The DAC chair met individually with members of the Ramapo community who initially volunteered for the Comittee (faculty, staff and students). Their thoughts and impressions were compiled into a “meta analysis” on campus climate and the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students. This document provided the Diversity Action Committee with a vital launching point for early discussion. A complete copy of this document can be downloaded from the Diversity Action Committee’s File Site on Luminis or through an e-mail request to the chair of the DAC at email@example.com
Minority Student Recruitment Plan – Fall 2006 (PDF) (DOC)
Please forward any recommendations or comments on student recruitment to Peter Goetz. E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten Year Minority Student Enrollment Report (PDF) (DOC)
This report contains the following information:
- 10-Year Minority Student, First-Time, Full-Time Retention Rates
- 10-Year Minority Student, First-Time, Full-Time Cumulative Graduation Rates
- 10-Year Minority Student, First-Time, Full-Time Cumulative Graduation Rates
- Three-Year Averages for Retention by Ethnicity
- Three-Year Averages for Graduation by Ethnicity
Student Recruitment Advertising
Ramapo Ethnic Newspaper Profile (PDF)
Please forward any recommendations for other newspapers to Rosa Diaz-Mulryan E-Mail: email@example.com
Radio Station Profiles (PDF) (XLS)
Please forward any recommendations for other radio stations to Rosa Diaz-Mulryan. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minority Student Recruitment Plan – Fall 2005 (PDF) (DOC)
2005 Mid-Year Report and Recommendations
DIVERSITY ACTION COMMITTEE
FINAL VERSION: March 28th, 2005
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Attached please find a copy of the Diversity Action Committee’s Midyear Report and Recommendations attached to this letter. Following the advice (and at times pleas) of our colleagues, we have decided to keep our report as concise and to the point as possible.
Given the relatively short time frame that we have had to prepare this report, several assumptions are tacit:
- As explained in our over-arching recommendations, our definition of diversity is a multi faceted one covering (but not necessarily limited to): race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation and identity, socioeconomic standing, age, physical and cognitive ability, religious and political leanings.
- A great deal more quantitative and qualitative research needs to be done. Our initial report and recommendations are culled from statistical data provided from: the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Marketing and Institutional Relations and the 1999 Affirmative Action Report and our qualitative data was derived from a meta analysis of interviews held with the over 40 members of the Ramapo community who volunteered to serve on the DAC and numerous meetings with student organizations. The challenge to providing such a report is the constant balancing of inferences with data in a manner that is not to be seen as reflecting the entire community, but at the same time serving as a reflection of perceptions that define the Ramapo College environment.
The Diversity Action Committee strongly recommends that the College President, Administration and Board of Trustees begin to apply the recommendations in this report without delay. As you will see, recommendations are broken down into Short Term (to be accomplished by the end of Spring 2005), Mid Term (Academic Year 2005-2006) and Long Term (Summer 2006 on).
It is important to note these are only preliminary recommendations and that a great deal of work remains to be broached by the committee to further develop recommendations.
Please feel free to contact me if you should have any additional questions, concerns or issues and thank you for your continued support of the DAC.
Patrick P. Chang, Ed.D.
Diversity Action Committee Chair
Associate Dean of Students
Diversity Action Committee Members, March 28, 2005
Patrick Chang, Associate Dean of Students/Chair
Professor Lisa Cassidy, Assistant Professor of Philosophy/AIS
Professor Joseph Dallon, TAS and Acting Director of Study Abroad
Rosa Diaz Mulryan, Assistant Vice President of Marketing and
Institutional Relations x7636, email@example.com
Peter Goetz, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
Judith Grieco, Office Assistant/TAS
Professor Edna Negron, Assistant Professor of Journalism/CA
Anthony Olarerin-George, Student representative – OAU President and Black Student Union Representative
Professor Andre Perry, Associate Professor/CA
Diana Williams, Assistant Director of the Student Assistant Program
Furthermore, the Diversity Action Committee wishes to acknowledge the time and effort that Professor Fran Shapiro Skrobe and the Affirmative Action Self Study Committee of 1999 put into framing the prevalent issues of their time. The thorough work that Professor Skrobe and Dorothy Echols Tobe put into creating a well-researched and thought-provoking report helped save us hundreds of hours of “reinventing the wheel.”
First the Good News….
In general, the faculty, staff and students of Ramapo College are happy to be here. They cite a very personal, friendly and warm environment as being key elements supporting their remaining here. People agree that Ramapo is an informal environment where everyone knows and refers to each other by first name. It is a caring place that encourages creativity and experimentation in terms of teaching and administrative practice.
Members of the community expressed surprise that Ramapo has garnered so much recent national acclimation (i.e., US News and World Report , Princeton Review ). Somehow we feel that we must not be doing as much as our colleagues “out there,” and it is often surprising to find out that we are frequently on the cutting (if not, at times “bleeding”) edge of innovation and practice.
The physical environment of the Ramapo campus lends itself well to our mission – the interconnectedness of its academic wings enforces the idea of interdisciplinarity and state-of-the-art residence halls with one-to-one “port to pillow” ratios brings home the idea of just how local a multicultural, international and experiential education can be.
Our community members have a richness of experiences with diversity through personal experiences and travels, relationships and expertise. The college community needs to do a better job of applying those experiences and abilities.
“Things are done the Ramapo way” is frequently stated with pride by veteran faculty and staff. Our question would be “is this necessarily a good thing?”
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Now the Bad News…
Many decisions at Ramapo College are based on relationships that people have with each other. The downside of such an environment is that several members of the community feel that they are left out of the loop. The ability to personally engage contingencies through discussion, collegiality and inclusiveness are essential factors in institutional decision making at Ramapo College.
The pervasive perception of those disenfranchised members of the community is that it is “who you know” in order to receive funding or permission to develop programs at Ramapo and that those who are in power decide who to allow into their realm of power.
The “side effects” of an informal system where relationships are such a large part of doing business at Ramapo are that discrimination takes place quite frequently. Some people feel frustrated by their inability to be promoted or receive the equal treatment that they see being distributed to their peers/colleagues.
Another issue identified is the false assumption that policy decisions are clearly communicated in a “trickle down” method from more senior officials to all that work at the college. Frequently, this doesn’t happen. Messages are either never communicated or reinterpreted to the point of losing their focus.
In a 1999 study conducted by the Affirmative Action Task Force utilizing full-time faculty data according to gender, ethnicity and race from 1997, Ramapo College’s profile met or exceeded national breakdowns. At the same time, Ramapo came in 5 th of the 8 New Jersey state colleges. As quoted in the study:
“The data revealed that while we have substantially increased the representation of females, most notably White, Non-Hispanic females, on the faculty, we have shown only slight gains in the number and percentage of faculty of color, primarily in the number of Black, Non-Hispanic males and females. All other categories of faculty of color remained low and static over the last ten years. In comparing Ramapo’s results to those of seven other New Jersey state colleges and universities for Fall 1997, we found that with the exception of Black, Non-Hispanic male faculty, we had the lowest or the second lowest proportion of faculty of color in all racial/ethnic categories. In contrast, we had the highest percentage of White, Non-Hispanic males. Among the four state colleges and universities not accessible by mass transportation, Ramapo College has the lowest proportion of faculty of color.”
Significant concerns also exist about our current student body. The perception by the community is that the price we have paid for increased selectivity and a better prepared student is a more homogenous student body characterized mainly by white, middle or upper class full-time students.
Teaching about diversity is becoming increasingly challenging given the fact that “the other” is rapidly becoming an abstraction rather than a living, breathing being with a wide range of life experiences to counter preconceived notions of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation and identity, socioeconomic status, religious background, physical abilities and political leanings.
In addition, a sampling of minority student organizational leaders have anecdotally cited the following experiences as part of their day-to-day perceptions of existence at Ramapo:
- Differential treatment in the classroom by some professors ranging from either being completely ignored to being singled out as the lone spokesperson for their race/ethnicity.
- Rude, stereotypical treatment by some staff members in such student support offices as Security, the Registrar and Advisement.
- Rude, insensitive treatment by some roommates or suitemates who may not be the same race or ethnicity.
- Differential treatment of minority clubs and organizations (i.e., required to have more Security and Police at social events).
- Lack of response to formal grievances filed through Affirmative Action
- Stereotypical treatment of being guilty of suspicious behavior by the township (i.e., we need to investigate the allegedly high rate of pullovers made by local police of our students).
The campus has never been engaged in a campus-wide survey on climate and perceptions of equity. Our first and foremost recommendation is to check the validity of our many anecdotal observations by calling for an environmental assessment to be conducted by the beginning of the Fall 2005 semester. In order to ensure validity and objectivity, we are recommending that an overall assessment of the entire campus be conducted by an external consultant similar to the Oregon State University model.
An initial meta analysis was conducted by the chair of the Diversity Action Committee of all 46 members who had volunteered to serve on the DAC. Environmental perceptions, questions, definitions of diversity and suggestions were analyzed and broken down according to campus climate, recruitment and retention of faculty and recruitment and retention of students. This document helped to provide the DAC with a general sense of direction during their preliminary Fall 2004 meetings.
During the course of these weekly meetings, portions of each session were dedicated toward meeting with representatives from Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications and Affirmative Action/Workplace Compliance in order to get a firmer understanding of guidelines and goals.
A two-day retreat was held during the Winter 2005 session where representatives from the 1999 Affirmative Action Self Study, Minority Faculty Staff Association, Ad Hoc Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators (AHCBFA), Schomburg Committee, Provost’s Office, Institutional Planning, Institutional Research and Specialized Services addressed the Committee.
Upon completion of the retreat and research of such documents as the Strategic Plan and Affirmative Action Task Force Report of 1999, members of the DAC compiled the following preliminary recommendations.
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- The President, Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students must have a full understanding of what the diversity initiative is and support it from the top down.This diversity initiative must be demonstrated as an integral part of campus life, particularly since it is referred to in the Mission Statement, Strategic Plan and Middle States review. An example of such an initiative comes from the University of Oregon:
American colleges and universities are charged with creating an environment characterized by equal access for all students, faculty, and staff regardless of cultural differences, where individuals are not just tolerated but valued. Institutional missions suggest that higher education values multicultural awareness and understanding within an environment of mutual respect and cooperation. Institutional strategic plans advocate creating welcoming and inclusive climates that are grounded in respect, nurtured by dialogue and evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction.
- A clear definition of diversity needs to be communicated to the community. A sample statement that could be modeled after is that drafted by the University of Toledo Commission on Diversity:
Human diversity is variety and otherness. It includes, but may not be limited to age, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, physical or mental abilities and disabilities, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. In promoting diversity, the University pledges to respect and value personal uniqueness and differences, to seek to attract diverse faculty, staff and students, to challenge stereotypes, and to promote sensitivity and inclusion. It understands that its staff, faculty and students must reflect the diversity of the metropolitan area and beyond. It takes seriously its commitment to diversity as expressed in the Mission Statement and Strategic Academic Plan. (Draft-not yet approved by the Commission on Diversity-June 2, 2003)
- Develop a Minority Affairs (or, more ideally, a Diversity Action) Office that will be fully staffed and funded. Such an office would be responsible for providing advocacy, counsel and guidance for the Ramapo College community. This Minority Affairs leader should be a trained and experienced person in the area of diversity/race relations/human resources from outside of Ramapo College appointed to head an appropriately staffed Office of Diversity Action who will be given a senior level of authority through which enforcement can be realized.
- It has become abundantly clear that the charge of the Diversity Action Committee will extend well beyond this academic year and that its direction and priorities will be defined by our new President and Board of Trustees. If the DAC is to continue, we recommend setting terms and representation (or staggered appointments for continuity) of the committee for future years.
- The 1999 Affirmative Action Task Force Report must be updated for immediate implementation (DAC).
Short Term (By Spring 2005)
- Conduct an institutional environmental survey in order to more accurately gauge campus climate. Several sample surveys that were recently distributed can be found at the Oregon State University, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the University of Maryland Diversity Survey as well as evaluation reports compiled by the American Association of Colleges and Universities
- Establish a Grievance Committee or (ideally) an Ombudsperson who will be responsible for providing advice and counsel and further investigating complaints when individuals feel that progress on grievances is unsatisfactory. Naturally such an individual(s) will need to be trusted and respected by the Ramapo community for their fair and objective judgment, knowledgeable in the internal workings of the college and able to work with a diverse population. First and foremost on this committee’s/individual’s plate would be continued work toward the requested external review of investigatory bodies on campus.
- Restore Schomburg funding to its original allocation of $30,000. This group has been subject to the whims of the institution and has experienced a significant cut in funds during the past few years. Creating an established management and reporting structure for the future disbursement of funds would also ensure continued provision of funds.
- Conduct a feasibility study on establishing a Diversity Action Office comparatively researching format, budget and structure.
- Establish a campaign clearly demonstrating our commitment toward diversity that will be prominently displayed on bulletin boards, the world wide web and publications (see Appendix “A”).
- Expand the currently existing Experts Guide to include multicultural expertise and experience of our faculty and staff. Consider placing this valuable resource on the Intranet in some searchable manner for utilization by our in-house community.
- Continue creating opportunities to make the enrollment management recruitment processes as transparent as possible (and within legal guidelines). Recent efforts by the Vice Provost of Enrollment Management to meet with concerned faculty and students should continue and be recognized as a valuable part of improving communications and misperceptions of such processes. The process of exploring increasing our minority populations within legal guidelines needs to be changed from of a “you can’t do this because” to a more proactive “if you wish to do this, you need to…” model.
- Create a more formal system for soliciting resumes within convening groups for more wide reaching searches (i.e., are search committee chairs aware of minority based publications and databases within their fields? Should one office be responsible for distributing such information?)
- Create a general searchable directory of community services for use by the entire Ramapo community listing ethnic restaurants, salons, houses of worship and businesses.
- Meet with recognized clubs and organizations to determine what their perceptions of diversity are and what they feel the college should be doing to continue creating such an environment (DAC).
- Develop an End of Year Report summarizing major findings and recommendations of previously written reports such as the Affirmative Action Task Force Report of 1999 (DAC).
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Midterm (By Summer 2006)
- Have the unit councils commit time toward discussions on diversity during the Spring 2005 semester. Frank and honest dialogue on the role of diversity in hiring, its impact on classroom environment and recruitment and retention of faculty and students is an important first step to ensure that a common dialogue is being broached across the campus. Deans should provide a summary of their unit meeting discussions to the Provost.
- Create a formal funding structure for diversity programs that is well communicated campus-wide. The current perception is that funding is a highly informal process based on knowing where potential sources might be.
- Work with the Faculty Resource Center in continuing to develop Faculty In Service programs designed to discuss integrating diversity into the curriculum with an opportunity to cull best practices.
- Continue creating opportunities to make the Affirmative Action processes as transparent as possible (within legal guidelines). For example, members of the community have suggested it would be helpful to more clearly communicate time frames for responding to grievances.
- Develop formal mechanisms to encourage faculty, staff and students to Action process. The recent assistance of Assistant Professor of History Karl Johnson in connecting Enrollment Management to local church communities is a good example.
- Develop formal mechanisms to encourage faculty, staff and students to become more actively involved in the Affirmative Action process.
- Restructure the formal exit interview process for Affirmative Action/Workplace Compliance to conduct with all college employees to determine reasons for leaving. The same should be conducted for departing students by either Enrollment Management or the respective schools. Data should be gathered and trends should be identified on an annual basis and findings should be shared in an open forum opportunity
- Develop a framework for a campus-wide training day for the entire campus to participate in with results of that can somehow be measured. The topics, presenters (external or internal) and format (mandatory or non-mandatory) need serious consideration.
Conclusions (For Now)
The Diversity Action Committee feels that they have just begun to scrape the top of the proverbial iceberg. Utilizing the research and recommendations from such esteemed colleagues as the Affirmative Action Task Force of 1999, the Ad Hoc Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators and the Minority Faculty Staff Association, we plan on conducting a thorough analysis, summary and offering of recommendations on the following areas by the end of calendar year 2005:
- Making the DAC’s processes more transparent to the Ramapo College community through use of such on-campus communications tools as the world wide web and Luminis.
- Search procedures, networking and recruitment including the interviewing and selection process
- Updating faculty data according to gender, race/ethnicity and comparing it to our other state college colleagues and national statistics.
- Updating student data according to gender, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical abilities and comparing it to our other state college colleagues and national statistics
- Retention of faculty and professional staff
- Recruitment and retention of students
- Reappointment/Tenure and promotion
- Issues of religious tolerance in a public institution and the role of an on-campus meditational space
DAC Cabinet/ Faculty Assembly Report (PPT)
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Appendix A / Sample Campaign Flyer
CONSTRUCTION SITE AHEAD
YOU ARE NOW IN AN ENVIRONMENT
WORKING ON BECOMING DIVERSE
( NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH A”POLITICALLY CORRECT” ONE)
Diversity is consciousness: a way of living, learning and doing business at Ramapo College.
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER.
WHAT BEING IN A DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT MEANS AT RAMAPO COLLEGE IS THAT THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY WILL WELCOME PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT IN AGE, GENDER IDENTITY, RACE, ETHNICITY, CULTURE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, PHYSICAL ABILITY, RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND, POLITICAL LEANINGS, SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS AND NATIONAL ORIGIN.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU IS THAT:
- EVERY MEMBER OF THE RAMAPO COMMUNITY IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE TONE SET ON CAMPUS. STEREOTYPING INDIVIDUALS ON THE BASIS OF BEHAVIOR AND APPEARANCE IS UNACCEPTABLE.
- YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO TREAT PEOPLE WITH THE SAME RESPECT THAT YOU WISH TO BE ACCORDED.
- EVERY MEMBER OF THE RAMAPO CAMPUS COMMUNITY IS ENTITLED TO THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF DUE PROCESS (TIMELY NOTICE, AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD AND THE RIGHT TO DEFEND IN AN ORDERLY PROCEEDING).
- YOU ARE WELCOME TO ASK OPEN, HONEST QUESTIONS ABOUT THINGS THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND AND NOT BE MADE TO FEEL STUPID, INFERIOR OR INADEQUATE.
- YOU WILL CHALLENGE YOUR BELIEFS AND VALUES WITH THE GOAL OF SELF-LEARNING ON A DAILY BASIS.
- YOU WILL STRIVE TO CREATE A SIMILAR ENVIRONMENT OF OPENNESS, HONESTY AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS INTO THE WORLD THAT YOU LIVE IN.
1999 Affirmative Action Task Force Report
A major self study of Affirmative Action practices at Ramapo College was conducted by Acting Director Dr. Frances Shapiro-Skrobe in 1999. Many of the statistics utilized and recommendations made serve as an excellent “primer” on RCNJ diversity issues involving the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff.
1999 Affirmative Action Task Force Report (PDF)
Please contact the chair of the DAC for details on these materials at firstname.lastname@example.org
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