Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.01
Liaison Paul Mathisen
Submission Date May 23, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Liz Tomaszewski
Facilities Systems Manager/Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Department
"---" 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:

It is the policy of WPI to provide each qualified individual, regardless of race, sex, age, color, national origin, religion, genetic identity disability, gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or any other protected status - the opportunity to participate in the University's educational and employment programs and activities in a discrimination and harassment-free environment, in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. WPI prohibits and will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment. WPI prohibits and will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who have complained about, or participated in an investigation of a complaint about unlawful discrimination or harassment. WPI will administer any complaint of discrimination or harassment with the utmost degree of privacy and confidentiality possible under the circumstances of each matter as permitted by law. Any individual who believes that he or she has been subjected to prohibited discrimination or harassment in connection with any University program or activity should immediately bring the matter to the attention of Tracy Hassett, Vice President of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator (for faculty or staff conduct), Philip Clay, Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for student conduct) or one of the other Deputy Title IX Coordinators. https://www.wpi.edu/about/policies/equal-opportunity-anti-discrimination-harassment


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):

WPI will administer any complaint of discrimination or harassment with the utmost degree of privacy and confidentiality possible under the circumstances of each matter as permitted by law. Any individual who believes that he or she has been subjected to prohibited discrimination or harassment in connection with any University program or activity should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Vice President of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (for faculty or staff conduct), Philip Clay, Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for student conduct) or one of the other Deputy Title IX Coordinators. https://www.wpi.edu/about/policies/equal-opportunity-anti-discrimination-harassment
WPI prohibits and will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who have complained about, or participated in an investigation of a complaint about unlawful discrimination or harassment. WPI will administer any complaint of discrimination or harassment with the utmost degree of privacy and confidentiality possible under the circumstances of each matter as permitted by law. Any individual who believes that he or she has been subjected to prohibited discrimination or harassment in connection with any University program or activity should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Vice President of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator (for faculty or staff conduct), Philip Clay, Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for student conduct) or one of the other Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

The Multicultural Affairs Office, the Ombudsmen, the Student Development and Counseling Centers are prepared to address any issues that arise. A recent example includes a letter from the President's Office that addresses offensive graffiti.

Examples of details provided at
https://www.wpi.edu/about/policies/equal-opportunity-anti-discrimination-harassment

The WPI Student Development and Counseling Center is located at 157 West Street, and may be contacted in person at the above address, via e-mail at SDCC@wpi.edu, or via phone at 508-831-5540. The WPI Student Health and Wellness Services is located on the ground floor of Stoddard C and may be contacted, via e-mail at healthcenter@wpi.edu or via phone at 508-831-5520. In an emergency or after hours, Campus Police (508-831-5433) can connect students with the Counselor-on-call or a medical professional.

Sexual Violence Advocates
WPI has identified trained staff members who work directly and confidentially with students, providing emotional support and connecting victims to other services (both on-campus and within the Worcester community).


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:

Regarding students:
"a. K-12 Programing – Through the office of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programming, WPI offers programming throughout the academic year and over the summer to K-12 students on and off campus. Much of the programming is focused on establishing recruitment pipelines for underrepresented minorities, women, and first generation students (all groups underrepresented at STEM institutions). Some programming is free of charge and others provide scholarships for students who may require financial assistance in order to participate.
b. Admissions – The office of admissions has a Targeted Domestic Recruitment team that crafts strategies and tactics for recruiting underrepresented groups (underrepresented minorities, women, and first generation). The team advises and trains the entire admissions team on issues surrounding and supporting the recruitment of underrepresented groups. During application review, the admissions team draws on training and advisement from the Targeted Domestic Recruitment team to review underrepresented students holistically within their specific context to avoid unintended biases or inherent biases in tools like standardized test scores. This team also plans and executes four overnight opportunities (two in the fall and two in the spring) specifically for underrepresented students to visit campus and stay with a student host overnight the day prior to an admissions open house or accepted student day. Travel scholarships are available for these programs. In addition, some travel scholarships are available for underrepresented students who are admitted and seeking to travel to campus before making a final decision in the Spring of their senior year. A select group of hand-picked student interns support the Targeted Domestic Recruitment team in student-to-student outreach, assisting to track down missing documents for incomplete applications, and answering questions of visitors from underrepresented groups. Finally, WPI adopted a test-optional policy for standardized test scores in 2007 to support access and equity for underrepresented groups, such as women and underrepresented minorities.
c. Connections works to increase the access to educational opportunities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for underrepresented students of African, Latino, and American Indian descent. Established in 1993, Connections is a comprehensive network of support services for students of color while enrolled at WPI.
d. The Society of Women Engineers works to support women in achieving their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, to expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and to demonstrate the value of diversity.
e. ALANA Student Support Network is a group of administrators from several colleges within the Worcester consortium. The network's goal is to develop a stronger connection between all the ALANA students in the Worcester consortium and to expand support and resources for ALANA students, provide opportunities for them to meet and dialogue, and then for them to develop genuine supportive relationships with each other.
f. WPI is committed to providing support services for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender (GLBT) community on campus. To date, we have active student groups, events, and we are building a resource library at the OASIS Cultural Center.
g. The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) contributes to the national agenda by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities receiving baccalaureate degrees in science, math, engineering, and technology disciplines."

Regarding Staff:
WPI recently established the position of Chief Diversity Officer, demonstrating our commitment to the diversity of our faculty and staff. The announcement stated, "In this new role, Michelle Jones-Johnson will be strategically focused on supporting employee and leadership recruitment, retention, and development, and on identifying opportunities for creating a more diverse and inclusive campus community. Michelle states, "I see a university that strives to respect and celebrate diversity—in gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, and other dimensions. This role creates a unique opportunity for WPI to leverage talent to make meaningful strides toward its strategic objectives, grounded in diverse thinking and fueled by innovation." These principles guide all of our hiring.

Regarding faculty:
The overall hiring principles stated above apply to faculty recruitment. In addition, provost Bruce Bursten has mandated that each faculty search committee include a diversity representative who assists in the process and reports on diversity efforts at the time that a hiring decision is made.


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:

For students:
• Connections works to increase the access to educational opportunities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for underrepresented students of African, Latino, and American Indian descent. Established in 1993, Connections is a comprehensive network of support services for students of color while enrolled at WPI.
• The Society of Women Engineers works to support women in achieving their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, to expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and to demonstrate the value of diversity.
• WPI is committed to providing support services for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender (GLBT) community on campus. To date, we have active student groups, events, and we are building a resource library at the OASIS Cultural Center.
• The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) contributes to the national agenda by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities receiving baccalaureate degrees in science, math, engineering, and technology disciplines.

For Faculty and Staff:
The Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs serves in a leadership role in the Women's Support Network which provides mentoring and support for female staff and faculty of color.

For faculty:
Since 1997, WPI has offered a New Faculty Mentoring Program in order to provide new faculty members with professional and social support. The program is facilitated by the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center, and all first and second year tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty are eligible to participate.

For staff:
the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs Chairs the local ALANA Support Network which serves administrators of color in higher education whose work focuses on diversity and inclusion, mentoring, professional development, networking, and cross partnerships.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides WPI employees and their household members with an opportunity to identify potential problems and prevent them from becoming major obstacles in their work and personal lives.

The WPI Ombuds Office will help faculty, students and staff deal with any issues and conflicts that may arise at the university. The office is independent from all other offices on campus; it is impartial; it offers a safe, confidential way to help individuals deal with concerns.


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?:
No

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

This support is provided on an individual basis but no university-wide program exists at the present time.


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
No

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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"WPI Residential Services Office will offer Gender Inclusive Housing/Mixed Gender Housing for ALL students.

Upperclassman starting with housing selection now for Fall 2017
- Students choose with whom they live – in a bedroom – independent of gender identity – in any space available to the group at the time of selection
- Students will participate in housing selection in a group
- Group leader will assign students to bedrooms as they/the group sees fit

First Year Students starting with housing applications in June for Fall 2017
- Founders will be our mixed gender location, this is suite style housing with triples and singles.
- Bedrooms will still be single gender within a suite that could be mixed gender
- Students have the opportunity to express an interest in mixed gender housing through the housing application available June 1, 2017

All upperclassmen housing and first year housing (in Founders) have single use bathrooms.
"
https://www.wpi.edu/about/policies/equal-opportunity-anti-discrimination-harassment

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.