|Submission Date||June 30, 2017|
University of Montana
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups
|3.00 / 3.00||
ASUM Sustainability Coordinator
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 University of Montana is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere because discrimination and harassment undermine human dignity and the positive connection among all people at our University. The University will take appropriate action to eliminate, prevent and address the effects of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking and retaliation.
Consistent with state and federal law, reasonable accommodation will be provided to persons with disabilities.
It is important that members of the University community understand that the law does not just prohibit discrimination and harassment of employees by employers. The law also prohibits discrimination and harassment between members of the University community more generally: for example, between an instructor and a student, between two students, or between a student and an applicant or campus guest. The policy applies in all University programs and activities, including, but not limited to, discrimination in athletics, instruction, grading, university housing, and university employment. In addition, the law prohibits retaliation against an individual for opposing any practices forbidden under this policy, for bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, for assisting someone with such a complaint, for attempting to stop such discrimination or harassment, or for participating in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. It is central to the values of this University that any individual who believes they may have been the target of unlawful discrimination or harassment feel free to report their concerns for appropriate investigation and response, without fear of retaliation or retribution.
This policy shall not be construed or applied to restrict academic freedom at the University of Montana, nor shall it be construed to restrict constitutionally protected expression, even though such expression may be offensive, unpleasant, or even hateful.
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?:
A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):
The University of Montana supports a diverse community accepting of all individuals regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services, veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. These principles are documented in our Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation Policy and apply to faculty, staff, students, and members of the public who visit our campus. In response to any reported incidents, the university will take appropriate steps to eliminate the discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. Responses may include things such as formal adjudication under campus policies, informal actions, individual, group or campus-wide education or communication, or administrative action. A team with representation from the Equal Opportunity office, campus police, residence life, dean of students, legal counsel, and advocates is convened, depending on the incident. In all cases, UM strives to respond in a thorough, thoughtful, and expeditious manner to incidents of discrimination or bias. The university Diversity Advisory Council and Council on Sexual Assault assess campus climate on diversity and equality and make strategic recommendations to build greater awareness and acceptance across campus.
An example: Several years ago, hateful messages targeting race were found enclosed in books within certain sections of the campus library. Investigation was attempted, however the actors were not identified. Staff immediately scanned through the library to remove any additional documents. The University President communicated with the entire campus community about the notes, sharing UM’s commitment to creating an educational environment which is free from intolerance directed toward individuals or groups and strives to create and maintain an environment that fosters respect for others.
Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:
The University of Montana (UM) is an affirmative action employer. This means that UM takes active measures to ensure that all qualified applicants and employees are receiving equal opportunity for recruitment, selection, advancement, and every other term and privilege associated with employment. Primary responsibility for implementation of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action at UM is vested in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EO/AA). The Director of EO/AA is a member of the President's Cabinet and reports directly to the President of the University.
UM's efforts to recruit underrepresented students includes focused, intentional outreach and recruitment at Montana tribal colleges and our partnership with tribal colleges to encourage students to spend their first two years at their tribal college before transitioning to UM for their 4 year degree. Statistically, native students have been shown to have greater college success (higher rates of completion and graduation) if they complete their first two years at tribal college.
To recruit nontraditional students, our admissions and recruitment staff schedule 4-5 job fair visits around the region in an effort to connect with students who are already part of the workforce and who are interested in returning to school. We also have a number of relationships with area businesses who seek continued training and education for their employees, making our population of nontraditional students larger over the years.
It is also important to note that, in addition to recruitment programs for students from underrepresented groups, UM admissions staff and campus administrators work closely with community organizations and businesses to develop a broader Missoula community that is welcoming to students from diverse cultures, regions, and backgrounds. We have discovered that we can offer financial aid and on-campus support programs to students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, but without relevant resources and a community culture that supports diversity, they will choose other schools to call home. As Missoula has grown as a community, UM has benefited from greater diversity and a community that caters to more diverse student and staff populations.
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:
UM has numerous student groups dedicated to supporting underrepresented students:
American Indian Graduate Student Association
American Indian Science and Engineering Society
Black Student Union
Indigenous Filmmakers Club
Kyi Yo Native American Student Association
Native American Entrepreneurs
Native American Law Student Association
Non-Traditional Student Association
Social Justice Action Network
American Indian Student Services (AISS) is dedicated to Native American enrollment, acheivement, and success at the University of Montana. Through a "family education" approach, AISS supports Native American students and their families as they negotiate academic life and their transition to UM and the Missoula Community. AISS provides advocacy on behalf of students with faculty, staff, and academic departments.
The goal of The University of Montana Allies Program (UM Allies) is to promote a campus environment that is inclusive and supportive of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. UM Allies serves all students, faculty, and staff at UM, both with a team of support volunteers and by offering trainings and workshops focused on tolerance, anti-discrimination, and issues of diversity that are best discussed in supportive, open forums.
Lastly, UM facilitates a $1.78 million NSF grant that started August 1 to develop a retention program for Native American faculty in collaboration with SKC and Sitting Bull College.The Alliance plans to develop, implement, and study a model for the professional success of Native American STEM faculty. Participants include Native American STEM faculty working at one of the three partnering colleges. The project includes three intervention components in the model: a mentoring program; grant preparation and management training activities; and an institutional support program, which focuses on retention efforts.
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 UM Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership Program was established in the fall of 2005. Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. Citizenship) graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM at The University of Montana are eligible to apply for the scholarship program established by the A.P. Sloan Foundation. The UM SIGP Program is intended to increase the number of Indigenous Americans earning master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines.
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?:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Wilena Old Person- Co-chair on UMT Diversity Advisory Council
Phone: (406) 243-4097
https://www.umt.edu/diversity/Resources/restrooms.php (For information on Gender Neutral Bathrooms)
Amy Fowler Kinch, Director
UM Faculty Development Office