Message from Chancellor Black
Welcome to the Campus Climate Web Page,
When I joined the UMD community in August of 2010, I announced a major campus initiative to create an inclusive campus climate for all who learn and work at UMD. I also launched a comprehensive strategic planning process that culminated in the adoption of UMD’s Strategic Plan in May 2011. These two efforts align and intersect in Goal #2 of the Strategic Plan: “Create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice.”
Creating a positive climate is an ongoing process, and we continue to be committed to helping the campus heal from disappointing actions while at the same time not letting these setbacks overshadow all of the many accomplishments.
I would like to recognize the extraordinary commitment by the students, faculty and staff who are taking the words of Goal #2 and transforming them into actions. We take pride in the achievements that have been developed and implemented by the various campus change teams. These accomplishments include:
- Campus Climate Response Team
UMD’s Campus Change Leadership Team established a Campus Climate Response Team (CCRT) to respond quickly to incidents that harm the university's climate. In addition to facilitating a timely and appropriate response, the Campus Climate Response Team (CCRT) regularly reviews and analyzes how incidents are handled. This coming summer, the CCRT will provide the campus with a summary report of incidents that occurred the previous school year, and will also share recommendations for programming, education and other proactive approaches based on observed trends
- Campus Climate Assessments
UMD developed a schedule of and deployed the first two Campus Climate surveys during Spring 2013. It also initiated student focus group discussions to identify problem areas and focus future work.
- Diversity Pre-Doctoral Fellows
UMD is in its third year of hiring three pre-doctoral fellows from underrepresented groups. This program creates successful mentoring experiences and provides supportive work environments and resources to prepare the fellows for the next step in their careers.
- Faculty Fellow for Intercultural Initiatives
UMD created a cabinet-level leadership position in May 2013 to facilitate campus climate initiatives for faculty, staff, administration, and students. The Fellow also serves as co-chair for the Campus Change Team.
UMD offers a wide variety of majors, minors and graduate programs that align with cultural competency and diversity education. Majors: American Indian Studies, Cultural Entrepreneurship, French Studies, Hispanic Studies, Ojibwe Elementary School Education, and Women’s Studies. Minors: African and African American Studies, American Indian Studies, Cultural Studies, Deaf Studies, Foreign Studies, French Studies, German Studies, International Studies, Hispanic Studies, LGBTQ Studies, Tribal Law and Government, and Women’s Studies. This academic focus includes graduate programs also, such as the new Master of Tribal Administration and Governance.
UMD staff and faculty have participated in a training/orientation program presented by Alliance for Change. The goal of this program is to intentionally embed the values of social justice into the work and training of students and staff in Admissions, Housing and Residence Life, Athletics, Office of Cultural Diversity, First Year Experience and Students in Transition, Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, Kirby Student Center, Kirby Leadership Program and the new faculty orientation program.
Annual performance evaluation for staff members now includes language recognizing the value of individual effort to improve the campus climate. This is consistent with current P&A performance evaluation language. Performance evaluations for campus leaders were updated to include an assessment of each individual’s contributions to advancing UMD’s Strategic Plan Goal #2 of creating an inclusive campus environment for all.
Through a partnership of several Unit Change Teams with Facilities Management, the campus developed a policy of including gender-neutral restrooms in new and renovated campus buildings.
Gender inclusive housing will be offered at UMD beginning in the fall of 2015, placing it among the first wave of universities in the state to do so. Students will be able to select apartments in which their roommates can be any combination of genders.
People have taken notice of our work for equity, diversity, and social justice. In November of 2011, UMD received the 2011 Equity and Diversity Outstanding Unit Award from the University of Minnesota’s Office of Equity and Diversity, located on the Twin Cities campus.
Advancing equity, diversity, and social justice requires persistence and long-term difficult work at all levels of our campus community. Our commitment to becoming a more inclusive campus is as strong as ever, and achievements like these let us know we are making significant progress. This is especially important because it is aligned with our strategic goal to foster equity, diversity, and social justice.
Thank you for your commitment and ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive campus. I am committed to staying the course and to working with you and the UMD campus community to reach our goals.
Your ideas, comments and feedback are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org