Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.83
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2023

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Lexi Chipules
Campus Facilities Wellness Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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.

More information can be found at: https://www.esf.edu/ide/discrimination.php

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 the College's 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.php and https://www.esf.edu/ide/bias.php and https://www.esf.edu/ide/training-schedule.php

When investigations are conducted, the College completes the following steps:


Once a situation has been identified, it is reviewed and routed to the appropriate office, department, or community resource. This may be the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity or the Division of Student Affairs or 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:
ESF's Cluster Hiring Initiative will help the College meet its strategic goals to drive faculty diversity, increase student experiential learning, and grow the impact of institutional research.


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”).

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 with 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 has been 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 entity for underrepresented people at ESF is 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. General supports are available for all employees via the ESF Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Louis Stokes Alliance of Minority Participation Program (LSAMP)

The LSAMP initiative supports historically underrepresented students in STEM.

The Central New York LSAMP Alliance (CNYLA) is a coalition of students, faculty, and staff committed to increasing diverse representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

Our alliance includes: SUNY ESF, Ithaca College, Utica College, SUNY Cortland, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Tompkins Cortland Community College, and Herkimer County Community College.

With resource sharing, the seven CNYLA schools are committed to working together to amplify benefits to their URM students:

- Improved faculty-student relationships through mentoring
- Strengthened student-peer relationships
- Increased early opportunities for first- and second-year students to participate in research as a complement to faculty's already strong involvement of upper-division students in research
- Facilitated STEM transfer pathways from two-year to four-year institutions. Such programming will help prepare students for 21st century STEM careers through strong experiential learning and professional development activities

The LSAMP program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to increase the number of STEM degrees awarded to Native American, African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander students. The CNYLA community enhances student success through faculty and peer mentorship, paid research experiences, and professional development opportunities.

CNYLA students have access to resources both on their home campus and alliance-wide multiplying opportunities for personal and professional networking and collaboration.

CNYLA activities will center around a summer program for students that begins the summer before their first year with opportunities to engage throughout all four years. Students will be provided financial support to participate in the summers.

A summer bridge at each individual member institution prior to fall semester that provides orientation to the alliance institutions, academic and research skills-building workshops, networking opportunities, and information on four-year schools and programs for community college students.

An early undergraduate research experience offered alliance-wide or an off-campus internship opportunity. Stipends and room and board will allow students to participate over the summer in these valuable experiential learning opportunities, and students can participate at a different alliance campus other than their home institution.

The program is in its second year and has welcomed two cohorts of students into the program.
Cohort 1: https://www.esf.edu/students/inclusion/lsamp/scholars.htm
Cohort 2: https://www.esf.edu/students/inclusion/lsamp/cohort2.htm

Faculty and staff members serve as mentors to LSAMP students. Weekly meetings are suggested and guiding questions are provided by program managers, if needed. Members of the Office of Sustainability have served as mentors since the program's launch in 2021.

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:
Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership
Integrating Indigenous and Scientific Knowledges for Environmental Sustainability

The Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at ESF recruits students for graduate study in diverse environmental sciences from ecology, sustainability, conservation biology to restoration and environmental engineering. As a member of the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership, the program provides funding for full tuition and stipends for Native American students pursuing MS and PhD degrees.


ESF Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program

ESF's Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program provides financial support, which may include full in-state tuition and a stipend, to graduate students who contribute to the diversity of the student body in their graduate programs and have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education. Funding is available for a maximum duration of two years for a master’s degree and three years for a doctoral degree.


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:
SUNY ESF Announces the Addition of a Campus Brave Space:

SUNY ESF Awarded Prestigious National Science Foundation Grant:

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.