Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.15
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Kentucky University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Christian Ryan
Sustainability Coordinator
WKU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs and employment. As an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services employer, WKU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or marital status in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. On request, WKU will provide reasonable accommodations, including auxiliary aids and services, necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in all services, programs, activities, and employment.
https://www.wku.edu/eoo/nondisc.php

Additionally, WKU has a statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which includes the following:
"The right to participate in all areas and activities of the university, free from any form of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws."
Full statement can be found here:
https://www.wku.edu/studentconduct/student-rights-responsibilities.php


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

The University has published policies and procedures for investigating and/or addressing discrimination or harassment in its educational programs and employment.
This protocol is different depending on whether the person is a student or employee. The protocol states that:
A person experiencing discrimination or harassment but who does not desire to make a formal report may consider the following alternatives:
1. Contacting the WKU University Ombuds Officer for information and guidance;
and/or,
1. Clearly informing the alleged offender / harasser that the behavior is offensive,
unwelcome and will not be tolerated.
If the person wishes to file a formal report, the policy states the following:
B. Formal Report / Procedure: Emphasis shall be on getting at the facts, assuring those facts are reported accurately to the proper authority, and providing a decision based on
verifiable information.
1. Stage I / Initial Report
a) A complaint of discrimination or harassment should be submitted within thirty (30)
calendar days of the most recently alleged discriminatory, harassing or retaliatory
action to the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA
Services (EEO) Director.
b) Any individual who believes he/she may have experienced or observed conduct which
is in violation of this policy should report this information immediately to the EEO
Director.
c) Any dean, director, faculty member, department head, manager, supervisor, or
other individual with supervisory or administrative responsibility who learns of,
or receives, information that conduct in violation of this policy has occurred (or is
occurring) must immediately report that information to the EEO Director.
d) The EEO Director is Mr. Joshua Hayes.
e) Upon receipt of information, the EEO Director will either initiate stage 2, or if the
report / complaint is an allegation of student to student violation of the policy, the
EEO Director will refer the report / complaint to the Vice President for Student Affairs,
who will initiate stage 2.
f) The EEO Director shall also notify the Title IX Coordinator of any reports or
complaints received.
2. Stage 2 / Investigation
a) Investigator: Responsibility for investigation of discrimination or harassment
complaints:
1) Student to student violations: A report or complaint brought forward by a student
where the accused is a student shall be investigated by the Vice President for
Student Affairs or his/her designee.
2) Non-student to student violations: Reports or complaints brought forward by a
student where the accused is an employee or non-university person (ex: visitor)
shall be investigated by the EEO.
3) All other violations: Reports or complaints brought forward by a University
employee or non-University person (ex: visitor), regardless of the status of the
person accused, shall be investigated by the EEO.

The full policy can be found here:
https://www.wku.edu/policies/docs/251.pdf

The Office of Student Conduct is the “Judicial Umbrella” at Western Kentucky University. Within the Division of Student Affairs, direct supervisory jurisdiction of student behavior matters involving violations of The Student Handbook is assumed by the Director of Student Conduct who serves as the senior conduct officer of the University.

A University Student Ombuds Officer and Employee Ombuds Officer exist as "an information source and point of communication for students who believe they may have a personal grievance regarding an alleged violation, misinterpretation or improper application of University policies and procedures, or alleged improper treatment."


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

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

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

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

Western Kentucky University places a premium on teaching and student learning and growth; therefore, it is important for the University to seek achievement of diversity among its faculty, staff and student populations. As stated in the University’s Strategic Plan, Challenging the Spirit, three (3) of the five (5) Strategic Goals relate to the importance of diversity in the development of culturally responsible citizens, growing a high quality and diverse student body, and enhancing the climate for diversity and collegiality. The Strategic Plan’s performance indicators include the engagement of the Chief Diversity Officer who has direct access to the President. A Presidential appointed Diversity Enhancement Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Chief Diversity Officer who is responsible for overseeing diversity initiatives, continuous improvement in meeting diversity goals, and establishing a Diversity Plan for the University.
The Diversity Statement and Plan can be viewed here:
https://www.wku.edu/dec/wkudiversitystatement.php
https://www.wku.edu/dec/wkudiversityplan.php

The International Enrollment Management and International Student Office provides specialized support services including admissions processing, immigration advising and guidance, programs and events, cultural adjustment, resources and so much more form more than 1300 international students and scholars from more than 70 countries.

The Intercultural Student Engagement Center (ISEC) assists our university with the recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented WKU students.https://www.wku.edu/isec/index.php

Western Kentucky University’s Facilities Management Department employs the majority of campus staff persons. The department partners with the WKU International Center and the Bowling Green Refugee Center to recruit and place eligible individuals in staff positions at WKU. The success of these efforts have led to a significant increase in diversity in University staff (75 individuals from underrepresented groups in 2016), and the establishment of ESL programming in Facilities Management.


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

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

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Diversity and inclusion is a shared responsibility of every member of the Western Kentucky University (WKU) campus community. The mission of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) is to provide resources to the campus community and the external community that promote inclusive excellence, access and social justice for all. OIDI collaborates with diverse university constituents and external constituents to increase the degree completion rate of under-represented students attending WKU.
The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion affirms that being a member of an of an under-represented group may be achieved by membership in one or more of the following social identities: Asian American, Asian Pacific American, Black, GLBTA, Gender, Latino/a, Mental / Physical ability, Mexican American, Native American, Primary language spoken, Religious belief and Socioeconomic status.

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion leverages inclusive excellence, access, and social justice through the implementation of the following Signature Programs:
University-wide Cultural Celebrations Advisory Committee
Day of Dialogue
Diversity Fellows Certificate Program
Diversity Research Institute
Faculty Fellows Program
As well as a variety of programs designed to encourage degree completion for minority students as well as professional development programs for these students.
Additionally, in 2013, the OIDI offered a Social Justice Colloquium series. One goal of the Social Justice Colloquium is to provide the WKU campus community with a transparent framework to engage in deep, interrogative discussions about race, power, privilege, diversity, inclusion and intersectionality. A second goal is to use the “emerging themes” during the Social Justice Colloquium to leverage institutional transformational change which supports and sustains increased numbers of degree completion among under-represented students.

The WKU Counseling and Testing Center is committed to promoting the academic mission of the university by providing a variety of psychological services to students that will augment recruitment, retention, and graduation by strengthening students’ capacity to tolerate distress, form healthy relationships, and seek healthy expressions of their ideals and values. The Counseling and Testing Center also advances the university’s mission by providing educational programming, training, and consultation to the students, faculty, staff, and constituents of WKU. The Counseling & Testing Center hosts a weekly LGBTQIA support group. No appointment necessary- Join us in a comfortable and safe atmosphere.

The Office of International Programs strives to complement Western Kentucky University's vision to be A Leading American University with International Reach through the strategic development, implementation, and management of campus-wide internationalization initiatives. The Office of International Programs, in partnership with the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning, serves to enhance WKU's international profile by working closely with students, faculty, and staff, both domestic and foreign.

The International Enrollment Management and International Student Office at Western Kentucky University provides specialized support services including admissions processing, immigration advising and guidance, programs and events, cultural adjustment, and other resources.

The Intercultural Student Engagement Center (I.S.E.C.) promotes a culturally inclusive campus environment, cultural awareness and competence, inter-group dialogue, engagement and intercultural interaction, and supports lifelong learning about self and others. The office serves as a hands-on recruitment and retention resource for the many cultural, religious/spiritual, and identity groups reflected within the WKU community. The center provides student support services to foster academic success and sponsors culturally based celebratory events. Staff within I.S.E.C. carry out programmatic initiatives designed to increase the cultural competency of students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, center staff manages respectful spaces for students to learn about themselves and others through meaningful experiences, dialogues, and opportunities for growth.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

The Office of Scholar Development (OSD) challenges students to dream big and assists them in making those dreams attainable. Additionally, OSD offers support to faculty and staff members in their endeavors to assist individual students and promote research, creative activities, and achievement university-wide. We collaborate with faculty and staff to apply for grants to create opportunities for students, develop workshops related to our mission, and celebrate the successes of WKU students and their faculty advisors. In support of the institutional mission to increase the diversity of faculty, the OSD assists with application for Ford Foundation Fellowship programs, described below.
"Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the faculty of the nation’s colleges and universities, thus maximizing the educational benefits of diversity and increasing the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students."

At Western Kentucky University, the Minority Teacher Recruitment Center (MTRC) is committed to increasing the number of minority teachers in Kentucky classrooms through recruitment and retention efforts. The MTRC is dedicated to assisting students who are pursuing teacher education as a major, and collaborates with the Kentucky Department of Education and area school districts in bringing resources together.


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.