Initiatives of The Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Colgate currently benefits from the efforts of numerous faculty and staff whose positions include specific DEI responsibilities (e.g., the staff of the ALANA Cultural Center, the associate provosts for Equity and Diversity, the director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives, the director of International Student Services, the Admissions Coordinator of Outreach for Opportunity and Inclusion, and the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for Affinity and Identity Programs), but their efforts have not been effectively supported, connected, and coordinated, nor unified by a shared vision clearly supported by the campus and the Board of Trustees, and current staffing is inadequate to provide the necessary foundation for overseeing a broad strategic institutional effort.

A Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) model is not a panacea. Colgate’s last attempt to make such a structure work was not fully successful, for example. Nevertheless, it now seems clear that such a model will be a necessary foundation for ensuring that the strategic planning and vision for inclusion at Colgate is well integrated into overall institutional planning. Every institution doing leading work on developing models for more robust inclusion on our nation’s campuses has such a position among its senior staff, and there is no obvious substitute for the visibility and organizational focus this role can bring to campus-wide DEI efforts.

A successful chief diversity officer cannot work in isolation. Active efforts to address inequities must be a regular part of the work of all of the University’s administrative divisions, and for this reason, the DEI plan seeks to lay out a series of concrete steps to be taken by departments across the University. The requirements for accountability and regular reporting on progress spelled out in this plan will lay the groundwork for a successful leader who can engage with issues of inclusion as part of a team, managing and refining an ongoing effort. These initiatives and the infrastructure for DEI work are necessary if a chief diversity officer is to be successful here. (Indeed, the very strongest candidates for such a position at Colgate would likely want to see evidence of this foundation before considering a move to Hamilton.)

This plan, therefore, recommends that in the 2019-2020 academic year Colgate develop a position description for a leader of the institution-wide efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. The model proposed here, which will need careful consideration and review by faculty governance and the campus community, is that of a vice provost for equity and diversity, to report to the provost/dean of the faculty, with a dotted line to the president. This new position would be a regular member of the president’s cabinet, and would oversee an expanded Office of Equity and Diversity, with a dotted line to key DEI practitioners in the divisions, whose efforts will be supported and coordinated by the Office of Equity and Diversity. (Where subsequent initiatives are assigned in whole or in part to “DEI Staff,” this refers to this expanded and reorganized office.)

Once defined, this position should be filled through a competitive national search, to be shaped by significant campus communication, engagement of shared governance, and solicitation of input. The process of defining and searching for this position will likely take most of an academic year.

  • Responsible: President Casey; Dean Hucks, FAAOC, SAAOC
  • Target date: Target hire date July 1, 2020

One potential tool to help reframe DEI work as a valuable part of the ongoing work of the University is an annual DEI report, designed to offer comprehensive information about both successes and failures, and a look forward to the next year’s work. Developing a community expectation of annual accountability could help to combat the historical inconsistency of past DEI efforts at Colgate. Colgate will therefore design and implement this report to include contributions from each vice president’s division, and will share it each academic year with the entire campus community. (This report is referred to hereafter in this document as “Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus.”)

  • Responsible: Each University Vice President; Senior adviser to the president
  • Target date: Preparations should begin immediately; first report in the summer of 2020

Given the clear need for the University to become more skilled at engaging in constructive dialogue in a diverse community, Colgate will provide more resources and opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to learn and make use of techniques of inclusive communication.

Student-focused areas of activity where such programs could be useful include the community leaders/residential life staff, the Links program, and the Residential Commons. These programs have been only intermittently active in recent years; moving forward, Colgate should ensure that they are well nourished so that these activities can become a more consistent part of the life of the campus, rather than being sporadic and short-lived.

  • Responsible: Dean of the faculty division, Dean of the college division
  • Target date: Ongoing; the Dean of the Faculty and Dean of the College divisions spent over $50,000 in the past fiscal year for related programs, trainings, workshops, and a student intern.

Colgate will revise the Colgate University Student Organization Relationship Statement to expand “Appendix A: Organizations of Excellence Goals” so that it includes ways to address diversity and inclusion, campus and community relations, and academic success.

  • Responsible: Office of risk management, Dean of the college division
  • Target date: By the end of the spring 2020 semester

The division of admissions and financial aid will prepare a report on its multicultural recruitment process, defining its goals and strategies, and the resources needed, and will share this report with the president’s office and the campus community. Thereafter, the division will share details of its multicultural recruitment efforts through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus. A shared sense of the importance of these efforts will serve the institution: Colgate’s Third-Century Plan identifies attracting and supporting talented people to this campus as a pillar of Colgate’s future success. An inability to build a diverse student body deprives the campus of student excellence that is crucial to the academic, creative, and social life of the campus.

  • Responsible: Admission and financial aid division
  • Target date: By spring 2020

Colgate will respond to the concerns expressed in the recently conducted external study of disability services and will consider these in the context of all the challenges facing members of the community with disabilities.

Because Colgate’s physical campus presents significant challenges to community members and visitors with mobility limitations, one element of this response should include a catalog of non-ADA-compliant buildings, to assist in determining what improvements could be made through ongoing maintenance, repairs, and renovations.

  • Responsible: Senior adviser to the president, executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and affirmative action, dean of the college division, facilities department
  • Target date: Summer of 2020

Given the difficulty some staff members experience in making time for efforts that could improve the campus climate, the Human Resources Department, in collaboration with the Staff Affirmative Action Oversight Committee, will develop and implement a protocol to enable staff to engage with DEI initiatives; it will include funding for backfilling positions when needed and partnership with supervisors for whom this presents a challenge.

  • Responsible: Finance and administration division, human resources, the Staff Affirmative Action Oversight Committee (SAAOC)
  • Target date: Winter of 2020

Colgate will provide enhanced funding to student organizations or individual students to incentivize programs and projects that help to build greater inclusivity on campus.

  • Responsible: Finance and administration division, dean of the college division
  • Target date: Funding identified; communication to students by the beginning of the 2020 spring semester

Colgate will identify funding to support alumni affinity groups to grow and develop in cities with a critical mass of alumni of color, as well as to bring back alumni of color regularly for mentoring and speaking opportunities on campus.

  • Responsible: Finance and administration division, Institutional Advancement
  • Target date: To be budgeted in the current cycle for programs beginning academic year 2020-2021

Performance evaluations will include as a goal for all professional staff to contribute to the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, and supervisors at all levels will also be encouraged to report on their own support and encouragement of these efforts.

  • Responsible: Senior adviser to the president, executive director for equity and inclusion, human resources, all divisions
  • Target date: By spring 2020 performance review cycles

The University will conduct an equity-focused policy analysis of all of Colgate’s policies. An equity-focused policy analysis considers the impact of policy on the distribution of power, access to resources and knowledge, and the reproduction of social stratification. The application of an equity perspective requires policy makers to assess policy by considering who benefits, who loses, and how low-income and marginalized groups fare as a result of the policy. An equity-focused analysis provides a lens that brings into focus how policies and practices can create or worsen inequalities for some groups. An equity-minded lens can also help identify equity “assets,” or policies that may already be in place that advance equity. The first step of this process will be to collect all those divisional policies not already contained in the Student, Staff, and Faculty Handbooks, a project that has already begun.

  • Responsible: President’s office
  • Target date: Tentative target of fall 2020 (completion of this large project could require leadership from the new vice provost this plan calls for hiring)

As recommended in an ALANA Affairs Board report from 2012, Colgate will develop and implement multicultural competency training to be offered to all staff through the new hire orientation program, and made available to faculty. This training will meet the standards defined in Appendix A of this planning document.

In addition, Colgate will identify specific training needs relating to job functions for staff working closely with students and alumni, and will ensure funding is available for regular annual training in those areas. Some key departments include the counseling center, campus safety, the admission and financial aid offices, and alumni relations. All training will meet the standards defined in Appendix A of this planning document.

  • Responsible: Executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and affirmative action, senior adviser to the president, ad hoc DEI curriculum group
  • Target date: Curriculum under development; to be rolled out for staff by the summer of 2020

Beginning in the spring of 2020, and thereafter, the Office of Equity and Diversity and the executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and affirmative action will help the Office of Human Resources direct funding to offer all employees opportunities to participate in professional development specifically related to topics on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Campus leadership will encourage and support employee participation in such opportunities across the divisions, and report on engagement with these programs through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus. These opportunities will be held to standards defined in Appendix A of this planning document.

  • Responsible: Executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and affirmative action, senior adviser to the president, Office of Equity and Diversity, all divisions
  • Target date: Beginning spring 2020

Develop permanent divisional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee in the physical education, recreation and athletics division (PERA) made up of representatives from across the division. Provide charge/objectives annually to guide the work of the committee, to include regular reports to the vice president/director of athletics and published in the annual division report submitted to the University president.

  • Responsible: Physical education, recreation and athletics division
  • Target date: Completed, August 2019, and ongoing

Each division will develop goal statements designed to work toward a fully inclusive climate within their division. To the fullest extent practicable, these goals will be informed by the experiences of individuals from historically underrepresented groups. Such divisional efforts cannot replace the need for institution-level planning, but can ensure that DEI goals are helping to shape planning across the campus. Progress toward these divisional goals will be reported through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus, and specific initiatives, with timelines and assigned personnel, will be incorporated into this DEI plan.

  • Responsible: All administrative divisions
  • Target Date: By summer 2020

Given the important role played by the University’s Equity Grievance Policy (EGP), Colgate will engage in an external review of this set of policies to ensure that it continues to be functional in the current and evolving legal and regulatory environment. The Office of Equity and Diversity will also develop new educational materials and workshops on what EGP does and how it works, given the widespread evidence that the EGP process is not well understood.

  • Responsible: The Office of Equity and Diversity, president’s office, legal affairs
  • Target date: Begun spring 2019; recommendations for changes by spring 2020

The University will build funding for MOSAIC activities into its operating budgets, and the Office of Alumni Engagement will report annually on the efforts of the MOSAIC program to better serve alumni from historically underrepresented groups.

  • Responsible: Finance and administration division, institutional advancement division
  • Target date: In the current budget request cycle for the 2020-2021 fiscal year; first report in the summer 2020 DEI annual report

The admission department will expand efforts that designed to engage high school students from underrepresented backgrounds, and will report on these efforts through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus. Programs to be reported on should include memoranda of understanding (MOU's) with Community-Based Organizations (CBO's); hosted bus trips to campus for multicultural groups; visiting CBO's across the country; access and DEI-oriented webinars/workshops, attendance/presentations at DEI conferences where counselors from secondary education and community organizations are represented.

  • Responsible: Admission office and financial aid division
  • Target date: Ongoing, update in summer 2020 DEI annual report

The Office of Admission will continue to build the diversity of incoming classes across the metrics of difference that are the focus of this plan, and will prepare strategies that will allow these efforts to continue in the face of an evolving legal landscape and of potential regulatory resistance to the practices currently used to ensure racial and ethnic diversity. These efforts will be shared through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus.

  • Responsible: Admissions and financial aid division, Legal affairs
  • Target date: Briefing on legal status by the end of the fall 2019 semester and strategy proposals by spring 2020

The Executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and affirmative action and the senior adviser to the president will work with key DEI practitioners on campus to develop protocols and mechanisms to support employee development related to University expectations (e.g., position description and behavioral competencies), including expectations on awareness of and contributions to inclusion efforts. These will expand beyond “check the box” rubrics, and will be held to standards as drafted in Appendix A of this planning document.

  • Responsible: Executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity, and affirmative action, senior adviser to the president, ad hoc DEI curriculum development group
  • Target date: By fall 2020

The human resources department will, in collaboration with the SAAOC, consistently conduct robust staff exit interviews, to include the development of an online exit survey tool for those who prefer this mode, with the goal of providing more meaningful information for ongoing analysis of the reasons that staff depart. Aggregated details of these efforts will be shared through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus.

  • Responsible: Senior adviser to the president, SAAOC, human resources, Office of Institutional Planning and Research
  • Target date: Ongoing; relevant themes to be shared in the DEI annual report, summer 2020

Funding will be provided to support and enhance the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research (CLTR) efforts to develop enhanced programming for faculty wishing to consider DEI issues in their courses.

  • Responsible: Dean of the faculty division, CLTR
  • Target date: Funding to be identified for the 2020-2021 fiscal year

Colgate will add additional DEI-related questions, to be inserted on a three-year cycle, to the first-year and senior surveys.

  • Responsible: Office of Institutional Planning and Research, senior adviser to the president
  • Target date: By spring 2020

The dean of the college division will refine exit interviews for students who transfer or otherwise leave Colgate in order to better determine their reasons for electing not to continue their enrollment. Improved data from this process will be used to identify initiatives to be undertaken during the span of this plan to better support the retention of all students, particularly those from groups whose retention rates suggest that Colgate is not serving them well. Details of these efforts will be shared through Colgate’s annual DEI report to the campus.

  • Responsible: Dean of the college division, Office of Admission, Office of Institutional Planning and Research
  • Target date: By fall 2020