|Submission Date||Feb. 11, 2022|
University of Massachusetts Lowell
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups
|3.00 / 3.00||
Dean of Equity and Inclusion
Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:
UMass Lowell does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, national origin, covered veteran status, disability, ancestry or any other characteristic protected by law in employment, admissions, participation in its programs, services and activities, and selection of vendors who provide services or products to UMass Lowell.
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 University Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) includes, but is not limited to:
Annie Ciaraldi, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Co-Chair
Joel McCarthy, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Co-Chair
Ron Dickerson, Deputy Chief, UMLPD
Melissa Mullen, Lieutenant, UMLPD
Clara I. Reynolds, Associate Vice Chancellor of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach, Diversity & Inclusion
Paulette Renault-Caragianes, Associate Dean of Student Affairs
Sarah Rine, Director of Student Activities and Leadership
Leslie Wong, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Christopher Hansen, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
UMass Lowell strives to provide an educational, working and living environment that welcomes and respects all people. All of us are expected to commit to maintaining a safe, respectful, inclusive and welcoming community. Acts that are an affront to the core values of the institution destroy the sense of community we all share. Additionally, acts of intolerance do untold and unjust harm to the well-being, dignity and safety of those who are victimized by these acts.
University employees, students, vendors and visitors, who perceive that they have experienced a bias incident or hate crime, as well as those who witness one, are urged to report the incident immediately by calling UMLPD. In addition a report can be filed in-person with UMLPD, the BIRT, UMass Lowell Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach, Office of Residence Life, Office of Student Conduct, Dean's Office/Division of Student Affairs, and/or electronically at: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UMassLowell&layout_id=10.
UMass Lowell's response process includes:
1. UMLPD and members of BIRT will respond immediately to the needs of the affected party or parties and notify members of the campus community as appropriate and/or as required by federal law. For incidents that affect the immediate health and safety of the campus community, UMLPD will be notified for response.
2. All reports of an alleged bias incident or hate crime will be forwarded to the appropriate University office with a summary given to the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) by that office as soon as possible.
3. UMLPD will conduct an investigation and will inform the BIRT of the outcome when appropriate.
4. Coordinated campus responses may include, but are not limited to:
- Identification of and referral of affected individuals and communities and/or alleged accused to appropriate support resources and services on or off campus;
- Disciplinary action if appropriate will be administered based on the Student Conduct Code, Residence Life Guidelines, University Guidelines, and/or any local, state or federal laws and regulations;
- Informal resolutions, if appropriate, will be used; examples include mediation, facilitated dialogue between parties, discussions; and/or
- Educational awareness programs for the University community.
5. UMLPD, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach, and the Office of Student Conduct maintain a record of reports that occur on campus or at college sponsored events or programs. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (The Clery Act) requires the University to publish statistics in certain types of crimes, including Hate Crimes. For annual UMass Lowell crime statistics, visit http://www.uml.edu/police/ and click on the “Annual Security Report.”
6. Additional members of the Bias Incident Response Team may be added as part of the Response Protocol as need arises to include:
- An individual with authority, experience or essential perspective relevant to the reported incident.
7. The BIRT team will be responsible for determining if a University response to the incident is necessary and will recommend, as appropriate, the University response when it is deemed warranted. The team will consider:
- Relevant legal standards with special regard to the First Amendment and academic freedom concerns
- Concerns and requests of the alleged victim, especially in regard to anonymity and desired outcome(s)
- Available University resources relevant to the situation
- Whether the incident is a violation of any university policy, which would require following established University procedures
8. The BIRT team will identify and contact appropriate departments and offices necessary to implement an appropriate intervention.
UMass Lowell's protocol is described in full detail at the following link:
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:
Chancellor Moloney established the UMass Lowell Council on Social Justice & Inclusion in January 2020. The work of the Council builds on the good work and recommendations of the Sexual Harassment Task Force and the 2020 Strategic Plan subcommittees that focused on Students of Color and International Students and Global Engagement and Inclusive Culture. Two new task forces, one on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and one on Gender and Sex-based Discrimination Prevention have been created to continue this work and establish an action plan. Their collective membership will comprise the Council, which will serve as a strategic and coordinating body for this essential institutional priority.
In addition, UMass Lowell's Diversity Portal https://www.uml.edu/diversity/ contains a comprehensive listing of the university's multiple programs in this area.
The Admissions office has targeted strategies aimed at different populations. Furthermore, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has periodically paired with Admissions to attend some of the larger high school college fairs or regional area conferences that have a stronger yield in diversity numbers. The university also maintains partnerships with a handful of local (Lawrence and Boston area) high schools with high diversity populations to connect their students to the River Hawk Rising (https://www.uml.edu/student-services/multicultural/river-hawk-rising/) program at entry. The university works very closely with the community college in the city, Middlesex Community College (MCC), particularly with the Asian Success Center. At MCC the university maintains a partnership program where UML mentors work with MCC mentees so that MCC transfer students are acclimated to UML before they arrive. This program also brings students into the River Hawk Rising program. The university has close relationships with college access programs who have traditionally higher students of color caseloads in high school in providing them that transition and link from high school to college and support during college. These groups are:
• TRIO, Bottom-Line, Let’s Get Ready
• DC-CAP: The UMass Lowell DC-CAP Scholars program welcomes and supports students who were part of the DC-CAP program at their Washington, D.C., area high school. The program’s mission is to offer guidance, support and a welcoming community for DC-CAP members as they begin their UMass Lowell careers and prepare for life after graduation.
For faculty and staff:
Human Resources works on increasing workforce diversity targets and the Office of Multicultural Affairs works closely with them via strategic diversity and inclusion committees. Furthermore, the campus places high value on diversifying all ranks so the equity & inclusion work permeates through to search committee trainings & hiring. UMass Lowell's Equal Opportunity and Outreach department provides consultation to the campus community on the implementation of best practices in diversity and inclusion as related to workforce planning and management. This includes recruitment, outreach with minority communities, a variety of intake services and monitoring compliance programs.
Workforce diversity are key components and metrics of the annual Report Card that supports the university's strategic plan: https://www.uml.edu/2020/documents.aspx
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 recently opened the new Asian American Center for Engagement and Excellence (AACEE). The center will offer staff and peer mentoring support to help Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students access financial aid and academic, career and wellness services. Many Asian American students at UMass Lowell come from Southeast Asian refugee families who lost everything during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, the Vietnam War or the CIA’s secret war in Laos, including family members, land, possessions, livelihoods and years of schooling. Other South Asian and East Asian American students tend to come from middle-class and wealthy communities. AACEE will build upon the programs in the Center for Asian American Studies and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and will partner with community organizations to help bridge language and cultural gaps with families. The new center also will create mentoring programs and opportunities, drawing on successful Asian American alumni and community members to serve as role models for students.
In addition, the brand-new, permanent ADVANCE Office for Faculty Equity provides alternatives to traditional mentoring programs and worked with UML’s colleges and departments to bring greater equity and accountability to their hiring, promotion and tenure practices. Likewise, it identified and addressed university-wide structures and norms that can contribute to discrimination and inequality. Moving forward, with support from the provost’s office, one focus will be working with all faculty to improve equity for underrepresented and marginalized groups within their ranks.
The UMass Lowell Office of Multicultural Affairs offers a variety of support programs to underrepresented groups on campus. These programs include:
Ally Space - The Office of Student Activities and Leadership, The Office of Multicultural Affairs, and The Office of Residence Life work collaboratively to offer Ally Space training. This training will provide information and resources to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) members of our campus community. Our hope is to provide a network of faculty, staff, and students who are prepared to serve as a resource for students by training small groups at a time.
The Diverse Faculty and Staff Network Reception - In partnership with Human Resources, this network provides a space for faculty and staff of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to connect and create meaningful relationships across departments and academic disciplines. Our office will sponsor a networking event for diverse faculty and staff once a semester.
The Student Committee Fostering Inclusive Communities is made up of student leaders from the 36 student organizations that fall under the Multicultural Affairs umbrella. The groups work together to promote inclusion on campus through the various programs and resources that each group offers. The Office of Multicultural Affairs facilitates and organizes the monthly group meetings.
In addition there are over 37 student organizations committed to raising awareness and building inclusive communities.
The Office of Veterans Services enhances services to veterans by streamlining and providing clarity to the benefits process, engaging students in the life of the university, and by providing a support and advocacy network for students of peers, alumni, local community organizations, and state and national agencies.
UMass Lowell offers the many services to veterans, including My Next Move for Veterans, which was designed for U.S. veterans who are current job seekers. Through this interactive tool, learn about career options including tasks, skills, salary information, job listings, and more for over 900 different careers. Veterans can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or by discovering civilian careers that are similar to their job in the military.
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 Research, Academics and Mentoring Pathways (RAMP) program is a summer jumpstart for new freshmen engineering students that focuses on increasing enrollment, retention and accomplishment of those that continue to be underrepresented in the engineering field. This includes women and racial and ethnic minority students. RAMP is designed to help students create a pathway to successful graduation that also includes a profile of extracurricular activities such as research and industry experience, entrepreneurship and community engagement. Among many benefits, the program helps students build research experience with a professor on campus and gain insights into and contacts for careers as faculty members.
In addition, in 2021 an interdisciplinary team led by Plastics Engineering Assoc. Prof. Meg Sobkowicz-Kline and Mechanical Engineering Assoc. Prof. Chris Hansen, received a five-year, $2,998,922 National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship award to create the Sustainable Water Innovations in Materials – Mentoring, Education and Research (SWIMMER) program at UML.
The program will train 60 master’s and Ph.D. students — from the fields of plastics, mechanical, chemical, and civil and environmental engineering, as well as chemistry, earth science, biology, public health and economics — to develop sustainable materials and chemicals that won’t harm water resources over their entire life cycle.
SWIMMER scholars will receive interdisciplinary training from a team that includes: Assoc. Prof. Sheree Pagsuyoin (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Asst. Prof. James Reuther (Chemistry); Prof. Joel Tickner (Public Health); Prof. Juliette Rooney-Varga (Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Science); Asst. Prof. Frederic Chain (Biological Sciences); Assoc. Prof. David Kingsley (Economics) and Greg Morose, research manager at UML’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI).
The program taps into the talents of students from underrepresented groups through graduate student recruiting partnerships with Prairie View A&M University (located outside Houston) and the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez — both of which are deemed minority-serving institutions by the U.S. Department of Education. Hansen and Sobkowicz-Kline say it’s critical to produce graduates with not only the STEM skills required for innovative solutions, but who are also responsive to societal needs for environmental justice and inclusive decision-making.
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:
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