These past two years have been an incredible journey toward our vision of inclusive excellence.
We have learned that making change takes all of us, and that we are up to the challenge. We have seen individuals take action to improve our campus climate. Teams have developed creative programs to increase all community members’ sense of belonging. The university has adopted more inclusive policies and equitable practices. We have much more work to do, and we remain committed to moving forward, together.
Building Cross-Campus First-Gen Ties
This year, AU held regular community-building events to strengthen relationships among first-generation students, faculty, and staff. More than 40 first-gen AU faculty and staff shared their wisdom and experience in an inaugural first-gen yearbook published by our Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).
“That professor you thought had a smooth ride to success was once sitting in class wondering if they belonged, just like you,” says Shannon Smith, CDI’s assistant director of student success and transition.
AU was nationally recognized for this work as a First-gen Forward Institution by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
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Goal 1: Training, Learning and Development
- 750+ faculty and staff attended over 25 inclusive teaching workshops.
- 100% of faculty search committees trained in inclusive search principles and practices.
- 800+ students participated in over 18 inclusion-focused trainings and intergroup dialogues.
Goal 2: Campus Climate, Culture, and Community
- 43% increase in IE collaborative mini-grant applications from teams of students, faculty, and staff this academic year. Over 37 IE mini-grants awarded over the past three academic years.
- 57 students mentored by volunteers from the LGBTQ+ and Latino and Hispanic Faculty & Staff Affinity Groups.
- 1st AU black women’s retreat for students, faculty, and staff.
- 2 new affinity groups formed for international faculty and staff and faculty and staff of color.
Goal 3: Systems, Policies, and Procedures
- 6 out of 7 academic units established diversity, equity, and inclusion liaisons or committees.
- 20 staff and faculty members were trained on restorative practices which are used to build community and respond to bias-related harm.
- 2 student conduct code updates were proposed to address bias-related violations.
- 2 new policies increased inclusivity in parental and family leave.
- 40 national job board postings (previously 7) to increase quality and diversity of applicant pools.
Goal 4: Access and Equity
- 56% of new tenure-line faculty hired in fall 2019 identify as faculty of color, and 44% identify as women. Over the past three years, an average of 45% of new tenure-line faculty identify as faculty of color, and 42% as women.
- 2.3% and 2.4% increases in tuition, room, and board are lowest on AU’s records.
- $500K in AU alumni board scholarship commitments to expand student access to the AU experience.
- $60M+ financial aid support for student access and affordability.
- $300K grant received from the National Science Foundation to advance gender and racial equity among AU STEM faculty.
- 2,500+ exams administrated by Academic Success and Access Center to support accommodation needs.
Goal 5: Curriculum and Instruction
- 3 new inclusive teaching Center for Teaching & Learning roles created: 2 new inclusive pedagogy fellows and a new associate director.
- 2,000+ first-year students enrolled in AUx program.
- 80 upper class students served as peer facilitators for the AUx program.
- 1st AU Latinx Studies program established.
- 2 faculty members received prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for groundbreaking antiracism and domestic violence work.
We’ve made great strides in the first two years of our inclusive excellence plan. Yet we still have much more to do. In recent months, the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion has led over 50 conversations with AU students, faculty, staff, and alumni on action items for the next three years. The Faculty Senate, President’s Council, Cabinet, and Board have given great feedback. To build on the foundation laid and lessons learned from the first two years, AU will launch the next phase of the IE plan in fall 2020.