Case Western Reserve University receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award
Case Western Reserve University received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a diversity-focused publication in higher education.
As a recipient of the annual HEED Award—a national honor recognizing colleges and universities around the country that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—Case Western Reserve will be featured, along with 92 other recipients, in the November 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
This is the eighth straight year the university has received a HEED Award.
“We are excited and honored to once again be recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity for our diversity efforts,” said Joy Bostic, the university’s interim vice president in the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. “Many throughout the campus community have embraced the university’s inclusion and diversity goals and this award is the result of hard work and commitment by students, staff and faculty working to make CWRU a more welcoming and inclusive campus. Of course, there is more work to be done, but this award encourages us to pause, recognize what we have accomplished and take pride in our successes.”
CWRU has received the national award every year since the honor was established in 2012. To be considered for the award, institutions complete an extensive application and summarize their diversity and inclusion initiatives. This year’s CWRU application highlighted:
- Somos CWRU—a newly created pilot program aimed at developing a recruitment and retention strategy for the Latinx population.
- Diversity Resource Forum—held for the first time last fall. The forum highlights resources and services across campus involved in diversity, inclusion and equity work.
- Mentor Circles & Mentor Fellows—the initiative works to increase knowledge and understanding of mentoring underrepresented students.
- Sustained Dialogue program—the university’s award-winning diversity initiative for students, staff and faculty. The program promotes cross-cultural interaction and provides an opportunity for participants to make recommendations to the administration on ways to improve the campus climate.
- Rooney Rule-like policies that require a diverse applicant pool for faculty and top administrative positions.
- The CWRU Trailblazer Project—a portraiture initiative that annually showcases the contributions of CWRU alumni of color and women and helps to diversify the images that appear in campus common areas.
- African and African American Studies Minor—established in 2018, the program provides an opportunity for students to explore the global black experience and its relationship to black life in the Americas.
“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees—and best practices for both—continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”
“Listening Tour” Produces Recommendations on Ways to Make CWRU More Inclusive
Increasing scholarships for students and providing funds for innovative campus inclusion initiatives are among a host of recommendations offered by campus groups to make Case Western Reserve University more inclusive.
The recommendations are a result of a yearlong “Listening Tour” led by Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Marilyn S. Mobley, PhD, and Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark. During the tour, Mobley and Stark met with 15 CWRU student, faculty and staff groups. In addition, three opening “Listening Tours” were held to give interested campus members opportunities to discuss and suggest inclusion initiatives. A spring retreat to discuss inclusion issues was also held.
“We appreciate all of the time and care members of the community put into considering the questions asked on the listening tour and into providing ideas on how our campus can become more inclusive, ” Mobley said. “Acting on what we learned from our conversations is critical to our commitment to making progress in the future. ”
“What I found most inspiring about these conversations was that people were as enthusiastic in praising activities that encourage inclusiveness as they were in citing areas where we need improvement, ” Stark said. “…people’s willingness to speak candidly gives me great hope for the future."
Recommendations from the CWRU Campus Listening Tour (September 2016 to April 2017)
(1-12 were short-term priorities and 12-16 were long-term priorities)
- Diversity in Hiring Committees: OIDEO, HR and the Provost’s Office have responsibility for addressing and enforcing this priority for greater accountability. In addition, President Snyder recommended that as a major research university, we should begin to “grow our own, ” by developing pipelines or pathways to the professoriate. The NOA-AGEP grant is one such example of a solution at work on campus to address this diversity concern.
- Development of a Buddy System: Vice President for Human Relations Carolyn Gregory will work with departments to encourage supervisors to match new staff employees with someone in their department.
- Utilization of Students for Outreach: President Snyder has asked Vice Presidents Rick Bischoff and Lou Stark to develop an application process for students who want to serve as ambassadors in their hometowns to recruit students to Case Western Reserve. They also will develop an orientation process.
- Faculty Mentorship for Students: President Snyder said that we expect the Provost’s Commission on Undergraduate Education (PCUE) to recommend a new mentoring program that will address this concern. In the meantime, the Student Affairs’ website will have a page that provides links to all mentoring opportunities across the university for students.
- Executive Leadership Participation in Community-Building and University-Sponsored Events: We will work with Vice President Carolyn Gregory on a communication to deans and UGEN vice presidents so that staff can take turns attending community events and professional development activities.
- Consolidation of diversity event/opportunity announcements online: OIDEO will have responsibility for this item and will create a location on the OIDEO website for posting events.
- Creation of One Community-Building Event per Semester: President Snyder said that we will do an inventory of all the events that occur before creating new events. She will talk to VPs and Deans about encouraging people to attend the annual Holiday Party in Adelbert Hall, an event that every member of the campus community is welcome to attend.
- Creation of a Task Force to Address Communication Needs: President Snyder has asked Vice Presidents Sheridan, Campbell, and Gregory, along with a representative from Bon Appétit, to find a solution for how to best provide university news and information to staff who do not have regular access computers.
- Encouragement of Self-Care, Wellness and Mental Health: As a first step to the new campus-wide wellness program, there is a single webpage for all wellness efforts: case.edu/wellness. We will also offer modest joint programming in the coming year with our faculty and staff wellness program and our student program, and both of these programs will continue to build services for their targeted populations.
- Provision of More Incentives for Creating Inclusion on Campus: President Snyder committed to providing seed money this year to begin an OIDEO Inclusion Transformation Fund. The fund will provide resources to assist with faculty hiring, innovation grants open to faculty, staff and students for research and initiatives that foster inclusion, and for scholarship support for students interested in cross-cultural interdisciplinary fields of study. External funding will also be sought for this program.
- Establishment of a Bias Reporting System Advisory Board: Student Affairs is currently evaluating how the system operates.
- Analysis of Policies, Departments and Infrastructure Designed to Support Diversity and Inclusion: President Snyder charged Vice Presidents Mobley and Stark with reviewing these areas and determining if changes are needed. They will announce any changes to the campus community.
- Scholarships for Students: President Snyder reiterated that this is one of the priorities of the Capital Campaign. At the end of our current capital campaign in December 2018, we will continue to raise funds for scholarships through a mini-campaign.
- Providing Opportunities for Participation in Decision-Making: We have many opportunities for faculty, staff and students to provide input on the university’s policies—the Faculty Senate, the Staff Advisory Council, the Undergraduate Student Government, and the Graduate Student Council, among others. We do not foresee a need to make any changes to this current system.
- Inclusive Campus Buildings: Vice President Steve Campbell is working with Vice President Stark on this issue and will return with recommendations on making campus building more accessible.
- Provision of More Gender-Neutral Bathrooms: There are 37 gender-neutral bathrooms currently on campus and the LGBT Center keeps a list of their locations and provides a map of them on the LGBT website. Community members can also fill out a web form to suggest where additional gender-neutral restrooms are needed.