Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.68
Liaison John Gardner
Submission Date May 31, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
0.75 / 1.00 Kate Nelson
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
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Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of campus climate?:

A brief description of the campus climate assessment(s) :

College campuses are complex social systems. They are defined by the relationships between faculty, staff, students, and alumni; bureaucratic procedures embodied by institutional policies; structural frameworks; institutional missions, visions, and core values; institutional history and traditions; and larger social contexts (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pederson, Alma, & Allen, 1998).

Institutional missions suggest that higher education values multicultural awareness and understanding within an environment of mutual respect and cooperation. Academic communities expend a great deal of effort fostering a climate to nurture their missions with the understanding that climate has a profound effect on the academic community’s ability to excel in teaching, research, and scholarship. Institutional strategic plans advocate creating welcoming and inclusive climates that are grounded in respect, nurtured by dialogue, and evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction.

The climate on college campuses not only affects the creation of knowledge, but also affects members of the academic community who, in turn, contribute to the creation of the campus climate. Several national education association reports and higher education researchers advocate creating a more inclusive, welcoming climate on college campuses (Boyer, 1990; AAC&U, 1995; Harper & Hurtado, 2007; Ingle, 2005; Milem, Chang, & Antonio, 2005). Because of the inherent complexity of the topic of diversity, it is crucial to examine the multiple dimensions of diversity in higher education. The conceptual model used as the foundation for this assessment of campus climate was developed by Smith (1999) and modified by Rankin (2002).

The University of Wisconsin System (UWS) has a long history of supporting diversity
initiatives as evidenced by the System’s support and commitment to this climate assessment project. In 2005, a taskforce committee of the UW System Inclusivity Initiative was formed to search for consulting firms that conduct climate assessments in higher education. Rankin & Associates (R&A) was identified as a leader in conducting multiple identity studies in higher education. In 2006, R&A presented a proposal to the UW System provosts and various constituent groups, which resulted in the formation by UW System administrators of the Climate Study Working Group (CSWG) and subsequent contract with R&A to facilitate a system-wide climate assessment.

Fact-finding groups were held in September 2007 to discuss with University of Wisconsin
System students, staff, and faculty their perceptions of the System climate. Informed by these fact-finding groups and informed by previous R&A work, the CSWG developed the final survey instrument template that was administered to the five participating institutions in spring 2008.

UW-Milwaukee was one of the five UW System institutions that participated in the initial
climate project in 2007-2008. A Diversity Leadership Committee (DLC) was created at UW-Milwaukee to assist in coordinating the survey effort on campus. The DLC reviewed the survey template and revised the instrument to better match the campus context at UW-Milwaukee. The final survey contained 90 questions, including open-ended questions for respondents to provide commentary. This report provides an overview of the findings of the internal assessment.

All members of the campus community (e.g., students, faculty, academic staff, and classified staff) were invited to participate in the survey. The survey was designed for respondents to provide information about their personal experiences with regard to climate issues, their perceptions of the campus climate, employees’ work-life issues, and respondents’ perceptions of institutional actions, including administrative policies and academic initiatives regarding climate issues and concerns on campus.

Has the institution assessed student diversity and educational equity?:

A brief description of the student diversity and educational equity assessment(s):

Every year, the student population is assessed for diversity. As an access institution, multicultural centers have expanded, including the addition of the Inclusive Excellence Center and the Student Success Center, focused on a campus population with a high percentage of first-generation students and the highest diversity rate in the state.

Has the institution assessed employee diversity and employment equity?:

A brief description of the employee diversity and employment equity assessment(s):

UWM conducted an in-depth analysis of its total employment process to determine whether and where impediments to equal employment opportunity exist. An impact ratio and goal progress analysis has been conducted for the time period beginning November 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014

Following this study is the most recent Affirmative Action Plan for UWM.

Action-Oriented Programs in the Affirmative Action Plan:
UWM is committed to diversity and inclusiveness; this commitment extends beyond legislative mandates and compliance measures. UWM endeavors to develop and maintain a cohesive, inclusive and diverse campus community that affirms teamwork, trust and cooperation. Accordingly, UWM reviews its employment processes to ensure that policies, practices and procedures do not disparately impact minority and female applicants or employees. Therefore, UWM commits to the following action-oriented initiatives over the next year of this Plan:
a. Recruitment and Selection.
As discussed above, in the upcoming plan year, UWM will set placement goals for women in the following job groups: 043, 04M, 07M, F01, F02, F03, F05, F08, F09, T04,
T06, and U04. Similarly, UWM will set place goals for minorities in the following job groups: 06M, F02, T02, T04, T07, T15, U01, U03, and U08. In order to make progress towards these placement goals, UWM will follow the steps listed below. These efforts are focused on increasing applicant flow, educating the hiring manager/screen committees, and careful monitoring of the recruitment process and selection decisions.
• EDS will immediately distribute utilization and availability data by job group to
hiring units to assist them in developing appropriate recruitment strategies.
EDS administrative staff will meet with each PREP individually during the year to
discuss any placement goals in their area and to review overall recruitment efforts
of each School/College and Division. In addition, EDS will meet at least one
additional time during the plan year with every School/College or Division that
has a current female and/or minority placement goal in order to review
recruitment plans for filling vacancies in underutilized job groups.
• In all meetings with PREPs, EDS will highlight the importance of sufficient
applicant flow, including advertising widely in media outlets that will likely reach
a diverse pool of applicants. To this end, EDS will convene a working group of
PREPs and Human Resources personnel to discuss strategies to increase applicant
flow in job groups with placement goals. The outcome of these discussions will
be distributed to all hiring units.
• Utilizing People Admin (known locally as Applicant Information Management
System or AIMS), the Department of Human Resources and other hiring
authorities will continue to monitor recruitment and screen activities in what is an
otherwise decentralized hiring process. EDS will monitor each recruitment in
each job group with a placement goal and, if necessary, intercede at critical
junctures. In particular, EDS will monitor whether recruitments in a job group
with a placement goal have sufficient applicant flow when initial screening
• UWM will require the hiring unit to develop, in writing, outreach efforts to
women and minorities in the identified job groups through strategic placement of
vacancy announcements. These efforts are documented in the recruitment plan,
which is reviewed by both the departmental PREP and the Department of Human
Resources staff. Departmental personnel representatives will be encouraged to
contact EDS for assistance in identifying new networks and/or listservs that focus
on outreach to targeted communities (i.e., women, minorities, protected veterans
and individuals with disabilities).
• Each PREP will be required to review position descriptions and position
announcements to ensure that job criteria are relevant to the functions of the
position, in particular to ensure that educational and experience requirements are
reasonable and valid.
• Screening committees will be asked to develop and utilize standard screening
forms when making decisions regarding applicants. These forms will be reviewed
by the Department of Human Resources and PREPs to ensure consistency with
the vacancy announcement.
• UWM’s Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) will offer training to search and screen
committees regarding appropriate, nondiscriminatory interview techniques.
• UWM will require a form for all hires, describing the reasons for the applicant’s
selection for a particular position. This form must be reviewed and approved by
the Search and Screen Committee Chair and both the relevant PREP and
Dean/Division Head. The form will also be reviewed by the Department of
Human Resources.
• Opportunity hires: During the course of regular recruitments, UWM may become
aware of talent that would benefit the University in another area or that would
assist in building a particular program or discipline. This may occur in the form of
the existence of more than one viable candidate for a position or a spousal
placement. The Provost maintains the authority to make an opportunity hire when
such talent is demonstrated and/or documented and improves underrepresentation
in a particular job group/category.
b. Promotions.
In consideration of the placement goals established in this Plan, UWM will implement
the following steps for the 2014-2015 year, for all job groups with placement goals:
• UWM departments will be expected to post or generally announce any open
positions including promotional opportunities on the UWM Employment
Opportunities website. These positions are filled through the normal recruitment
processes, and the action-oriented programs described above in the preceding
section will be followed.
• UWM will continue to provide tuition reimbursement for job-related/career-
related courses. This educational opportunity increases promotional opportunities
and is both a recruiting and retention tool.
• The Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Inclusion and Engagement (GIE) will
continue to meet with Deans and administrators of UWM’s Schools/Colleges to
review diversity, inclusion and climate efforts.
• The Department of Human Resources and EDS will encourage units to conduct
annual performance evaluations for all employees consistent with UWM’s
personnel policies and procedures. The objective of the review process is to
provide feedback on areas for improvement and increase the retention rates of
c. Compensation.
UWM has instituted a plan to review employee compensation equity on a regular basis. To assist the University in this endeavor, UWM has and will continue to contract with an external consultant who has knowledge of and expertise in current OFCCP guidance and expectations relating to self-evaluation of compensation practices, and experience performing compensation analysis consistent with such guidance and expectations.
During the 2015-16 AAP year, EDS in consultation with the offices of Human Resources
and Legal Affairs will hire an external consultant to conduct a compensation analysis of
faculty and instructional academic staff.
With regard to unclassified employees, on a regular basis, deans and division heads are expected to review the overall salary structure within their units and make adjustments, as they are able, consistent with allotted budgets. Adjustments are not uncommon when necessary to correct a salary discrepancy between employees with comparable training, experience and responsibilities or where evidence of serious retention problems exist, such as recent patterns of employees leaving to take outside position at higher levels of pay. For most classified staff, initial compensation is set and ongoing pay administration is conducted in accordance with the State of Wisconsin Compensation Plan.
d. Terminations.
In consideration of the placement goals established above, UWM will implement the following steps for all job groups for the 2014 – 2015 plan year:
• UWM’s Labor Relations Coordinator will continue to monitor all termination
activity for classified employees to ensure that such actions are based on
legitimate, work-related reasons.
• EDS will continue to investigate any termination activity that shows a statistical
disparity for women and/or minorities. EDS also accepts and investigates
discrimination complaints from former UWM employees who believe they may
have been subjected to discrimination during the course of their employment or as
a result of a termination.
• All employees who have separated from UWM are offered the opportunity to
participate in an exit survey. The Department of Human Resources also will
conduct exit interviews to those declining to wait for the annual exit survey. The
Department of Human Resources will use the information obtained from either
surveys and/or exit interviews to follow-up on issues that may require
e. Retention and Climate.
UWM is a research/doctoral institution. However, to a large extent, UWM salaries
are not competitive with similar institutions. Schools and colleges experience a high
rate of offer rejections and significant turnover in the first five years of employment.
Therefore, UWM continuously seeks to improve its climate, and consequently the
retention rate of the most recent hires, with the following initiatives:
• Chancellor's Climate Initiatives: UWM's Chancellor, in consultation with his
executive cabinet and other campus leaders, has indicated that a priority for
UWM is to enhance campus climate for faculty, staff and students to make
UWM the best place to work (BP2W). An outcome of the BP2W has been a new
vision statement that included establishing as a high priority the objective of
becoming a "best place to work and learn for students, faculty and staff." The
BP2W initiative has been implemented with action and leadership teams and a
steering committee chaired by the Chancellor.
• Counter offers: UWM will continue to make appropriate counter offers to faculty
and staff who are solid performers and contribute to the diversity of the
institution. Salary compression issues notwithstanding, UWM will continue to
monitor faculty and staff resignations and intercede with appropriate counter offers
where possible.
• Affinity Groups: There are a number of student, faculty, and staff organizations,
both formal and informal, which exist at UWM whose missions are to support,
encourage, mentor and/or advocate for their respective communities. Examples of
these groups include the African-American, Southeast Asian and American Indian
Student Support Services Centers, the Black Cultural Center, the Roberto
Hernandez Center, the LGBT and Women's Resource Centers, as well as the
African American, Asian, American Indian and Latino Faculty and Staff
• Neutral Investigations of Complaints. EDS is charged with conducting
investigations and resolving complaints brought under UWM Discriminatory
Conduct Policy (including Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence), a copy of
which can be found in Appendix A. The policy is consistent with federal and
state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title
IX of the 1972 Educational Amendment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act,
as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Vietnam Veterans
Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; and the Wisconsin State Statutes. During
2013-2014 plan year, EDS investigated 25 discrimination complaints. Its findings
and recommendations are forwarded to the Provost for action.
• UWM Office of Conflict Resolution & Ombuds Council. This Office and Council is
an independent, neutral and confidential resource, which provides assistance to
UWM faculty and staff in exploring options to resolve problems, conflicts or
issues outside of a formal complaint process. The 10 members of the Ombuds
Council are representative of faculty, academic staff and classified employees.
The Council is led by a University Distinguished Professor.

Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of governance and public engagement?:

A brief description of the governance and public engagement assessment(s):

Through the inclusivity of our shared governance and commitment to diversity, UWM stands well to have strong diversity and equity representation in our governance and public engagement. But there is no direct assessment to showcase this.

UWM recent Strategic Plan points to our "Inclusive and Innovative Culture".

" Inclusive and Innovative Culture: Foster a culture that embraces innovation, creativity
and diverse perspectives within an inclusive environment for all faculty, staff and
students. UWM needs a healthy climate that attracts and retains the talented faculty, staff and students required to achieve the three strategic goals outlined above. In alignment with our campus vision statement, UWM will be a best place to learn and work for all campus community members. We will support innovation and creativity in research and education; value diverse perspectives and intercultural knowledge; and provide an inclusive environment for all members of the campus community. "

The website URL where information about the assessment(s) is available:

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.