|Submission Date||March 3, 2022|
University of Houston
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups
|3.00 / 3.00||
Office of Sustainability
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 policy of the University of Houston (UH) is to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran's status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UH prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Employees, students, and visitors to campus with questions and/or complaints regarding discrimination, or sexual misconduct (such as sexual violence) under Title IX may contact Dr. Richard Anthony Baker, Title IX Coordinator and Assistant VC/VP for Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) or the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Dr. Baker serves as the Title IX Coordinator as well as the ADA and Section 504 Coordinator for UH.
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 Office of Equal Opportunity Services is charged with the processing and investigations of all complaints regarding protected classes and the Title IX protocols.
If an individuals feel that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their race or color, national origin, religion, age over 40, sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic information, or veteran’s status, they are encouraged to contact EOS.
Students, staff, or faculty, may inquire with Equal Opportunity Services to ask for advice, seek counseling, and/or file a formal complaint. No person inquiring or filing a complaint will be subject to retaliation.
Individuals may discuss with EOS issues relating to unlawful discrimination and harassment, with or without filing a formal complaint. EOS may then conduct a preliminary fact-finding review. At its conclusion, EOS will inform the complainant of the available options. These options may include no further action, a mediated solution to the issues raised or a full investigation.
When an incident of discrimination or harassment is reported, the University will consider providing interim accommodations to protect the complainant as necessary while the incident is adjudicated through this Policy. EOS and other appropriate University administrators will work together to identify alternative arrangements that will preserve the rights of both the complainant and the respondent, as well as provide a safe overall educational or working environment until (and perhaps after) the complaint is investigated and adjudicated. Failure to adhere to the parameters of any interim measure may be considered a separate violation of this Policy and may result in disciplinary action.
A respondent found to have violated this Policy will be sanctioned. Consideration may be given to the nature of the violation, any mitigating circumstances, prior disciplinary violations, precedent cases, the University's safety concerns or any other information deemed relevant by the Panel. The available sanctions may include, but are not limited to; counseling, training, warning, reprimand, probation, suspension or termination.
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:
The students that UHS institutions serve increasingly come from historically underrepresented populations. The UH System universities are prepared for this challenge. Today 0ur student body is already diverse – 32% Hispanic, 26% white, 16% Asian, 13% African-American, and 9% international. In addition, all UHS universities are Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)—the first university system in the nation with this distinction. HSIs are eligible for federal grants designed to increase the participation and success of Hispanics in higher education. To be recognized as an HSI, a university’s undergraduate population must be at least 25% Hispanic.
UH serves a student population unique among Texas’ public research institutions: no ethnic group constitutes a majority of students. As recently as FY 2016, the student population was 29% Hispanic, 27% White, 21% Asian-American, 10% African-American, and 9% international. UH is leading the way in closing achievement gaps of underrepresented students. Increasingly, African-American and Hispanic students are graduating at rates comparable to their non-minority peers.
One example program:
The Academic Achievers Program is sponsored by the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Office of the President. It was established in the fall of 1994 and is designed to retain and propel more students to graduation. The mission of the AAP at the University of Houston is to recruit underrepresented students. Students who are accepted into the AAP program are eligible to receive a $12,000 four-year scholarship, receive priority registration, and career and leadership opportunities.
The University of Houston System recognizes the importance of and adheres to the practice of providing all prospective and current employees and students with equal opportunity in education and employment in compliance with state and federal laws. The System also seeks to foster an environment free from discrimination. The System has developed this statement of non-discrimination to provide recognition and implementation of this philosophy.
The policy of the University of Houston System and its components is to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UH System prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
General Diversity, Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity Policies link: https://uh.edu/equal-opportunity/workforce-diversity/policies/
Building on this foundation of inclusion, UH Equal Opportunity Services has also launched the Workforce Diversity Recruitment Program. This office supports those involved in the recruitment process by providing information that will assist hiring managers in developing a diverse search plan and providing strategies for building a broadly diverse candidate pool for current openings. These services include diversity trainings for recruiters by request, involvement resources, and diversity reporting. Link: https://uh.edu/equal-opportunity/workforce-diversity/
A special effort is a recruitment strategy that specifically targets underrepresented minorities and women. Therefore, a strategy that does not specifically target these groups would not qualify as a special effort. Examples of a special effort would be one where the search committee members deliberately and intentionally solicit applications, nominations, or referrals from:
• Minority and women scholar organizations
• Women and minority program offices
• Professional caucuses or organizations that are organized around women or minority concerns
• Internet discussion groups
• Minority and women scholars/ professionals on- and off-campus
• Community agencies related to underrepresented groups
• Meetings of professional organizations
• Journals targeted at women and minority readerships
• Ethnic Studies departments (for relevant disciplines)
• Minority and women doctoral or post-doctoral directories
• Departments in HBCUs and other predominantly minority institutions
Listed below are examples of special efforts for faculty recruitment:
Example 1: Women and minority candidates will be encouraged in all advertisements, which will appear in highly visible publications that are specifically marketed to minority audiences and those with extensive national and international circulations. In addition, women and minority applicants will be identified via position announcements circulated to all schools and colleges of Optometry and via personal contacts with leaders in the field of eye care. The members of the Faculty Recruitment and Search Committee, as well as the faculty at large, will be solicited to nominate underrepresented minorities and women for consideration.
Example 2: The department will send an announcement that encourages women and minority candidates to apply to all Engineering Department Chairs including minority serving universities. The department will also post the ad on the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers online job boards.
Example 3: Special efforts will be made by asking colleagues to help identify women and minority candidates; distributing the advertisement specifically to women and minority leaders; and searching resume banks of organizations targeting women and under-represented minorities.
The Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success aims to increase the recruitment and retention of women science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and social/behavioral science (SBS) faculty at senior, mid-career and junior faculty levels, with an emphasis on increasing the percentage of women and women of color ranked faculty in STEM and SBS fields to levels at or above the academia national averages.
Developed a Powerhouse Faculty Toolkit to encourage the hiring of diverse faculty members.
Formalized a Dual-Career Program between the departments, deans, Provost’s Office and broader community to help dual-career couples find work at UH and in the City of Houston.
Included more positive diversity language in University job postings, as well as encouraged postings to minority-specific job boards.
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 University of Houston has a wide variety of support programs for underrepresented groups available to students, faculty, and staff. A brief sample includes: The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, The Urban Experience Program, The LGBT Resource Center, The Language and Culture Center, The Office of International Scholar Services, The Women and Gender Resource Center, and the Center for Students with Disabilities. Each of these centers provides academic and counseling support for their respective groups in addition to taking on members for volunteer, internship, student worker positions. A full list with descriptions can be found on the "Campus Resources" page on the Center for Diversity and Inclusion's website, linked below.
CENTER FOR ADVANCING UH FACULTY SUCCESS
Women science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and social/behavioral science (SBS) faculty are underrepresented in holding key STEM administrative leadership positions at the dean, associate dean, and department chair levels. Programs that include leadership training and advancement paths provide participants with clear information, a supportive climate, and real-world experience in a leadership position. The Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success has and will continue to create programs that provide mentoring relationships and clear pathways for the career development of women and women of color faculty.
The percentage of women among those promoted to Full Professor increased to more than 40% in ADVANCE disciplines during the last promotion cycle (which followed mid-career workshops hosted by the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success), representing the highest number of women promoted in any promotion cycle since 2012 (see Figure 1, below).
UH has reached our ADVANCE goal for women department chairs. UH now has seven women department chairs, and almost half of all the associate deans in ADVANCE disciplines are women. Furthermore, 33% of President Khator's cabinet members are women, and campus-wide, UH now has 25% female deans.
An ADVANCE subcommittee developed leadership competency maps that describe competencies and developmental suggestions for selected leadership positions that can be used by department chairs, etc. to mentor emerging faculty leaders. Chairs and mentors are encouraged to use Career Path Materials (Department Chair Career Path Info Sheet and Suggested Process).
ADVANCE Advocates are assisting departments in the introduction of the mentoring guidelines (from Assistant to Associate Professor and from Associate to Full Professor) to their respective faculty which highlights their role in supporting the implementation of ADVANCE in their colleges and departments. A concept model for a pilot in grants(wo)manship mentoring has been developed and is being refined with the NSM college Associate Dean for Research for roll-out during the summer of 2017.
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:
University of Houston undergraduate and graduate students can participate in the following programs designed prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members.
1) NSF Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) – currently the College of Engineering is part of a joint NSF-funded AGEP project between UH, TSU and Rice designed to enhance the diversity of the faculty workforce in the Engineering disciplines. The FED has been supporting this effort through the UH Postdoctoral Fellows Association and the CIMER training program. https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/alliances-graduate-education-and-professoriate-agep
2) STEM Research Inquiry Summer Enrichment Program (STEM Rise) – a collaborative project between the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics STEM teacher preparation program, teachHOUSTON, and the UH College of Medicine, focused on increasing participation of Latino and African-American students in STEM academic disciplines. https://uh.edu/nsm/teachhouston/students/stem-rise/
3) Cougar Initiative to Engage (CITE) Program – is focused on helping faculty members to develop high impact experiential learning experiences for all students in the STEM area, but especially those designed to help increase the participation of Latino and African American students in STEM academic disciplines. https://www.uh.edu/provost/university/qep/
Additionally, On the faculty/postdoctoral side there are several programs specifically designed to help train and recruit underrepresented faculty members.
1) Provost's Visiting Scholars Program – The Provost's Visiting Scholars Program is interested in supporting visits by faculty who are potential candidates for current or future faculty hires, and contribute to increasing Tier One excellence, student success, and equity and diversity at UH. This mechanism is supported by the Provost and can be used to support Visiting Scholars for up to one year and is available to all academic units at UH. https://www.uh.edu/provost/faculty/current/grants/visiting-scholars/#:~:text=The%20Provost's%20Visiting%20Scholars%20Program%20is%20interested%20in%20supporting%20visits,equity%20and%20diversity%20at%20UH%20
2) UH Mexican American and Latino/a Studies: Visiting Scholar Program – supported by IUPLR and housed in CMALS, these are postdoctoral fellowships designed to train the next generation of faculty members and researchers in Mexican American and Latino Studies. https://www.uh.edu/class/cmas/programs-opportunities/visiting-scholar/
3) Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HSRU) – a consortium consisting of more than 20 Tier One research universities including UH that are also Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). This has led to several joint Alliance programs in which UH is participating, including the Crossing Latinidades program funded by the Mellon Foundation designed to prepare rising Latino researchers and scholars for faculty positions in humanities studies. There is also a second pending Alliance proposal to NSF, where UH is one of institutions participating, focused specifically on helping to prepare Latino researchers and scholars for faculty positions in the Computer Science disciplines. https://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2021/september-2021/09302021-uh-joins-latino-studies-initiative.php
4) Visiting Scholars in African American Studies – Supported by the Provost, these are usually two year postdoctoral fellowships where the Visiting Scholar has held (up until the creation of the Department of African American Studies) an academic appointment within an existing academic department in CLASS. https://uh.edu/class/aas/faculty/visiting-scholars-program/
5) Visiting Scholars in Mexican American and Latino Studies – Supported by the Provost, these are usually two year postdoctoral fellowships where the Visiting Scholar has held an academic appointment within an existing academic department in CLASS.
6) National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) – UH is an institutional member of NCFDD. Managed through the FED (Faculty Engagement and Development), we currently have more 800 faculty members and postdocs who are signed up with NCFDD and have access to a range of online professional development and mentorship resources available through NCFDD.https://uh.edu/provost/faculty/current/fed/services/ncfdd/
7) CIMER Training Program – Delivered through the FED, this program is designed to improve the research mentoring relationships for mentees and mentors at all career stages in the STEM disciplines through the development, implementation and study of evidence-based and culturally-responsive interventions in order to advance diversity in the research enterprise. https://cimerproject.org/
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: