Initiatives: Making Change at IUP

  • Training

    IUP is actively engaged in training and education for employees and students. Our goals are:

    • Providing tools to grow the capacity of White faculty and student-facing staff to serve Black and Brown students effectively.

    • Challenging White students to engage in learning about and growing their understanding of anti-racism and allyship.

    Training and educational tools include online and in-person training by outside presenters, Social Equity and Title IX Office staff, and Division of Student Affairs staff, as well as programming by faculty, students, alumni, and others.

    Mandatory online training for faculty and staff is currently underway.

    Education

    IUP engages its learning community with programming on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Much of this programming can be found on the IUP Diversity Calendar. To help faculty members more easily build programming directly into their curricula, the Social Equity and Title IX Office publishes a weekly email digest of this programming.

    Programming for the 2020–21 academic year has included:

    Nurturing and Retaining Students

    An Inclusive Recruitment and Retention Team has been formed and is working on several proposals.

    IUP Athletics is working with alumni and current student athletes of color to support their academics and co-curricular experience.

    IUP has begun the curriculum review process to assess and recommend revisions to the curriculum from diversity, equity, and inclusion perspectives.

    The IUP Counseling Center currently has one master’s level African American counselor and is in the process of hiring a multicultural specialist. Last academic year, about 30% of the students served identified as ethnic minorities. To serve those students better, the Counseling Center is expanding their diversity training. They have hired a consultant to help examine how we as a predominantly White institution can make the Counseling Center a safe place for Black and Brown students.

    Incident Reporting

    IUP has implemented a protocol to address incidents of bias that includes investigation, discipline, organized counter-speech, restorative justice, mentorship, and support by faculty and staff of color for Black and Brown student victims, and on-going communication to the IUP community as we work together through bias/hate incidents and their aftermath. Reports can be made through the Incident of Concern Reporting option found at the bottom of every IUP web page.

    Student Voices and Participation

    IUP has active student groups and offices and commissions that train, promote, and educate on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and social justice.

    Some of these include a vibrant Difficult Dialogues Project, the Racial Justice Coalition for Change, an NAACP Student Chapter, the Black Student League, UBORA Men of IUP, the Latino Student Organization, and Students against Racism. These groups benefit students both by supporting the curricular and co-curricular needs of students of color, and by directly engaging White students, faculty, and staff. These groups are open to all IUP students.

    Student Affairs launched the Building Bridges and Breaking the Barrier program series, which open the door for Black and Brown populations to discuss and voice their concerns to the university, have meaningful dialogue about solutions, and explore issues they face.

    The IUP Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement launched the Building Bridges program series to open the door for Black and Brown populations to discuss and voice their experiences and concerns to the university and receive support from staff. The Breaking the Barrier program series brings together members of the IUP community to engage in meaningful dialogue about issues of diversity, education, and inclusion and increase cross-cultural understanding.

    The Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement also sponsors a weekly program called “The Meet Up” every Friday night between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. to provide social support for Black and Brown students. The event, which is open to all students, includes music and games, and provides a connection between new students and student leaders.

    Diversity Commissions and Councils

    IUP diversity commissions and councils have engaged in a variety of programing and initiatives. A few examples:

    University Advancement has worked with Black alumni to form the Black Experience Advisory Committee.

    Additional Efforts

    The president accompanied students on two walking audits to evaluate campus space in order to develop a more inclusive, friendly atmosphere so that all students feel at home at IUP. Students will present those recommendations to the president and his cabinet to make changes consistent with this information.

    IUP has created the Diversity Fund to provide financial support for programming, education, and scholarships. This fund was seeded with a six-figure gift to support the work IUP engages in to combat racism; grow an inclusive, equitable and diverse culture; and provide educational scholarships and opportunities to students of color and from other marginalized groups.

    University leadership includes a diversity, equity, and inclusion discussion at every cabinet spanmeeting. These discussions are wide-ranging and challenge leadership to be ever mindful of the challenges that students and employees from marginalized populations face, and to build thoughtful solutions to those challenges into strategic planning.