"Cultural Diversity is a core value in which people honor one another as individuals, value differences and the special gifts each of us brings to the community, and respect the rights of others as human beings inclusive of race, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, class, age, disability, religion, and national origin."
-adopted by the Cultural Diversity Task Force in November, 1997
1999 ETSU Cultural Diversity Task Force
In 1999, the ETSU Cultural Diversity Task Force presented to President Stanton eighteen recommendations for diversity initiatives on this campus. This Task Force had worked for 18 months to look closely at diversity issues at ETSU through the use of surveys and focus groups. The Task Force also researched "best practices" regarding the honoring and celebration of diversity on campuses across the United States. Initiatives in both Academic and Student Affairs were investigated.
The 18 recommendations were presented to and endorsed by the President's Executive Council and then distributed across campus. One of the recommendations involved the formation of a group that would have responsibility for oversight of the progress toward meeting goals outlined in the 18 recommendations. The President's Council on Cultural Diversity is this group. Following are the 18 recommendations developed by the Task Force and the present status of each recommendation.
Status of Recommendations
Cultural Diversity Task Force
Updated November 2003
Updated November 2006
INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT AND ACTION PLAN
Present to all East Tennessee State University's publics and constituents, a statement from the President that affirms and requests others to commit to the university's core values that, "people come first, are treated with dignity and respect, and are encouraged to achieve their full potential," and that "diversity of people and thought is respected," and announces a plan of action (which follows in the Task Force report) that enables academic and administrative units to reach out and make conscious efforts to build diverse learning environments consistent with their own unique mission and the larger mission of the university.
Recommendation #1: MET
CREATION OF A POSITION: SPECIAL ASSISTANT
TO THE PRESIDENT FOR DIVERSITY
Create a position entitled "Special Assistant to the President for Diversity" with responsibility to plan, coordinate, administer, and monitor campus diversity efforts. The individual will report directly to the President.
Recommendation #2: MET
Mary Jordan has filled this position. An office Coordinator and Executive Aide were added to assist her (both hired initially through Geier funding).
CREATION OF AN ADVISORY COUNCIL
Appoint an Advisory Council charged with advocating and providing support for diversity initiatives at the institutional level.
Recommendation #3: MET
The President’s Council on Cultural Diversity has been established – not as advisory – but as a group responsible for the oversight of the development of competencies of a multicultural campus.
NON-DISCRIMINATION REGARDING SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Establish a policy and procedure statement committing East Tennessee State University to non-discrimination regarding sexual orientation and expand the university's non-discrimination statement to include sexual orientation.
Recommendation #4: MET
The sexual harassment policy has been established at ETSU, and a sexual orientation clause is part of ETSU policies.
AUGMENT THE ETSU "PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS OF GENERAL EDUCATION"
Augment the ETSU "Philosophy and Goals of General Education" to address the need for diversity competency.
Recommendation #5 MET
The General Education Council has addressed this issue and expansion of the commitment diversity took place in writing the goals of general education.
ESTABLISH DIVERSITY CURRICULUM REQUIREMENT
Establish a core curriculum requirement that can be met by a course or set of courses for which the topic is human diversity in America.
Recommendation #6 NOT MET
A Diversity Intensive Requirement for students is being studied as a qualification for this recommendation.
IMPLEMENT PROFESSIONAL FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Develop, fund and implement a comprehensive professional development program for faculty that emphasizes the inclusion of diversity issues throughout the curriculum and appropriate treatment of diverse populations of students in the classroom. Offer an incentive structure to support departments that excel in this effort. Dedicate a significant portion of the funds in the Instructional Development Grant Program to address diversity issues in course and/or program development.
Recommendation #7 NOT MET
Development of recruitment and retention plans is part of the solution and the outcomes will be tied to the ETSU Strategic Plan.
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PLAN FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHING FACULTY
Make committed and intentional efforts to recruit, retain, and provide sustained follow-up support (e.g., mentoring and social interaction) for faculty of color, especially African-American teaching faculty.
Recommendation #8: NOT MET
In response to Geier going into consent decree, a committee is looking at “best practices” in an effort to move toward serious and integrated recruitment and retention efforts.
DIVERSITY EDUCATION FOR ALL UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES
Develop a plan to insure that all training programs at ETSU - new as well as existing efforts, are infused with sensitivity to diversity issues and offer settings where exploration of sensitive issues is made easier. Included in the plan should be a variety of diversity training experiences for all university employees.
Recommendation #9: MET
The University Diversity Training Task Force designed a diversity training modules for staff and faculty. Attendance at a training module is required of all ETSU. To date we are training new employees and new faculty. The College of Medicine is in the planning stage of implementation.
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF HIGH-LEVEL MINORITY AND FEMALE ADMINISTRATORS
Increase efforts to recruit and provide sustained follow-up support for upper-level administrators who are minorities and/or women, and members of other diverse groups.
Recommendation #10:NOT MET
Upper level positions are still not being advertised (to minorities).
INCREASE DIVERSITY RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION EFFORTS
Increase recruitment and retention efforts directed at building a more diverse student body.
Recommendation #11: MET
Strategic Goals committee addresses concerns of African American students. Current Geier scholarship recipients will be eligible to receive the funds until they graduate. A personnel was hired to advise African American students through Student Affairs. Members of the Council attended the TBR workshop, Access and Diversity, to examine Post-Geier issues, how to live outside of Geier and how to expand our scope.
EXPANSION OF THE OFFICE OF MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS IN THE
DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
Expand the functions and staff of the Office of Multicultural Affairs to insure that the director has adequate time to address administrative duties associated with campus-wide multicultural programs and services, and joint programming efforts with the community.
Recommendation #12: NOT MET
Permanent staffing issues still need to be addressed; temporary employees that are renewed time after time should become regular workers. It was that fiscal requests related to staffing of Multicultural Affairs be submitted before the end of the fiscal year.
CONTINUED OFFICES AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
Continue development of existing offices/programs that support international programs, disability services, women's studies, Appalachian studies, and African and African-American studies.
Recommendation #13: PARTIALLY MET – Expansion is occurring in these areas, but more work is needed.
CAMPUS SPACE FOR MULTICULTURAL GROUP INTERACTIONS
Identify and furnish space on campus that can be dedicated for multicultural group interactions - include students in planning and designing the functional use of this space.
Recommendation #14: NOT MET
A space needs to be set apart (different decorations, etc.) and dedicated to multicultural issues where multiple groups that are driven by a common philosophy can come together under one roof.
DIALOGUE ON DIVERSITY
Develop and implement opportunities for students that will promote an active dialogue on diversity for the campus.
Recommendation #15: PARTIALLY MET.
Student representatives have been included on the President’s Council on Cultural Diversity. Medical students have “Dinner and a Movie” and other activities aimed at bringing people together. Diversity Training for students is being planned, pilots of the program are currently in session.
FACULTY/STAFF MENTORING OF STUDENTS
Expand faculty/staff mentoring efforts of students from diverse backgrounds
Recommendation #16: PARTIALLY MET
GOALS a mentoring program for undergraduate minority students. Division of Health Sciences, International Student, Honors College, McNair Program all have mentoring programs established. There are a few mentoring internships available.
Develop a plan to focus on diversity in extracurricular entertainment activities and programming. Additional funds should be dedicated for this purpose.
Recommendation #17: PARTIALLY MET - Ongoing.
A plan has not been established, but some funds have been set aside.
DATABASE OF COMMUNITY CONTACTS
Enhance community-campus connections by developing a database of community contacts and encouraging involvement in community service activities by faculty and students.
Recommendation #18: PARTIALLY MET - MORE INFORMATION NEEDED
Committee is currently investigation how ETSU interfaces with the community in providing opportunities for students.