Employee Resource Groups

Colgate University is committed to supporting the growth and development of workforce diversity through fostering the development of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs promote diversity and inclusion within Colgate; foster and strengthen workplace effectiveness and leadership abilities; enhance recruitment and retention; professional development; and promote career growth and success in the workplace.  

About Employee Resource Groups

These groups are employee-led initiatives that provide members of the University staff and faculty with opportunities to engage in activities promoting the following within the workforce:

  • Professional development
  • Career growth
  • Diversity and inclusion at Colgate
  • Workplace effectiveness
  • Leadership abilities
  • Employee recruitment and retention

Apply to Form a Group

Employees interested in forming an ERG should contact Beth Lane, director of employee and labor relations, and fill out the application below.

Employee Resource Group Application


This policy establishes the requirements for the creation of a recognized ERG, able to apply for University funding, that supports the University and is in some way representative of an approved function


This policy applies to groups for all employees, volunteers and retirees of Colgate University.  All ERGs, as do employees, have a responsibility to comply with university policies, including state and federal law. Activities of an approved ERG must be consistent with university policy, state and federal law, while engaged in an ERG activity. Behavior inconsistent with the guidelines could result in removal of the ERG or individuals could be subject to disciplinary action.  

Policy Terms

  1. Colgate shall allow regular full-time and regular part-time employees to use a reasonable amount of paid work time (not overtime) to attend ERG meetings and participate in ERG activities.  Paid work time relating to an ERG should not exceed 25 hours in a year.  Normally no more than 3 hours should be spent in any given week (though ERG leaders may be able to exceed the weekly limit with permission of their supervisors.)
  2. When using work time to participate in ERG activities, employees shall request prior approval from their supervisor in order to allow departments to ensure adequate staff coverage. 
  3. Supervisors shall approve employee requested time for ERG participation unless the operational needs of the department cannot be readily met without the employee’s attendance during the requested time.
  4. Members of an ERG are responsible for:
    1. Determining how it will be organized.
    2. Selecting officers and recruiting inclusive membership.
    3. Setting meetings and activities including frequency, location, purpose and content.
    4. Developing and maintaining a contact list for members. The University cannot provide lists of names based on protected criteria.
    5. Facilitating communication among members via the University’s email system and with campus through the employee newsletter, Inside Colgate and University approved social media platforms.
    6. Seeking ongoing guidance from HR or the ERGs executive leadership.  E.g. reviewing emails and presentations, providing resources, providing insight on processes and policies of the University, etc.    
  5. ERGs shall not enroll individuals to its membership who are not current employees, volunteers, or retirees.
  6. In order to be recognized as an approved ERG, an application should be submitted to Director of Employee and Labor Relations, who will consult with the Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff for approval. Each ERG shall:
    1. Complete an application process that includes having a mission, member roles, goals, and rules or bylaws which establish a sustainable structure and define its relevance to Colgate.  
    2. Maintain at least five active members and meet at least once a calendar year.
    3. Submit a brief annual report (e.g. bulleted list of activities and expenditures) to HR by July 31 of every year. 
    4. Ensure that the group is governed by current employees.
  7. Human Resources shall provide support to ERGs, including:
    1. Consultation to individuals seeking to start an ERG.
    2. Reviewing, providing feedback and managing the process to approve or deny proposals to form a new ERG.
    3. Reviewing the Annual Report submitted by each ERG. 
    4. As available, providing funding to support ERG activities.
    5. Facilitating connections with similar ERGs that have had success.
    6. Provide through the communications department a presence on the Colgate website.
  8. Leaders of an ERG may discontinue an ERG at any time or HR may dissolve an ERG that is demonstrating inactivity or noncompliance.