A Strategic Plan for Inclusion, Respect and Equity (ASPIRE) Embracing, Supporting and Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Cultural Competence Through All Levels of the University
A publication by: The President's Commission on Human Relations and Equity
Our Commitment to a Diverse and Inclusive Campus President Weltyâ€™s Diversity and Inclusion Statement Diversity is essential to our academic excellence at Fresno State. We are dedicated to reducing any barriers to success that come from race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, linguistic diversity, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, geographical region, personality, learning styles, life experiences and other human characteristics. The Presidentâ€™s Commission on Human Relations and Equity (PCHRE) is focused on supporting acceptance and fairness at all levels of the University. Fresno State is an institution where exploring the diversity of thought and opinion is valued as a means of enriching knowledge and thinking critically while discouraging marginalization during the process. The Commission developed a comprehensive plan to make sure this commitment is understood across our campus. As an engaged University, we focus on broadening studentsâ€™ intellectual horizons, fostering lifelong learning skills, developing the leaders of tomorrow, promoting community involvement, and instilling an appreciation of world cultures. We nurture cultural competence by celebrating the rich diversity of the campus community and welcoming the participation of all. As President, I am committed to maintaining a campus known for its integrity, civility, equity, respect and ethical behavior. The University must be safe and inclusive. We do not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination or intimidation, as prohibited by University policy and state and federal civil rights laws. Our efforts depend on the continued dedication of every member of the University community. We are all responsible for upholding these core objectives while working and learning at Fresno State.
John D. Welty, President
Creating a Network of Diversity and Equity Throughout All Levels of the University The President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity (PCHRE) is focused on supporting an atmosphere of acceptance and fairness, and enthusiastically embraces its charge from President John D. Welty to: • Develop a comprehensive three- to ﬁve-year Diversity Plan with measurable outcomes and visible results; • Create a Diversity Plan that is dynamic and reﬂects the rich and diverse experiences, values, world views and cultures that make up humanity; and • Afﬁrm the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement while aligning the Diversity Plan with the University Strategic Plan. The Commission adopted the framework found in the Association of American Colleges and University publication, Making a Real Difference with Diversity: A Guide to Institutional Change (AAC&U, 2007), based on research obtained from the Campus Diversity Initiative (CDI) to strategically improve campus diversity at 28 California colleges and universities. This comprehensive approach offers a broad conceptualization of diversity work on campuses by integrating the four dimensions of diversity: 1. Institutional viability and vitality 2. Access and success 3. Education and scholarship 4. Climate and intergroup relations In developing the plan, the Commission members have undertaken a broad effort to communicate, collaborate and coordinate with the many individuals, campus groups and the community at large to ensure that all voices were heard and varying perspectives were reflected in the Diversity Plan.
Supporting Student Access and Educational Success
The University community will improve the campus and regional communities’ awareness of its active efforts to attract, retain and graduate a student body that is regionally, nationally and globally diverse, through open and timely communication about access and success of all domestic and international student population groups.
• Promote outreach efforts that communicate the importance of undergraduate and graduate education to individuals, families and regional, national and international communities. Communicate the specific actions and programs that help ensure student success at all levels. (Awareness)
• Offer multiple opportunities for all members of the campus community to increase their knowledge about effective strategies, formal and informal, to improve outreach and student success outcomes for all population groups.
• Improve knowledge across the University community about diversity issues in student access and success, especially among those who engage in outreach and student success efforts. (Knowledge) • Expand the capacities and abilities of individuals and administrative units that are charged with outreach and student success. Examine current programs and efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness. (Capacity)
Awareness Actions • Periodically survey a random sample of households in the Fresno State service region to gauge awareness of educational opportunities available at Fresno State, and of the University’s mission as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Paciﬁc Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI). • Periodically survey the diverse student body to become aware of changing trends, shifting priorities and different needs in relation to access and success. • Inform the campus community about student success gaps (retention, progression, grades and graduation rates) across population groups and promote awareness about existing programs that are designed to narrow these gaps. • Establish an expectation among all members of the campus community that student success is a shared responsibility of students, faculty, staff and administrators, and that each has a role in ensuring this success.
• Cultivate up-to-date and accurate knowledge about special programs that target historically underrepresented student populations to ensure they achieve equal learning outcomes as compared to other population groups.
Capacity Actions • Review existing domestic outreach programs to identify the best practices that attract a diverse pool of applicants, including effective use of cutting-edge technology. • Establish and improve international outreach programs that include international alumni and Fresno State faculty and staff of international origins, and that utilize cutting-edge technology to increase diversity of the international student population. • Review outreach practices to identify best practices that reach all student population groups, and find ways to streamline and simplify our outreach processes to improve efficiency. • Establish guidelines to effectively monitor student success and to review progression processes (advising, semester registration, selecting/changing majors, etc.) for an equitable outcome among all student populations. This includes a review of “at-risk” gateway course data across student populations and a request to urge academic units to address the observed inequities. • Establish a regular check and report cycle regarding the University’s success in addressing observed inequalities in student access and success outcomes.
Indicators • Greater engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at various institutional levels. • Greater knowledge of Fresno State’s unique mission [federal designations: Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Paciﬁc Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI)] among various constituent groups. • Greater knowledge of student success gaps across various populations, and means and resources to address them. • Narrower gaps in learning outcomes across various student populations.
Recruiting, Developing and Supporting Employees
The University community will attract personnel campuswide who are from broadly diverse backgrounds by educating managers, supervisors, administrators and search committees about effective outreach, recruitment, retention, mentoring and talent development policies and practices. We will design these policies and practices significantly to reduce any inequities in the hiring, promotion and advancement of historically underrepresented populations (while also pointing to the value of a broadly diverse University community) and be effective enough to compel leaders at all levels to implement them pervasively. Leaders will hold themselves accountable for removing critical disparities in hiring, promotion, mentoring, talent development and advancement across the employee ranks.
Strategies • Disseminate to various constituencies easily accessible reports and other information about the diversity of the faculty, staff and administrators. (Awareness) • Promote best practices and provide resources for identifying, recruiting, retaining and supporting the most talented, culturally competent, globally aware and diverse faculty, staff and administrators, and for creating a University culture of inclusiveness, shared leadership and integrity that will foster their success. (Knowledge) • Engage campus leadership at all levels in the work of broadly diversifying the faculty, staff and administrators. (Capacity) • Hold leaders and search committees accountable for understanding and implementing existing policies, procedures and practices regarding their hiring, retention and advancement processes to ensure inclusivity and equity. (Capacity)
Awareness Actions • Assess the knowledge of ofﬁcials who are leading hiring processes each year on their familiarity with the levels of underrepresented populations among the faculty, staff and administrators, and engage them in identifying ways they could contribute to creating a more diverse workforce. • Ensure reports and plans that are developed regularly for the federal and state governments, such as the Afﬁrmative Action and Equal Opportunity report and plan, are translated into accessible formats and disseminated to administrators and search committees so they are aware of the existing diversity (or lack thereof) across various units, divisions and departments. 4
• Enhance existing or create new programs to help search committees develop a clear understanding of the importance of having diverse faculty, staff and administrators in their unit, division and department. • Recognize publicly and in several categories the success of faculty, staff and administrators who support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by highlighting the elements of their initiatives and praising their personal commitment. Consider a variety of recognition venues including the Provost’s Awards.
Knowledge Actions • Establish or enhance existing programs that help search committees know how to: a) develop relationships that build trust in underrepresented communities; and b) craft job announcements that clearly communicate the effort of Fresno State to attract and support the success of a diverse workforce. • Identify practices in other areas, such as universal design principles and effective service learning opportunities, to enhance the design of program development initiatives and also broaden the campus community’s understanding of diversity, inclusion and equitable practices. • Create ongoing programs and support mechanisms to assist supervisors, managers and administrators (both academic and administrative) in cultivating a diverse talent pool. Then, mentor this pool by developing their leadership skills and abilities to position them for successful advancement. • Provide opportunities for faculty, staff and administrators to attend conferences, workshops webinars and/or other experiences that are designed to increase understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and develop cultural competence; encourage participants to share their new knowledge with colleagues. • Ensure that administrative and academic leaders (deans, department chairs, program directors and department directors) are offered opportunities and are encouraged to develop cultural competence and engage in equitable and inclusive practices.
Capacity Actions • Establish guidelines that explicitly articulate the ways that Fresno State will develop a campus workforce that reﬂects the population of the region and/or nation—in job announcements, candidate reviews, campus visits, candidates put forth for final selection and hiring—and hold search committees accountable for following the guidelines. • Create guidelines and criteria for advancement that are transparent and ensure equity in opportunities (e.g., professional growth and development, mentoring, support to succeed); encourage participation, track accessibility of opportunities and collect data related to participation and equitable access.
• Establish an effective system that monitors hiring, retention, turnover quotient* and advancement, and provides data disaggregated by salient, reported characteristics (e.g., gender, age, race/ethnicity, country of origin) and that enable comparative examinations of various populations. This requires that hiring and promotion processes be made transparent and easily understandable. (*www.aacu.org/irvinediveval/documents/Revolving DoorCDIInsight.pdf) • Explore non-traditional options to attract, recruit and retain underrepresented populations to the faculty and administrative ranks, such as “grow your own” faculty, Visiting Scholars and State Administrative Fellows programs. • Develop guidelines whereby educational programs evolve and sustain an inclusive environment to keep pace with the rapid changes in the region, state, nation and globe so the University remains competitive in its search for a diverse talent pool (e.g., a program review committee provides annual examination of program offerings).
Indicators • Greater diversity in recruitment and hiring of new faculty, staff and administrators. • Greater success in retaining diverse faculty, staff and administrators. • Greater success in retaining and promoting diverse faculty, staff and administrators.
Promoting and Supporting Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship
The University community will aim to increase awareness regarding the value of diversity. We will achieve this by: a) encouraging ongoing efforts and fostering new endeavors that seek to advocate for diversity; b) promoting both new and existing curriculum that examine diversity, equity and inclusion; c) developing within our campus community cultural competence in order to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse society; d) supporting faculty whose research and creative activities enhance our understanding of diversity-related issues; and e) familiarizing ourselves with teaching practices and scholarship—in both general and discipline-speciﬁc courses —that increase the learning success for historically underrepresented students. Through these efforts, we aim to better prepare our faculty to teach our broadly diverse student body. Taken together, these endeavors intend to increase and challenge our understanding of an ever-evolving, diverse society. By working across disciplines to study, share and promote innovative teaching practices that encourage success for the historically underrepresented groups at Fresno State, we seek to achieve a robust and multidisciplinary understanding of relevant issues facing Central California and beyond.
Strategies • Offer faculty various mechanisms to explore how diversity, equity and inclusion topics can deepen students’ understanding of their disciplines. (Knowledge) • Encourage students to enroll in courses that address diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence. (Awareness) • Provide faculty multiple venues to: learn about effective educational practices (especially High Impact Educational Practices – www.aacu.org/leap/hip.cfm), online delivery systems and other technological tools and the influence these tools have on student learning outcomes; gain practical experience in using these tools; and encourage practices to engage a broad array of student learning styles. (Knowledge) • Encourage and support faculty to engage in interdisciplinary interactions that expand their contribution to scholarship and creative activities related to advancing and/or infusing diversity, equity and inclusion topics into the curriculum, as well as the enrichment of teaching skills, while offering meaningful incentives to lead these efforts. (Capacity)
Awareness Actions • Identify and make easily accessible information about how broad areas of knowledge (humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences) are being informed by diversity-related topics and advanced by equity-minded and inclusive practices. • Provide faculty with tools, examples and support to engage students in the probe of enhancing knowledge through diversity and helping them to raise awareness among their peers about the power of equitable and inclusive study practices. 6
• Use existing or create new venues for faculty (and students) to share with colleagues and peers the positive results of these explorations, both within and across disciplines. • Identify all courses that address diversity, equity and inclusion in meaningful ways and establish a process of better understanding the impact on student learning outcomes. • Engage in interdisciplinary dialogues centered on a set of nationally espoused Principles of Excellence (www. aacu.org/leap/principles_of_excellence.cfm) and explore how they may guide efforts to Make Excellence Inclusive (www.aacu.org/compass/inclusive_excellence.cfm).
• Establish among the campus community the awareness that in a globally interdependent world, domestic and international cultural competence among every member is an important skill to develop within the context of the ways of knowing from different disciplinary perspectives. • Enhance the course descriptions and/or syllabi to make explicit the link between course content that is related to diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence topics and real world applications. • Foster faculty-student research opportunities that advance awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion in disciplinary contexts. • Create general and discipline specific communication media (e.g., pamphlets, brochures, website postings) that raise the consciousness of students that cultural competence is a required skill in a world without boundaries and that it has personal, social, intellectual and professional value that will benefit them in achieving their life goals.
Knowledge Actions • Assist faculty in recognizing the practices that best suit their discipline and facilitate opportunities for them to share and observe the practice in action. • Offer individual and group professional development that translates the research on effective practice into practical strategies that improve teaching. • Identify Fresno State faculty who are already using High Impact Practices and solicit their assistance in spreading knowledge of the practices and their effect on student learning outcomes in their courses giving consideration to ways faculty can incorporate these efforts in the review process in meaningful ways. • Promote scholarship related to effective pedagogy and the infusion of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence topics across the curriculum, attend to the equitable attention to domestic topics, and value these efforts in the faculty reward structure equitability.
Capacity Actions • Support an identiﬁed team of faculty pioneers to undertake the strategy and to guide the effort in ways consistent with other campuswide efforts that require an intensive time commitment (e.g., release time, support of a graduate assistant) and that are consistent with faculty governance structures.
• Develop ways to stimulate faculty to pursue, acquire and use effective pedagogical knowledge and strategies to infuse diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence topics into the curriculum in ways that align with faculty governance and reward structures. • Work with the various schools and colleges to identify early adopters who are willing to work with the team to infuse diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence topics into their courses and willing to enrich their teaching skills. • Identify faculty who have already undertaken scholarship and creative activities in these areas and can serve as resources to inform the team’s effort to broaden the number of faculty practicing infusion and teaching enhancement activities; identify Academic Senate members who have an interest in and knowledge of the effort to serve as a resource to the team and ensure that faculty governance policy is not violated. • Draw on the broadly diverse student body of the University to serve as resources for and reactors to transformed curricula and enhanced or new pedagogical strategies. • Develop a reward structure that recognizes faculty members’ efforts at including diversity, equity and inclusion topics in their scholarship or at improving their teaching effectiveness for developing students’ cultural competence.
Indicators • Increased research activities that address topics of diversity. • Improved curriculums that include topics of diversity. • Improved cultural competency among faculty. 7
Affirming a University Culture of Inclusion, Respect and Equity
The University will enhance and advance a culture that is characterized by a comprehensive understanding that diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence are hallmarks of institutional excellence and success. We will continue building awareness across our community that embraces the rich human diversity of the Central Valley and the University community—at the individual level as well as part of one’s role as a student, faculty member, staff member, administrator, alumnus or Fresno State volunteer/ambassador. We demonstrate this by institutional infusion of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency within: the teaching and learning environment; administrative policies, procedures and practices; services to students and the larger community; and the functional operations of the University. We will foster and support interaction between various local and global cultures of the University community by identifying ways for members to explore deeply and to engage meaningfully with the issues, challenges, backgrounds and life experiences of peoples and communities different from their own.
Strategies • Communicate diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence as core values of the University by using symbols (e.g., visual, auditory, linguistic and cultural) that reﬂect the University’s diverse heritage. (Awareness) • Make campus physical spaces reﬂective of the intellectual, artistic and social contributions of all groups and historically underrepresented populations. (Knowledge) • Demonstrate, consistently, the link between diversity and institutional excellence. (Knowledge) • Demonstrate and communicate a meaningful and well-informed commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence by facilitating opportunities for civil discourse around these topics, accepting that these dialogues may be difficult but necessary to create the desired culture of excellence that is inclusive. (Knowledge) • Support the University community’s use of existing vehicles (i.e., centers, institutes and workshops) for cross-cultural knowledge development and sharing of cultural heritage and traditions. (Capacity) • Support methods to disseminate knowledge of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence. (Awareness, Knowledge and Capacity) • Expand cultural and social experiences for various local, statewide, national and international constituent groups to increase understanding of one’s own and other cultures. (Knowledge) • Create evaluation methods for our efforts related to diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence. (Capacity)
Awareness Actions • Publicize and disseminate the Diversity Plan and the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement broadly and in multiple formats— on campus, in the local and regional community and nationally. • Gather and publicize existing or new University community examples that demonstrate what the research indicates— that diversity and inclusion promote excellence. 8
• Create a Fresno State resource guide for the use of visual images that is universally employed when developing communication pieces. • Examine and identify the past efforts of the university community to achieve a culture of inclusion, respect and equity; communicate broadly through a historical timeline the successes, the setbacks and the lessons learned to inform future efforts. • Identify various settings (integrating artwork and signage in common areas such as critical points of entry and high-usage spaces) that reﬂect the diversity of the University and region and develop communication venues that promote the campus history, diversity and inclusion statement, diversity plan and action steps in ways that stimulate the University community to engage in implementing the actions (e.g., the University website, on- and off-campus community forums, blogs, pamphlets, SKYPE groups, exhibits, a history walk/wall, TV and radio interviews, presentations at national conferences focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence as well as conferences hosted by academic disciplines that focus on inclusive teaching practices).
Knowledge Actions • Create and support teaching and learning communities made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators, or all constituent groups to provide opportunities for exploring the development of cultural competence (i.e., understanding multicultural ways of being, thinking, acting) formally through empirical quantitative and qualitative research; and informally through civil discourse, difficult dialogue and guided reflection; as well as support for in-residence programs for national and international artists.
• Identify and implement a wide variety of methods to encourage broad participation in campus events that facilitate international and cross-cultural engagement and accelerate cultural understanding including, but not limited to: adequate resources to ensure that the events have broad appeal; greater faculty involvement in planning and execution; more intentional linkages to the curriculum; highlight and celebrate regional visual and performing artists through campus events; and senior leadership advocacy. • Develop and implement diversity, equity and inclusion orientation programs that lay a foundation for the expectation of cultural competence by all members of the University community, which outlines how cultural competence is demonstrated in various roles and responsibilities and how each University community member is to be held accountable. Examples include: LEAD programming; mentorship and leadership development programs; faculty and student development programs, alumni engagement and volunteer/ambassador orientation programs. • Develop learning guides (in multiple languages) regarding the available campus/community resources that are designed to address the unique needs of various groups (e.g., racial/ethnic, religious, gender, sexual identity, ability). • Establish a recognition program that recognizes exemplary contributions by community and campus members (students, faculty, staff and administrators) to create a culture that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence. • Hold University community members at all levels accountable for fostering a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion and cultural competence and establishing equitable practices within their sphere of influence.
Capacity Actions • Establish a campuswide mechanism to highlight teaching, learning and/or community practices that create a climate of civility, inclusion and respect for diversity; and foster deep understanding and meaningful engagement with differences and commonalities in populations and their life experiences. • Examine the structure of student organizations’ outreach and programming to ensure equitable support is given to student organizations that offer University community events that facilitate cross-cultural engagement to ensure equity. • Establish and encourage the use of universal design and other alternative methods of accessing, using and disseminating knowledge and enhanced communications for the entire campus (e.g., Section 508 compliance resources; resources for interpreting services; American Sign Language and foreign languages; auditory and translation devices; critical University activities, functions or communication pieces in multiple languages). • Establish a procedure for planning accessible campus events in which the population exceeds 100.
• Facilitate the development of and provide support for faculty/staff associations (e.g., employee resource groups—ERGs) based on self-proclaimed identity, interests, backgrounds, and diverse and embed mentorship dimensions within them for the purpose of knowledge development and organizational effectiveness. • Conduct an analysis of resource allocations for various campus diversity initiatives to ensure the appropriate level of support is provided across the University community. • Conduct a campus climate survey to establish a baseline of community members’ perceptions of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence at Fresno State and to determine how the institution may advance its goals for diversity and inclusion. • Establish or designate a position(s) to work with the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity (PCHRE) to oversee all areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competence recognizing that the position should be one that provides leadership, managerial support and guidance for the work of the diversity plan similar to the way that senior leaders offer guidance for the strategic plan process and strategic initiatives—it is a responsibility that is shared with many others who are also held accountable for the outcomes.
Indicators • Greater use of existing Academic units and programs for cross-cultural knowledge development. • Greater communication of diversity, equity and inclusion as core University values. • Increased opportunities for internal and external dialogue and interaction that builds cultural competence for all employees. 9
WORKING DEFINITIONS The following working definitions are critical components of A Strategic Plan for Inclusion, Respect and Equity (ASPIRE): Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, language, learning styles and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, country of origin and ability status as well as cultural, political, religious or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning. Inclusion: The active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within (and change) systems and institutions.
Fresno State is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), reflecting the rich diversity of Central California. Fresno State is an equal opportunity employer and educational institution supporting diversity.
Equity (student focus): The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion. Source: Association of American Colleges & Universities Website, 2011 Equity (employee focus): The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations of employees (faculty and staff) to have equal access to professional growth opportunities and resource networks that are capable of closing the demographic disparities in leadership roles in all spheres of institutional functioning. Source: Clayton-Pedersen, 2011; Adapted from the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education’s Equity Scorecard™ Cultural Competence: The state of having and applying knowledge and skill in four areas: awareness of one’s own cultural worldview; recognition of one’s attitudes toward cultural differences; realization of different cultural practices and worldviews; and thoughtfulness in cross-cultural interaction. Over an extended period of time, individuals and organizations develop the wisdom and capability to: 1. examine critically how cultural worldviews influence perceptions of power, dominance and inequality; and 2. behave honorably within the complex dynamics of differences and commonalities among humans, groups and systems.
www.fresnostate.edu/pchre The information in this brochure is available in alternate formats. Please call the Office of the Vice President for Administration at 559.278.2083 to make your request.