Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.89
Liaison Eva Rocke
Submission Date June 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Montana
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
2.83 / 3.00 Madeleine Jones
ASUM Sustainability Coordinator
ASUM
"---" 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 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.

http://www.umt.edu/policies/browse/personnel/discrimination-harassment-sexual-misconduct-stalking-and-retaliation


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

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.

While investigations are pending, information remains confidential. All involved parties are permitted to have an advisor and support persons throughout the process of resolving a grievance. Additionally, all students have access to the Student Advocacy Resource Center which provides confidential support and services for students who have experienced discrimination or sexual assault.

An example: The University Diversity Advisory Counsel received several complaints about tile designs on a building that resembled Swastikas. The Diversity Counsel held several open meetings to gather campus input to inform the recommendation that was eventually made to remove the tiles.


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

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:
No

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff 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. Additionally, UM staff have worked to build relationships with schools on reservations as well as the tribal colleges to aid in recruitment.

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.


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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

The Branch Center is a space on campus dedicated to promoting respectful and collaborative dialogue, programming, and resources in an effort to foster understanding, support, and inclusion for underrepresented students. Several student groups are housed in this area specifically to support underrepresented students including: Black Student Union, Pacific Islanders Club , Lamda, Lantinx Student Union, and the Women’s Resource Center.

Additionally, the Associated Students of the University of Montana has several student groups which support underrepresented groups including Kyi Yo Native American Student Association, Central Southwest Asian Club, China Table Club, International Muslim Student Association, and Non-Traditional Student group.

Several groups exist to support faculty and staff on campus. These include The American Indian Support and Development Council and the UM Outfield Alliance. The American Indian Support and Development Council (AISDC) is an informal group of faculty, staff and students (American Indian and non-American Indian) that meets monthly to share information about programs that serve Native American interests and to provide a support network for its members. The University of Montana Outfield Alliance is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and intersex (LBGTQI) group open to University of Montana employees and graduate students. The UM Outfield Alliance functions as a social group that meets regularly throughout the academic year, works on LGBTQI-related issues, sponsors educational events on campus, and provides a support network to those experiencing discrimination.

The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is an expression of the University of Montana’s commitment to gender equity in leadership and effort to build empowering institutions that improve opportunities for women. Founded in 2015, the initiative uses a cohort model to build the leadership capacity of faculty, administrators, and staff from both inside and outside the university.

American Indian Student Services (AISS) is dedicated to Native American enrollment, achievement, 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.


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:

The UM Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership Program was established in the fall of 2005 and continues today. 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?:
Yes

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Brad Hall, Tribal Outreach Specialist, bradford.hall@mso.umt.edu

https://www.umt.edu/diversity/Resources/restrooms.php (For information on Gender Neutral Bathrooms)

Amy Fowler Kinch, Director, Office of Learning and Organizational Development

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.