Diversity Commission Agenda
March 20, 2007
WA 303

Committee Members:
Present: Betty Young, Co-Chair; Henry Morris, Co-Chair; Linda Duckett,
Co-Chair; Michelle Washington Carter, Tom Gjersvig, Kelly Meier, Ricardo Muggli, Hanh Huy Phan, Kenneth White.

Absent: Loretta DeLone, Jessica Flatequal, Michael Fagin, Calvin
Moultrie, John Seymour, Julie Snow.

Proceedings:
Meeting called to order.
Minutes for 2.27 and 3.20 to be distributed and approved at the next meeting.

 

I        Report on Meeting with President Davenport
           
The President made a strong statement about wanting to build the kind of community where people want to work by bringing in external consultants to work with the campus on bullying and to have senior staff go through workshops on bullying.  Davenport liked the statement, “if you permit it you promote it.”  We discussed anonymous reporting and the possibility for external investigations if number/ severity of complaints call for that. 

The idea that people came to the Commissions with their concerns speaks to the fact that there currently is not a system in place (that people trust) to work through issues of bullying on campus.

We are concerned that Affirmative Action Officer, Kenneth White, was not involved in that meeting.

If we truly are going to be the kind of place where people want to work, we have to address these issues. The issue is one of transparency, how can we respect contracts and laws, and build an institution that is successful where people want to work.

Attitude is difficult to enforce. You can insist on courtesy and that people aren’t rude.  It is not only a race issue, it is an attitude issue; if you are a public servant you are appropriate in your behavior and attitude.

II      Retreat
Members decided to have a retreat on Wednesday, April 11, 8-12; room TBA. The purpose of the retreat is to spend more quality time talking about our charge, and preparing for our report.  A continental (or some kind of) breakfast or a lunch will be provided.

III     General Education Diversity Report, Discussion/ Response

Offer a curriculum that challenges each student to excel, reflect a commitment to equity, and demonstrate an appreciation of cultural diversity. (We will ask Jessica Flatequal to weigh in on the inclusion of cultural in this statement.)

Faculty Association General Education Diversity Curriculum Committee (Kellian Clink and Ron Nickerson Co-Chairs) will meet with the Diversity Commission at an upcoming meeting.

 

IV      Report from Sub-Groups, Goals and Expectations

 

America is already “browned” not “browning” and our planning needs to reflect this. 

We need to have a support system in place to address the needs of all students.  Mike Fagin gave statistics and examples of several students who were conditional admits, who graduated with high honors of which the majority of contract students are not students of color.  Retention statistics for contract students is better than the statistics for other students.

Racial minority students, when denied admission once, do not usually try again/ re-apply. 

We should look at other ways we can get students in here.  There are some examples of racial profiling in Admissions policies and procedures for underrepresented students.

We could create our own model, identifying community leaders, to serve as partners in the community cohort groups.

Admissions has closed the lag gap, from six weeks to several days, and that has streamlined the process.  The Enrollment Management Taskforce is also looking at issues in financial services.  Admissions did change their mix of ACT and class rank, with option for contract admit.

There is a concern for international students, for campus jobs, in-state tuition (which now is in place right away) and with immigration reform, and Senators Coleman and Klobuchar working on behalf of international students. 

On-going concerns and discussion about campus dining services; some student workers in CSU are quitting, and the international dinners are difficult.  Example given of a recent international dinner when the dining services atmosphere was less than friendly.  Food services will do what they tell them to do.

Recommendation:
Name specific staff, to be in Admission and Financial Aids, to work with specific ethnic groups, in order to eliminate some of the problems students have (similar to an assigned advisor).  This could help support underrepresented students. Most employees want to do the best job they can but they are often too busy and it is difficult.  

Recruitment of graduate students—increase the number of graduate assistantships.

 

People need education and training about how to recruit, to help people understand about outside recruiting.  The requirement is to hire a QUALIFIED person.  There are technicalities and ways to “write people out” of searches. 

Support for a headhunter, diversity specialist to help develop the pool, do preliminary screening, make recommendations of people to invite to campus.

What is our role, our advocacy charge, when we see our bargaining unit with no diversity (AFSCME) and underrepresented applicants are not being considered. Friends come in through interim positions, and diverse candidates are not hired. 
How could we diversify our bargaining units, especially Council 6 and AFSCME? 
Q: Does every hiring process go through Affirmative Action?         A: Yes, but on the classified side the non person of color is always the best qualified.

We could request reports to help shape our recommendations. 

Action Needed: Look into data regarding hiring statistics for each of the bargaining units and for individual divisions. 

The Faculty Association has discussed the possibility of having several faculty members serve as Search Chairs for campus searches.  The problem is not that we are not developing diverse pools; the problem is that we are not hiring the diverse candidates.  Candidates are brought to campus, but not getting job offers; if we do hire them, salaries are usually low.

Last year, the underrepresented candidate for a position in student financial services was excellent, but not hired. 

Current interim hires in the middle and upper administration seem to be held by women from underrepresented groups.  What about required qualifications for upper administrative positions, Vice Presidential searches with required undergraduate degrees, and assistant positions have requirements for graduate degrees?

Campus-wide, what people of color in administration do we have who are not in positions of diversity, affirmative action?

Do we want to have community feedback, giving people an opportunity to come forward with their concerns?

V       Other?

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Meetings
March 27
April 10
April 24
May 8

 

Materials for distribution, current drafts

WORK, recruitment, hire, retention