Racial Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan

Updated 10.6.2021

Recruitment & Retention Practices

  • Guidelines for inclusive staff recruitment, interview, and hiring process, and an expansion of our diverse hiring practices and collaboration with Human Resources and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on best practices have been developed and will be implemented in all job searches.
  • We will develop and implement an inclusive student worker recruitment, interview, and hiring process, expanding our diverse hiring practices and collaborating with Human Resources and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on best practices. This initiative will be implemented in Spring 2022.
  • Language of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice to all has been added to all job responsibilities and evaluations in collaboration with Human Resources.

Training and Development

  • Five in-service anti-racism trainings for all professional staff and student workers were conducted during the academic year 2020-21. We are currently planning the trainings for 2021-22 year. 
  • All student affairs staff have been trained in bias incident reporting. Annual training will be held for all new staff. 

Policies & Practices

  • We will recruit and train staff as restorative justice mediators to respond to bias incidents. Update: This training is in progress. 
  • All departments and programs are required to conduct regular internal audits of existing policies, programs, services, and practices through an equity lens. These audits are on-going work. These have been completed for the academic year 2020-21 and will be conducted again in the future. 
  • We will create a Division Planning Committee that advises the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students in the development of the Division’s long-range plans, policies, guidelines, and other matters of staff concerns. Update: Student Affairs staff were selected to serve on the Racial Justice Advisory Board. 
  • A review of the charge and objectives of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to ensure the Committee is structured to advance the Division’s goals and outcomes has been completed.
  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has revised he Division’s Diversity Statement.
  • Departmental liaisons to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee have been identified.

Community & Sense of Belonging

  • We will identify key performance indicators for student success and publish annual outcomes on a publicly accessible dashboard.
    Update: In progress
  • We will require departments to disaggregate data by race/ethnicity, gender identity and other relevant demographic variables to help identity disparities in participation, satisfaction, and outcomes for essential programs and services. Update: In progress
  • An annual staff climate and engagement survey has been completed. 

Student Engagement & Support

  • The University Counseling Center will increase its clinical capacity to align with the percentage of Black students on campus by hiring additional clinicians who identify as Black/African American. In addition, due to the significant lack of Black and clinicians of color in the mental health field, a Post-Master’s Fellowship program will be developed and implemented for up to four Black and clinicians of color by Fall 2024. Update: In progress
  • The Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development staff will work with Black Senate leadership and facilities staff to explore additional spaces on campus that will allow Black Students access to a larger space that is more open for social gatherings and a place in safety during moments of unrest in our community.
    Update: In progress
  • The NPHC Plot Project has been completed.  Student Affairs committed approximately $50,000 to the project.

Programs & Services

  • A Board of Presidents representing each of our Black Student Organizations has been created. This group will work collectively with Student Affairs and the University community to provide recommendations for on-going programming for Black Students.
  • We will work with the Black Action Society to support signature Black Experience Events. This is an on-going initiative. 
  • The University Counseling Center has maintained the mental health workshops and group counseling sessions created for Black students and will increase promotion of these programs and services through all available means.
  • University Counseling Center services are free for all enrolled students who have paid the Wellness Fee. Students who are not enrolled as a student are not eligible for counseling or medical services due to accreditation restrictions. Students not enrolled for the Summer Terms who were enrolled the term prior and forthcoming fall term are eligible for University Counseling Center services.

Communications & Transparency

  • In addition to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students meeting with the Black Action Society President biweekly, the Dean of Students will coordinate quarterly update meetings with the Black Senate leaders and other senior leadership.  This is an on-going initiative. 
  • The Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students in partnership with University Leadership and the Campus Communication team has developed a set of guidelines for when the University addresses the campus following an act of racial injustice in the country. We recommend that any correspondence released on behalf of the University will outline our action plan on how we plan to support the affected community.
  • Student Affairs responds publicly to major crises that are likely to cause distress in the student body, and we name victims (when appropriate), specifically call out racism and other forms of injustice or hate and share resources for support.
  • Student Affairs will continue to use its voice to reaffirm its core values and support for community members whose identities have been targeted by racially motivated injustices.
  • Student Affairs agrees to continue to reach out and provide support services to students likely to experience distress resulting from racially or identity motivated violence. The Crisis Management Team will be deployed as needed or requested.

Pitt Police

  • Student organizations will not be assessed any security fees and will be allowed to request security guards in lieu of Pitt Police officers in these two scenarios:
    • The event is only open to the University community (i.e. it is not open to the public-at-large to include individuals not affiliated with the University); and
    • The hosting organization and/or speaker/performer do not have any specific security requests.
  • checklist of expectations for security guards and Pitt Police officers who are paid to support student organization events has been developed.
  • Student Affairs will develop and implement a customer event security satisfaction survey to be completed at the conclusion of each event by the event sponsor(s).Student Affairs and the Office of Public Safety will co-host at least one Pitt Police Town Hall each semester for Black student representatives. Update: In progress
  • Student Affairs and the Office of Public Safety will co-host at least two informal events per semester to build relationships between students and Pitt Police officers. This is an on-going initiative.