Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.66
Liaison Eric Boles
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Arkansas
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Yvette Murphy-Erby
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion
"---" 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:


The University of Arkansas (University) is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. The University prohibits discrimination (including discriminatory harassment, and sexual harassment) against any student, applicant for admission, employee, applicant for employment, affiliate, subcontractor, on-site contractual staff, agency employee, third party or community member, visitors to campus and others participating in campus programs or receiving campus services. The University prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Discriminatory actions are prohibited based on an individual’s actual or perceived association with the following categories, herein called “protected class”: race/color; national or ethnic origin; age; religion; disability; sex; sexual orientation; gender; gender identity and expression; marital or parental status; military or veteran status; genetic information; and any other characteristic protected under applicable University policy, state or federal law/executive order.

As addressed in separate policies, the University will provide reasonable accommodations for applicants, employees, students, and others participating in University programs and services who require a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Further, the University provides religious accommodations required for applicants, students and employees as required by law.

The University also prohibits retaliation based on a protected activity, such as the filing of a complaint of alleged discrimination (including discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment) or participation in the investigation of such a claim. Any witness, complainant or respondent involved in an investigation shall not be retaliated against for their participation in the fact-finding process.

The University reserves the right to address, as an administrative matter, conduct that does not constitute a violation of this policy, but nevertheless is inappropriate in a professional work or educational environment.

University is committed to building and maintaining a diverse community to reflect human differences and to improve opportunities for all. The University is committed to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination. This commitment is both a moral imperative consistent with a campus community that celebrates individual differences and diversity, as well as a matter of law.

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):

The University has two primary pathways for addressing discrimination: The Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (OEOC) and the Office of the Dean of Students, which oversees the Office of Student Standards and Conduct.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance guides, assists and monitors the University community to ensure fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the processes that affect education and employment by enforcing all federal/state laws and regulations as well as university policies and procedures related to civil rights, equal employment opportunity, and non-discrimination.

The Office of Student Standards and Conduct is committeed to promoting a safe, healthy, and inclusive community where students can pursue their academic endeavors and grow into productive global citizens. This is accomplished through the investigation, adjudication, and sanctioning as it relates to the behaviorial standards as outlined in the Code of Student Life and related Student Life codes, such the Housing Policy, Greek Life Social Policy, and Registered Student Organizations and Events Policy.

Generally speaking, OEOC would likely handle workplace or staff and faculty issues, while the Office of Student Standards and Conduct would handle student issues. The Title IX office is currently housed under the Office of Student Standards and Conduct but is in the process of moving to OEOC.

In 2020, the Code of Student Life sections on Harassment and Discrimination or Discriminatory Harassment were updated to better align with Fayetteville city policies. The update came after a few years of student advocacy for language changes.

Students who experience or witness bias or encounter other obstacles to learning—a mental health crisis, family death, financial stress—can be referred to or directly contact UofA Cares. UofA Cares provides referrals, resources, and other information to students in need we seek to empower students to take advantage of the offices and services that exist on the University of Arkansas campus and in the local community in a manner that allows them to achieve their full potential. Those services may include, but are not limited to, contacting instructors on behalf of the student to request deadline extensions, connecting the student with physical or mental health resources, and providing direct financial support.

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:

In order to enhance educational diversity, the University of Arkansas seeks to include and integrate individuals from varied backgrounds and with varied characteristics such as those defined by race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and intellectual perspective. Expanding outreach and recruitment efforts will assist the university in making good faith efforts to recruit, employ, and promote qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans.

In accordance with the Proactive Recruiting Policy, departments and campus units will be required to use at least three recruitment activities within their respective discipline or field that target diverse populations. For the complete policy, visit:
or https://vcfa.uark.edu/fayetteville-policies-procedures/vcdc/2041.php

In an effort to assist departments with recruitment sources, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance and the Office of Human Resources have purchased or secured campuswide licenses to the sources listed under Resources. Jobs posted to the university career site will automatically be placed on these sources, no action is required of departments and these sources do not count towards the proactive recruitment requirements.

Recruit programs aimed at recruiting underrepresented students include:
The Honors College Path Program prepares exceptional high school students from underrepresented populations to excel at the University of Arkansas. They offer scholarships and, once here on campus, they will pair PATH Scholars with peer and professional mentors who help make the most of the college experience. The Path Program encourages academic success and leadership development for each student, and offers access to advising for scholarships, financial aid, student abroad, undergraduate research, service learning, and campus leadership.

The Lemke Journalism Project program is offered to local underrepresented high school students interested in writing about diversity issues in northwest Arkansas.

The Accounting Career Awareness Program is a Summer residency for underrepresented rising high school juniors and seniors interested in accounting and business careers.

The Business Leadership Academy program provides underrepresented incoming freshman with tools to develop leadership skills and awareness of career and educational opportunities.

The Fleischer Scholars Program is a Summer residency for underrepresented rising high school seniors that offers a four-year partial college scholarship. Through the program students learn about resources and develop skills to be successful.

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in conjunction with the Dean’s Office, will provide summer research support for faculty and/or Ph.D. student research projects pertaining to diversity and inclusion. The research support is intended to stimulate, support, and recognize outstanding research projects related to diversity and inclusiveness as well as to promote diversity research as a legitimate and valued area of scholarship.

The Technology Awareness Program is a Summer residency for underrepresented high school juniors and seniors interested in the field of computer information systems.

Partners for Inclusive Communities: Partners achieves its mission by assessing the needs of individuals with disabilities, then addressing those needs through research, education, community service, training, technical assistance and collecting and sharing information.

Project RISE: Project RISE at the College of Education and Health Professions offers innovative, high quality, graduate level professional development for teachers. Educators serve an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse student population. The goal of the Realizing and Increasing Student Excellence program is to increase the number of ESL-endorsed (English as a Second Language), in-service teachers in Northwest Arkansas.

The Engineering Career Awareness Program recruits underrepresented students interested in a career in engineering. Through the program students receive a scholarship and develop skills to be successful.

The International Culture Team (ICT) is a team of international students, scholars, and their spouses, as well as, American students who have studied abroad who bring the world to the campus and NW Arkansas community through cultural presentations, demonstrations, cooking, displays, and performances.

Attracting Intelligent Minds (AIM) Conference: This program is hosted annually by The University of Arkansas Black Graduate Student Association, in conjunction with the Graduate School and International Education. The annual conference provides opportunities for prospective graduate students from historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions to learn about the U of A graduate programs, funding sources and research opportunities. Those in attendance will also meet with faculty and students from their programs of interest.

The Benjamin Franklin Lever Tuition Fellowship is designed to increase diversity within graduate degree programs by providing financial assistance to graduate students from underrepresented groups. Lever Fellowships pays for graduate tuition up to 15 hours each fall and spring semester.

Summer Pre-Law Program (SPPARK) is offered to underrepresented rising college juniors and seniors who are interested in law school.

The Native Youth in Food & Agriculture Leadership Summit is offered to American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian youth who are interested in food and agriculture production or policy.

Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative: This initiative seeks to increase student enrollment in the land grant universities in food and agricultural-related disciplines by supporting existing students and creating early pipeline programs for youth, and creating new academic and executive education programs in food and agriculture, including law, policy, and tribal governance.

The LBGTQ+ Community mentoring program accepts applications to be apart of the mentoring program. They also have student recruitment for whoever wishes to be mentees.

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:

Employee resource groups are voluntary, employee-initiated groups of University of Arkansas faculty and staff who share common interests, backgrounds, characteristics or pursuits. Employee Resource Groups are formed to assist the University in accomplishing its mission of teaching, research and service by strengthening diversity, fostering community and improving retention of students, faculty and staff. Establishing a diverse, supportive community in which to work and learn is critical in preparing students to participate in an increasingly global economy, and enhances the University’s ability to develop new knowledge and provide effective service throughout Arkansas and the world. Current employee resource groups include the African-American Resource Group, Latino Resource Group, Lavender (LGBTQIA+) Employee Resource Group, and Veterans Resource Group.

Students, faculty, and staff can undergo formal Safe Zone Allies training to become a certified Safe Zone Ally and provide support to LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff. Safe Zone Allies are members of the University of Arkansas who believe that all students and people in the campus community should be treated equally and fairly regardless of sexual orientation and and gender. Allies are supportive and affirming of LGBTQIA+ students and employees and their identities. Allies listen without judgment, provide safe spaces for visitors to share their concerns, and refer visitors appropriately to resources for assistance.
The U of A LGBTQIA+ Mentoring program pairs LGBTQIA+ student with “out” LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff who assist students in developing a positive sexual orientation and gender identity while developing knowledge, skills and tools to success navigate life in the fullness of who they are and want to be. The program features opportunities for mentors and mentees to be build community, connect to a larger LGBTQAI+ community networks, engage in educational learning, and have fun.
As part of the Multicultural Center's College Access Initiative team, La Oficina Latina's main purpose is to promote Latinx academic excellence within the University campus, as well as throughout the state through college readiness workshops and diversity education. The goal is to create an inclusive and diverse campus for Latinx students, faculty, staff and our local community.
The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education provides academic, cultural and social programs intended to promote inclusiveness, foster achievement and assist in the development and advancement of a diverse student body. They host college readiness workshops, diversity and inclusion events, and academic enrichment programs. The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education, or “MC” for short, is a campus community focused on welcoming all students while valuing, engaging, and empowering them to achieve their full potential. It also serves as a physical space in the Student Union where students, faculty, and staff can gather to socialize, hold events, study, and more.
The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education offers many programs and drives initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion on campus, including Heritage Months, trivia nights, “First Fridays” (themed activities surrounding diverse identities, usually in line with heritage months on the first Friday of every month), and graduations for students with underrepresented or marginalized identities.

The Academic Enrichment Program (AEP) is a student success program designed to enhance the college experience of first-generation, low-income and other underrepresented students by providing a combination of effective advisement and mentorship, student development opportunities, academic coaching, and multiple different learning experiences. AEP is open to any student who desires to engage in a diverse support program designed to ensure their success at the University of Arkansas and beyond. Students may apply for participation at any time during the semester. AEP is made up of several different student group cohorts with different interests and needs.
The MC hosts the Men of Distinction program, which seeks to improve retention and student success at the University of Arkansas for ethnically diverse first-generation, low-income Arkansan students, particularly minority men from regions of the state that are especially underrepresented among the state’s college-going population. The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education achieves this mission by creating a sense of belonging through community building and one-on-one mentoring. The program features workshops for academic success, personal discipline, goal-setting, financial literacy, and career planning. These workshops are all designed to help students get and keep scholarships, stay on track to graduation, and practice workplace skills for post-graduate success.

The MC also hosts the Bachelors and Beyond programs provides junior and senior students in the center’s Academic Enrichment program to engage in six workshops focused on equipping them with the personal and professional tools that empowers them to effectively pursue their life-long passions and purpose. The workshops provide participants with the opportunity to examine their career identity, major, co-curricular experiences, and personal brand.

Additionally, the Alumni Association includes multiple identity-based alumni groups, such as the PRIDE Alumni Society, the Black Alumni Society, the Latino Alumni Society, and the International Alumni Society. These societies provide mentorship opportunities to current students, faculty, and staff, host events, and support Arkansas alumni across the world.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers high-quality clinical, outreach, consultation, training, and research services to the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Arkansas. CAPS has multiple diversity-focused webinars and hosts a website with lists of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, and international student mental health resources. Additionally, CAPS hosts multiple focused counseling groups, including a group that serves as a safe space for women and a group for individuals in recovery.

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 goal of the Doctoral Scholars Program is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities. Since its founding in 1993, the program has supported more than 1,800 scholars who have attended 107 institutions in more than 30 states.

The UofA Diversity Corporate Advisory Board develops initiatives to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students at the undergraduate and graduate levels and provides them opportunities to advance within both corporate and academic careers at the UofA and beyond.

The Bachelors and Beyond program was designed to help juniors and seniors of underrepresented groups by preparing them for their careers by developing their personal and professional skills.

Additionally, the UofA Diversity Affairs Office's primary duty is to, "assist in the recruitment and/or retention of faculty and staff upon the request of the Vice-Chancellor for Diversity and Community or other University officials."


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:

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.