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Diversity and Inclusion

University Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Plan

 

The President's Commission on Multicultural Affairs (PCMA) has been working to develop a comprehensive, University-wide plan to coordinate and guide Diversity & Inclusion efforts. Many individuals from across the entire university served on the PCMA during this time and contributed to the plan. The 6 A Framework (Awareness, Alignment, Aim, Action, Accountability, & Assessment) outlines the approach the PCMA undertook to arrive at a set of conscious, informed, data driven recommendations for this diversity and inclusion plan. 

The K-State Diversity and Inclusion plan is grounded in recognizing our historical commitment to education for all while simultaneously embracing challenges and concerns of our diverse constituents. These efforts have resulted in a plan comprised of six major themes: (1)Student Access, (2)Student Success, (3)Teaching, Learning & Research, (4)Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, (5)Climate and Intergroup Relations, and (6)Inclusive Excellence. 

Presented here are the six themes, how the PCMA defines each theme, the Aims of each theme and the Action items recommended to accomplish those aims. After reading through these items of the plan, please provide us with your feedback by taking the Diversity & Inclusion Plan Feedback Survey. The survey will be open through Friday, Feb. 5. Thank you for your time, your participaton is highly valued in this important University initiative.

University Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Plan (DRAFT)

Student Access:  The ability for all students, undergraduate, graduate and professional, to have equitable opportunities to attend K-State; addressing the access gap for students in underrepresented, underserved and marginalized populations (e.g.  first generation, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, international, LGBTQ+, low socio-economic backgrounds, racial/ethnic minority, veteran, et cetera).

Aim 1:   Support all students, with special attention to underrepresented and marginalized populations, in identifying career paths and academic disciplines compatible to their aspirations, strengths, and readiness.

Action Items –

  • Utilize successful students from underrepresented and underserved populations in institutional programs that can assist us with recruiting, retaining and graduating students.
  • Re-shape our institutional definition on how we view and define talented students.
  • Ensure the implementation of culturally responsive recruitment and outreach initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive undergraduate and graduate student body.
  • Expand outreach to students from underrepresented, marginalized and international backgrounds to attend K-State to pursue undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.
  • Utilize feeder relationships to recruit diverse, graduate, professional and postdoc students in all colleges and programs.
  • Scale up programs that support recruitment, retention and graduation of students from underrepresented, marginalized and international backgrounds (e.g. Summer Bridge, MAPS, KOMPASS, MEP, MANNRS, CALL ME MISTER, International Programs, et cetera).

 

Aim 1A: Improve financial assistance for all students by closing the unmet financial need gap, paying particular attention to students in marginalized or underrepresented populations.

Action Items-

  • Earmark funds to support institutional efforts to recruit students from underrepresented and underserved communities.
  • Disaggregate scholarship and financial aid data by race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic, and first-generation status to better understand the impact of scholarships and financial aid on retention and graduation for students in underrepresented and marginalized populations.
  • Develop strategies to provide financial aid to students with significant unmet need to reduce loan debt.
  • Create and distribute promotional advertisements that showcase the community partnerships, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities available for students in marginalized populations.
  • Utilize names and links for these opportunities to afford students seamless access to financial support to attend K-State.
  • Increase the number of assistantships and fellowships available for marginalized graduate students.
  • Develop new partnerships with community based and affinity organizations that can financially support our students and institutional efforts to identify and recruit talented underserved students.

Student Success: Creating conditions under which all students— undergraduate, graduate, and professional—can clearly identify and readily wield the University’s resources to thrive academically, personally, and professionally; ensuring the favorable and anticipated outcomes of students in which their academic, personal, and professional aims are attained while at K-State.

Aim 2: Develop systems and practices to understand, value and embrace the cultural diversity of students for the achievement of their academic, personal, and professional aims.

 Action Items –

  • Create new strategies to demonstrate how we value the contributions of underserved, underrepresented and marginalized students to our educational community.
  • Conduct a university climate survey every three years to understand how students are experiencing the university community.
  • Utilize student achievement metrics as indicators for improvement.
  • Utilize results from university climate surveys to develop processes for both promoting strategies that are effective in cultivating a sense of belonging strategies and removing practices and policies that negatively impact students sense of belonging.
  • Utilize institutional data on barriers to graduation in developing strategies to support achieving parity in graduation rates across all demographics.
  • Expand resources for student service units that assist students in marginalized populations with retention and matriculation (e.g. Student Access Center, Multicultural Student Life, Office of First-Generation Students, LGBTQ Resource Center, Office of International Programs and Veteran Student Services).
  • Create and utilize individualized academic paths to guide students in marginalized populations to graduation.
  • Secure funds to support all students in marginalized populations with participating in high impact educational programs and activities (e.g. Education Abroad, Service Learning, Internship, Undergraduate Research, etcetera).
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment and needs analysis for programs and departments that work most closely with students in marginalized populations.
  • Enhance the cultural competencies of first line service providers to foster the success of underrepresented and marginalized students.
  • Create an institutional mentoring apparatus for graduate and undergraduate students wherein graduate students can serve as mentors and support the maturation of undergraduate students.
  • Create outreach and engagement efforts to identify underrepresented and marginalized students that can excel at the graduate level.
  • Develop programs and enhance collaboration on programming that addresses the intersection of identities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Teaching, Learning and Research: Providing diversity related courses (gen. ed., capstones, and thematic sequences), research, publishing and societal engagement on diversity related matters.

Aim 3: Establish an inclusive and equitable learning climate across the university. 

Aim 3a: Create opportunities and outcomes for learning in diversity, equity, and inclusion that permeate throughout the curriculum, from within majors to general education, as well as in co- and extra-curricular activities. 

Action Items –

  • Assure that all bachelor's degree programs have clear and measurable student learning outcomes in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Assure that assessment of all K-State 8 tagged courses in “Human Diversity in the US” accomplish the intended learning outcomes
  • Establish student learning outcomes in diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of co- and extra-curricular activities

 

Accountability: Vice President for Academic Affairs

Accountability Partners: Associate Provosts for Institutional Effectiveness, Associate Provost for Institutional Research, Vice Provost, Vice President for Student Life

Aim 3b: Support and implement innovative and inclusive teaching and advising practices. 

Action Items –

  • Engage the Teaching and Learning Center fully in providing professional development in all areas, especially topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Establish the expectation that faculty and staff engage in professional development annually on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Create systems to reward faculty and advisors who demonstrate innovative and inclusive teaching and advising practices

Aim 3c: Establish a community of scholars to advance the university in the creation and promotion of ideas and knowledge on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Action Items –

  • Create a center or institute focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion to serve as a gathering point for the learning community
  • Develop a system to catalog faculty and student scholarly work in diversity, equity, and inclusion across the academy
  • Initiate/expand faculty and student opportunities for scholarly work related to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Workforce Diversity and Inclusion: Valuing and engaging a variety of perspectives to create and sustain a pluralistic, diverse and inclusive workforce.

Aim 4: Utilize the collective experiences and perspectives of a diverse workforce to build K-State’s capacity to achieve outcomes.

Action Items –

  • Create initiatives to support the success and retention of diverse faculty (mentoring, career watch, professional development, conference attendance, research support, teaching and learning, etc.).
  • Develop work/life balance initiatives to support all employees with meaningful engagement in the accomplishment of university aims and keeping pace with competing life priorities.
  • Enhance web presence of diverse faculty and staff, their credentials, experiences, accolades and contributions to work along the diversity and inclusion continuum.
  • Incorporate diversity and inclusion as an institutional value and priority into the messaging and budgeting of the university.
  • Create a centralized budget for retention of diverse faculty and staff, trainings, climate initiatives, trainings and programming managed by the CDIO.
  • Incorporate diversity as a performance dimension within the annual employee performance and evaluation process for department chairs, deans, directors and administrative staff.
  • Review practices, policies and procedures to ensure university facilities are accessible, safe and accommodating to support all marginalized communities (e.g. individuals with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, women who are nursing, spiritual and religious diversity).
  • Conduct annual tour of university facilities to ensure accessibility and reviewing policies and procedures for ADA compliance, Employee Relations and Accessibility Services.
  • Develop mechanisms for utilizing and valuing contributions to diversity and inclusion efforts in the evaluation of faculty and staff.
  • Develop and utilize holistic feedback channels, such as 360 evaluations, to identify opportunities to enhance employee’s sense of belonging and inclusiveness.
  • Create and earmark funds for strategic diversity leadership apparatus to support employees in marginalized populations with career advancement and upwardly mobile opportunities.

Aim 4A: Achieve representation parity, in hiring and promotion of women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities and other marginalized populations across the university at all levels, including senior leadership roles.

Action Items –

  • Require demonstrable commitment to diversity/diversity statement for all faculty, staff and administration positions.
  • Require demonstrable commitment to diversity as part of tenure and promotion process.
  • Update hiring practices, trainings, and guidelines to reflect best practices and data informed decisions/processes
  • Create an inclusive and comprehensive onboarding process for new faculty and staff, including specific resources to assist with the acclimation and retention of our diverse faculty and staff.
  • Utilize national best practices in diversity recruitment including but not limited to Future Faculty, Spousal Hires, Grow-Your-Own and Target of Opportunity Hires to increase representation of diverse employees across all levels.
  • Enhance outreach and engagement with affinity groups and networks (e.g. SREB, NEREB, AAHE, PhD Project, et cetera) to attract members of underrepresented and diverse populations to our university
  • Establish endowed partnerships in each college in the name of prominent, diverse K-State alumni.
  • Develop a pipeline initiative to identify and move talented, diverse prospects from K-State graduate and undergraduate programs into K-State careers.
  • Communicate institutional data on applicant trends, hiring and promotions regularly.
  • Increase participation and attendance at national recruitment conferences for diverse and underrepresented prospective employees.

Climate and Intergroup Relations: Realizing a university climate that is open to differences, utilizes opportunities to reflect on how people are treated, how people perceive the university and the degree of quality interactions between students, faculty and staff across diverse groups to achieve inclusive excellence.

Aim 5: Establish consistent support mechanisms and resources to enhance belonging and provide better visibility, accessibility, and engagement for all communities across the university. 

Action Items –

  • Develop a cyclical pattern for assessing topical issues including Climate, Workforce Satisfaction and Engagement, Title IX/Sexual Assault, Compensation Equity and Accessibility
  • Prioritize recruitment and retention of women, individuals of color, people with disabilities, first generation, international, and LGBTQ+ individuals
  • Develop and deploy university-wide onboarding system that emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion as a core value
  • Promote welcome campaigns to support new community members with being connected, identifying opportunities for long-term engagement and being retained at the University.
  • Establish mechanisms for utilizing the information garnered from exit interview data.
  • Develop concierge services (i.e. online chat, one stop helpdesk) to assist students, employees and prospects with accessing university services (e.g. financial, counseling, health, enrollment, assault, discrimination) and monitors progression from contact-to-conclusion.
  • Develop university-wide peer mentoring apparatus to support academic, personal and professional achievement for high support students.

Aim 5A: Enhance the University’s capacity through development of intentional and purposeful diversity and inclusion education for all University members.

Action Items –

  • Create incentivized, tiered, annual D&I training for faculty, and staff.
  • Incorporate attendance, engagement and participation in diversity education and allyship activities into the annual evaluation process.
  • Utilize diversity and inclusion training for all student leadership groups (e.g. Resident Assistants, Ambassadors, Greek Letter Organizations, tour guides and orientation leaders)
  • Identify and assess policies such as Title IX, Harassment and Discrimination and educate the University comprehensively on such matters.
  • Utilize a focus on diversity and inclusion in all offices’ annual reports.
  • Develop practice of institutionally coordinating diversity programming, educational workshops and activities to minimize conflicts and maximize collaborations.
  • Maximize the talents and abilities present at the University by diversifying committees, councils, taskforces and action teams.
  • Create and maintain a system for record keeping and outcomes related to incidents of bias, harassment, bullying and other diversity related incidents.
  • Include an anti-racist university-wide statement in ALL class syllabi (or website) that addresses a safety net for all students, faculty, and staff who identify as women, LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, people of color, international and disabled individuals.
  • Enhance relationships between K-State campuses and their surrounding community through constant communication using media platforms and mutual respect to achieve common outcomes.

Inclusive Excellence is building our capacity for diversity and inclusion by placing emphasis on the success of students, faculty and staff, the perceptions of internal and external constituents, and demonstrability of diversity and inclusion as a core value for the university.

Aim 6: Create and utilize a living resource on diversity and inclusion activities (e.g. teaching, research, service, presentations, publications, and accolades) by students, faculty, staff and the university community. 

 Action Items –

  • Develop a diversity inventory to support recruitment of quality diverse faculty, staff and students
  • Utilize the diversity inventory to acquire grants, accreditation and securing funded partnerships with private and corporate donors, alumni and external agencies.
  • Leverage K-State’s work across the diversity continuum in being a national thought leader and opinion molder on diversity and inclusion.

Again, we thank you for your time in reviewing these materials. Please follow up with the Diversity & Inclusion Plan Feedback Survey. The survey will be open through Friday, Feb. 5.