Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.71
Liaison Gioia Thompson
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Vermont
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Gioia Thompson
Sustainability Strategist
UVM Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

UVM prohibits discrimination on the basis of membership in any legally protected category:
-Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy Statement: http://www.uvm.edu/policies/general_html/affirm.pdf
-Discrimination and Harassment Policy: http://www.uvm.edu/policies/student/studentharass.pdf

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

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

The Bias Response Program (BRP) addresses incidents of bias targeting UVM students, faculty, and staff. The program educates the campus community about bias, and institutional policies, protocols, and resources related to bias. The Bias Response Program has a three-pronged approach:

Response & Referral: Respond directly to incidents of bias through the Bias Response Team (BRT).

Education: Educate the campus community about bias, and institutional policies and reporting protocols related to bias.

Policy Oversight: Review and assess policies, procedures, resources and responses related to bias, through the Bias Response Council.

Additionally, the Bias Response Program is composed of two specific teams related to bias response and policy alignment: The Bias Response Council and Bias Response Team.

On average the Bias Response Program receives approximately 100-130 reports per year that cover a range of dynamics including but not limited to student-to-student tensions, faculty and student concerns, classroom and departmental issues and national controversies that affect individuals and groups on campus. Each resolution is determined based on the needs and the ability of the individuals involved. They range from a letter of apology to in-person conversations with respondents to campus-wide statements from the Bias Response Team. All resolutions are necessitated by having the consent of each party on a voluntary basis.


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

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

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

The University of Vermont and the Abenaki community have had a partnership since 1985 through the design of an annual program known as the “Summer Happening Program.” This program brings high school students to the University for two days to experience on-campus life and promote the possibility of a college education as a realistic option for these students. Focused on empowering Abenaki students to take pride in their native heritage, while exposing them to the academic rigor of college with scholarly lectures and activities, the Summer Happening Program offers students opportunities to establish relationships and provides support to seek post-secondary education.

The Summer Enrichment Scholars Program (SESP), created in 1972, is a FREE summer bridge program offered to incoming UVM first-year students of color, first-generation college students, and/or students from limited income backgrounds. This program is run by The Mosaic Center for Students of Color (MCSC).  SESP provides the opportunity for students to adjust to their new environment and address the challenges they will potentially face during their transition from high school to college. SESP is designed to Increase awareness and understanding of the resources available at UVM; connect students through deep and engaging conversations with the SESP cohort and current UVM students; and develop students’ leadership and academic skills and focus on the importance of mental health and wellbeing, while using an intersectional lens to learn and grow from each others’ experiences and paradigms.

Discovering UVM is a program geared toward prospective students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education in the United States. We welcome applications from all students who are entering their final year of high school or secondary school, especially students who are first-generation and/or underrepresented cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds (refugees or asylees and students in the U.S who are undocumented or with DACA status are welcome to apply). Designed to be an immersive, on-campus program, we offer two opportunities for students to experience Discovering UVM. Participants can select to attend Session 1 in October or Session 2 in November. Expect to learn more about the college application process, hear about the academic experience and student life at UVM, and have opportunities to engage with current students, staff, and faculty.


We provide on-demand and regularly scheduled trainings for search committees that give them best practices for affirmative recruiting that consider an applicants’ diversity as a positive factor which will contribute to the University’s strategic goals. We help search committees with advertising and outreach to diverse populations, and help the committee members recognize and address unconscious biases that can occur in a search process.

In addition, we give bimonthly presentations at the Department of Labor and attend diversity job fairs.

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

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

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

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

The Mosaic Center for Students of Color offers the MCSC peer mentoring program for first year students. The first year students are paired with an upper ­class student peer. This program includes academic, social, and cultural programming. Sisterhood Circle, The Brotherhood, and Queer & Trans POC groups are informal spaces in which relationships form and mentoring also naturally occurs while also providing spaces for affinity time and community building. MCSC has a long­standing collaboration with counseling and psychiatry services (CAPS) which has resulted in the placement of two counselors of color in the center to serve students four days per week. The MCSC spring awards banquet is a way to recognize leadership and academic achievement of students and the greater community of color at UVM.

Each summer the MCSC runs a summer bridge program called the summer enrichment scholars program (SESP) for students who identify as one of the following: modest income family, student of color, or first generation college student. SESP exists to assist first year undergraduates in transitioning from high school to college. The MCSC offers study breaks each semester so that students can de-stress, eat nutritious food and relax before going into finals. MCSC works frequently with all departments and academic units across campus to support students academically and proactively in their overall health and success as students. At the end of each semester MCSC also works closely with all the colleges to advocate for students during the studies committee meetings in person and virtually. Our advocacy has enabled many students of color to be retained at UVM

MCSC: https://www.uvm.edu/mcsc

TRIO/SSS which works with limited income/first generation students: https://www.uvm.edu/academicsuccess/trio_student_support_services

Student Accessibility Services which supports students with disabilities: https://www.uvm.edu/academicsuccess/student_accessibility_services

Outside of CFAS, the Division of Enrollment Management has Catamount Commitment which supports Vermonters who are limited income/first generation students: https://www.uvm.edu/studentfinancialservices/catamount_commitment

The Mosaic Center Students of Color (MCSC) has a monthly program called Sisterhood Circle and an annual Fall retreat called the Women of Color Leadership Retreat. Both are collaborative programs between the MCSC and Women’s Center to support and build community among students, staff and faculty women of color. Staff and faculty who are men of color often attend the Brotherhood to engage with the male identified community of color. The MCSC sometimes offers book groups for undergraduate and graduate students as well as staff and faculty women of color. The MCSC weekly Friday breakfast program which invites all community members (including staff and faculty) to end the week with a tasty informal breakfast at the Center. Collaboration with departments such as Residential Life have resulted in women of color gatherings that take place typically twice a year. Last, the MCSC staff connect colleagues of color to various campus opportunities such as advising student ethnic identity organizations or serving on program committees. These opportunities enable staff of color to network and get engaged in meaningful service to our communities
URL: http://www.uvm.edu/~woclr/ and https://www.uvm.edu/womenscenter

Purpose of Faculty Mentoring Program
The Faculty Mentoring Program pairs new and junior faculty members with senior members in a related discipline outside the mentee’s department. This relationship can support junior faculty and lecturers (the "protégés") to become familiar with institutional expectations, networks, and practices that are relevant to productivity and advancement at UVM. Research has supported the importance of mentoring for academic and career satisfaction and achievement. Research reports that mentors also gain a variety of tangible and intangible benefits from the mentoring process.
URL: https://www.uvm.edu/provost/faculty-mentoring-program

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 George Washington Henderson Fellowship Program was established in honor of the memory of George Washington Henderson who was one of the first African American students elected to Phi Beta Kappa and to graduate from the University of Vermont in the class of 1877. In cooperation with academic departments, the program sponsors predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars who will help advance the university's research and teaching goals and assist UVM in reaching its diversity goals, especially with respect to the academic curriculum.

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?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups 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.