Metro State is commonly recognized for
enrolling the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges
in the state's 28 percent of its more-than-24,000-student population as of fall
2010 enrollment. Additionally, 23 percent of full-time faculty members are
people of color, an increase over 2009 when The Chronicle of Higher Education
ranked Metro State first in the state for the ethnic diversity of its faculty,
with 20 percent being of color.
While these demographics
are good, according to Interim Associate to the President for Institutional
Diversity Myron Anderson, "we are not resting on our laurels. We are working to
be the best in the country when it comes to cultural competence."
Often confused with diversity,
cultural competence is more than documenting race and ethnicity, he says. It's
about having a greater understanding and knowledge of different cultures,
promoting the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures
To accomplish this, the Office of
Institutional Diversity focuses on its six hallmark elements:
campus climate, recruitment and retention, diversity development, diversity
initiatives, equity scorecard and civic engagement, while working in
conjunction with the divisions of Institutional Advancement, Academic Affairs,
Student Services and Administration and Finance. The office also features two
standing college-wide committees: grants and
Campus Climate Survey
Another monumental initiative of the office was the development, implementation
and assessment of the Campus Climate Survey, designed
to provide a comprehensive overview of the College's faculty/employee's
workplace experience. The results of the
Campus Climate Survey didn't go unnoticed.
"At Metro State
the results didn't get a chance to sit on a shelf,"
President Stephen Jordan has already
established four action items to ignite this process. He has asked:
Cabinet to come up with three ideas to improve campus communication as it
relates to their respective areas.
leadership areas to convene their constituents to further communicate the
survey results to them and begin to use this data as an information
resource to advance their areas.
presidents to review the survey results in detail and identify both micro
and macro opportunities that resonate in their areas to develop strategies
for improvement. Already implemented is an Institutional Advancement newsletter
and "Lunches with the Provost" to enrich the faculty's
relationship with the provost.
has charged the 2010 Strategic Planning Committee to use
results from the survey to determine important initiatives and strategies
for improving the work environment at the College.
The student component of the survey
will be implemented in
spring 2011. "We want to see if there is a correlation between student survey
and employee survey results," he says.
Faculty Recruitment and Retention
The office is piloting, in cooperation with the School of Professional Studies,
a school-wide recruitment and retention committee, with a more comprehensive
strategy to recruit and maintain excellent and diverse faculty. Formed two
years ago, the committee is gaining more traction this year, particularly with
the attention of Assistant Director of Institutional Diversity Frederick
Davis. If strategies developed prove to
be successful, the initiative could serve as a model for other schools at the College.
To further realize
the vision of the Office of Institutional Diversity serving as more of a
resource to students and the external community, the office is preparing to
launch a website redesign by end of semester and is working to use the Skillsoft
platform to make cultural competence information available to the campus
Through the diversity initiative grants, Anderson says the College has "over
the last four years helped to fund 168 programs with more than $400,000 in
grants, which when leveraged with in-kind and
community support, results in support of
roughly $1 million in programmatic activity to promote cultural competence."
Through the grants, campus organizations
can apply for seed funding to help implement qualifying activities. Funded projects
Chavez Breakfast, Outstanding
Women Awards, Black
World Conference, the Ethiopia
Altruism Project, the Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Breakfast, and Chicana/o Studies' Journey
Through our Heritage program.
Civic engagement is often
integrated into the grants as community leaders are honored during many of the
Stay tuned to @Metro for updates on the Equity
Scorecard Project, which examines access, retention, excellence and campus
climate as it relates to diversity.
Anderson says input from both the stewardship and grant committees were instrumental in the College's January 2010 Diversity
Symposium held during the Center for Faculty Development Spring
Forum. Featured speakers included diversity leaders from other higher education
institutions in the state and Colorado Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll.
Building on a state-wide Inclusive Excellence roundtable hosted by Metro State last year, the office also aims to host an
annual, tri-institutional event surrounding inclusive excellence that would
include chief diversity officers and equal opportunity officers from around the
goal of the office, says Anderson, is to educate, implement and promote
inclusive excellence throughout the Metro State community.
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