"My charge to the presidential Task Force on Campus Climate is to identify issues of race, inclusion and civility on our campuses and to make recommendations for action. I would like the task force to review existing initiatives and to identify any gaps that need to be addressed. The task force should also make recommendations to improve the process by which ongoing efforts are coordinated, monitored, assessed, and communicated to our community. Because the issues the task force must address touch every corner of the university, extensive engagement with our community is essential. I therefore expect the task force to reach out to and involve the entire UNH community in its work. I would ask that a final report be made by January 19, 2018." (President Huddleston's Charge to the Presidential Task Force, August 2017). Read the press release
A preliminary report was released by the task force - the purpose of this report is threefold: 1) to provide a vantage from which to view institutional progress with regard to diversity efforts, 2) to articulate and make visible the challenges and obstacles that may impede further progress and 3) to make recommendations to inform action that addresses challenges and obstacles and that will support and ensure ongoing progress of diversity efforts. The below themes have been identified as relevant to advancing diversity at UNH:
- Connectivity: the need for coordination and linkages between programs and departments.
- The need for structural development and support of pipelines and pathways (internal and external) for both recruitment and retention of faculty, students and staff from underrepresented communities.
- The need for acknowledging and addressing issues of climate.
- The need for ensuring civility.
- Communication: developing clear channels and processes that will simultaneously make UNH's diversity efforts visible to the entire UNH community as well as to the external community and positively impact issues of connectivity. Read the Full Preliminary Report
Work continues Across the University (including Human Resources, Athletics, Student Life, Academic Affairs and other departments/offices) to build a stronger community and to encourage constructive dialogue around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. A few iniatives underway include:
- UNH is working with other colleges and universities in northern New England to submit an NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation grant proposal to advance underrepresented minorities in the STEM disciplines.
- English 401, which virtually every first-year student takes, is being enhanced to integrate inclusion and diversity.
- Eight faculty are working as an independent group, in synergy with the President’s Task Force on Campus Climate, as a liaison/advocate to students and faculty and a bridge to senior administrative leadership.
- Use Wildcat Way social media to open communications to all student-athletes.
- Provide coaches and staff with training to help improve their understanding of issues facing diverse populations.
- New hire orientation includes online harassment prevention training that all new hires must complete and includes at least one speaker who invites dialogue about diversity in the context of community responsibility.
- The deans from all schools and colleges, Cooperative Extension and the library are working with their faculty to develop concrete recommendations for articulating their unit’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.