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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.30
Liaison Sarah Munro
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sarah Munro
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

“The University of Connecticut (the “University”) is committed to maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living and working environment for all members of the University community – students, employees, and visitors. Academic and professional excellence can exist only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of safety and mutual respect. All members of the University community are responsible for the maintenance of an environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination, discriminatory harassment or interpersonal violence. Discrimination diminishes individual dignity and impedes equal employment and educational opportunities.
The University does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its education or employment programs and activities on the basis of an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic information, physical or mental disability (including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and past or present history of mental illness), veteran’s status, prior conviction of a crime, workplace hazards to the reproductive system, gender identity or expression, or membership in any other protected classes as set forth in state or federal law. To that end, this Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence, Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Complicity, Retaliation and Inappropriate Amorous Relationships (the “Policy”) prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate state and federal laws, including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), and related state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Such behavior may also require the University to fulfill certain reporting obligations under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), as amended by VAWA, and Connecticut state law regarding reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
The University prohibits discrimination, as well as discriminatory harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual or gender-based harassment, complicity in the commission of any act prohibited by this Policy, retaliation against a person for the good faith reporting of any of these forms of conduct or participation in any investigation or proceeding under this Policy (collectively, “Prohibited Conduct”[1]). These forms of Prohibited Conduct are unlawful and undermine the mission and values of our academic community. In addition, inappropriate amorous relationships with employees in positions of authority can undermine the University’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority.
The University adopts this Policy with a commitment to: (1) eliminating, preventing, and addressing the effects of Prohibited Conduct; (2) fostering a safe and respectful University community; (3) cultivating a climate where all individuals are well-informed and supported in reporting Prohibited Conduct; (4) providing a fair and impartial process for all parties in the investigation and resolution of such reports; and (5) identifying the standards by which violations of this Policy will be evaluated and disciplinary action may be imposed. In addition, the University conducts ongoing prevention, awareness, and training programs for employees and students to facilitate the goals of this Policy.
A student or employee determined by the University to have committed an act of Prohibited Conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University. Third Parties who commit acts of Prohibited Conduct may have their relationships with the University terminated and/or their privileges of being on University premises withdrawn.
It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to foster an environment free of Prohibited Conduct. All members of the University community are encouraged to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of Prohibited Conduct. The University will support and assist community members who take such actions.
Retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports or participates in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of Prohibited Conduct is strictly forbidden.
This Policy applies to all reports of Prohibited Conduct occurring on or after the effective date of this Policy. Where the date of the Prohibited Conduct precedes the effective date of this Policy, the definitions of misconduct in effect at the time of the alleged incident(s) will be used. The procedures under this Policy, however, will be used to investigate and resolve all reports made on or after the effective date of this Policy, regardless of when the incident(s) occurred.”

Link to statement: http://policy.uconn.edu/2015/12/29/policy-against-discrimination-harassment-and-related-interpersonal-violence/


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

It is the policy of The University of Connecticut to prohibit discrimination in education, employment, and in the provision of services on the basis of legally protected characteristics (race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, workplace hazards to reproductive systems, sex (gender, sexual harassment), marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, physical/mental/learning disability, and any other group protected by civil rights laws.

A student or employee determined by the University to have committed an act of Prohibited Conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University. Third Parties who commit acts of Prohibited Conduct may have their relationships with the University terminated and/or their privileges of being on University premises withdrawn.
It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to foster an environment free of Prohibited Conduct. All members of the University community are encouraged to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of Prohibited Conduct. The University will support and assist community members who take such actions.
Retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports or participates in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of Prohibited Conduct is strictly forbidden.

Individuals wanting to file a complaint of discrimination and/or discriminatory harassment are encouraged to file with the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). The complaint file is created and maintained by OIE. To the extent permitted by law, OIE will safeguard its confidentiality.

In addition, students may file a bias-related incident report with the following sources ( http://reslife.uconn.edu/bias-reporting/ ):

Many departments, including the Department of Residential Life, can receive reports of bias-related incidents. To report an incident to Residential Life, please do one of the following.
• Report the incident to a Resident Assistant (RA).
• Call the Hall Director On-Duty at (860) 933-2220 and state that you need to report a bias-related incident.
• If you would like to report an incident online, you can submit this form which will be sent to the Office of Community Standards.

The website URL where more information about the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team is available:
http://policy.uconn.edu/2015/12/29/policy-against-discrimination-harassment-and-related-interpersonal-violence/

An example of actions taken during a bias incident within the past three years can be found here: http://dailycampus.com/stories/2017/2/1/uconn-deals-with-bias-related-incidents-on-campus-with-collaborative-protocol


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The University of Connecticut’s Recruitment & Search Process Unit within the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) is responsible for monitoring employment transactions by providing consultation to departments and search committees on recruitment strategies and procedures and monitoring faculty and staff hiring decisions. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) works to ensure the University's commitment and responsibility to foster diverse and inclusive working and learning environments. Primarily, their work focuses on ensuring compliance with the University's non-discrimination policies and also state and federal laws and regulations related to equal opportunity and affirmative action. This Office also facilitates requests for workplace accommodations made by employees with disabilities. Major areas of focus include:
1. Americans with Disabilities Act (Title I) Compliance
2. Affirmative Action
3. Discrimination
4. Diversity
5. Education and Training
6. Search Process Compliance
7. Title IX Compliance
8. Sexual Violence Awareness.
Events that the Office holds on a regular basis are
Graduate Student - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, Faculty and Staff - Diversity Awareness Training, Graduate Student - Diversity Awareness Training

More information and supporting documents such as guidelines, interviews, and checklists can be found here: http://equity.uconn.edu/search-process/

Graduate Student Recruitment initiatives include:

• Multicultural and Outstanding Multicultural Scholar Program
• Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Partnership
• The COMPACT for Faculty Diversity Collaboration
• Faculty Exchange Progra
• The Graduate School Summer Research Experienc
• Graduate School Diversity Task Force
• Recruitment of Diverse Populations at National Meetings –
o Recruitment Teams composed of staff member, faculty and current graduate students
 Conferences Graduate School will be attending:
• IRT: Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Collaboration
o Field Concentration: Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
• ABRCMS: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students
o Field Concentration: STEM
• SACNAS: Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
o Field Concentration: STEMS and some social sciences

Graduate Student Retention Initiatives:
• Orientation
• The Graduate School Fellowship Reception
• Graduate Student, Faculty, and Staff Mixers
• Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series
• Professional Preparation Curriculum
• Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Conference
• Multicultural Celebratory
• Graduate School Diversity Task Force

Undergraduate Recruitment from Underrepresented Groups:

The NEAG School of Education strives to recruit a diverse array of prospective teachers. The Neag School of Education has been selected by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as one of ten institutions nationwide to participate in its Networked Improvement Community (NIC) aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino men in teacher preparation and into teaching. Participating institutions commit to increasing the number of young men of color in their teacher education programs by 25% over several years and participate in a networked knowledge-sharing community on effective methods.
Neag faculty and staff are members of the Connecticut Minority Teacher Recruitment Committee. The aim of the committee is to recruit, support and retain students of color into teacher preparation and the Connecticut teacher labor market.

NEAG also participates in Project LID. Project L.I.D (Leadership In Diversity) is dedicated to providing support for students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in the field of education. The aim is to help close the “lid” around educational equity and equip students with the necessary tools, networks and information to be competitive, well-rounded future educators.

More information can be found at http://education.uconn.edu/diversity/


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

The school of engineering in coordination with the engineering diversity program sponsors a five week intensive study of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer programming. The purpose of the summer bridge program is to prepare underrepresented students for the engineering curriculum at UConn, present an orientation to careers in engineering and to familiarize students with the University of Connecticut and the college experience.

The New England Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NE LSAMP) program reaches out to minority student populations to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of under-represented minority STEM students beyond the levels achievable by any single institution. Each partner institution participates in Alliance-wide events and offers activities at its own campus. Working together, the NE LSAMP strives to double the overall number of under-represented minorities in STEM disciplines.

In addition to these two programs, support for underrepresented groups is achieved in many locations, including cultural centers that serve historically underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities (African American, Puerto Rican/Latin American, Asian American, Native American); The Center for Students with Disabilities; the Institute for Student Success for persons from low-income families and first generation to attend college; the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs; the Rainbow Center; and the Women’s Center. The Division of Student Affairs’ Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion Staff Development and UConn Diversity Task Force Report identifies over 1,100 initiatives and programs coordinated by the division during this past academic year.

There are also specific graduate Student Retention Initiatives:
• Orientation
• The Graduate School Fellowship Reception
• Graduate Student, Faculty, and Staff Mixers
• Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series
• Professional Preparation Curriculum
• Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Conference
• Multicultural Celebratory
• Graduate School Diversity Task Force

The Center for Counseling and Mental Health Services is a mentoring service for all individuals at UConn, from students to staff to faculty.

Following is the diversity statement from the CMHS:

Diversity Statement
Counseling & Mental Health Services is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for the UConn community. We celebrate and honor the uniqueness and diversity of all individuals. We promote social justice and inclusivity throughout UConn and the broader global community through our clinical, outreach, and training services.

They also support the entire UConn community, especially those of underrepresented groups, in the following ways.

Community Support
Counseling & Mental Health Services appreciates our collaborative efforts with others in the UConn Community. In addition to the therapy groups offered at CMHS, we also offer free support groups in partnership with a variety of offices and programs at UConn. Groups include:
• Hablemos, held Thursdays from 5:00-6:00pm at the Puerto Rican & Latin American Cultural Center (Student Union).
• International Chat group, held Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00pm at International Student & Scholar Services office (McMahon Hall 185).

Gender Affirmation Support
CMHS therapists are open and affirming to students who wish to address issues related to sexuality, gender expression, and gender identity. For students seeking assistance during their gender transition process, CMHS therapists can provide both therapeutic support as well as letters for gender-related medical interventions as indicated in the course of therapy.
For further information about campus and community resources, please visit the UConn Rainbow Center.

Workshops
Counseling & Mental Health Services also regularly works in partnership with UConn’s Cultural Centers to host workshops and programming related to mental health topics. Examples of events and workshops in the past year include:
• Student Voices Panel – hosted by the African American Cultural Center as part of UConn’s Suicide Prevention Week.
• Café con Leche – hosted by the Puerto Rican & Latin American Cultural Center as part of UConn’s Suicide Prevention Week.
• Perfectionism & Procrastination workshop – hosted by the Asian American Cultural Center.

For more information, visit http://counseling.uconn.edu/


Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

UConn PhD Project

As referenced in UConn's Diversity Report (p. 31): "In collaboration with the School of Business' PhD program, candidates are recruited for the PhD program through the PhD Project. The PhD projected was founded upon the premise that advancements in workplace diveristy could be proelled forward by increasing the diversity of Business School faculty. The PhD helps African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans attain their business PhD and become the business professors who will mentor the next generation of leaders."

UConn Diversity Report: http://accreditation.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1777/2016/06/3.3-Diversity-Task-Force-Report.pdf
UConn PhD Project Applications: http://events.uconn.edu/event/49341/2016-09-30
Link to PhD Project: https://www.phdproject.org/become-a-professor/annual-conference/

1. Program support for future teachers and faculty members from underrepresented groups through the Neag School of Education.
From the Neag School’s Diversity page:
Diversity Mission:
“The Neag School of Education is committed to diversity. This is reflected through our faculty, core academic focus, statewide partnerships and national initiatives. Efforts to transform public education must include focused work on closing the achievement gap in U.S. public schools by addressing serious issues of equity and access and on closing the global achievement gap between U.S. students and students in other countries whose academic performance is higher. Our newly conceptualized school-wide focus on diversity, equity and access, and global and public engagement is strongly aligned with both the national and state imperatives.”
Diversity Programs:
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
http://theinnovationexchange.net/programs/networked-improvement-community/
“The Neag School of Education has been selected by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as one of ten institutions nationwide to participate in its Networked Improvement Community (NIC) aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino men in teacher preparation and into teaching. Participating institutions commit to increasing the number of young men of color in their teacher education programs by 25% over several years and participate in a networked knowledge-sharing community on effective methods.”
Connecticut Minority Teacher Recruitment Committee
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/alliance_districts/convening/update_on_minority_teacher_recruitment.pdf
“Neag faculty and staff are members of the Connecticut Minority Teacher Recruitment Committee. The aim of the committee is to recruit, support and retain students of color into teacher preparation and the Connecticut teacher labor market.”
Project L.I.D. (Leadership in Development)
https://uconn.networkforgood.com/projects/10548-ignite-2016-leadership-in-diversity
“Project L.I.D (Leadership In Diversity) is dedicated to providing support for students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in the field of education. The aim is to help close the “lid” around educational equity and equip students with the necessary tools, networks and information to be competitive, well-rounded future educators.”
2. Scholarship opportunities for UConn minority candidates can be found here: http://www.onsf.uconn.edu/opportunities-for-minority-candidates

3. Support for underrepresented faculty members:
http://president.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/193/2015/08/2015-08-Draft-Diversity-Report.pdf
• A major initiative launched by the Provost’s Office this past year is to have each faculty candidate include a diversity statement in their application materials.

• Early in 2014, the Provost’s Office, with joint support from the Graduate School, began sponsoring two faculty per semester to travel to partner Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS) for research seminars aimed at recruiting underrepresented faculty and graduate students. The focus has been in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and included the Departments of Physics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Geography.

• There are also Faculty and Staff advocacy groups that meet regularly to discuss issues that impact them as members of the university community and how they can improve both the climate and the university experience. Examples of these affinity groups on campus include the Association of Latino Faculty and Staff (ALFAS) and the African American Faculty and Staff Association.

o Association of Latina/o Faculty and Staff (ALFAS) http://www.latino.uconn.edu/alfas/
 Objectives of ALFAS: http://www.latino.uconn.edu/alfas/objectives.html
o African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA) http://aafsa.uconn.edu/
 Objectives of AAFSA: http://aafsa.uconn.edu/constitution/


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.