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2010-2011 Diversity Report

Context Statement

The University of Montana's Diversity Strategic Plan is located at http://umt.edu/eo/diversity/diversityplan.aspx. It consists of four strategic choices, goals to meet each choice, and action items designed to reach each goal. This report is intended to measure progress on completing each action item. Thus, the report serves as a measure of how well the University is doing with regard to each diversity goal. It is important to keep in mind that this report is a baseline summary of UM diversity activity. In subsequent years more valuable measurements of progress will be possible. This report can serve as a useful tool for identifying opportunities for campus units to partner with each other to further promote diversity efforts. The numbers in parentheses in this report refer to the numbered goals and action items in the Diversity Strategic Plan.

The qualitative information for this report was gathered by way of a survey completed by most of the main units that make up the campus. Thirteen of the fourteen colleges and schools completed the survey. One particularly large department within a college responded independently to the survey. In addition, all of the other non-academic affairs units provided information. These include the Office of Student Affairs and the units within the Student Affairs Division, Intercollegiate Athletics, Information Technology, Office of Institutional Research, Facilities Services, University Relations, Printing & Graphic Services, the Montana Museum of Art & Culture, Human Resource Services, Alumni Relations, Business Services, Office of Public Safety, Office of the Provost, and the Associated Students of the University of Montana. In addition, two committees - Diversity Advisory Council and the ADA/504 Committee - provided information relevant to their missions. The University of Montana Foundation contributed information as well. The Office of Planning, Budgeting and Analysis provided the demographic data, except some data related to student enrollment, retention, and graduation drawn from a report compiled by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for the system-wide "Access to Success" initiative. In this report, "survey respondents" refer to the units referenced above.

Strategic Choice 1: Enhance the campus culture of understanding, respect, support, and advancement of diversity.

The University of Montana has a diversity website (www.umt.edu/diversity). This website is maintained by Enrollment Services and provides a central location for diversity related information. Thirty-three percent of survey respondents indicated that they provide a link from their units' homepages to this diversity website (1.2.2).

Thirty-five percent of survey respondents reported that they disseminate annual statements promoting diversity as a primary measure of excellence at UM (1.1.1). Some respondents indicated that they include this information in faculty and student handbooks while others indicated that they do this through the dissemination of their mission, values, and vision statements.

Commitment to diversity at the unit level is reflected in the fact that just over half of the units include a commitment to diversity in their strategic plans (1.2.4). The College of Visual and Performing Arts, for example, has embedded diversity into its plan from the mission statement through the strategies with a focus on cultural, geographical, ethnic, and national origin diversity issues. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported that they have separate diversity action plans and report annually on progress made towards meeting goals (1.1.2). Two examples of units which have developed diversity action plans are the Schools of Law and Journalism.

Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that they include diversity in program review and performance expectation documents, mainly because questions about diversity are included as part of the standard UM evaluation process for staff (1.1.3). Faculty, staff, and students are recognized and awarded for participating in diversity related events (1.1.4). The two primary awards are the Diversity Advisory Council Student Achievement Awards and the Nancy Borgmann Diversity Award (http://life.umt.edu/diversity/awardsandgrants.php). Over 60 percent of units publicize and celebrate diversity awardees and grant recipients through annual awards and campus announcements (1.2.6), An example is Enrollment Services, which actively nominates and participates in campus diversity events and is in some cases responsible for hosting and promoting these important campus traditions.

Fifty-five percent of respondents provide annual opportunities for employees to participate in a diversity-related training or activity (1.1.5). Examples include hosting or encouraging staff to attend UM Allies training, offering specialized events specifically designed for unit personnel, and encouraging participation in and attendance at the Day of Dialogue. In addition, Dining Services conducts mandatory cultural sensitivity training and the College of Technology this past year hosted three brown bag lectures on the topics including Transgender issues, Displaced Workers, and Equal Opportunity issues. Ninety-three percent of units publicize diversity-related activities and events (1.2.3). Many units advertise events in the Kaimin, on Facebook, and via posters, and add events to the University events calendar.

It is important to communicate diversity to communities outside of campus as well. UM works to increase awareness of our commitment as an institution of choice for those who want to work and study in an inclusive and diverse environment. Forty-eight percent of units work to increase this external awareness, using their websites, University Relations, and other news outlets to get the message out.

It is important for all new students and employees to understand the richness and importance of a diverse learning and working environment (1.3). The University strives to provide opportunities for new students to learn about campus diversity initiatives and programs (1.3.1). Sixty-five percent of survey respondents, from both academic and student affairs units, provide opportunities for students to learn about diversity initiatives. Information about diversity is delivered to students through a variety of means, including: new student orientation materials, announcements on departmental websites, and departmental programming. There is still room to grow in this area, and respondents provided examples that could be adopted by others on campus. For example, Dining Services includes diversity training as part of its new employee orientation; the College of Visual and Performing Arts incorporates diversity into the curriculum and student handbook; the Law School includes a prejudice reduction component taught by the National Coalition Building Institute-Missoula (NCBI) into its introductory program for new students. Several units collaborate to provide diversity programming. Examples include partnerships between Career Services, the Office of International Programs, and Foreign Student and Scholar Services.

Eighty-Five percent of respondents noted that they provide opportunities for new employees to learn about diversity programs and initiatives (1.3.2). This is achieved in a variety of ways, including informal sharing and communication through email, newsletters, mailings, and LISTSERVs, which encourage participation in diversity programming. Examples are the inclusion of diversity in the Residence Life Comprehensive Training Program, the inclusion of diversity in the Intercollegiate Athletics handbook, and the invited lectures organized by the Native American Center of Excellence for faculty and staff in the College of Health Professions & Biomedical Sciences.

Forty-nine percent of respondents participate in organizations such as the American Council on Education, Council of Minorities in Higher Education, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (1.4.1). Examples include Enrollment Services, Disability Services for Students, Foreign Student & Scholar Services, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the College of Arts and Sciences, who all have deans or directors in leadership positions in national associations, committees, or task forces related to diversity. Several individuals on campus also engage in a collaborative network with diversity officers at peer institutions that focus on learning from one another (1.4.2). Individuals work collaboratively with colleagues at Montana tribal colleges and in various professional associations with interests in diversity in higher education.

Units provide resources and opportunities for staff, students, and faculty to safely report on diversity-related issues (1.5). The UM Diversity webpage includes links to a "Hazing and Harassment Hotline" and to the Equal Opportunity& Affirmative Action (EO/AA) webpage where individuals can "Report Discrimination." Fifty-eight percent of respondents create and publicize forms for reporting complaints about bias, harassment, and discrimination and/or make user-friendly forms and related information available on UM Web sites (1.5.1). Units who provide this information do so in a variety of ways: as part of new employee orientation, with information on their own webpages or by linking to the EO/AA Web site, in their employee manuals, or by hanging posters containing this information. When the need for further action arises, UM makes professional mediation services available to faculty, staff, and students (1.5.2). Information about mediation can be found in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (sections 11.010, 19.100, and 21.500) and on the Human Resource Services Web site at http://umt.edu/hrs/Mediation/default.aspx.

UM's commitment to diversity extends to its built environment. Seventy-eight percent of units have a group or committee dedicated to highlighting diversity in construction and making the grounds and buildings more welcoming (1.2.7). The new Payne Family Native American Center is an excellent example of institutional commitment to diversity in the built environment. Many units and departments display diverse art. Curry Health Center recently converted two bathrooms into gender neutral spaces and plans to have only gender neutral bathrooms in the future. The Diversity Advisory Council recently developed a campus walking tour that highlights diversity in the built environment (1.2.8). Information about this tour is available on the UM Web site at http://map.umt.edu/diversitytour/.

Strategic Choice 2:Create avenues for access to the academy and for success within the academy for all individuals, and particularly populations historically underrepresented in the academy.

UM's academic units promote recruitment and enrollment of historically underrepresented populations by regularly discussing the recruitment strategies, summer exploratory programs, and grants/scholarships. (2.1) Key areas such as Pharmacy, Health & Human Performance, and Social Work have collaborated with Montana's Tribal Colleges on grants and 2 + 2 programs. Within the Division of Student Affairs, positions in the Enrollment Services Office focus on Minority and International recruitment of students in collaboration with several units across campus (2.1-2.4.1). In addition, Academic units such as the School of Forestry and College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences have specific grant programs aimed at the recruitment and enrollment of underrepresented students.

The following three tables describe UM's performance in the areas of enrolling, retaining, and graduating students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. These data were compiled by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for "Access to Success," a national initiative in which the Montana University System is participating. (Montana University System 2011 Detailed Report Access to Success Metrics for Pell Grant Recipients and Underrepresented Minority (URM) Students in Baccalaureate Programs September, 2011.)

The following acronyms/abbreviations are used:

URM = Underrepresented Minority Students, defined for the Access to Success initiative as American Indian, Hispanic, and African American

FTF: First-time Freshmen, including full or part-time students who enter as first-time freshmen in any semester of the cohort year

T or Transfer: Transfer students, including full or part-time students who enter as transfer students in any semester of the cohort year

Table 1 describes the percentage, for the three most recent academic years, of first-time freshmen and transfer students that were URM students at The University of Montana.

Table 1: Enrollment of URM First Time Freshman, Transfer Students at UM as a percentage of their cohort

Cohort

URM, FTF

URM, Transfer

07-08

6%

9%

08-09

7%

11%

09-10

7%

9%

Across these three years, the percentage of URM new freshmen and transfer students in each cohort remained stable except for a small increase of URM transfer students in 08-09.

Since 1998, The University of Montana's Dual Admission Agreements has promoted the successful transfer of students between institutions. (2.2) Studies also demonstrate that students who transfer from a Tribal College have a higher retention and graduate rate compared to their high school cohort. The Dual Admission program provides students with the opportunity to be admitted to both their tribal college and UM at the initial point of application. Dual Admission students receive assistance with planning a course of study, early outreach, establishing a line of communication and an early transfer orientation. Currently, a Dual Admission Agreement has been signed with each Montana's Tribal Colleges, in addition to Northwest College and Flathead Valley Community College.

In general, applying as a transfer student to the University is straightforward. A student must meet a minimum GPA of 2.0, and provide Enrollment Services with official transcripts from each college they have attended. Enrollment Services evaluators will review each transcript and assign credits/course equivalents, for each class. A student is then provided with their evaluation and once they have registered for orientation they are also provided with an advisor so that they may begin preparing for their transfer. Anecdotally, the transfer challenges presented by transfer students, particularly Native Americans, revolve around maximum credit and financial aid, or outstanding balances at previous institutions that preclude an official transcript being released to UM.

The diversity survey revealed a strong commitment and collaboration among the academic units to provide funding to transfer students from historically underrepresented populations through federal and state grant programs. Examples include, Students to Academic Professoriate for American Indians (SAPAI), Bridges to the Baccalaureate, Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

In the future, it will be helpful to assess the increase of enrollment rates of historically underrepresented transfer students from two-year programs, out-of-state, other four-year-programs, and Tribal Colleges by annual reporting to compare rates from year to year and to compare to the growth rate in total UM enrollment to previous years. (2.2.a) It will also be helpful to assess increase of enrollment rates of historically underrepresented transfer students from the College of Technology by annual reporting to compare rates from year to year. (2.2.b) At this time, such data is not available.

The University is committed to improving the retention and graduation of new first-year students from historically underrepresented populations. (2.3) Historically, programs have partnered to address specific populations, such as TRIO and Upward Bound. Currently, through a collaborative action plan, Partnering for Student Success focuses on the retention of all students by identifying and providing strategic supports for them early in their academic career. Various units such as the Division of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and Administration and Finance, have supported the initiatives presented in this plan. Through this plan, the University's individual schools, colleges and departments also work to make retention a top priority within their programs.

The Diversity Survey shows that several units have already partnered with the Office of Student Success (OSS) to provide students with the necessary academic support outside of the classroom, such as advising, early warning, and tutoring. (2.4.3) OSS, Enrollment Services, and academic units have worked together to establish an early course registration process for new students. With this system student are pre-registered in the major core courses before having to come to campus. The remainder of their schedule is completed via online/phone advising. Virtual Early registration alleviates the socio-economic barriers to the previous first-come, first-serve model where students are not required to incur the expense of traveling to campus twice before their attendance.

OSS and Enrollment Services also partnered to purchase software called Hobsons Retain. Retain allows students to become academically engaged early in their transition to UM. Each new student is provided with a My Academics Portal. These portals are individualized based on academic interest and other demographics such as ethnicity, and at-risk indicators. This dashboard also empowers advisors and departments to strengthen their communication and outreach to students.

Table 2, below, compares retention rates for URM freshmen and transfer students to retention rates of all freshmen and transfer students from the same cohort.

Table 2: UM retention rates from first to second year, comparing new URM freshmen and transfer students to all UM freshmen and transfer students

2007-2008

2008-2009

2009-2010

URM, FTF

61%

61%

48%

All FTF

71%

73%

73%

URM, Transfer

70%

61%

65%

All Transfer

71%

69%

78%

The first-year retention rates for URM freshmen and transfer students are lower than the all-student retention rates from the same cohort. In general, first-year retention rates are significantly better for URM transfer students than for URM freshmen. The 2009-10 cohort of URM freshmen reflects a much lower first-year retention rate than the previous two cohorts.

Table 3, below, compares six-year graduation rates for URM First-Time Freshmen and Transfer students to non-URM freshman and transfers students for the three most recent six-year cohorts.

Table 3: Six Year Graduation Rates

Cohort

URM, FTF

All FTF

URM, Transfer

All Transfer

02-08

15%

40%

34%

49%

03-09

26%

40%

31%

48%

04-10

28%

41%

36%

50%

The six-year URM graduation rate is significantly lower than for the all-student graduation rate in all three cohorts. Although that rate almost doubled for URM first-time freshmen over this three-year period, from 15 percent to 28 percent, it is still well behind the average for all students. In general, the six-year graduation rate for URM transfer students is better than for URM first-time freshmen.

The approach to increasing the percentage of graduate and professional degrees from historically under-represented populations has been discipline based. (2.4) Departments in the Diversity Survey reported that initiatives to recruit graduate students included providing funding, alleviating testing requirements, collaborations with Tribal Colleges, and summer programming such as the Indian Law Program.

Enrollment Services is responsible for the collaborative execution of the minority and international strategic recruitment plans. (2.1 – 2.4.1) Strategic initiatives in each of these plans include the support of various offices from the campus community. Examples of this type of support and collaboration collected from the Diversity Survey include: accessible web communications, promotional materials, financial support, and unique programming. (2.1 – 2.4.4)

Identifying and securing funding to promote retention and graduation of historically underrepresented students in specific disciplines has been a continuous challenge. (2.1 – 2.4.5) Data collected from the Diversity Survey illustrates that a few departments have limited sources of external funding, and in some cases scholarships are available, but the funding is not secure, or guaranteed. Since the Diversity Survey question specifically asked for external funding examples, there is limited information available that would speak to the overall financial support for historically underrepresented populations.

Enrollment Services data indicates that Montana spends approximately fifty-six dollars per student in grant aid. This compares to a WICHE average of approximately one hundred fifty-nine dollars. While there are initiatives in place to specifically fund need-based awards, such as the MICK fund, and those for underrepresented minorities such as the Native American Student Scholarship program, these monies are not nationally competitive to attract qualified underrepresented students. Scholarships addressing these specific student markets would serve to reinforce the efforts of the minority/international recruitment strategy. (2.1 – 2.4.6)

The Graduate School has limited funding to actively recruit graduate students. Graduate recruitment has been decentralized and each individual department has the autonomy to set its own priorities and targets for recruitment goals and initiatives. (2.1–2.4.7)

Future annual assessments of UM’s Diversity Strategic Plan will include data on the percentage of graduate and professional degrees awarded to URM graduate students.

The University of Montana recently hired a Diversity Retention and Recruitment Coordinator whose primary responsibility is to collaborate with the campus community to implement programs and processes that address underrepresentation of female and minority faculty and staff. (2.5) The position will be responsible for reporting data relating to the status of workforce diversity at UM. Current findings from the Diversity Survey indicate that some offices have taken measures to remove architectural, programmatic and attitudinal barriers to attract employees with diverse backgrounds. Overall, UM departments follow HRS and EO/AA policies and best practices. A limited number of units also reported having grants with specific salary lines for this purpose.

Tables 4a, b and c show a comparison of the representation of historically underrepresented populations as part of the faculty for the years 2008 through 2010. (2.6) The data are those given in UM’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports.

Table 4a: Tenured Faculty Comparison 2008-2010

Tenured Faculty  

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

All

329 – 100%

305 – 100%

354 – 100%

Female

106 – 32%

101 – 33%

123 – 34%

American Indian

5 – 1%

5 – 1%

4 – 1%

Minority*

15 – 4%

14 – 4%

26 – 7%

Unknown

7 – 2%

8 – 2%

2 – 0%

* Minority: Black, Hispanic, Asian

Table 4b: Tenure-Track Faculty Comparison 2008-2010

Tenure-Track Faculty

2008

2009

2010

All

163 – 100%

182 – 100%

150 – 100%

Female

70 – 42%

77 – 42%

63 – 42%

American Indian

2 – 1%

2 – 1%

3 – 2%

Minority*

12 – 7%

9 – 4%

9 – 6%

Unknown

12 – 7%

13 – 7%

2 – 1%

* Minority: Black, Hispanic, Asian

Table 4c: Non-Tenure Track Faculty Comparison 2008-2010

Non-Tenure Track Faculty

2008

2009

2010

All

106 – 100%

99 – 100%

103 – 100%

Female

47 – 44%

44 – 44%

45 – 43%

American Indian

0 – 0%

1 – 1%

0 – 0%

Minority*

4 – 3%

5 – 5%

10 – 9%

Unknown

5 – 4%

7 – 7%

3 – 2%

* Minority: Black, Hispanic, Asian

Tables 5a and 5b show a comparison of the representation of historically underrepresented populations as part of the staff for the years 2008 through 2010 (2.6). These data are also given in UM's IPEDS reports.

  

Table 5a: Full-Time Executives, Administrators, Managers, Professionals Comparison 2008-2010

2008

2009

2010

All

751 – 100%

810 – 100%

825 – 100%

Female

411 – 54%

444 – 54%

456 – 55%

American Indian

11 – 1%

11 – 1%

9 – 1%

Minority*

21 – 2%

19 – 2%

35 – 4%

Unknown

29 – 3%

34 – 4%

9 – 1%

 * Minority: Black, Hispanic, Asian

Table 5b: Full-Time Techs, Paraprofessionals, Clerical, Secretarial, Skilled Crafts, Service, Maintenance Comparison 2008-2010

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

All

552 – 100%

560 – 100%

539 – 100%

Female

311 – 56%

323 – 57%

298 – 55%

American Indian

11 – 1%

17 – 3%

11 – 2%

Minority*

17 – 3%

14 – 2%

30 – 5%

Unknown

7 – 1%

10 – 1%

1 – 0%

*Minority: Black, Hispanic, Asian

Formal and informal mentoring programs and practices were reported in the survey. Examples include extensive training with an emphasis on the diversity of clients and their needs, orientations, cross-training, meal sharing, and staff retreats (2.6.1 - 2.6.2).

Eighty-eight percent of the survey respondents reported that they provide professional development and skill building opportunities for their employees (2.6.3).

Day of Dialogue and the EO/AA Office were unanimously reported as the primary diversity-related or cultural sensitivity trainings for unit leaders and supervisors (2.6.4).

Units reported a variety of activities relating to the support of underrepresented groups of faculty and staff. These options include, trainings, campus committees, employee recognition, state and national affiliations that research the social aspects of challenges and trends relating to diversity (2.6.6).

UM ensures accessible teaching, learning and work environments (2.7). The Americans with Disabilities/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Committee (ADA/504) advises and reports to the President. This committee's charge is to monitor University facilities, programs, policies, plans, and activities to assure the identification, prevention, and elimination of physical and/or programmatic barriers that interfere with faculty, staff, and student access to and benefit from University programs, facilities, and resources. The committee facilitates dispute resolution to resolve complaints of physical or programmatic barriers. The committee also reviews construction plans to ensure compliance with UM’s universal design guidelines. The ADA/504 committee, the Office of Disability Student Services, the EO/AA Office, the Faculty Professional Development Office, as well as individual units on campus coordinate and provide training opportunities for students and employees to ensure that the educational and work environment is fully accessible.

There are several support programs currently in place that work toward ensuring a supportive, teaching, learning and work environment. A listing of these organizations is available through UM's Diversity website at http://life.umt.edu/diversity (2.8).

UM collects race and ethnicity data from employees, applicants, and students via traditional self-reporting mechanisms. UM does not currently collect and report data on members of the campus community who identify as members of other defined diversity groups (2.8.1).

A spirit of collaboration was conveyed through the Diversity Survey. Several units reported partnerships with Tribal Colleges, and MUS institutions. They also reported engagement in national dialogue relating to higher education and diversity related initiatives, such as access and affordability and the achievement gap (2.8.2).

Strategic Choice 3: Educate and prepare students to contribute and thrive in a multicultural society.

The University has recently embarked upon its Global Leadership Initiative. http://www.umt.edu/umf/givingopportunities/Presidential%20Initiatives/Global%20Leadership%20Initiative.php. Fall Semester 2011, faculty will select a cohort of 200 freshmen as Global Leadership Fellows. These students will participate in seminars, courses, and out-of-classroom experiences designed to help them become engaged, articulate global citizens. Junior year, fellows will study abroad, intern, or conduct research outside of the classroom. Senior year, they will work together on capstone projects. UM's academic strategic plan includes the initiative to "Embrace Diversity and Global Participation." It includes the following goals: Respect, welcome, encourage, and celebrate diversity; Ensure access for American Indians and foster the preservation of their culture; Correct inequities that exist due to historical exclusion of underrepresented populations; Enhance international learning and research opportunities for all (3.1).

A general education requirement for undergraduate students at UM is to complete at least one Indigenous or Global Perspectives course (3.1.2). The purpose is to instill knowledge of diverse cultures in comparative and thematic frameworks. Indigenous studies focus upon "first peoples" and their descendants who derive their cultural communal identities from their long-standing and/or historical habitation of particular places. These courses foster an appreciation for indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, and their struggles both to maintain their ways of life and gain equal positions in world spheres of power and change. Global studies investigate how societies and nations interact through human endeavor and/or natural processes. These courses encourage students to relate their knowledge of particular parts of the world with their individual identities and to larger trends and issues that affect multiple societies and environments. These include regional, national, and even transnational cultural flows, as well as a multiplicity of environmental processes and economic relationships.

UM offers opportunities for scholarships and student loans to be applied to study abroad opportunities. Such opportunities are offered in 58 countries through three UM-sponsored programs: Partner University Exchange, International Student Exchange Program, and Faculty-Directed Programs.

A total of 226 students studied abroad in 2010-2011 on UM-Sponsored Study Abroad Programs. These students traveled to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom (3.1.2.b).

UM is a member of ISEP, which allows students to spend a semester, year, or summer abroad at one of ISEP's 172 member institutions in 54 foreign countries. ISEP offers reciprocal exchanges in which UM students pay tuition, room, and board at UM, yet attend an ISEP member institution abroad. This creates a space for an international student to attend UM.

Through UM's Faculty-Directed Programs, student groups led by UM professors explore the cultures, languages, literatures, and history of other countries, earning credits toward their degrees at UM.

The UM International Programs (IP) coordinates a study abroad ambassador volunteer program whereby students who have recently studied abroad serve as mentors for students interested in studying abroad.

Students, faculty, and staff at UM gain from the perspectives of international students studying at UM. There are 406 international students studying at UM Fall Semester 2011. Of those, 77 are exchange students. During the 2010-2011 Academic Year there was a total 84 exchange students at UM as well as 176 international scholars.

UM provides opportunities for faculty to receive various types of diversity-related education. The President's Office provides funding for departments to request training from the National Coalition Building Institute-Missoula (NCBI). The Faculty Professional Development Office provides professional development workshops for faculty, many of which address diversity-related topics. Examples of workshops are "Strategies for Retaining Minority Students in the Major," "Skills for Resolving Interpersonal and Intergroup Conflicts," "Reaching Every Student: How Universal Design for Learning Increases Student Motivation and Engagement," "Pedagogy Project Micro-talk and Discussion: Navigating the Classroom Generation Gap" (3.2).

Many academic departments host speakers who present on diversity-related topics (3.3.2). Examples include: the College of Education and Human Sciences Curriculum and Instruction Department hosts an Indian Education for All meeting; the Department of Education Leadership in that College attended and presented at the Seventh International Globalization Diversity & Education Conference; the College of Arts and Sciences faculty employ guest lectures from a variety of sources to speak on diversity themes such as issues of race, power, and privilege; the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences participated in the Spirit of Diversity Conference and, within that college, the Native American Center for Excellence hosted multiple diversity lectures. Some academic units also provide funding for faculty to travel abroad.

Of the 13 Dean-level academic units, eight, plus one subunit (College of Visual and Performing Arts, College of Technology, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences, School of Law, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Journalism, and Division of Biological Sciences), reported that they provide opportunities for faculty to participate in course development workshops that focus on integrating diversity into the curriculum (3.2.1). Some academic units require evidence of diversity efforts as part of their accreditation standards. Two examples of programs in the College of Arts and Sciences that focus around diversity issues are Women and Gender Studies and African American Studies. Faculty in these programs are routinely asked to conduct campus-wide as well as national workshops on diversity topics such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) or race issues. Many interdisciplinary courses have been developed for Women and Gender Studies focusing on diversity.

Other examples of including diversity components into the curriculum include:

  • An Open Space Technology process conference was hosted by African American Studies focusing on diversity topics, with more than 50 participants.
  • The Psychology Department offers a graduate course on inclusion.
  • The College of Education and Human Sciences comes from the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department has incorporated the principles of universal design into all courses. Faculty in this department attend conferences and share with other faculty ways to promote understanding of diversity and how to incorporate diversity into the curriculum.
  • In the School of Journalism, each reporting or similar skill class is required to include at least one diversity assignment in their curriculum.
  • Many departments have hosted presentations by Disability Services for Students to discuss techniques and assistive technologies to reach students with diverse learning styles and needs.

An important component of diversity at UM is to ensure that academic programming reflects the "distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians . . . [and to be] committed in [our] educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity" (Montana Constitution, Article X, Section 1, Subsection 2) (3.1.3). A faculty member from the Department of Native American Studies serves as Special Assistant to the Provost working on planning, programing, and communications activities. She is particularly active with Montana's tribes and national organizations representing native interests.

Notwithstanding that there is much more work to do in this area, examples exist of efforts to promote Indian Education for All.

  • The Curriculum and Instruction Department in the College of Education developed and offered a course on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Indian Education for All.
  • The Educational Leadership Department faculty recently completed a year-long curriculum review process which included focused attention to the role of Indian Education for All in courses at the masters and doctoral level.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences supports an Associate Professor in the development of new courses in the Blackfeet language.
  • The Law School faculty members are encouraged to incorporate Indian Law into their curriculum and all have access to a limited amount of money for pertinent professional development each year. Some faculty members have used this to attend national conferences.
  • In the School of Journalism, a faculty member and often students are able to attend the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) Annual Convention and other Native American journalism workshops.

An example at UM of engaging the community in dialogue and action around the diversity of thought, expression, ideology, and culture is the annual Day of Dialogue (3.3.1) The Day of Dialogue (DoD) is a campus-wide series of events focused on topics of diversity. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members discuss, present, perform, and exhibit art throughout the day. In October 2010, 656 people attended the DoD education sessions. A total of 3,691 attended at least one of the DoD sessions and related events (3.3.1.a). Each year, a DoD administrative luncheon is attended by the academic officers, the President’s Cabinet, and various directors across campus. This event includes a speaker or panel discussion focusing on a particular diversity topic. These events have been well attended and often have led to further discussions and actions.

Endorsing and supporting speakers on diversity topics in campus lecture series and forums is an effective way to ensure an environment that teaches tolerance and respect for diversity (3.3.2). There are numerous examples of speakers on diversity topics which are highlighted below.

  • An example of a successful lecture series is in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences (CHPBS) Skaggs School of Pharmacy which is the administrative home of a federally funded Native American Center of Excellence (NACOE). The NACOE sponsors multiple invited lectures each year for employees. This lecture series provides access to a diverse cadre of health professional scholars from throughout the country. Recently, a visiting scholar who is a renowned author of an influential effort to increase physical activity within diverse populations met with students, faculty, and staff as part of the lecture series. Multiple additional speakers will be completing this series this spring semester.
  • The Montana Gerontological Association sponsored multiple presentations by an American Indian physician regarding clinical practice within the American Indian elder population. The Pettinato lecture featured a Native American physician who spoke on her research about caring for elders. All students, faculty, and staff were invited to participate in the Spirit of Diversity Conference (March 25, 2011).

Eight academic units reported that they encourage and reward collaborative scholarship socially responsive to the needs of underserved communities. (3.3.3)

  • The College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences provides two examples.
    • First, through the NIH-NCMHD Research Endowment Grant the focus is placed on health disparities research and the training of minority students at the professional and graduate levels, including Ph.D.-level training. Funds are provided to encourage both minority and non-minority faculty to perform health disparities research, train minority students, and form new partnerships that foster community based participatory research in underserved communities.
    • A second example is the mission statement of the School of Social Work which specifically addresses social work's responsibility to vulnerable and underserved populations and to respect for diversity. The goals of the school are as follows: 1. Build on the liberal arts perspective in preparing generalist social work practitioners who possess the requisite ethical, value, knowledge, and skill base for effective practice at local, state, tribal, regional, national, and global levels. 2. Promote informed citizen participation in addressing issues of social and economic justice, particularly when disadvantaged populations are involved. 3. Faculty provide service at the local, state, and national levels and conduct research and scholarly activities related to analyzing and addressing social problems, improved social work practice, and more effective approaches to educational preparation for the field. Unit standards recognize faculty members' contributions to meeting these goals through teaching, service, and research.
  • By nature of the discipline, the School of Theatre and Dance addresses underserved communities thematically in the production environment. Some Theatre examples that call attention to special needs include the recent productions of The Frybread Queen, Stop Kiss, Tongue of a Bird, and Medea. All faculty are encouraged to pursue scholarship and pedagogical activities that address underserved populations. Prime examples of this are: DANC 360, World Dance, which specifically encourages students to embrace diverse cultures through the study of cultural and indigenous dance forms; THTR 230, Dramatic Literature, THTR 330, Theatre History I, and THTR 331, Theatre History II, which explore multiculturalism, not only in historical context, but based on literature.
  • The Department of Counselor Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences strategically plans practicum, internships, and consultation relationships with Head Start, Early Head Start, local schools, Trapper Creek Job Corps, etc. Students are supported in efforts to obtain small grants, scholarships, and other means to engage in this type of service and research.
  • In the Department of Health and Human Performance, a faculty member has been supported in seeking external funding to develop an active research agenda that includes a focus on collaboration with the American Indian Tribes across Montana.
  • In the Law School, some of the clinical programs focus on the needs of underserved communities.
  • The Davidson Honors College's Office for Civic Engagement supports and encourages undergraduate research that responds to the needs of underserved communities throughout Montana.
  • The School of Journalism has several faculty members whose work has focused on Native Americans and other indigenous people around the world. The unit has helped fund faculty who conduct this research and creative work. The School also founded and continues to support RezNet a nationally known mentoring and news website.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences encourages engaged scholarship and supports research activities that have community impact.

Most units recognize the importance of providing diversity awareness components in training of faculty, staff, and students who advise, mentor, and supervise students. More than 80 percent of the units reported that they provided such training (3.4.1). Despite this seemingly positive statistic, this is still an area that could use considerable improvement. There is no indication about the extent to which such training reached the majority of faculty, staff, and students in each unit. The survey results suggested that focused training at the unit or individual level is not occurring. In addition to encouraging participation in Day of Dialogue and other campus-level events, units reported participating in the following diversity-awareness training:

  • UM Allies training
  • National Coalition Building Institute-Missoula (NCBI) prejudice reduction workshops
  • Office of Disability Services for Students training about access for disabled students
  • Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action training about equal opportunity requirements
  • Information Technology training about ensuring access to electronic information
  • New employees receive a short training about discrimination and harassment at New Employee Orientation
  • Search committees for faculty and contract professional positions receive information about non-discrimination and best practices for recruiting with diversity in mind.
  • The College of Technology has hosted brown bag lunch series discussions with speakers on issues of transgender and displaced workers.

Strategic Choice 4: Develop an organizational structure to ensure implementation, evaluation, and periodic renewal of strategic choices 1-3.

As noted in the introduction, this is the first diversity report after the development of the new UM Diversity Strategic Plan. The committee members who analyzed the information gathered from the various units and compiled this report were: Juana Alcala, Ray Carlisle, Julie Biando-Edwards, Emily Ferguson-Steger, Melissa Steinike, Annie Weiler, Terri Phillips, Blakely Brown, and Lucy France. The Office of Planning, Budgeting and Analysis as well as reports from OCHE were extremely helpful in providing quantitative data and analysis. Chris Lynn, from the Department of Enrollment Services, served as the technical expert to create various electronic mechanisms to gather and organize the large amount of information that served as a basis for this report.

An important component of the Diversity Strategic Plan is to ensure that the entire campus community has an opportunity to provide input about their experiences with respect to diversity at UM. In order to begin to assess progress on maintaining a teaching, learning, and working environment that welcomes and respects diversity, all members of the UM community are encouraged to provide their feedback. Please complete the survey at http://itoselect.ito.umt.edu/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=m2K0no42 to provide feedback.

The Diversity Strategic Plan is a living document. After the campus community has had an opportunity to read and comment on this diversity report, a committee will analyze the feedback, determine if any changes need to be made to the diversity plan, and inform the campus community of any changes. The cycle for gathering and analyzing information in preparation for the next biennial diversity report will begin again.

Recommendations

The University of Montana strives to create a community for its members that recognizes and values citizenship in an ever-increasing global community. This initial report was successful in gathering baseline data and collecting an inventory of diversity programs and services available at UM. While these accomplishments should be celebrated, this initial analysis also brought to light some potential action steps that University leaders, units, and departments could consider to meet some of the initial goals outlined in the University's Diversity Strategic plan.

In future years, the University plans to conduct more comprehensive assessments that will continue to measure our progress collectively. There are, however, critical climate steps that must also be supported as we continue to identify a more thoughtful and thorough analysis that will be reflective of the breadth and depth of diversity at The University of Montana. The following recommendations are being submitted for consideration as we strive to improve our efforts in achieving a more inclusive and diverse community.

Through directional leadership, unit heads, chairs, and managers are encouraged to:

  • Include diversity in strategic planning and reporting on all levels.
  • Develop unit-level diversity action plans – two noteworthy examples of units which have developed diversity action plans are the Schools of Law and Journalism.
  • Link websites to the University Diversity Web page.
  • Encourage, promote, and disseminate annual statements that value diversity and inclusion.
  • Support the participation of faculty, staff, and contracted professionals in diversity-related training, events, and programs.
  • Promote and publicize diversity-related activities at The University of Montana.

The Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office, Human Resource Services, and the Office of the Provost are encouraged to:

  • Enhance and streamline the collection and reporting of data on members of the campus community who identify as members of defined diversity groups.
  • Expand and invest in campus-wide employee professional development opportunities and training that will empower our faculty and staff to better support, advise, and mentor a global and diverse community of students.
  • Through internal departmental communications provide information about how to report complaints about bias, harassment, and discrimination.

The President, Foundation, and academic units are encouraged to prioritize the following:

  • Increase fundraising and budgeting efforts for both need- and merit-based awards targeted to underrepresented populations with an emphasis on attracting new students.

The Diversity Retention and Recruitment Coordinator together with Deans and Vice Presidents are encouraged to:

  • Increase the number of faculty, staff, and contracted professionals from underrepresented populations.