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Initiative Updates

Tier 1 Initiatives (UPDATES)

Establish a racially diverse group of faculty and staff who offer insight on recruiting diverse faculty.

  • Email sent to all minority faculty (both adjunct and tenure track) asking that they attend one of three scheduled meetings to discuss recruiting methods to increase diversity within the faculty.

  • Meetings concluded on February 28. A follow-­‐up survey was sent to the group asking that any other written responses be shared.

  • A working list of action items is being created from those efforts with the goal of creating a formalized strategic plan for the Provost’s review.

Conduct regular focus groups and/or surveys consisting of faculty, staff and students related to diversity issues in order to solicit recruiting and advertising recommendations as well as to inform institutional marketing staff and Senior Leadership.
  • Met with Student Affairs to formulate student focus group and survey questions and ways to partner on existing survey mechanisms.

  • Met with USAC to formulate staff focus group questions.

  • Worked with HR to incorporate questions into existing climate surveys and HERI survey.

Require diversity training for faculty and staff.
  • Training Today online courses have been purchased-­‐ four courses required with significant completion by all faculty and staff.

  • New faculty orientation to include a diversity discussion within the HR legal session with a diverse faculty member invited to co-­‐facilitate the discussion.

  • Two new staff half day orientation workshops include diversity components with open discussion.

  • Conduct departmental sessions for OCS and FMS annually on Harassment and Diversity.

Require diversity training for students.

  • 12 Steps toward Appreciating Diversity session held as part of Welcome Week with just shy of 1,000 students in attendance.

  • Training for over 300 student leaders completed prior to start of fall semester.

  • Researched online diversity training opportunities for ongoing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) training. The online program needs to be vetted through the Associate Provost & Dean of Students before making final decisions regarding the use of this online training software.

Establish a process for connecting with alumni to obtain recruitment recommendations and referrals of diverse individuals for job openings.
  • Meetings conducted with Alumni Relations staff with a request to increase stories and images of diverse alumni in their publications as well as find ways to network with diverse alumni and communicate open job positions at Belmont.

  • Two stories have appeared in the alumni e-­‐newsletter (Fall/Spring) with information about Belmont’s commitment to increase diversity of faculty and staff and links to HR jobs information.

Ensure diverse membership of the Ambassadors and Bruin Recruiter groups.

  • Belmont Ambassadors report that 3 of 22 members (14%) are from a diverse background.

  • Bruin Recruiters report that 14 of 107 members (13%) are from a diverse background.

Support the “Bridges to Belmont” program. 
  • Two additional Metro High Schools added – four additional scholarships; total of 30 new Bridges scholarships for fall 2014

  • Selection, review, and interview processes enhanced, including on campus candidate interview day

  • New cohort to attend Be Belmont Day and Foundations

  • Enhanced mentorship program and outreach from Bridges office.

  • Progress reports and oversight now led by Dr. Schneller and includes Bridges staff and other campus leaders.

Enhance diversity options for students.

  • Increased the number of minority-­‐based student organizations – from 2 to 8 in just two years.

  • Through the creation of minority-­‐based student organizations, more diverse faculty/staff have volunteered as advisors enhancing student engagement.

  • Multicultural council in development. Will be implemented fall 2014.

Add a diversity competency to 360 provost, assistant provost, dean, associate dean, and assistant dean evaluations.

  • The following comment added to the spring 2014 360 evaluation instrument for all 27 evaluations: 

    “Demonstrates leadership in recruiting and hiring diverse faculty and staff”

Add a diversity competency to staff performance evaluations:

  • Effective summer 2014, “Diversity” to be added as a competency expected from all staff in the upgraded version of PeopleAdmin (i.e., embraces diversity in daily life, works with diverse groups comfortably and willingly, serves as a role model with emphasis on diversity)

Add diversity competency to faculty course evaluations.

  • Initiative is in discussions with the Provost.

Provide focused professional development and training for diverse faculty to assist with teaching, promotion and tenure issues.
  • The Provost and Dr. Phil Johnston reviewed the recent diverse faculty “three year reviews” and diverse faculty applications for promotion and tenure and determined that diverse faculty have been very successful in these processes.

  • In the time we have been a Welcome Home Team committee, much has happened to improve the recruitment of diverse faculty.

  • There is a recommendation to provide a training session catered to diverse faculty, to allow them to voice their needs. The training should include a review of the processes outlined in the Faculty Handbook and time with leadership and academic deans to answer questions. This training should also include discussions about recent changes and issues pertaining to scholarship.

Expand involvement of diversity-based student organizations in undergraduate and graduate recruitment.
  • Follow up occurred with leadership from the Black Student Association, Chinese Cultural Club, and Hispanic Alliance and all will now participate in undergraduate events including Preview Days and Be Belmont Day.

  • A BSA phone-­‐a-­‐thon was held in March for diverse students admitted for Fall 2014.

Highlight and communicate university diversity efforts.
  • Creation of a dedicated Belmont Diversity and Global Initiatives website that includes a specific Welcome Home link.

  • Welcome Home website includes overview of newly developed tier one initiatives as well as university initiatives that are already established and continuing.

  • Efforts of the Welcome Home team and an overview of status updates to Tier One initiatives as well as reminder of ongoing initiatives to be communicated externally and to campus via a mention in Circle magazine and email from Dr. West.

Initiatives that are already established and continuing

Survey to assess how new faculty first heard about their respective positions and ask them to comment on their recruitment experience. Compare responses from all applicants with minority only applicants to assess differences.

Conduct workshops for all staff and faculty to ensure understanding of Belmont’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Consult with every hiring manager and search committee to ensure understanding of appropriate hiring and interviewing processes, including discussion of Belmont’s affirmative action goals.
Provide consultations to the Belmont community regarding civil rights and diversity-related policies.

Require that diverse candidates be added to the short list for all new faculty searches.

Advertise both broadly and in publications targeted to minority and underserved communities with regard to employment recruitment.
Attend the Compact for Faculty Diversity conference each year.
Conduct regular marketing, communications and community relations meetings with key figures at local diverse media outlets that target diverse audiences.
Send requests to area department leaders for stories that reflect Belmont’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Maintain a webpage on the HR site targeted toward faculty and staff recruitment with “Why work at Belmont testimonials” from current diverse faculty and staff.
Update the website’s hero image with news or events that reflect Belmont’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Identify diverse speakers for campus events and partner with all departments in identifying and securing diverse speakers.
Support the Belmont Supplemental Grant for undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who require need-based aid after all state/federal resources are exhausted.
Fund and offer the Dreamer’s Scholarship during the financial aid packaging process for students who are unable to file the FAFSA.
Call diverse admitted students who have not yet deposited to offer financial aid consultations.
Conduct reception-type events in the Nashville area to engage students of diverse backgrounds as prospects.
Acquire new prospective leads of regional diverse high school students from ACT/SAT.
Pending funding approval/allocation, work with feeder high schools and community groups to establish ACT prep sessions targeted to diverse students.

Fund and offer scholarships to students from the Edgehill and Rose Park communities.

Ensure that institutional marketing collaterals reflect a diverse student, faculty and staff population through the use of photographs and testimonials reflective of Belmont’s diversity goals.
Encourage faculty and staff to serve on diverse community and government boards and organizations.
Partner with human resources individuals at local institutions to discuss recruitment and retention strategies and best practices.
Regularly invite targeted groups to attend specific events to build relationships that attract diverse faculty, staff and students.
Identify a number of key community sponsorship events to build relationships that attract diverse faculty, staff and students.
Co-host community meetings on campus to expose the community to Belmont, its academic programs and contributions to the community.