The 2018-19 Report of the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate

UCICC Membership 2018-2019

Co-Chairs

  • Paul A. Youngman, Associate Provost
  • Mary Main, Executive Director of Human Resources

Ex officio

  • Melina Bell, Core Faculty, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 2018-2021
  • Tamara Futrell, Associate Dean of Students and Dean of Seniors
  • Janine Hathorn, Head of the Department of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation
  • Mary Main, Executive Director, Human Resources
  • Trenya Mason, Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs
  • Leonard Satterwhite, Senior Associate Dean of Admissions
  • Hunter Swanson, Associate Director, International Education
  • Paul Youngman, Associate Provost

Faculty members

Four faculty members, appointed by the Provost for three-year terms.

  • Elicia Cowins - 2017-2020
  • Helen I'Anson - 2017-2020
  • Lynn Chin - 2018-2021
  • Elizabeth Denne - 2018-2021

Staff Members

Three non-exempt staff members and one supervisor/administrator, recommended by the Executive Director of Human Resources and appointed by the VP for Finance and Administration for three-year terms.

  • Katherine Brinkley (non-exempt) - July 2016-June 2019
  • Ethan Kipnes (supervisor/administrator) - July 2016-June 2019
  • Jessica Wager (non-exempt) - July 2018-June 2021

Students

Four students, nominated by the EC and appointed by the VPSA/Dean of Students for one year terms.

  • Roy Abernathy ‘20L - 2018-2019
  • Matthew Dodson '20U- 2018-2019
  • Andrea Levan '22 - 2019-2019
  • Joelle Simeu '20U- 2018-2019

Committee Charge

University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC) reports to the President and is charged to provide guidance to the President and other members of the university as we build a supportive, inclusive and diverse community and create a climate open and welcoming to persons from diverse backgrounds. The committee represents the views of students, staff, administration, and faculty. It will help the University fulfill its institutional values that stress the importance of the individual and respect for others.

Reporting directly to the President, the committee's specific charge is to:

  1. Produce an annual report on our campus climate, especially with respect to inclusiveness and diversity, that charts the University's progress on key longitudinal measures.
  2. Advise the president on matters related to inclusiveness and campus climate.
  3. Address from time to time particular issues of concern, such as gender or racial relations across campus, through focused study and analysis, and make recommendations to the President for further action by appropriate University officials, committees or administrative bodies.
  4. Provide an institutional platform to address issues of inclusiveness and diversity, in response to concerns within the campus community.

The committee membership consists of the following: Executive Director of Human Resources; Associate Provost; four faculty members, appointed by the Provost and to include representation from each of the three academic units; a representative of the Center for International Education or a representative from the Committee on International Education; Head of the Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation; Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs in the School of Law; an Associate Dean of Student Affairs; head of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program or a representative from that program's core faculty selected by the Provost; three non-exempt staff members, appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration upon the recommendation of the Executive Director of Human Resources, chosen from the operations and support staff to attain broad representation; one supervisor/administrator, appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration upon the recommendation of the Executive Director of Human Resources; and four students, to include at least one law student, nominated by the Executive Committee of the Student Body and appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Student appointments will take place in the spring term preceding the academic year in which appointed students begin service.

Members serve three-year terms, with the exception of the students who will serve one-year terms but also be eligible for additional terms through re-nomination by the Executive Committee and subsequent re-appointment by the VPSA/Dean of Students. The terms of the initial members of the committee will be staggered to ensure continuity of membership in the committee's formative years.

The committee is co-chaired by the Associate Provost and the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Executive Overview

The University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC) was created by then- President Ruscio in November of 2008. Since then, the committee has met throughout each academic year and discussed a variety of issues. The academic year 2018-19 was another very active year for the committee. UCICC met monthly throughout the year and reached out to a number of different constituencies to meet with committee members formally or informally. Among our primary goals were:

  • to get a broader understanding of all the diversity and inclusion work currently happening across campus;
  • to increase visibility of UCICC to aid in documenting the campus climate, to increase awareness of diversity efforts, and to inform our recommendations; and
  • to build upon the momentum from strategic planning and the Commission to develop concrete recommendations for change.

The results of our discussions are summarized in the recommendations section of this report. These recommendations were informed by the conversations and data we collected throughout the year. UCICC has already implemented several of the recommendations. Others have been passed along to the appropriate offices for consideration. Some of the suggestions are already being done on campus, but there is a lack of awareness among the broader community of many of these initiatives. In addition, we have found that initiatives to address issues of diversity and inclusion among faculty and staff currently fall far behind those aimed at students. This is one of the factors that gives rise to our primary recommendation for a comprehensive campus climate survey that will provide data on all constituencies.

Overview of the Committee's Work in 2018-2019

Half-Day Planning Retreat: August 19, 2018

The goal of UCICC’s fall retreat was to familiarize ourselves with the diversity and inclusion work currently being done on campus, better understand our role in the context of this work and within the university as a whole, and determine our priorities and next steps for the 2018-19 academic year. We began by setting some ground rules for our discussions to ensure open communication amongst the committee members when discussing complex, challenging, and emotionally charged topics. Guest Marc Conner then talked about the historical context of UCICC, its charge, and role. This was followed by a series of reports to update the committee on the state of diversity and inclusion work at W&L.

Reports

  • Diversity Working Group and Student Affairs, Guests Sidney Evans and Tammi Simpson
  • Office of Inclusion and Equity, Diversity Training Tammy Futrell
  • Student Organizations, Tammy Futrell
  • International Students, Faculty, and Staff, Hunter Swanson
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Melina Bell
  • ARC Program, Megan Hobbs

We also heard a presentation by a team from Davidson College with whom we are partnering on a tool called Sensemaker designed to measure student thriving. This project is headed up at W&L by Paul Youngman, Tammy Futrell, Ayo Edinero ‘21 and is funded by LACOL. Other partner colleges include Haverford and Hamilton.

Fall Semester 2018

The committee met monthly during the Fall term. We began the year with robust discussions on inclusivity in light of President Dudley’s response to the Commission Report and the campus reaction to it. We began the discussion in the first two meetings with a summary of conversations with concerned faculty and students during UCICC Office hours. The people who visited office hours were largely disappointed with the response to the Commission Report and wanted UCICC to urge the President to enact more of the Commission recommendations. UCICC itself spent two hours on this topic and in the end was divided on the matter with the majority of members feeling optimistic that this was a good first step on the way to more changes.

The Employee Benefits Committee brought a newly drafted policy to UCICC regarding time away from work for religious observances. UCICC endorsed the policy and it was approved by the President. The following wording will be included in the 2019 – 2020 Employee Handbook:

Religious Observance Policy

The diversity of people who make up our University community requires the recognition of and respect for different religious beliefs, including the celebration of religious holidays. While the operating needs of the department must be met, supervisors should make practical accommodations to work schedules for individuals who request time off in advance for religious holidays. If the time away from work for a religious holiday is approved, an employee may use accrued CTO time. Supervisors may also permit employees to take time off without pay or to rearrange work schedules during the week in which the holiday occurs to make up for missed work time.

We developed a proposal to enact a campus climate survey in Winter 2019. The proposal was approved by President Dudley in October, 2019. A subcommittee of UCICC consisting of Mary Main, Tammy Futrell, Paul Youngman, and Tim Diette (not a UCICC member) considered proposals from three consulting firms and interviewed a team from each firm in December 2018. We selected Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. to conduct the campus climate survey.

Our last UCICC meeting of 2018 was with President Dudley. It is important to note that this meeting took place after the Board of Trustees voted to change the names of Robinson Hall and Lee-Jackson house to Chavis Hall and Simpson House respectively. We held a wide- ranging discussion covering topics like the Commission Report, Greek life, LGBTQ issues, and the work of the OIE.

We sent representatives to meetings of the different student organizations and other relevant committees:

  • Tammy Futrell ran OIE meetings of student leaders
  • Paul Youngman is a member of FLIP
  • Paul Youngman and Tammy Futrell both attended FLIP events

Winter Semester 2019

We began the semester with our annual public statement to W&L students about Lee- Jackson Day events:

To: All W&L Students (UG and Law)
From: UCICC (The University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate)

Dear W&L Students,

Lee-Jackson Day is an annual state holiday in Virginia and this year falls on Friday, Jan. 18. Lexington is the site of several commemorative events, including a parade along Main Street at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. Many of the participants will wear Civil War regalia and will carry various flags and symbols. The University does not have any connection with these events, but there will likely be displays along North Jefferson Street in front of the Memorial Gate as well as elsewhere in the city on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

We know that students have had questions and concerns about these activities in past years. Kelsey Goodwin (kgoodwin@wlu.edu) of the Office of Student Affairs is working with student groups to provide alternate programming on Lee-Jackson Day. The CARE Rockbridge MLK Community Parade is on Monday, January 21 at 10 AM. It kicks off from the United Methodist Church at 118 S. Randolph St. If you have any questions, please email the UCICC at ucicc@wlu.edu.

Paul A. Youngman, Associate Provost and co-chair of UCICC
Mary Main, Executive Director of Human Resources and co-chair of UCICC

Most of the Winter term was spent dealing with the climate survey. In January 2019, we had the contract with Gallagher approved and began the process of developing the survey. In a series of four meetings the campus climate subcommittee (Main, Futrell, Youngman, and Diette) worked with Gallagher to develop the survey. After that process, the subcommittee and the consultants from Gallagher submitted the survey to the entire UCICC. It took two meetings for the editing process to yield the final draft of the survey structured as you see here:

Climate and Engagement Survey Structure - Gallagher

Closed-Ended Items
  • 57 closed-ended items (Faculty Survey)
  • 56 closed-ended items (Staff Survey)

Closed-ended items are measured using a 6-point agreement scale where:

  • 6 = Strongly Agree
  • 5 = Agree
  • 4 = Somewhat Agree
  • 3 = Somewhat Disagree
  • 2 = Disagree
  • 1 = Strongly Disagree
Open-Ended Item

Two open-ended comment questions:

  • "If you could tell The University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC) anything, what would it be?"
  • "If you could change two things at W&L what would they be and how would you change them?"
Coding Items

11 demographic coding items:

  • Department/Unit
  • Role
  • Tenure Status
  • Position
  • Supervisor Status
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Generation Group
  • Length of Service
  • Race
  • Work Status

We administered the survey online between March 5 and March 22 to the following effect:

Survey Performance Summary - Gallagher

2019 Climate and Engagement Survey Participation
  • W&L Respondents: 742 (72% overall response rate)
    • Faculty (n=250): 71% response rate
    • Staff (n=492): 72% response rate
  • Possible W&L Respondents: 1,032
  • Administration Period: March 5 to March 22
  • Administration Method: Online

Our 72% response rate that led one Gallagher consultant to remark that they have never had that high a rate in their higher education branch. This rate is due to UCICC members strongly encouraging colleagues to fill out the survey. All in all, the planning and implementation phases were a success, leaving the hard work of the analysis and action phases as a focus for the 2019-2020 academic year. This work will begin with our annual retreat on August 16, 2020 when the Gallagher consultant team debriefs UCICC on the survey results.

Additionally, in the winter UCICC drafted a holiday decoration guideline that will be brought to the President in the upcoming year:

As the academic year begins, we request that each of you support inclusivity on campus by acknowledging that our community members practice many different religions. In fact, over 20 different religions are represented among the student body. The Community Mission part of our strategic plan states that we “include, engage, and connect all members of our community to W&L and each other.” This is an important commitment as the special holidays within each denomination occur throughout the year. We are dedicated to ensuring that all students, staff, and faculty feel welcome and respected in any space, regardless of religion and time of year.

In March, Truman Payne attended a UCICC meeting and provided us with an update on the Campus Accessibility Audit for Pathways and Parking.

In April, UCICC reviewed the recommendations of the Recruitment and Retention Task Force, presented by Mary Main.

Demographic Data

Each year UCICC reviews the demographic data (including gender and race/ethnicity) for the faculty, staff and student population. The most recent data can be obtained from the 2018-2019 Fact Book.

Appendix

Appendix 1. Summary of OIE Initiatives on Campus in 2018-2019

Part of UCICC’s charge is to “produce an annual report on our campus climate, especially with respect to inclusiveness and diversity, that charts the University's progress on key longitudinal measures.” UCICC’s activities are documented in the body of the report. There are many additional initiatives taking place across campus that are organized by different groups and offices. However, many members of the W&L community are unaware of many of these efforts. In this appendix, we submit a partial listing of other initiatives that took place on campus in 2018-2019, in order to highlight diversity and inclusion work across campus. Although UCICC members played a role in many of the following, these were not UCICC-sponsored initiatives.

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Events
  2. Office of Inclusion and Engagement Events
  3. Diversity and First Generation Working Group
    • Angel Fund Growth – received additional funding and broader dissemination of information about the fund
    • FLIP laptop lending program
    • Career Closet (in the process of developing a system to check-out and return interview attire)
    • Support of FLIP’s lending library on the Commons 4th floor
    • Expand efforts related to first-generation students during orientation and Parents and Family Weekend
    • Continue to explore ways to best support our DACA students
    • Focus on how to foster diversity and inclusion in academic affairs such as fall academy, and increase opportunities for interdisciplinary classes and programming;
    • funding for career trips and other career-related opportunities
  4. Student Activities
  5. Fall and Winter Academy sessions, including a full day of sessions on inclusive pedagogies in Fall 2019
  6. Other Diversity Efforts (List from Sidney Evans)
    • ODI transitions in name to OIE and staffing, including a future multicultural center
    • Sankofa House, provides a residential and social space for students of the African diaspora and their allies
    • LatinX house will open Fall 2019
    • Alumni mentoring initiative will benefit both current students and alumni of color
    • Diversity training continues to evolve with positive feedback and greater requests from W&L community members. A recent fraternity training went well and further Greek training efforts are planned for next year
    • Athletics participates in trainings and assist in furthering diversity initiatives.
    • OIE runs