Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 63.21
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date June 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 3.00 Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Sustainability Coordinator
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:

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is committed to creating an educational community which enhances student awareness and appreciation of diverse ethnicities and cultures and which actively supports tolerance, civility and respect for the rights and sensibilities of each person without regard to economic status, ethnic background, political views, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics or beliefs. Awareness of and sensitivity to diverse ethnic and cultural heritages are especially sought in applicants.


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:

Anyone reporting discrimination is encouraged to complete a Bias Incident Report Form located at https://www.uwrf.edu/reportit/. There is then a team of campus faculty and staff who review all reports and work with the necessary authorities and resources to resolve the issue while offering the reporter adequate support. UWRF has both a Behavior Intervention Team as well as a Bias Education Response Team.

The reporting process is intended to maintain the privacy of those who choose to use it. To that end, information provided will be kept private to the extent possible. Depending on the circumstances, information received in this reporting process may result in additional university action. In such instances, information about a complaint is shared with those members of the University community who "need to know" in order to effectively investigate and address the concern.

Support for the individual who has experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination, or hate crime includes:
Connecting the individual with resources such as:
-Student Health & Counseling Services
Student Health & Counseling Services offers on-campus professional mental health counseling services, clinical services contracted through Vibrant Health Family Clinics in River Falls and Pierce County Reproductive Health Services, and holistic educational and preventative initiatives and programming. They can also provide you with connections to local mental health counseling services for longer-term counseling needs.
Counseling Services: 715-425-3884
Student Health Services: 715-425-3293
-Campus Victim Advocate
The CVA provides advocacy as well as direct and outreach/prevention services to UWRF students, faculty, and staff who have experienced sexual assault, harassment, dating/domestic violence, and stalking
-Pierce County Victim/Witness Coordinator
(P): 715-273-6750 ext. 6749
-SART - St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team
This organization provides forensic healthcare, education, protection, and advocacy for victim survivors of sexual assault and the community.
(P): 715-425-6443
(Available 24 hours/day)

A full list of resources available to the individual and often used by the Bias Response Team can be found at https://www.uwrf.edu/Inclusivity/Resources/resources.cfm.

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:

A position in the Admissions office, Admissions Counselor and Multicultural Outreach, is dedicated recruiting students from underrepresented groups. There is a multicultural website available to potential students which includes information on our student population, culturally and identity based student organizations, and the many offices that support students. https://www.uwrf.edu/Admissions/UndergraduateAdmission/multicultural.cfm

UWRF also has a program called the Aspire program. The Aspire Program is designed for students of color, and/or low income and first-generation students, to ensure their continuing success at UWRF. The program will pair incoming students with an upper class mentor to help guide them through their first year. https://www.uwrf.edu/Inclusivity/aspireprogram/

Faculty and Staff:
During the last year, the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee has:
1. Continued to gather and organize research on effective recruitment/retention of a more diverse faculty/staff.
2. Built a library of information available to Search and Screen Committees to use in recruitment. Designed to highlight proximity to more diverse communities.
a. Gathered sample materials from across the region.
b. Arranged through the Provost's office to have selected information, including specifically designed with diversity in mind, available through his office at all times. This information could also be taken to conferences when faculty/staff are actively recruiting.
c. Presented at all administrators/managers/chairs meeting on usefulness and availability of materials.
3. Arranged for automatic dissemination of newly designed recruitment materials designed with diversity in mind to faculty/staff granted university funding for conferences/meetings. Presented usefulness and availability information at all administrators/managers/chairs meeting.
4. Continued to audit UWRF website for diversity/inclusivity opportunities and made recommendations for improvement.
5. Beginning work on institutionalizing valuing of diversity/inclusivity via documents designed for use in retention and promotion.

UW River Falls is a member of the higher education recruitment consortium (HERC). All of UW River Falls faculty vacancy notices are posted on the HERC website. In recent months, HERC has:
· Interacted with over 1,000 future faculty of color at the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
· Established a relationship with the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program
· Shared HERC information with attendees at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, the Society for the Advancement for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science Conference, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity · Advertised in the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities conference booklet
· Co-sponsored two webinars with the Federal Office of Disability Employment Policy
· Created a national Diversity Taskforce that is focusing on HERC’s relationship with HBCUs, HSIs, and Tribal Colleges, planning increased efforts and expenditures on diversity advertising and partnerships, and organizing additional diversity-related member webinars.

Briefing to Leadership Assembly and Cabinet Leadership on the current status of diversity in the workforce at UWRF including areas of under-utilization and evidence-based practices for recruiting and retention. UW River Falls is specifically a member of the upper Midwest HERC, and UMW HERC were responsible for organizing two national webinars on academic publishing in the sciences. Presented by Elsevier, one of the world’s largest science and health information providers, the webinars attracted scientists who indicated the webinars were their first exposure to HERC. More than 137 graduate students and postdoc scientists participated in the webinars.

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:


Gender Inclusive Facilities

The Student Involvement Office offers campus wide programming that is intended to:
-raise awareness about diverse social identity groups
-help students build their cultural competency
-assist students in developing a more comprehensive & synthesized view of their own identity
-assist students in becoming informed citizens about the social, structural and institutional barriers that affect various groups of people through social justice educational efforts

- additional information about the diversity organizations

Student Success Center

Upward Bound Program

Student Support Services (SSS)

Student Support Services is a project designed to help students maximize their academic potential and achieve their academic and personal goals. Students must be a first generation college student, have financial need, and/or have a disability. Through the program, they receive mentoring from other students as well as faculty and staff. The program benefits include knowledgeable and committed coaches, early grade awareness reports, academic and study skill support, cultural activities, financial literacy (budgets, credit cards, student loan guidance, FAFSA assistance), professional development (resume, interview skills, internships, networking and graduate school exploration), service projects and leadership development, referrals and connections to other campus resources, SSS Grant Aid, community of first generation scholars, and priority class registration. The SSS program improves the retention and graduation of the students it serves. In 2015-16, 88% of participants were in good academic standing and 86% graduation or returned to UWRF for Fall 2017.

Multicultural Student Services
Multicultural Student Services (MSS) office is dedicated to supporting and connecting you with the campus community and resources during your time at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. MSS provides an inclusive and supportive community space for underrepresented students to learn and engage with educational resources, leadership opportunities and campus community.

Ability Services supports students who have very difficult medical, physical, sensory, or brain related issues. When necessary the office arranges alternative ways these students can do important things. This is often called "accommodation." The goal is equal access and opportunity.

UWRF has a goal of increasing the percentage of the UW-River Falls workforce comprised of faculty and staff of color to 8% by 2020. Ways we are supporting pursuit of Goal #3 and in turn supporting our faculty and staff from underrepresented groups include:

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:

McNair Scholars Program: http://www.uwrf.edu/AcademicSuccess/McNairScholars/Index.cfm
Each year, twelve to fifteen new undergraduate McNair Scholars are selected for two years of intensive mentoring, specialized seminars, collaborative research, and a paid summer research internship, all of which prepare them for graduate school. McNair Scholars include promising students from groups traditionally underrepresented in doctoral programs and are selected through an application and interview process. Faculty referrals are encouraged.

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.