Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Richard Miller
Director
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

“The University of Connecticut (the “University”) is committed to maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living and working environment for all members of the University community – students, employees, and visitors. Academic and professional excellence can exist only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of safety and mutual respect. All members of the University community are responsible for the maintenance of an environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination, discriminatory harassment or interpersonal violence. Discrimination diminishes individual dignity and impedes equal employment and educational opportunities.

The University does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its education or employment programs and activities on the basis of an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic information, physical or mental disability (including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and past or present history of mental illness), veteran’s status, prior conviction of a crime, workplace hazards to the reproductive system, gender identity or expression, or membership in any other protected classes as set forth in state or federal law. To that end, this Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence, Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Complicity, Retaliation and Inappropriate Amorous Relationships (the “Policy”) prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate state and federal laws, including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), and related state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Such behavior may also require the University to fulfill certain reporting obligations under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), as amended by VAWA, and Connecticut state law regarding reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
The University prohibits discrimination, as well as discriminatory harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual or gender-based harassment, complicity in the commission of any act prohibited by this Policy, retaliation against a person for the good faith reporting of any of these forms of conduct or participation in any investigation or proceeding under this Policy (collectively, “Prohibited Conduct”[1]). These forms of Prohibited Conduct are unlawful and undermine the mission and values of our academic community. In addition, inappropriate amorous relationships with employees in positions of authority can undermine the University’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority.

The University adopts this Policy with a commitment to: (1) eliminating, preventing, and addressing the effects of Prohibited Conduct; (2) fostering a safe and respectful University community; (3) cultivating a climate where all individuals are well-informed and supported in reporting Prohibited Conduct; (4) providing a fair and impartial process for all parties in the investigation and resolution of such reports; and (5) identifying the standards by which violations of this Policy will be evaluated and disciplinary action may be imposed. In addition, the University conducts ongoing prevention, awareness, and training programs for employees and students to facilitate the goals of this Policy.
A student or employee determined by the University to have committed an act of Prohibited Conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University. Third Parties who commit acts of Prohibited Conduct may have their relationships with the University terminated and/or their privileges of being on University premises withdrawn.

It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to foster an environment free of Prohibited Conduct. All members of the University community are encouraged to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of Prohibited Conduct. The University will support and assist community members who take such actions.
Retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports or participates in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of Prohibited Conduct is strictly forbidden.
This Policy applies to all reports of Prohibited Conduct occurring on or after the effective date of this Policy. Where the date of the Prohibited Conduct precedes the effective date of this Policy, the definitions of misconduct in effect at the time of the alleged incident(s) will be used. The procedures under this Policy, however, will be used to investigate and resolve all reports made on or after the effective date of this Policy, regardless of when the incident(s) occurred.”

Link to statement: http://policy.uconn.edu/2015/12/29/policy-against-discrimination-harassment-and-related-interpersonal-violence/


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to foster an environment free of Prohibited Conduct. All members of the University community are encouraged to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of Prohibited Conduct. The University will support and assist community members who take such actions, as follows.

Victims or witnesses to an act of bias and/or discriminatory harassment are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of Institutional Equity, which maintains such files. To the maximum extent permitted by law, OIE will safeguard the confidentiality of such complaints. Retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports or participates in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of Prohibited Conduct is strictly forbidden.

When the University receives a report of an act of bias to a designated office, the incident will be shared with one or more of the offices listed below. Staff will review the report and take actions as appropriate. The actions include:
• identify and provide support to impacted parties,
• review incident to determine possible violations of the law and/or student code of conduct,
• determine action steps to educate the impacted community and work to repair harm

Each report is reviewed individually and managed on a case-by-case basis.

Offices involved in the response process include but are not limited to:
• Dean of Students Office
• UConn Police Department or the State Police
• Community Standards
• Office of Institutional Equity
• Office for Diversity and Inclusion
• Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs (AVPSA), via other relevant staff members.

• Incidents may also be reported to Residential Life, Cultural Centers, or student organization advisors. Staff in these areas should report the incident to their supervisors.
• Regional campus students should report to the Director of Student Services:
 Avery Point (860) 405-9024
 Hartford (860) 570-9083
 Stamford (203) 251-8484
 Waterbury (203) 236-9800

When an incident is reported the University may offer interim measures as appropriate. Intermediated measures may include no contact orders, temporary residential relocations, loss of recognition. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting/

In order to protect victims and witnesses from retaliation or further harassment, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may impose an interim University Suspension, an interim Removal from Housing, an interim Loss of Recognition, and/or other necessary restrictions on a student prior to a student conduct resolution on the student’s alleged violation. Such action may be taken when, in the professional judgment of a University official, a threat of imminent harm to persons or property exists. Interim administrative action is not a sanction. It is taken in an effort to protect the safety, well-being and property of the respondent, the complainant, or any other parties involved in the incident, or of the University community in general. Interim administrative action is preliminary in nature; it is in effect only until there is a resolution of the student conduct matter. https://community.uconn.edu/the-student-code-part-v/

UConn’s Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) also offers a number of free mental health services and programs for students impacted by a bias incident. For example SHaW offers outreach services focused on Helping Students in Distress, and Helping Everyone Learn to Prevent Suicide (HELPS). https://counseling.uconn.edu/outreach-services/

Employees can also seek mental and emotional support services through UConn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). https://hr.uconn.edu/employee-assistance-program/

The website URL where more information about the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team is available:
http://policy.uconn.edu/2015/12/29/policy-against-discrimination-harassment-and-related-interpersonal-violence/
https://community.uconn.edu/the-student-code-part-v/
https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting/

An example of actions taken during a bias incident within the past three years can be found here: https://dailycampus.com/stories/2019/10/15/investigations-opened-into-racist-incident-outside-charter-oak-apartmentsnbsp

https://dailycampus.com/stories/2020/1/14/uconn-students-arrested-after-charter-oak-incident-sue-university


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The University of Connecticut’s Recruitment & Search Process Unit within the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) is responsible for monitoring employment transactions by providing consultation to departments and search committees on recruitment strategies and procedures and monitoring faculty and staff hiring decisions. The OIE works to ensure the University's commitment and responsibility to foster diverse and inclusive working and learning environments. Primarily, their work focuses on ensuring compliance with the University's non-discrimination policies and also state and federal laws and regulations related to equal opportunity and affirmative action. This Office also facilitates requests for workplace accommodations made by employees with disabilities. Major areas of focus include:
1. Americans with Disabilities Act (Title I) Compliance
2. Affirmative Action
3. Discrimination
4. Diversity
5. Education and Training
6. Search Process Compliance
7. Title IX Compliance
8. Sexual Violence Awareness.
Events that the Office holds on a regular basis are
Graduate Student - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, Faculty and Staff - Diversity Awareness Training, Graduate Student - Diversity Awareness Training
More information and supporting documents such as guidelines, interviews, and checklists can be found here: http://equity.uconn.edu/search-process/
Graduate Student Recruitment initiatives include:
• Multicultural and Outstanding Multicultural Scholar Program
• The COMPACT for Faculty Diversity Collaboration
• Graduate School Diversity Task Force
• Recruitment of Diverse Populations at National Meetings –
o Recruitment Teams composed of staff member, faculty and current graduate students
 Conferences Graduate School will be attending:
• ABRCMS: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students
• SACNAS: Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

MENTAS: Mentorship program centered around the Latinx community and experience on campus through the Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center
https://latinx.uconn.edu/about-metas/

AMP: Mentorship program centered around the Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander community and experience on campus through the Asian American Cultural Center
https://asacc.uconn.edu/programs/asiantation-mentoring-program-amp/

PA2SS: Mentorship program designed to assist first-year and transfer students through the African American Cultural Center
https://aacc.uconn.edu/programs/pa2ss-peer-mentoring-program/

F.A.M.I.L.E.E.: Mentorship program centered around the LGBTQIA+ student experience through the Rainbow Center
https://rainbowcenter.uconn.edu/familee/

Women in Stem (WiSTEM) Mentorship Program: Mentorship program for women in stem through the Women's Center
https://womenscenter.uconn.edu/get-involved/wistem/

Graduate Student Retention Initiatives:
• Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Conference
• Multicultural Celebratory
• Graduate School Diversity Task Force
Through the UConn Grad School Affinity Friends Series:
• Grad Students of Color
• LGBTQIA+ Grads
• International Grads
• Womxn-Identified Grads
• Grads with Family

Undergraduate Recruitment from Underrepresented Groups:
The NEAG School of Education strives to recruit a diverse array of prospective teachers. The Neag School of Education has been selected by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as one of ten institutions nationwide to participate in its Networked Improvement Community (NIC) aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino men in teacher preparation and into teaching. Participating institutions commit to increasing the number of young men of color in their teacher education programs by 25% over several years and participate in a networked knowledge-sharing community on effective methods.
Neag faculty and staff are members of the Connecticut Minority Teacher Recruitment Committee. The aim of the committee is to recruit, support and retain students of color into teacher preparation and the Connecticut teacher labor market.

NEAG also participates in Project LID. Project L.I.D (Leadership In Diversity) is dedicated to providing support for students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in the field of education. The aim is to help close the “lid” around educational equity and equip students with the necessary tools, networks and information to be competitive, well-rounded future educators.

More information can be found at http://education.uconn.edu/diversity/


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The school of engineering in coordination with the engineering diversity program sponsors a five week intensive study of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer programming. The purpose of the summer bridge program is to prepare underrepresented students for the engineering curriculum at UConn, present an orientation to careers in engineering and to familiarize students with the University of Connecticut and the college experience.

The New England Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NE LSAMP) program reaches out to minority student populations to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of under-represented minority STEM students beyond the levels achievable by any single institution. Each partner institution participates in Alliance-wide events and offers activities at its own campus. Working together, the NE LSAMP strives to double the overall number of under-represented minorities in STEM disciplines.

In addition to these two programs, support for underrepresented groups is achieved in many locations, including cultural centers that serve historically underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities (African American, Puerto Rican/Latin American, Asian American, Native American); The Center for Students with Disabilities; the Institute for Student Success for persons from low-income families and first generation to attend college; the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs; the Rainbow Center; and the Women’s Center. The Division of Student Affairs’ Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion Staff Development and UConn Diversity Task Force Report identifies over 1,100 initiatives and programs coordinated by the division during this past academic year.

There are also specific graduate Student Retention Initiatives:
• Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Conference
• Multicultural Celebratory
• Graduate School Diversity Task Force

The Center for Counseling and Mental Health Services is a mentoring service for all individuals at UConn, from students to staff to faculty.

Following is the diversity statement from the CMHS:

Counseling & Mental Health Services is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for the UConn community. We celebrate and honor the uniqueness and diversity of all individuals. We promote social justice and inclusivity throughout UConn and the broader global community through our clinical, outreach, and training services.

They also support the entire UConn community, especially those of underrepresented groups, in the following ways.

Community Support
Counseling & Mental Health Services appreciates our collaborative efforts with others in the UConn Community. In addition to the therapy groups offered at CMHS, we also offer free support groups in partnership with a variety of offices and programs at UConn.
Groups include:
• Hablemos, held Thursdays from 5:00-6:00pm at the Puerto Rican & Latin American Cultural Center (Student Union).
• International Chat group, held Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00pm at International Student & Scholar Services office (McMahon Hall 185).

Gender Affirmation Support
CMHS therapists are open and affirming to students who wish to address issues related to sexuality, gender expression, and gender identity. For students seeking assistance during their gender transition process, CMHS therapists can provide both therapeutic support as well as letters for gender-related medical interventions as indicated in the course of therapy.
For further information about campus and community resources, please visit the UConn Rainbow Center.

Workshops
Counseling & Mental Health Services also regularly works in partnership with UConn’s Cultural Centers to host workshops and programming related to mental health topics. Examples of events and workshops in the past year include:

• Student Voices Panel – hosted by the African American Cultural Center as part of UConn’s Suicide Prevention Week.
• Café con Leche – hosted by the Puerto Rican & Latin American Cultural Center as part of UConn’s Suicide Prevention Week.
• Perfectionism & Procrastination workshop – hosted by the Asian American Cultural Center.
For more information, visit http://counseling.uconn.edu/

Support for Faculty/Staff from Underrepresented Groups

The African American Faculty Staff Association of University of Connecticut seeks to support the quality of campus life for faculty, students and staff of the African Diaspora. Recognizing the challenges that the campus environment poses, the AAFSA seeks to provide a safe space where members the black community can explore their concerns. The Association uses insights from these conversations to create programs and to lobby for policies. Through service on University committees, engagement with the broader community and hosting responsive events, AAFSA members demonstrate that they are enthusiastic partners in the University of Connecticut’s commitment to be recognized as a top public University in United States. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/

The UConn Asian American Faculty & Staff Association (AAFSA) promotes the welfare of Asian and Asian Americans at the University of Connecticut, promotes intellectual and cultural understanding among people of diverse ethnic background, and fosters a sense of community by sponsoring social and professional activities among UConn faculty and staff. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/

The Association of Latina/o Faculty and Staff is an organization for faculty and professional staff devoted to representing, addressing the needs, and raising awareness about issues that pertain to UConn’s Latinas/os. ALFAS seeks to advance educational and work opportunities that would enhance the status of Latinas/os within the University community. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/

The LGBTQIA+ Faculty/Staff Affinity Group is a network working space run through the Rainbow Center, open to all LGBTQIA+ identified staff and faculty at the University of Connecticut. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/

The Women of Color Collective is a community that was created for faculty and staff to uplift and empower one another as well as create a network of powerful, empowered, intelligent, beautiful women across campus. Following the mantra that “empowered women, empower women”, we strive to operate as a sisterhood of support and love. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/

The Women’s Affinity Group is a networking/discussion series that is for all women in our community, across various identities (demographics, roles at the University, departments and disciplines, etc.). The focus will be on how gender matters in our professional and personal lives, and will include development activities such as workshops, networking events, speakers, etc. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/

The Thriving @Work series is intended to empower graduate students, post docs, staff and faculty with the tools to navigate difficult and/or toxic work environments. Our hope is to normalize the experience by bringing these often-separate groups together to workshop practical strategies to encourage change and promote a more inclusive, welcoming climate at UConn. Find more information here: https://diversity.uconn.edu/thriving-work-series/


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

UConn PhD Project

As referenced in UConn's Diversity Report (p. 31): "In collaboration with the School of Business' PhD program, candidates are recruited for the PhD program through the PhD Project. The PhD projected was founded upon the premise that advancements in workplace diversity could be propelled forward by increasing the diversity of Business School faculty. The PhD helps African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans attain their business PhD and become the business professors who will mentor the next generation of leaders."

UConn Diversity Report: http://accreditation.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1777/2016/06/3.3-Diversity-Task-Force-Report.pdf
Link to PhD Project: https://www.phdproject.org/become-a-professor/annual-conference/

1. Program support for future teachers and faculty members from underrepresented groups through the Neag School of Education.
From the Neag School’s Diversity page:
Diversity Mission:
“The Neag School of Education is committed to diversity. This is reflected through our faculty, core academic focus, statewide partnerships and national initiatives. Efforts to transform public education must include focused work on closing the achievement gap in U.S. public schools by addressing serious issues of equity and access and on closing the global achievement gap between U.S. students and students in other countries whose academic performance is higher. Our newly conceptualized school-wide focus on diversity, equity and access, and global and public engagement is strongly aligned with both the national and state imperatives.”
Diversity Programs:

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
http://theinnovationexchange.net/programs/networked-improvement-community/
“The Neag School of Education has been selected by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as one of ten institutions nationwide to participate in its Networked Improvement Community (NIC) aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino men in teacher preparation and into teaching. Participating institutions commit to increasing the number of young men of color in their teacher education programs by 25% over several years and participate in a networked knowledge-sharing community on effective methods.”
Connecticut Minority Teacher Recruitment Committee
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/alliance_districts/convening/update_on_minority_teacher_recruitment.pdf

“Neag faculty and staff are members of the Connecticut Minority Teacher Recruitment Committee. The aim of the committee is to recruit, support and retain students of color into teacher preparation and the Connecticut teacher labor market.”
Project L.I.D. (Leadership in Development)
https://uconn.networkforgood.com/projects/10548-ignite-2016-leadership-in-diversity

“Project L.I.D (Leadership In Diversity) is dedicated to providing support for students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in the field of education. The aim is to help close the “lid” around educational equity and equip students with the necessary tools, networks and information to be competitive, well-rounded future educators.”

2. Scholarship opportunities for UConn minority candidates can be found here: http://www.onsf.uconn.edu/opportunities-for-minority-candidates

3. Support for underrepresented faculty members:
http://president.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/193/2015/08/2015-08-Draft-Diversity-Report.pdf
• A major initiative launched by the Provost’s Office this past year is to have each faculty candidate include a diversity statement in their application materials.

• Early in 2014, the Provost’s Office, with joint support from the Graduate School, began sponsoring two faculty per semester to travel to partner Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS) for research seminars aimed at recruiting underrepresented faculty and graduate students. The focus has been in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and included the Departments of Physics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Geography.

• There are also Faculty and Staff advocacy groups that meet regularly to discuss issues that impact them as members of the university community and how they can improve both the climate and the university experience. Examples of these affinity groups on campus include the Association of Latino Faculty and Staff (ALFAS) and the African American Faculty and Staff Association.
o Association of Latina/o Faculty and Staff (ALFAS) http://www.latino.uconn.edu/alfas/
 Objectives of ALFAS: http://www.latino.uconn.edu/alfas/objectives.html
o African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA) http://aafsa.uconn.edu/
 Objectives of AAFSA: http://aafsa.uconn.edu/constitution/


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

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.