Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.27
Liaison Konrad Schlarbaum
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Andrea Herrera
Associate Vice Chancellor of Inclusion and Academic Engagement
Inclusion and Academic Engagement
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

Detailed Diversity Report for CU System 2016-2017 - specific section on UCCS reports increased diversity in faculty, staff, and students as a result of significant focus on recruitment and supporting programs.

A Social Climate Survey was sent out to all staff and faculty of the Colorado University system in May of 2014 aimed at determining how well CU is promoting diversity in all its forms.
According to CU system:
Promoting diversity in all its forms is one of CU’s guiding principles and core values. The Laws of the Regents, as well as state and federal statutes, prohibit the University of Colorado from unlawful discrimination against its students, faculty, and staff. This commitment must go beyond a written prohibition. We will only know if CU is upholding its obligation to prevent unlawful discrimination by affirmatively reaching out and asking the university community about its experiences. To make CU a better place for everyone, we need to gather information that lets us know where we stand and where we need to direct our attention. Recommendation to survey every 2 years.

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

Social Climate Survey shows many positives, some room for improvement - 2014
By Jay Dedrick | CU system
The University of Colorado has a tolerant, respectful social climate, according to a recent systemwide survey requested by the Board of Regents, though some areas present opportunities for improvement.

The board was presented with the Social Climate Survey results on Thursday, June 26, during the first day of a two-day meeting at CU Denver on the Auraria Campus.

McLaughlin & Associates conducted the survey in April and May, and provided a summary presentation of results at the meeting. John McLaughlin provided an overview.

“In looking at this environment of respect you’re creating, you’re doing pretty well across the board, but you have some areas with room for improvement,” McLaughlin told the board.

The report’s executive summary indicated that the survey was successful, with 9,301 total respondents, representing more than 12 percent of the CU community (1,984 faculty, or 13 percent; 2,247 staff, or 28 percent; and 5,070 students, or 10 percent).

Across the campuses, the majority believe CU promotes on-campus environments that respect students, faculty members and staff. Students were mostly in agreement, with 82 percent indicating that belief, followed by faculty (75 percent) and staff (74 percent).
Among the key positive findings:

Respect on campus: Most students, faculty and staff that reported that CU promotes an environment of respect regardless of social identity.

Respect within units: The majority of students, faculty and staff reported that their particular academic or work unit promotes an environment of respect regardless of social identity.

Diversity of population: Survey results demonstrated broad ranges of diversity across many social identities, including race and ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation and political philosophy.
Among the findings that identify areas with room for improvement:

Perceived prejudice and discrimination: The overwhelming majority of the CU community reported that they have not been subject to prejudice or discrimination, though “significant numbers of respondents reported that they have experienced prejudice or discrimination ‘sometimes’ or ‘frequently.’”

Bases of prejudice and discrimination: Among those who reported they had experienced some typee of prejudice or discrimination, the types of discrimination varied. Students indicated gender (34 percent) and religion (32 percent) most; faculty responded gender (48 percent) and age (33 percent) most; staff responded age (44 percent) and gender (41 percent) most.

Political affiliation and political philosophy: CU is unique in recognizing political affiliation and political philosophy as protected characteristics under the Laws of the Regents, McLaughlin said.

“Although in the minority, significant numbers of students, faculty, and staff, particularly students on the Boulder campus, disagreed with the premise that they are respected regardless of their political affiliations and political philosophies,” the summary reports.

Knowledge of complaint mechanisms: On average, 61 percent of students across all campuses indicated they would not know how to make a complaint of discrimination.

McLaughlin said this first survey of its kind establishes valuable benchmarks that can be used for comparison in the future. Potential follow-up questions might address who engages in prejudicial or discriminatory conduct, where the conduct occurs and what constitutes such conduct.

“This provides us a baseline – that’s what’s really important,” said Regent Irene Griego, D-Lakewood. “This survey gives a message to our entire community that we care about these areas.”

The board is recommending that CU conduct a Social Climate Survey every two years to track progress over time.

With the survey complete, the board now is asking the campuses and system administration to analyze the data and report on any efforts being made to address findings of concern. In the executive summary, the Board of Regents encourages the campuses to share the data with campus constituents and to invite discussion on how to improve the campus culture and how to increase diversity in all forms.

The summary also lists several points of contact for the reporting of instances of discrimination and prejudice. “The Board of Regents encourages any member of the University of Colorado community who has experienced prejudice or discrimination in an educational or employment setting to report their experience to the officials charged with investigating these allegations. There are also counseling services and other resources available to members of the University of Colorado community.”

The Social Climate Survey originated last September with a regent resolution, which passed unanimously. While surveys have been conducted previously on campuses, this was the first to measure progress on a systemwide basis.

Since this first survey numerous efforts to address issues identified have been pursued. Highlights include annual system-wide Diversity Summits, a new position of VP of Diversity for the CU system, continued updates for Diversity Strategic Plan. There has been an increase in student support through the Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusion, and Engagement.

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

Assessment results were shared in article online (included above), with CU Board of Regents, and with various committees on the 4 campuses. Diversity Plan shared online and also discussed in staff council and faculty assembly and leadership team.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary:

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.