Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.26
Liaison Alexi Lamm
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2022

STARS v2.2

Utah State University
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.56 / 2.00 Michelle Bogdan
Director
USU Inclusion Center
"---" 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 University has five entities to address inclusion, diversity and equity on campus.
• The USU Inclusion Center creates and coordinates activities, events, programs and trainings that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. This position focuses on students.
• The Office of Equity investigates violations of Title IX and/or other forms of discrimination. The Office of Equity sponsors the USU Annual Diversity Awards to highlight faculty, staff, students and community members who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Lastly, the Office of Equity offers a wide variety of diversity-related training. Included in this type of training is a discussion about why it is important to understand differences, recognize our own biases, and identify skills in removing cultural and gender barriers. Training is also provided to teaching assistants and to other personnel and students on a requested basis. Sexual Harassment Prevention Workshops are designed for new employees and for those who have not attended previous sessions. The workshops are general 90-minute program for all new employees (full and part-time staff, faculty, and student employees), or for those who have not had an opportunity to attend previously scheduled sessions. This position focuses on students and employees.
• Aggies Think, Care, Act is an initiative for fostering a caring community that enhances the learning environment for all Aggies. ATCA as a campus-wide campaign promotes diversity, human dignity and social responsibility. ATCA organizes events that support this mission and collaborates campus wide to promote principles of community. This position focuses on students.
• The Latinx Cultural Center serves as a conduit for service, engagement, advocacy, and visibility for the Latinx community on campus and in the Cache Valley and surrounding areas. The LCC develops programming and events devoted to educating the campus on issues that affect the Latinx community and promotes the cause of diversity and representation at Utah State. This position focuses on students and employees.
• The University created the position of Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and has established an office for the VP and three additional team members. This inaugural position has been filled and that person has begun their tenure. This position will set the precedent for the entire state system. The Inclusion Center and the Latinx Culture will report directly to the VP for DEI. The VP for DEI will report directly to the President of USU. This position focuses on students and employees.


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:
Most

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

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

All new students and most employees are required to attend training to prevent sexual misconduct. These trainings include information on healthy relationships, respect within the workplace, and reporting options/obligations. These trainings touch on anti-oppression and inclusion, perhaps more so for students. The university also provides several other trainings, which are listed below. Participation numbers are included where available. Based on the content of the trainings and those attended by different groups, we've reported that most students and faculty have participated in qualifying trainings while some staff have.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Workshops are designed for employees with different reporting obligations. All full-time and some part-time employees must complete a sexual misconduct (Title IX) training within 60 days of when they are a new employee and then again every year. The employee sexual misconduct (Title IX) trainings empower employees by teaching them how to recognize sexual misconduct behaviors, their obligations related to addressing sexual misconduct behaviors, how to respond to a sexual misconduct disclosure, and university and community support resources and reporting options. In fall 2021, 5,890 employees completed a sexual misconduct reporting obligations training.

All new full-time, degree-seeking students at USU must complete sexual misconduct prevention training in spring 2022. This training addresses sexual misconduct behaviors along with information about bystander intervention strategies, healthy relationships, and support and reporting resources. It’s important to us as a public institution that all members of our community feel included on our campus and in our trainings. The trainings provide an inclusive, evidence-based approach that is reflective of the people in our campus community. Completion is required prior to class registration. From fall 2017 to fall 2021, 39,350 incoming students have completed a sexual misconduct prevention training.

Office of Equity offers a wide variety of diversity-related training. Included in this type of training is a discussion why it is important to understand differences, recognize our own biases, and identify skills in removing cultural and gender barriers. Training is also provided to teaching assistants and to other personnel and students on a requested basis.

The Allies on Campus program provides an avenue for individuals to show their active support of the LGBTQA+ community. It is open to students, faculty, and staff. Following a training seminar, members are designated as LGBTQA+ affirming individuals and positive resources for those who identify as LGBTQA+. These trainings are offered several times per semester and upon request. LGBTQA+ 101 and Trans 101 are additional trainings offered upon request. In addition, FaithZone training is available to all staff, faculty, and students and provides a workshop on how to support people who orient around religion differently.

The Inclusion Office has expanded trainings and presentations. UndocuAlly training was kicked off in the Fall of 2021. This 3-hr training includes background information and resources for supporting DACA/Undocumented students.

In addition, an Anti-racism Training was established two years ago through the Inclusion Center. This training is based on the Anti-racism work by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. After each training, the trainee receives a sticker identifying them as a safe and knowledgeable contact for students, staff, and faculty. The Inclusion Center frequently sponsors speakers and guest panelists who are also intricately involved in DEI work as well as events, activities, and programs designed to raise awareness and educate on issues surround DEI and social/racial justice. The trainings are offered throughout the year and have great attendance. Over 1300 students and employees completed a non-discrimination training in 2020-2021.

Each college/department is responsible for directing additional training for staff and faculty through professional development opportunities such as conferences sponsored through their professional associations or inviting experts in the field to campus to present and/or by attending Office of Equity diversity-related trainings.

“Upstanding” is a bystander intervention approach to the prevention of bias and other harms. The purpose is to prepare members of the USU campus community with the skills and knowledge needed to safely and effectively intervene when they sense bias, threat or potential harm to another. These trainings are offered several times per semester and per request. From fall 2017 to fall 2021, 14,298 individuals, mostly students, have participated in an Upstanding training.

The university hosts and Inclusive Excellence Symposium and an annual Empowering Teaching Excellence faculty conference where many faculty and some staff attend sessions on inclusion, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and cultural competence.


Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Utah State University recognizes that true social justice entails equity and inclusion in all facets of society. The research demonstrates that degree attainment significantly contributes to the well-being of a society and reduces the disparities that exist within historically underrepresented populations. Education makes a difference. As a result, there is a growing urgency to increase student success and degree attainment especially amongst marginalized populations. In 2021, Utah System of Higher Education created a strategic plan to center educational equity and inclusion. All 16 public higher education institutions have been tasked with creating access for low-income and historically marginalized students of color, raising completion rates for BIPOC students, and creating pathways to careers. In addition, USHE has aligned measures between postsecondary attainment goals and performance-based funding in order to accomplish these goals. This begins with the K-12 pipeline. USU contributes to strengthening this pipeline through recruiting and funding and by fostering a culture of success by encouraging all stakeholders to work synergistically and collaboratively. In addition, USU has created benchmarks for success and several new DEI related positions to meet the expectations.

https://www.usu.edu/inclusion/gender-sexuality/allies, Erika Lindstrom, Coordinator
https://www.usu.edu/equity – Matthew Pinner, Director
https://www.usu.edu/student-affairs - Dr. James Morales, VP for Student Affairs
https://www.usu.edu/think-care-act, Eri Bentley, Chair
https://www.usu.edu/latinx, Chris Gonzalez, Director
Trainings: https://www.usu.edu/equity/trainings/employee-prevention
https://www.aspirealliance.org/institutional-change/ichange-network
https://www.usu.edu/sexual-respect/education/upstanding - EmmaLee Fishburn, Coordinator
http://www.usu.edu/admissions : Paula Rivera, Assistant Director, Multicultural Recruitment

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.