Dec 8, 2017 | Atlanta, GA
Chaired by Institute Diversity Vice President Archie Ervin, the implementation committee of students and leaders from Institute Diversity, Student Life, and Undergraduate Education provided updates on its progress to address the 11 recommendations from the Black Student Experience Task Force that will help ensure a welcoming, inclusive campus. Quarterly updates will continue to be released until the end of the 2018-19 academic year.
As part of a three-year implementation process, the recommendations are grouped into four impact areas: programs, trainings, physical spaces, and planning and assessments.
“The implementation committee has made significant strides to transform the culture as we collectively work toward modeling inclusive excellence, but there is still work to do as culture change takes time,” said Ervin. “This year’s Climate Assessment Surveys are pivotal to gauge the Institute’s progress on building an inclusive and supportive environment as we analyze the longitudinal data from the surveys four years ago.”
These implementation updates (not ranked by priority) encompass:
1. Academics – Expanded the recommendation to include issues such as academic performance, retention, and graduation.
- Challenge – Expanding OMED’s Challenge enrollment for summer 2018 to reach a goal of 175 underrepresented minority and women students per program by summer 2019.
- Climate Assessment Surveys – Administered the 2017 Climate Assessment Surveys to faculty and staff last month, and students will receive a climate assessment survey email this spring. Institute Diversity and Academic Effectiveness will compare findings from these surveys with the results from the Institute’s 2013 Climate Assessment Surveys to provide and analyze longitudinal data.
2. Orientation – Expanded the recommendation to include orientation processes beyond the FASET program.
- FASET – Securing in-person welcome remarks from Ervin to share Tech’s diversity, equity, and inclusion core values during the 2018 FASET opening sessions.
- Orientation Processes – Infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion core values into the welcome remarks during the 2018 Convocation; providing messaging on these core values for leaders to weave into orientation sessions, including FASET; and developing training videos for faculty to incorporate issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
3. Intercultural Student Programs – Conducted the first meeting of the Student Advisory Committee on Black Student Experiences and Campus Environment, co-led by Institute Diversity and Student Life. The committee is exploring how student issues are handled by the administration.
4. Reporting System – Updated and finalized the “Discriminatory Behavior/Harassment” report type language under the “Student-Related Matters” and “Employee Matters” categories within EthicsPoint, and Institute Communications and Institute Diversity will announce the EthicsPoint portal updates to the campus community next month.
5. Community Orientation and Training – Continuing to offer the following trainings:
- Implicit Bias Workshops – Offered more than 25 workshops to more than 400 faculty members since fall 2015 and secured four additional trainers to facilitate upcoming workshops. Institute Diversity and the ADVANCE Program, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development, are providing additional workshops this spring.
- Inclusive Leaders Academy – Eighty-seven staff leaders graduated as the first cohort in 2017, and Institute Diversity’s Staff Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement will keep the nomination period for the second cohort open until December 14.
- Diversity and Inclusion Councils – A retreat for Council leaders in each of Tech’s six colleges is planned for February, and each council is submitting purpose statements and planning activities to Institute Diversity in the year ahead.
- Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program – Recognized the inaugural cohort of fellows at the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program Poster Expo and Celebration last month, and selected the second cohort of 21 faculty, staff, and students for 2018.
6. Cultural Inclusivity Leadership Training – Relaunching Greeks United for Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity (GUIDE) with a new cohort of student leaders. Conducted the Student Leader Retreat earlier this year for participants to engage with the “I Feel Safe When…” campaign. Student Life is planning the next Student Leader Retreat this spring.
7. Greek Education – Relaunching GUIDE with a new cohort of student leaders as noted above.
8. Multicultural Center – Selected the architecture firm for the Student Center expansion, and the Student Center is meeting with select staff and students to discuss visioning for the Multicultural Center. Also meeting with Capital Planning and Space Management to identify plots on campus for National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. organizations.
Planning and Assessments
9. Strategic Plan – Continuing to offer three diversity and inclusion initiatives through a proposal to the Institute’s Strategic Plan Advisory Group, two of which — the Diversity and Inclusion Councils and the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program — are noted above. The third initiative is:
- Transformative Narratives – Curated and launched the next installation of 20 audio stories from Institute Diversity’s Staff Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement that captured varied aspects of staff members’ journeys, but shared a common thread of introspection and self-expression.
10. Climate Assessment Surveys – Administered the 2017 Climate Assessment Surveys to faculty and staff last month from Institute Diversity and Academic Effectiveness, and students will receive a climate assessment survey email during spring semester 2018 as noted above.
11. Institutional Climate Change and Growth – Conducted the first meeting of the Student Advisory Committee on Black Student Experiences and Campus Environment, co-led by Institute Diversity and Student Life, as noted above.
“Thanks to the implementation team whose efforts have helped us fulfill some of the recommendations set forth by the Black Student Experience Task Force,” said John M. Stein, vice president for Student Life and dean of students. “We will continue to work together over the next 18 months to satisfy all of the recommendations.”
To inquire about the Black Student Experience Task Force and/or its recommendations, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.diversity.gatech.edu/blackstudentexperiencetaskforce.