2016-2021 Strategic Plan: Diversity
APSU POLICY 1:028 - DIVERSITY
“It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to model and promote diversity at all levels and in all sectors of the University. By modeling and promoting diversity and inclusion, Austin Peay State University will foster environments of equity and inclusive excellence.”
Diversity can be broadly defined as differences. When applied within the context of education and the educational community, diversity represents the inclusion and support of groups of people with a variety of human characteristics that go beyond the legally protected classes of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability status, veteran status – to include, but not be limited to, other categories such as socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, first generation college status, urban or rural upbringing – and other personal characteristics that shape an individual’s identity and life experience in a substantive way.
As noted in the University’s Strategic Plan 2015- 2025
Strategic Goal 4: Diversity
Diversity, an embedded piece of our mission and vision, will gain renewed focus in the Strategic Plan as the institution seeks to build a climate of inclusion that will facilitate access and foster enrollment growth, and student success.
Goal Priority 4.1 – Recruit, retain, and graduate a diverse student population.
Objective 4.1.1- Increase the numbers of identified underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students by 5% that are recruited and enrolled at APSU.
Objective 4.1.2- Increase the numbers of identified underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students by 5% that are retained at APSU.
Objective 4.1.3- Increase the graduation rate of identified underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students.
1 – Evaluate and analyze baseline demographic information for underrepresented students in order to determine future benchmarks and assess progress related to enrollment, progression, and graduation.
2 – Conduct and review research regarding campus climate and perceptions related to diversity and inclusion in order to incorporate findings into future objectives for this goal priority every year.
3 – Increase the participation by 5% of underrepresented students in high impact practices such as internships, study abroad, service-learning, undergraduate research, etc.
4 – Develop recruitment strategies targeting underrepresented high school students through outreach and summer programs
- Increase the number of high school students that participate in dual enrollment program and Middle College program.
- Develop scholarships that target identified underrepresented students.
- Enrollment Profile Statistics show an increase in minority students over the previous year as well as the past 5 years. The fall 2016 to Fall 2017 preliminary numbers of applications and admitted students from minority groups such as Hispanics, Alaskan Native, American Indians, African Americans, and Native Hawaiians show an increase.
Two or more races
Total Minority Enrollment
- APSU had 1,103 students complete the most recent Campus Climate Survey. A sample of
responses indicate an overall supportive (strongly agree/agree) campus environment.
- I feel valued in the classroom/learning environment (73%)
- Faculty are genuinely concerned about my welfare (72%)
- The faculty, staff and administrators at this school treat students fairly (75%)
- Increase in undergraduate applications submitted and new students admitted for fall of 2017 (+23.8% as of Jan. 23, 2017)
- Interim Director for International and Distance Education hired on a one-year contract to oversee recruitment strategy in the short term; also filled new position of Recruiter, International Students.
- Criteria for awarding Diversity Scholarships reviewed and revised
- Implementation of Full Spectrum Learning program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Goal Priority 4.2 – Recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff.
Objective 4.2.1 – Recruit and retain diverse faculty (adjunct, part-time, full-time) from identified underrepresented groups that mirror student population.
Objective 4.2.2 – Recruit and retain staff from underrepresented groups that mirror student population.
Objective 4.2.3 – Recruit and retain administrators from underrepresented groups.
1 - Evaluate and analyze baseline demographic information for underrepresented faculty
and staff in order to determine future benchmarks and assess progress related to hiring
and promotion. In order to incorporate findings into future objectives for this goal
priority, it is important that units work in collaboration with each other, i.e. Human
Resources, Chief Diversity Officer, etc.
2 - Develop and Implement a diversity component as part of the performance evaluation
process through focused diversity education and professional development training
opportunities. Additionally, department will develop mentorship initiatives that will
help with the retention of faculty and staff through their probationary status.
3 - Develop and maintain a plan to ensure position announcements are advertised in publications targeted to reach underrepresented populations.
- Collection of data for a report regarding recruitment of minority faculty requested by the Provost which resulted in the creation of a Diversity Task Force to explore faculty recruitment and retention.
- Advertisement of positions in diverse mediums such as Latinos in Higher Education, Women in Higher Education and Diverse Jobs in addition to The Chronicle of Higher Education and HigherEd Jobs
- Payment of moving expenses for all minority faculty and staff up $1500 to assist with retention.
- Nomination and selection of faculty member as a TBR Maxine Smith Fellow Program participant for professional development.
- Green Zone Training for faculty and staff to enhance support for veterans and active duty students
Goal Priority 4.3 – Foster a campus community of inclusivity and diversity.
Objective 4.3.1 – Reorganize University standing committees to ensure inclusivity.
Objective 4.3.2 – Develop faculty and staff evaluation instruments that address the University’s commitment to diversity.
Objective 4.3.3 – Create diversity programing and training for faculty, staff, and students.
Objective 4.3.4- Develop and strengthen community partnerships locally, regionally, and nationally.
1 - Develop a plan to increase cultural awareness and knowledge by engaging faculty,
staff, and students through communication that is intentional and consistent in regards
to diverse perspectives.
2 - Increase frequency of culturally diverse events by 5% annually through ongoing
educational programs and training for faculty, staff, and students.
3 - Develop and Implement a diversity content in all orientation programs for new students, faculty, and staff.
- Diversity component requirement added to the curriculum of APSU 1000 (Freshmen Seminar) for all new freshmen students
- Diversity Committee funded proposals from faculty, staff and students that support diversity and inclusivity programming, such as Safe Zone Training (over 10 to date)
- Implementation of “Let’s Talk Diversity” initiative consisting of a series of panel discussions between police and the community
- Support for faculty and staff to attend diversity training and professional development events to include TBR Bridging Cultures Summit, TBR Diversity Summit, TBR Focus on Diversity Conference and NCORE – National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education
- The Achievers and Scholars Program, a program intended to increase the retention and graduation of African American Males, has 25 actively enrolled sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who have been in the program since their first year. They have an average GPA of 2.68, and all students have a 2.0 GPA or above.
- Fall semester GPA Average: 2.3
- 8 students at or above a 3.0 GPA for the semester (32%)
- 14 students at or above a 2.5 GPA for the semester (56%)
- 18 students at or above a 2.0 GPA for the semester (72%)
- Cumulative GPA Average: 2.68
- 6 students at or above a 3.0 cumulative GPA (24%)
- 15 students at or above a 2.5 cumulative GPA (60%)
- 25 students at or above a 2.0 cumulative GPA (100%)
Goal Priority 4.4 – Provide the infrastructure to support diversity.
Objective 4.4.1 – Require training for departments for best practices to support University established guidelines on diversity as it relates to personnel recruitment and retention.
Objective 4.4.2 – Develop a plan that addresses access/infrastructure for students with diverse needs, such as gender neutral bathrooms.
Objective 4.4.3 –Provide incentives for departments to collaborate on diversity initiatives.
Objective 4.4.4 –Develop a comprehensive system of accountability and assessment that will quantify University’s performance in relation to the specified diversity goals.
- Review, affirm, and, or revise the campus definition of diversity that transmits shared responsibility and individual accountability through the establishment of a full-time office or position with units that report inclusivity progress.
- Review, assess, and document existing resources including personnel, budget, and programs currently supporting diversity initiatives and underserved populations.
- Assess and Identify critical gaps and unmet needs in order to enhance and support campus diversity opportunities.
- Hiring of an Equal Opportunity Compliance Officer
- Appointment of part-time Chief Diversity Officer
Goal Priority 4.5 – Develop a campus-wide Diversity Plan.
Objective 4.5.1 – Develop a campus-wide diversity plan that is articulated in all university policies and procedures.
Objective 4.5.2 – Define diversity as a core value to the university’s mission.
Objective 4.5.3 –Strengthen the collection of data about diverse populations and share with the university’s administration in order to reassess making decisions on resources.
- Establish annual action items and measureable outcomes to support the university’s Strategic goals and objectives tied to diversity.
- Develop a communication strategy to widely share the Diversity Plan and progress toward identified goals and objectives
- Incorporate diversity goals from Institutional Effectiveness Plans developed by campus departments into the Diversity Plan as appropriate.
- Revision and approval of the university’s Diversity Policy
- Working collectively on a diversity plan as articulated in the Strategic Plan.