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Texas State University

Texas State University’s Action Plan to Build Capacity

Background

Texas State has adopted the rubric described in Speaking the Truth and Acting with Integrity: Confronting Challenges of Campus Racial Climate1 as the basis for assessing our current capacity to respond to campus climate and culture crises, and for developing action plans designed to strengthen our capacity to build a more inclusive environment. The report, published in 2018, is based on a highly visible racial crisis at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the 2015-16 academic year.

On January 25, 2019, using the report’s rubric, the Council on Inclusive Excellence (CIE), led by Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) Ms. Ameerah McBride, categorized Texas State’s capacity as “moderate.” On January 31, 2019, Ms. McBride presented the CIE’s findings and recommendations to the President’s Cabinet. A Capacity Building Action Plan was developed and work to put it into practice began immediately. On May 29, 2019, Ms. McBride and the President’s Cabinet assessed progress, revised the Action Plan where necessary, and established timelines for completion of each action item.

Our Action Plan is presented below. This plan will not sit on a shelf collecting dust. This plan is a guiding document that will be used to drive our diversity and inclusion (D&I) work; it is fluid and will change; it will be regularly critiqued and evaluated for its effectiveness and revised as appropriate. Check back often for updates.

1This report represents a collaborative between the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity for the University of Missouri–Columbia; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the University of Missouri System; the American Council on Education Center for Policy Research and Strategy; and project co-leads/report authors Adrianna Kezar, University of Southern California, and Sharon Fries-Britt, University of Maryland.


Oversight of Action Plan

The President’s Cabinet “owns” the Capacity Building Action Plan, and the CIE (which meets monthly) provides guidance and assistance in implementing, evaluating, and revising, as necessary, the Action Plan. Cabinet members either serve on the CIE, or have at least one representative who serves on the CIE. Below, the Action Plan assigns persons responsible for coordinating action items. The responsible persons, who either serve on the CIE or have representatives on the CIE, are in charge of ensuring their assigned action items are completed in an effective and timely manner. Throughout the process, they are expected to seek guidance and assistance from the CIE.

Key to status indicators:

◯ In progress or event is being scheduled

⬤ Completed or process in place and is on-going

Goal 1: Build Trust and Respect Across Stakeholder Groups

Expand or Collapse all.

*Presidential Engagement of Students at Minority Serving Institutions, Penn Graduate School of Education and Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Goal 2: Invest in Continual Learning for Faculty, Staff, and Students

Goal 3: Develop a Strong Strategic Planning, Mission Statement, and Guiding Values for D&I Work

Additional Diversity and Inclusion Action Items: Academic Studies

  1. In Fall 2018, Texas State began offering a Latina/o Studies minor, an interdisciplinary course of study exploring the social, political, economic, historical and cultural processes that impact Latina/o communities in the United States. The minor emphasizes applied skills and knowledge, including research skills, for better participating in our diverse society.
  2. In Fall 2019, Texas State will begin offering African American Studies minor, an interdisciplinary course of study exploring the Black experience in the United States and throughout the African diaspora.
  3. Philosophy Dialogue Series and Common Experience often include topics on D&I.
  4. Houston-Louis Stokes STEM Pathways and Research Alliance (H-LSAMP) Scholars Program, a National Science Foundation supported program in the College of Science and Engineering, designed to substantially increase the number of students graduating with baccalaureate degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, particularly students from diverse backgrounds.
  5. Texas State has been designated as an American Physical Society Bridge Partnership Institution, which effectively means that the Texas State Physics Department has demonstrated a commitment to diversity in physics and provides a supportive environment to under-represented, minority students through admission practices, mentoring activities and progress monitoring.
  6. The Physics Learning Assistant (LA) program supports LAs, faculty, and students by transforming courses so that they are more closely aligned with research-based strategies. Results from a recent research project on women of color and LGBQ+ women in physics at Texas State suggests that LA program participation has been a key factor retaining these women in the physics major and supporting their development of positive physics identities. 
  7. Within the College of Science and Engineering, there are over 30 student societies that allow students to meet and learn with students outside of the classrooms. We maintain contact information for all student societies on the College website. Of note are the following organizations: Society of Women Engineers, Society of Women in Physics, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Students in Science (SACNAS), National Society of Black Engineers, and MAES - Latinos in Science and Engineering.
  8. We support the WiSE initiative, which includes monthly professional development activities for women in science and engineering as well as a day-long conference which was attended by over 300 students with ages ranging from high school through graduate school.

Additional Diversity and Inclusion Action Items: Academic Success of Underrepresented and Marginalized Students

  • 1. During Academic Year 2019-2020, the First-Gen Proud working group was formed and completed the following:

    a. Launched First-Generation Proud brand.

    b. Offered professional development to faculty and staff on how to effectively serve first-generation students.

    c. Connected first-generation students to campus resources and provided them with assistance as they navigate Texas State.

    d. Hosted events that welcome, celebrate, and support first-generation students.

    e. Provided resources and present at New Student Orientation.

    f. Established a First-Generation Student Proud Organization.

    2. During Academic Year 2019-2020, the First-Gen Proud working group will:

    a. Pilot three first-generation University seminar sections in fall 2019.

    b. Establish director of faculty and staff who identity as a first-generation graduate.

    c. Develop plan for an endowed first-generation scholarship with University Advancement.

    d. Promote mentoring opportunities for first-generation students.

    e. Support the First-Generation Proud Student Organization.

    f. Increase training/development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.

    g. Evaluate and assess current initiatives.

    3. President’s Cabinet will explore further the development of a website that compiles all first-generation student programs across the University

    1. “Once a first-gen, always a first-gen” Initiative to help first generation students apply for and succeed in graduate school: Brochure, website in press, and event (Panel discussion and networking session).
  • Raise visibility of HSI programs/services on campus

    1. Launch HSI website that compiles all HSI programs across the University
      1. Five Celebrate HSI Banners
      2. Handout “We are HSI" t-shirts
      3. Promote programs through diversity and inclusion website

    2. Offer grant-funded programs including:

    a. The Career and Financial Education (CAFÉ) program

    b. The HSI Stem Impact program

    *STEM Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) identified as a Program to Watch by Excelencia in Education, a national organization focusing on the success of Hispanic students and the Hispanic serving institutions that promote their achievement.

    c. Project Maestros

    d. PACE Mentoring and Academic Coaching

    e. TRiO programs

    • Educational Talent Search
    • Rural Talent Search
    • Upward Bound
    • Student Support Services
    1. Host HSI Week, September 16-20, culminate in HSI forum on Friday.
    2. College of Applied Arts Learning Community Grants ($1,000 to $5000 each) to “support learning communities for the purpose of increasing student retention and graduation rates.” College of Science and Engineering participates in a Cross-Disciplinary Research-Based Education Program for Hispanic Students at the Food-Water-Energy Intersection.
    3. Gear up to celebrate Texas State University’s 10th Anniversary of being designated as an Hispanic Serving Institute.
    4. Differentiate between MSI and HSI (perhaps a good topic on philosophy dialogue series, perhaps Laura Cortex could discuss during the HIS Forum on Sept. 20; Laura: Truth about being HSI as part of the Common Experience – student and faculty series).
    5. Explore Hispanic Alumni Association? HPN? El Centro? (Rosina is the current President

     

    International Students

    1. International Academic Success Workshop (co-organized by The Graduate College and International Affairs)