Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
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You Belong Here

You Belong Here

2. Campus Climate and Culture

2.1 Action Item: Develop and execute comprehensive campus climate surveys that are individualized for faculty, staff, and students.

Status: In Progress

IN PROGRESS

Summary:

  • While numerous campus surveys ask a few campus climate-related questions, they are not comprehensive in the sense that the surveys are not focused solely on campus climate assessment by all faculty, staff and students. A subcommittee of the UDIAP Implementation team has been formed and will evaluate a variety of holistic campus climate assessments. A staff person from the Office of Institutional Research, Reporting and Information Systems (IRRIS) is working on a gap analysis first so that the committee may better understand what data is currently NOT being collected.
  • In 2017-18, the UDIAP Implementation Team recommended two questions to the annual Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey which will help gather additional information from students regarding campus climate beyond what SERU has traditionally collected.  Besides SERU, some campus climate data is gathered by University Dining and Housing Services through the Skyfactor (EBI) Assessment and through the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey administered by the Provost Office. The Skyfactor Assessment, completed by 45.5% of students who live in university housing, found over 74% of survey respondents say they feel accepted by other students in their residence halls. Over 63% of survey respondents say living on campus helped them interact with individuals different from themselves and benefit from those interactions. Data from the COACHE survey may be found on the IRRIS site. Additionally, the Graduate School has conducted a custom survey for graduate students which also includes a few campus climate questions. This data is currently being analyzed.

2.2 Action Item:  Review the role, composition, processes, and communications of the Campus Climate Response Team (CCRT) and look at the possible staffing structure for the CCRT lead team and the need for staff support as well as training.

Status: On Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • The CCRT lead team annually reviews the role, composition, and processes of the CCRT and has found that its current role, composition and processes are consistent with original recommendations made to the UT President when it was formed. Their findings also show the CCRT’s operations are consistent with bias response teams at peer institutions (University of California – Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, for example). Support staff continues to be a need.
  • Additional lead team members were added during the 2017-18 academic year to accommodate the increase in the number of reports over the past five years.
  • Training for CCRT members has been incorporated into regularly scheduled meetings and has been conducted by a variety of offices within the University that are involved in equity, access, and inclusion. Examples include the Gender and Sexuality Center, the Office for Inclusion and Equity, and the Title IX staff. During the 2018-19 academic year, training for CCRT included the Racial Geography Tour, the disABILITY Advocate training, a free-speech discussion with Legal Affairs staff and VPSA-sponsored training with Larry Roper, Professor in the School of Language, Culture and Society at Oregon State University.
  • Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) Campus Climate Advisory Board have met with the CCRT facilitator to discuss potential collaboration on campus climate issues and initiatives.
  • A website was developed during the 2017-18 academic year to provide information about incident reports including actions taken by the CCRT to better keep the University community informed of the status of bias incident reports. It has been regularly updated since its inception.

2.3 Action Item: Invest in student housing.

Status: On Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • In October of 2016, Housing and Dining engaged Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects to conduct The Framework for Future Housing Study for undergraduate and graduate students. The 15-year plan addresses student success, retention and affordability.
  • University Housing and Dining’s current inventory of accessible rooms fits our current need of requested accommodations. Additional  mobility and hearing-impaired student rooms and bathrooms have been added to Prather Hall and Jester West 2 & 3 floors. ADA rooms will be in place when Jester West ground and first-floor renovations are complete summer 2019. Additionally in summer 2019, ADA accessible community bathrooms will be in place on the first floor of Kinsolving South.
  • All-gender, private residential bathrooms were added in Roberts and Prather halls in the summer of 2017. University Housing and Dining currently works with transgender students on housing accommodations on a case-by-case basis. Gender- inclusive public bathrooms in residence halls are now available in each area of campus. All new construction and future renovations to buildings will have gender-inclusive public bathrooms.
  • University Housing and Dining’s inventory of accessible rooms fits our current need of requested accommodations. Additional accessible rooms are being planned for the future renovation of Creekside Residence Hall on the first floor. Rooms and bathrooms for students desiring additional mobility and for students with hearing impairments will be added in summer 2018 when renovating Prather Hall and Jester West second and third floors.

2.4 Action Item: Develop a long-term transportation plan.

Status: Update not yet available.

Summary:

2.5 Action Item: Review and assess the University of Texas Police Department Oversight Committee, with an eye toward the current campus demographics and campus climate.

Status: In Progress

IN PROGRESS

Summary:

  • The Police Oversight Committee is appointed by and reports to the President.  It may communicate with the President in special reports or correspondence, and can meet with the president as circumstances warrant.  The committee may also communicate with the Chief of Police of the University of Texas Police Department, and may respond as appropriate to any party who submits a concern to the committee.  The committee meets as warranted at the call of the Chair or the President of the University, and may hold a public forum to solicit campus community input.

2.6 Action Item: Continue to implement recommendations from the 2016 Department of Public Safety (DPS) Comprehensive Security Assessment.

Status: In Progress

IN PROGRESS

 

Summary:

  • UT Austin Continues to implement recommendations from the 2016 Department of Public Safety (DPS) Comprehensive Security Assessment.  Over 30 projects have been funded and initiated, including work targeting  campus lighting improvements, building access control, pedestrian travel way, wayfinding, landscaping and vegetation reduction, video enhancements, public education and safety hubs.  Project management through PMCS has provided coordination for UT stakeholder initiatives. Concerted efforts between the Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety, the Assistant Vice President for Campus Security, the City of Austin and the Austin Police Department leverage a comprehensive approach to community policing and addressing the transient populations both adjacent to and on campus.  Implementation of current and future projects, targeting a 2018 completion timeline.

2.7 Action Item: Support the new Hate and Bias Incident Policy (HOP_9-1810) implemented in March 2017.

StatusOn Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • The policy is implemented and actively used as a part of the student conduct process.
  • The Office for Inclusion and Equity (OIE) investigates grievances that sometimes implicate the policy and incorporates the policy into ongoing trainings for UT employees.
  • CCRT continues to support the hate and bias incident policy in response to related reports submitted to CCRT.
  • As veterans are listed as a “protected class” in the hate and bias incident policy, Student Veteran Services addresses hate and bias incidents against veterans as they arise, in partnership with colleagues across campus. We also work with SES on BCAL calls and provide feedback to faculty and staff on how to address behavioral concerns without violating the hate and bias policy.
  • Rec Sports full-time staff and student supervisors are reminded of the policy through their ongoing, regular HR training and updates.

2.8 Action Item: Expand opportunities for faculty teaching Cultural Diversity Flag courses to complete Inclusive Classroom training.

Status: On Target

ON TARGET

 

Summary: 

 

  • The Cultures Flags faculty development series began in 2016 has been successful.  Nearly 200 different instructors from at least 27 departments in ten schools have joined us at 16 events to date, averaging about 20 participants per event since May 2016. By providing a platform for Flag instructors to collaborate and join together, we aim to improve the quality of Flag courses across the curriculum. The goals for the Cultures Flag courses align with the UDIAP by emphasizing inclusive pedagogy, including facilitating dialogue and encouraging diverse perspectives. The faculty development series is open to instructors of both the Cultural Diversity Flag and the Global Cultures Flag, since many instructors teach in both Flag areas and the learning objectives are similar.

2.9 Action Item: Require facilitators of 360 Connections sessions to dedicate one session to a topic related to respect, social justice, and university core values.

StatusOn Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • During the Spring and Summer 2018, VPSA staff partnered with BeVocal to train the approximately 200 FIG peer student mentors and 30 staff on curriculum developed about racial microagressions and bystander intervention. Class included video (This is My UT, produced by VPSA), peer mentor-lead discussions, and opportunities for reflection related to the themes of inclusion, “Longhorns take care of Longhorns” and engaged bystanders.
  • Working with our campus partners in the VPSA office, the Words Matter Campaign initiative that was begun in 2017, was fully implemented in the FIGs. In Spring 2018, all new FIG peer mentors received training and support in implementing the Words Matter campaign in their Fall 2018 FIGS. Also in Summer 2018, all FIG Facilitators and 360 Connection Facilitators were offered trainings as well through VPSA, BeVocal, and Bystander Intervention programs on the Words Matter campaign. Beginning in Fall 2018, it was a requirement for all FIGs to spend time in their weekly 50-minute FIG seminar discussing diversity & inclusion content (whether through Words Matter, Bias Busting, or other). As a result, the Fall 2018 Words Matter survey results include 655 responses representing approximately 85 FIG classes. 90% agreed or strongly agreed that they have a responsibility to intervene; 95% agreed or strongly agreed that increasing awareness of micro-aggressions benefits the entire UT community. Full implementation is planned for all of the other 360 Connections programs starting in the fall of 2019.

2.10 Action Item: Continue and expand inclusivity on campus tours.

StatusIn Progress

IN PROGRESS

Summary:

  • The  Visitor Services staff increased their knowledge of racial history of the UT campus and the Austin community by participating in a racial geography tour led by the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies in 2017. A focus on working with colleagues and faculty experts across campus will continue to be core to the staff’s diversity training and development.
  • University Visitor Services ambassadors received training to enable staff to appropriately showcase diversity-related spaces such as the Multicultural Engagement Center (MEC), the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), and the MLK statue. Campus tours are now routed through the Student Activity Center where the MEC and GSC are located.
  • Visitor Services staff and ambassadors received training on the topic of privilege and weekly diversity dialogues were introduced as par of an ongoing commitment to staff diversity and inclusivity training.

2.11 Action Item: Support residence halls’ goals to increase inclusive conversations and diversity training workshops for students, and to enhance programming on hate and free speech issues.

StatusOn Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • University Housing and Dining has successfully implemented two different programs to engage residential students in creating an inclusive campus:
    • Longhorns for a Culturally Competent Campus (LC3): LC3 is a ten-week seminar designed to increase residential students’ intercultural competency and cross-cultural communication skills. It has been designed for a cohort of 25-30 students, and taught by 8 professional staff. Each student receives personalized coaching to work on their specific goals related to developing their intercultural competency.  The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is used as a pre- and post-learning assessment.
    • ASK Certificate Program: A program designed to develop residential students’ attitude, skills, and knowledge on aspects of diversity and inclusion.  Students have a full year to attend 12 select programs and receive a certificate upon completion.
  • VPSA sponsors the Stick to Civility Campaign, a week-long series of creative programming, events, and activities designed to promote and improve civility in the workplace and on campus. The campaign focuses on five areas: Listening, Seeking Knowledge, Being Understanding, Taking Responsibility and Communicating.

2.12 Action Item: Prioritize safety and maintenance for the Malcolm X Lounge in Jester Residence Hall as well as other spaces where students belonging to underserved communities congregate.

Status: On Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • The renovated Malcolm X Lounge was revealed in spring 2017, and future maintenance needs for the space are now part of University Housing and Dining’s ongoing planning.

2.13 Action Item: Establish a university-wide testing center.

Status:  Planning

PLANNING

Summary:

  • Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) has completed a full needs analysis, which includes benchmarking data and recommendations regrading size and scope. We also continue to collect data to inform this initiative. Analysis inclu
  • ded the examination of enrollment projections and information about centers at similarly sized institutions.
  • SSD has been in conversations with Student Government, which has been engaged in discussions with the libraries regarding establishing a testing center in their space. This partnership would likely include Athletics, which has been involved in discussions as well.

2.14 Action Item: Undertake improvements to make paths and sidewalks more accessible.

Status: In Progress

IN PROGRESS

Summary:

  • ADA Coordinators continue their partnership with Project Management and Construction Services (PMCS) to address the barriers identified in the University’s draft ADA Transition Plan. Upcoming projects include broad accessibility improvements in and around ECJ, ETC, and CPE. In addition, two path of travel projects are currently in the design phase with work set to begin this year  – the East Tower Project aims to create an accessible path of travel from the east tower plaza down to ICD and Speedway. The Tree Island Project will create an accessible path of travel at the intersection of ICD and Speedway behind GSB, GAR, and BAT and create a path of travel from ICD to 21st street.
  • Over academic years 2016-17 and 2017-18, ADA coordinators have worked with staff from Project Management and Construction Services (PMCS) to inventory ADA-related deficiencies on campus, including accessible pathways, doorways, buildings, facilities, water fountains, restrooms, and desired improvements. The working group developed a plan to address deficiencies over the next ten years.
  • PMCS has completed 62 ADA/Accessibility projects within the last five years.  Going forward, PMCS has assisted DDCE with the development of a 10-year-plan to address known deficiencies.  This work has been completed in consultation with DDCE in support of their recent campus wide ADA Transition Plan update. Implementation is moving forward with the development of specific projects utilizing Capital Renewal (R&R) funding.
  • PMCS and the ADA coordinators have been facilitating immediate improvements as requested or needed by individual users, including how individuals are notified regarding temporary barriers that occur as a result of construction.  PMCS continually updates the information on the Construction Advisory page, which individuals can access through the PMCS website, SSD’s website and the Disability Resources Homepage.  In addition, individuals can report barriers via multiple online modalities (e.g., the “Report a Barrier” link on the Accessibility Map).
  • Staff members are currently updating the University’s ADA Transition Plan (which includes the above-mentioned ADA deficiency/barrier removal inventory) scheduled to be presented to University leadership in 2018.

2.15 Action Item: Explore the legal requirements, financial support, safety, and overall feasibility for developing and operating a campus point-to-point transportation system with a focus on accessibility.

StatusPlanning

PLANNING

Summary:

  • PTS is continuing to gather data.  The primary issue that has arisen is funding with preliminary cost for a shuttle running from BRG and SWG down Speedway on 15-minute intervals with stop at all buildings along the way (not point-to-point which would be more expensive) to have an approximate operational cost that exceeds $1 M per year. PTS will have a full report by March 1, 2019.
  • Partners have been identified and student leaders have met with the Vice President for Student Affairs’ staff on this initiative. Planning currently underway to examine obstacles to pilot program launch.

2.16 Action Item: Review and consider best practices recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) initiatives.

Status: In Progress

IN PROGRESS

Summary:

  • We work with transgendered and transsexual students on housing accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
  • We have renovated public bathrooms in residence halls in each area of campus to be gender inclusive and have publicized the locations of those bathrooms on our website and with the Center for Gender and Sexuality. Currently there are 56 buildings with one or more gender-inclusive restrooms, for a total of 91 on campus. All new construction and future renovations to buildings will have public bathrooms designed to accommodate all genders.
  • The President has an advisory committee on LGBTQ affairs and the Provost’s office will form a Faculty Committee to address LGBTQ+ issues.
  • An LGBTQ/Sexualities Studies program began in Fall of 2017  in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.
  • Counseling and Mental Health Services now has a dedicated full-time staff member to oversee the BeVocal and Bystander Intervention initiatives, including coordinating trainings, recruiting new faculty, staff, and students to be involved and advise the student group.
  • Students who wish to add their preferred name are given a new UT ID card free of charge.

2.17 Action Item: Review and evaluate family involvement during orientation and parents’ weekend, including family association membership for greater inclusion.

Status: On Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • The Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence hosts family orientation sessions in collaboration with Texas Parents during every summer orientation session between the months of June and August (7-8 sessions). Parents do not have to attend Family Orientation in order to attend the LCAE session which covers the academic programs their students will participate, including the comprehensive services that their students are offered in order for them to do well here at the University of Texas.
  • Veterans services began participating in the “Longhorn Neighborhood” portion of Freshman orientation and has representatives from the Veteran Certification Office table with us at Longhorn Neighborhood. This has had a substantial impact on how quickly and easily Dependents of veterans are getting certified for their veteran benefits.
  • Freshman Family Orientation continues to see positive participation with 60% of the 2018 incoming class choosing to attend the one-day program. Programs for Transfer Family and Athletic Families are gaining exposure and programming depth.
  • The Texas Parents Association’s supporting and complimentary categories of membership continue to offer options for parents and families to select their level of interaction with the university through the membership program.
  • Texas Parents is presently in planning stages of creating a discovery meeting with campus stakeholders to discuss the SWOT for  Family Weekend (the correct name for what is referred to as parents’ weekend).
  • The Texas Parents Association membership structure was reorganized and rolled out in March 2017 so that all families are members of the Texas Parents Association. The new program includes the U-Touch complimentary membership for all parents, as well as optional supporting member options.
  • Texas Parents is examining outreach program best practices from the parent interest groups with the Texas Exes and the McCombs School of Business parents’ outreach programs.
  • The Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE) hosted six weekly parent orientation sessions for parents of incoming students during the 2017 summer orientation sessions. These students in the LCAE programs are largely students from low-income backgrounds, many of whom are first-generation college students. Feedback was gathered during these sessions to help prepare for eight parent sessions to be held in summer 2018.

2.18 Action Item: Expand and strengthen the Counseling and Mental Health Diversity Initiative.

StatusOn Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • Diversity Counseling & Outreach Specialists (DCOS), formerly known as Diversity Coordinators, see students in a clinical and non-clinical capacity about mental health issues and concerns.  The DCOS continues to work closely with faculty/staff to offer consultation and support as they work directly with students. The work of the DCOS continues to include: Counseling in locations most accessible to students (e.g., MEC, GSC, etc.), open discussion groups about mental health topics for marginalized communities, outreach programs that promote self-care, trainings for staff/faculty related to student well-being, and participation in campus community events.
  • During the second year of implementation, 16 peers were hired and trained to provide support and resources to students impacted by Title IX related concerns. The program has seen an increase in 53% of students served between year one and year two.
  • During year one, the program description removed the word confidential to decrease the potential for miscommunication about the services provided. The peers offer private support that does not trigger a Title IX investigation without the students’ permission.
  • During the second year of implementation, 16 peers were hired and trained to provide support and resources to students impacted by Title IX related concerns. The program has seen an increase in 53% of students served between year one and year two.
  • Counseling and Mental Health Center expanded the Diversity Coordinator team from five clinicians to seven. Diversity Coordinators see students in a clinical and non-clinical capacity about mental health issues and concerns. Coordinators work closely with faculty and staff to offer consultation and support as they work directly with students. Some examples of the coordinators’ work include:
    • Individual counseling in locations across campus most accessible to students of marginalized identities (e.g., Multicultural Engagement Center, Gender and Sexuality Center, Gordon White Building)
    • Open discussion groups about mental health needs/topics for marginalized communities
    • Outreach programs to students that build awareness of mental health issues and self-care
    • Diversity trainings for staff/faculty across campus
    • Open consultation hours for students interested in mental health services or who need support for any reason
    • Continual examination of the system and institutional structures to ensure services are accessible, inclusive, and affirming and remove/decrease barriers to mental health care
    • Participate in campus community events

2.19 Action Item: Review statuary, building names, and signage according to guidelines included in the 2015 report from the Task Force on Historical Representation of Statuary at UT.

Status: On Target

ON TARGET

Summary:

  • Prior to the start of the Fall 2017 semester, President Fenves ordered the removal of the remaining five statues of Confederate figures on the Main Mall.
  • Also in 2017, he removed the wording displayed near the Littlefield Fountain that is now inconsistent with the values of the university.
  • The Committee on Contextualization has been meeting since the spring of 2018, with representatives from numerous CSUs and administrative units to discuss how best to contextualize the history of buildings and monuments on campus. Research on different ways to contextualize the history of buildings and monuments has been completed and a draft of recommendations completed for discussion by the group in Spring 2019.

Continue to 3. Students.