Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.16
Liaison Dr. Jill Wicknick
Submission Date Jan. 7, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Montevallo
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.44 / 2.00 Susan Caplow
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Behavioral and Social Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:
The University has a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, a Black Heritage Commitee, and a Diversity Task Force. All of these groups work at the University level to improve diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.

The Chief Diversity Officers serves as university’s primary strategist responsible for guiding efforts and creating opportunities to define, assess and promote diversity and inclusive excellence, educational and employment opportunity, and cultural proficiency.

The CDOs tasks include:
-Monitor campus climate and national trends relevant to diversity and provide responsive leadership at UM
- provide leadership for the implementation, assessment, and revision, as needed, of a strategic planning process which will culminate in the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive strategic diversity plan for the University of Montevallo.
- Serve as a subject matter resource and influence the development of campus policy and programming related to diversity, equity and inclusion. And when possible, contribute to the delivery of that programming, including cultural competency programs.
- Investigate and, as appropriate, respond to reports of bias-related incidents in collaboration with appropriate University officials.
- Prepare annual reports relevant to the campus’ diversity, equity and inclusion activities.
- Demonstrate a vision that will enhance the UM’s mission and goals and further the University of Montevallo’s reputation for being an exemplary institution that includes fostering a climate of inclusiveness and diversity in relation to among other things: race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, nationality, ability and their intersections.

There is also the President’s Diversity Task Force which mainly consists of upper level administration and a few staff members from various offices on campus. Our CDO is in the process of looking at the committee to reorganize it a little to include faculty.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
The Safe Zone program provides a visible network of allies for LGBT+ and other individuals seeking information and assistance regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, harassment, and/or discrimination. The Safe Zone program aims to increase awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity about important issues affecting LGBT+ students, faculty, and staff to foster a safe, welcoming climate at the University of Montevallo. Our guiding assumptions are that all learning and work environments should be safe and free of sex- and gender-based discrimination, prejudice, and harassment; further, the environment should be one in which every student and employee is free to thrive on an academic, professional, and personal level based on respect and dignity. We believe it possible to adhere to individual moral and ethical perspectives and religious beliefs while behaving respectfully to all people. The Safe Zone committee sends a message that sexual orientations and gender presentations are part of our culture and are acknowledged and supported. Safe Zone runs trainings every semester on how to be an ally.

Our Chief Diversity Officer has run one departmental workshop for faculty members that focuses on culturally responsive teaching and providing culturally sensitive feedback.

Our CDO also visited the EJI (Equal Justice Initiative) with staff from student services departments across campus (admissions, residential life, counseling services, etc.) to discuss the lynching memorial project and how the legacy of lynching impacts the way that we work with students at UM. They spent the day reflecting on the monument and exploring the politics of memory of forgetting. In particular, they focused on why it’s so difficult to discuss race and racism, how to prepare ourselves to openly participate in these conversations and what implications does it have for working with minority students at a PWI.

The CDO meets with the RAs for the upcoming year to discuss how they can create diverse and inclusive environments and provide support for all students who identify as “Other”.

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.