Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.39
Liaison Shoshana Dodge
Submission Date Nov. 12, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Tufts University
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 2.00 Mark Brimhall-Vargas
Chief Diversity Officer
Provost's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity and equity on campus?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on one or both of the following?:
Yes or No
Student diversity and equity Yes
Employee diversity and equity Yes

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

The university-wide Council on Diversity, established in 2012, was charged with determining how Tufts might best recruit, retain, and nurture a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff and with establishing how we might foster the cultural competence and attitudes necessary to support and sustain healthy and productive interactions both within and beyond such a diverse university community. More clearly defining and establishing the place of diversity in our institutional mission and strengthening the diversity-related skills and sensibilities of our students, faculty, and staff have emerged as top priorities for the university.

In 2014, a search for an Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Office (CDO) brought Dr. Mark Brimhall-Vargas to campus from the University of Maryland. As a senior campus leader in promoting an institutional culture that values and supports diversity on all of Tufts' campuses, his primary responsibilities as CDO include:

• Ensuring that the recommendations of the Council on Diversity are prioritized and operationalized.
• Ensuring that staff across the university involved with diversity and inclusion issues and initiatives are working in a manner that is congruent with and supportive of Tufts’ mission and vision.
• Overseeing defined central programmatic initiatives (e.g., graduate diversity recruitment).
• Developing metrics applicable to both the university and individual schools and divisions, and possibly a scorecard, to ensure accountability, tracking, and monitoring of efforts.
• Ensuring ongoing attention to metrics, benchmarking, and best practices with respect to diversity and inclusion.
• Advising senior leaders centrally and within schools and divisions on issues of diversity and inclusion.
• Supervising program staff to be assigned to CDO projects in accordance with the overall staffing model within the Office of the Provost.
• Providing annual updates to the Academic and Administrative Councils, as well as regular updates to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
• Representing Tufts with external stakeholders including the community to ensure Tufts’ commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond its campuses.
Going forward, Tufts’ president will chair an updated Council on Diversity 2.0, which will focus on policy and strategy and include limited university-wide representation. In addition, the CDO will convene a Diversity Coordinating Committee, which will focus on cultivating organizational effectiveness with respect to diversity and inclusion and involve diversity point persons from each school, division, and major department. This committee will share best practices and resources to address issues around diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Brimhall-Vargas is now in the process of convening 1) a senior leadership team that will focus on the strategic vision of the campus called the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (DILC) and 2) an operations and implementation group called the Diversity & Inclusion Working Group (DIWG). Together, these two groups will conduct university-wide change processes..

The full-time equivalent of people employed in the diversity and equity office:

The website URL where information about the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer is available:
Does the institution make cultural competence trainings and activities available to all members of the following groups?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Staff No
Faculty No
Administrators No

A brief description of the cultural competence trainings and activities:

Examples of trainings and activities for students:

• The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service serves every student at Tufts University by supporting them to maximize their positive impact with communities on and off campus. Through advocacy, research, service, and many other opportunities, the school partners with students to identify engaging courses, avenues for mentorship, and activities that match their interests.
• Orientation for incoming first-year undergraduate students includes two programs directly concerned with diversity.
• The Office of Intercultural & Social Identities Programs (ISIP) engages students in an exploration of individual and group social identities. Through the lens of social justice education, ISIP highlights the importance of respecting and appreciating racial, ethnic, and identity diversity.
• Specifically for graduate students, the Multi- Ethnic Graduate Alliance (MEGA) is a social and educational organization serving all Tufts graduate and professional students. The organization brings together students from all backgrounds and life experiences for social and educational events often planned by the students themselves.
• The medical school and dental school provide mandatory online training programs for students to complete prior to undertaking work in their host communities. This training includes a heavy emphasis on personal social identity and sensitivity while working in diverse communities. This program is currently being adapted for the veterinary and nutrition schools.
• Tisch College has created Civic Seed, a video game, to prepare students prior to engaging in community work. This game includes a heavy emphasis on personal social identity and sensitivity to working in diverse communities.

Examples of trainings and activities for staff, including administrators:
• The Office of Intercultural & Social Identities Programs (ISIP) offers infrastructure to staff from around the University for creating and promoting university-wide events, activities and resources for underrepresented groups.

Examples of trainings and activities for faculty:
• Tufts University’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) is a central resource for faculty at all schools and divisions at Tufts. CELT promotes teaching innovation and supports teaching-related initiatives while collaborating and coordinating faculty development initiatives between campuses. CELT offers workshops, events, and an array of other resources.

The website URL where information about the cultural competence trainings is available:

The University has filled the position of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). The CDO has one professional staff employee and other partial assistants through the Office of the Provost. The CDO works closely with many offices and individuals around the university to achieve Tufts’ diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Responsibility for diversity, equity, and inclusion activities is distributed to many offices and individuals at Tufts, including:
• Deans of students and Deans’ offices at each school
• Academic and faculty affairs officers
• Affirmative action officers in each university unit
• All cultural center directors and center staff
• All employees of the Office of Equal Opportunity

The Office of Equal Opportunity offers Non-Discrimination Policy trainings available to all employees at the university. Although not all staff have participated in this training, all personnel who are responsible for hiring and promoting employees and for the development and implementation of university programs or activities are charged to support this non-discrimination effort.

Recommendations from the Council on Diversity report, released in December 2013, call for trainings to be made available to staff. Implementation is set to begin in 2014.

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