Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.36
Liaison Marianella Franklin
Submission Date Jan. 10, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.89 / 2.00 Florence Nocar
Chief Equity and Diversity Officer
Division of Institutional Equity
"---" 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?:
Yes

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 Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) acts on behalf of the University as a neutral fact finder that enforces the University’s institutional equity policies and provides services including: Guidance and training to ensure Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action practices in the Faculty Recruitment process, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity; Coordinates the development of the University’s Affirmative Action Plan; Investigates and responds to internal and external complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation; and Coordinates and administers the University’s Title IX response and compliance requirements. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is committed to providing equal opportunity in all programs and activities UTRGV sponsors or conducts, in compliance with and to the extent provided by applicable state and federal laws and regulations. It is the policy of UTRGV that no person will be denied employment with or admission to UTRGV, or otherwise be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored or conducted by UTRGV, on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic information, and/or veteran status. Retaliation is also a form of discrimination and is therefore prohibited. Florence Nocar is the Chief Equity and Diversity Officer in the Office of Institutional Equity, where she currently oversees the University’s compliance efforts in Title IX, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and ADA accessibility compliance in the university’s educational programs, activities, and employment. She serves as the lead investigator for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation complaints for UTRGV. The Office of Institutional Equity provides the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with trainings and discussions that revolve around sensitive issues. These issues include sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination. All on-boarded faculty and staff complete online trainings through Blackboard to confirm their understanding.

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
The Office of Institutional Equity provides the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with trainings and discussions that revolve around sensitive issues. These issues include sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination. All on-boarded faculty and staff complete online trainings through Blackboard to confirm their understanding. The Office of Human Resources, Organizational Development and Training (HRODT) introduces VAQUEROS Culture of Service Excellence. This training initiative is designed to communicate the expectation on the provision of service at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). This program illustrates eight (8) principles that represent the standards that UTRGV values when it comes to customer service and expectation of operational excellence. In order to facilitate the recollection of these principles, The Office of Human Resources, Organizational Development and Training embraced the word VAQUEROS as an acronym where each letter represents a value. (http://www.utrgv.edu/hr/organizational-development-training/vaqueros-culture/index.htm) Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) and DREAM Resource Center (DRC) serve as guiding entities for diversity, equity, and inclusion education and training. The purpose of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) is to support culturally-based affinity groups, enhance programming that builds cultural competence and civil discourse, and provide direct support to students. The DREAM Resource Center (which functions within the CDI) provides support services and resources for undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. https://www.utrgv.edu/studentlife/departments-and-programs/center-for-diversity-and-inclusion/index.htm The goal of the ALLY Safe Zone program provides a welcoming environment for LGBTQ individuals at UTRGV, by establishing an identifiable network of allies who can provide support, information, and a safe place for the community at the university. The ALLY Safe Zone program is open to students, faculty and staff. Workshops to learn about becoming an ally are hosted monthly during the fall and spring semesters. Participants have the opportunity to confront the idea of privilege, learn about the LGBTQ community, interact with students who identify as LGBTQ, and obtain the tools to develop plans for making a difference. Our allies believe that bigotry and discrimination, specifically regarding LGBTQ people, is not tolerated. We promote an inclusive campus culture through events focusing on diversity and intercultural subjects and themes. Our goal is to create and maintain awareness of the various cultures that are integrated within our university community. Programs bring together students, faculty and staff from various backgrounds to exchange ideas through participation in lectures, panels, and other interactive events. Celebrations: Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15) Black History Month (February) List of Events for Black History Month 2017 Women’s History Month (March) Awareness Days: These awareness days help students understand that diversity comes in various forms and not to only focus on culture. National Day of Silence The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters. Social Justice Day World Day of Social Justice is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment.

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 diversity and equity committee works towards the sustainable development goal of Reducing Inequalities by giving attention to disadvantaged and marginalized populations and promoting the inclusion of all.

The diversity and equity committee works towards the sustainable development goal of Reducing Inequalities by giving attention to disadvantaged and marginalized populations and promoting the inclusion of all.

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.