrepresented groups).
Recruitment of underrepresented non-academic staff include a comprehensive strategy to advertise open positions directly with CBOs and other agencies working with and serving underserved communities.
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:
The primary support entities for underrepresented people at ESF are supported via the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity 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 EOP programs. A prominent affinity 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. General supports are available for all employees via the ESF Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Diversity@ESF 24/7/365 is a series of facilitated gatherings for underrepresented people of all identities and their allies, serving as a stopgap until employee resource groups are established for employees and a physical space form underrepresented people to gather is determined.
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. https://www.esf.edu/ide/student-training-schedule.htm and https://www.esf.edu/hr/special-training.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?:
Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.