Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Shane Stennes
Submission Date Dec. 15, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
1.00 / 1.00 Barb Chapin
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of campus climate?:

A brief description of the campus climate assessment(s) :

In 2014 President Eric Kaler charged a group of senior leaders to develop strategies and tactics to improve the climate on the Twin Cities campus. Those leaders formed the Campus Climate Workgroup and met, with staff from their respective units, 19 times between February and October 2014. In addition, smaller working subgroups met between full workgroup meetings and reported their findings and recommendations. The Workgroup assessed the current climate, using available quantitative and qualitative data; reviewed current activities aimed at improv¬ing the campus climate; reviewed promising practices nationally; developed a definition of a welcoming campus; and identified, and began to implement, strategies and tactics for further improving the climate on campus.

Has the institution assessed student diversity and educational equity?:

A brief description of the student diversity and educational equity assessment(s):

The Student Experience in the Research University (SERU), a comprehensive survey is administered periodically (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) to all undergraduates at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The data are used to help leaders understand the student experience across a number of dimensions including, but not limited to, campus climate.

In 2010 the Office of Institutional Research produced a report for the Office for Equity and Diversity analyzing the SERU questions pertaining to campus climate. Overall, the results were very positive, with 92 percent of all students somewhat to strongly agreeing that different student subgroups are respected on campus. However, in looking at the responses of members of subgroups, differences between students of color and white students emerge on some questions of campus climate.

The Campus Climate Workgroup also sought data through qualitative assessment. Student Affairs and Equity and Diversity leaders regularly meet with student cultural centers and other student groups and share what is learned with the Workgroup. Campus leaders have also heard a number of issues related to campus climate raised by a student collective, Whose Diversity? In addition, listening sessions were held with students, faculty, and staff in February and March of 2014 to gather a range of perspectives.

Has the institution assessed employee diversity and employment equity?:

A brief description of the employee diversity and employment equity assessment(s):

The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey was administered November 2013–January 2014. This survey is used to understand how faculty at different career stages experience academic work life as compared to faculty at selected peer institutions. It highlighted differential experiences between white faculty and faculty of color and between male and female faculty. These data will be shared with deans to help them develop strategies to enhance faculty satisfaction and development.

The Employee Engagement survey was recently established for all faculty and staff and is a useful measure of employee perceptions of the campus and workplace climate. There are a number of items on the survey that shed light on employee perceptions of the campus climate. The Workgroup will assess the strengths faculty and staff find related to campus climate and any differences between faculty and staff or between employees of color and white employees on key dimensions once there is more data collected.

Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of governance and public engagement?:

A brief description of the governance and public engagement assessment(s):

While there is not an official assessment done in terms of governance, this past year the University Senate Office did a very "unofficial" review of the racial composition of the Senate’s committee members and deducted that only about 8% of the members were people of color. That led to the chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee’s request to the Committee on Committees to work to increase the diversity of people in the University’s governance bodies.

The University Senate has three committees who work on issues pertaining to equity and diversity. 1) The Disabilities Issues Committee recommends University policies, procedures, programs, and services concerning faculty/academic professionals, students, staff, and guests of the University with disabilities.
 2) The Equity, Access, and Diversity Committee is primarily concerned with the impact and compliance of University policies, programs, and services on equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity from a system perspective. 3) The Social Concerns Committee is primarily concerned with the interrelationship between the University and the broader social community. It is concerned with the nature and extent of the University's response to social concerns.

One of the “issue areas” that the Office for Public Engagement focuses on is “diversity, equity and inclusion.” This issue area connects individuals, groups and University units that have interest in or are conducting community-engaged research, teaching and/or outreach work on similar issues to build more coordinated, internally aligned approaches to address this issue. The goal of this issue area is to catalog existing community-engaged work focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and identify gaps in existing work.

In September 2011, the Office for Public Engagement, the Office for Equity and Diversity, and the Global Programs and Strategies Alliance, created the Intercultural Competence Work Group (ICWG). Recognizing the overlapping intercultural work of these offices, the units’ leaders joined forces to help build a comprehensive and coordinated system-wide agenda for strengthening intercultural competence. This joint effort is now facilitated by the ICWG. The mission of the ICWG is to build a university that fosters the capacity for students, staff, and faculty to work intentionally across cultures and contexts in creating inclusive, equitable, and reciprocal community and university partnerships for advancing the institution’s mission.

The website URL where information about the assessment(s) is available:

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.