Stockton University Response to Racial Justice Concerns
In our on going commitment to diversity and inclusion – we stand firm in promoting the antiracism and social justice cause, to help eradicate systemic racism, which has plagued our world for far too long.
Stockton recognizes that we, too, play a role in dismantling practices that foster the achievement gap that historically has been experienced by students of color. Therefore, we are intertwining the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all practices within our institution. Stockton has already implemented a number of racial and social justice initiatives, many of which are highlighted below. Again, I invite you to not only explore what Stockton is doing but commit to finding your voice in the effort to stamp out racial injustice.
The Board of Trustees adopted a Resolution at its July 2020 meeting that included the following expectations:
- The Board of Trustees is committed to the continuing development, financing and implementation of initiatives to support diversity and inclusion throughout our community, including training for the Board, faculty, staff and students.
- The Board of Trustees expects that under the leadership of the Provost, the academic deans and faculty will review and revise the curriculum, both within academic programs and general education, to require coursework on these issues.
- The Board of Trustees expects that under the leadership of the Provost, all academic deans and programs prioritize and foster an inclusive classroom by incorporating practices that encourage the participation of a diverse student body, and cultivate an awareness of differing backgrounds, focuses, and needs among the student body and broader community.
- The Board of Trustees expects that under the leadership of the Provost and consistent with collective bargaining agreements charges, academic deans and programs will incorporate contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion in reappointment, tenure and promotion practices, in compliance with institutional standards.
- The Board of Trustees believes that Black lives matter and is committed to fostering a campus community free of racism, where every person regardless of race has the social, economic and political power to thrive.
- The Board of Trustees respects the right to freedom of speech and expression, but strongly condemns as unacceptable the display of flags or symbols that incite or promote hatred against any identifiable group.
- The Board of Trustees requests that the University President consider establishing a committee to determine whether a location-based name of the University, consistent with our founders’ original intentions should be pursued.
Office of the President
- Restructured the focus of the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity (OIDE) into two offices to respond to increased level of EEO complaints while allowing greater focus on Diversity and Inclusion.
- Summarized EEO complaints data to determine patterns and developed detailed EEO reports of key applicant data for managers and search committees to ensure hiring processes are transparent and equitable.
Improved University Policies and Procedures and offered professional development to support diversity and equity training.
- Modified Campus Conduct Code (Policy I-55) to address concerns about potential for racial profiling.
- Revised University Procedure 6101 and search advocate documentation and training to explicitly designate search advocates as full members of all search committees.
- Funded training for 12 new search advocates trained to identify and mitigate unintended bias in the search process in the summer of 2020; scheduled a comparable summer institute for up to 12 candidates for 2021.
- Completed implicit bias training for all Cabinet members; completed respectful workplace training (including sessions on microaggressions, bullying, harassment, implicit bias, and diversity and inclusion) campus wide.
- Purchased the JobTarget “diversity package” to ensure positions are posted to 60+ diversity job sites that specifically target ethnic minority groups, veterans, women, individuals with disabilities, the LGBTQ community as well as older workers.
- Revised to preliminary interview process, shifting from an in-person to virtual format, to remove economic barriers for potential candidates and improve inclusivity, and updated campus-based protocols for finalist interviews.
- Joined the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a first step toward becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution (at least 25% Hispanic).
- Completed the work of the Email Communication Task Force and implemented recommendations to promote a constructive, distraction-free work environment.
- Expanded the membership of the University’s Retention Working Group and established eight sub-teams to research recommendations to address how all areas of campus can support reducing equity gaps and bolster student success outcomes.
- Initiated a longitudinal study comparing Stockton student survey results with those of two national survey instruments, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) to better understand students’ viewpoints and perspectives and determine the academic and non-academic support structures that will assist them in earning their Stockton degree.
- Launched the Presidential Task Force on Stockton University Campus Safety to examine community-police relationships at Stockton, identify best practices, examine current safety priorities, programs, and initiatives, and recommend improvements, and review campus hiring and retention standards with a focus on improving diversity and inclusion across the department.
- Created curriculum maps to document existing courses on race and racial justice.
- Developed new courses to further expand campus offerings.
- Instituted a “fast track” process for G-course proposals addressing these issues.
- Evaluated program admission requirements to recruit more diverse and inclusive cohorts.
- ARHU and the Historical Studies Program will host Dr. Martha Jones, Johns Hopkins University, as this year’s Distinguished History Lecture, “How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All”
- CTLD worked with its Diversity Fellow to develop practices for address antiracism, racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in course development, design, faculty development, and assessment.
- The Small Business Development Center presented a three-part marketing series geared specifically toward minority business owners.
- The Noyes Museum of Art hosted the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Diversity seminar series focusing on inclusion and the interpretation of diverse perspectives, as well as the Dodge Foundation funded series on anti-racism and anti-oppression.
- The Office of Global Engagement hosted a seminar series on social justice, ranging from the global impact of COVID-19, cultural difference, Islamophobia, and protests around the globe.
- Murphy Writing offered a two-day seminar on The Poetry of #BlackLivesMatter, focused its fall Visiting Writers Seriesevent on Reginald Dwayne Betts, a prominent Black poet, essayist, and lawyer, and consciously recruited a more diverse guest teaching faculty for its Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway.
- GENS and the MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies is planning an international workshop to mark 70 years of the Refugee Studies Initiative.
- September 17, 2020-January 8, 2021: Ada Trillo, “If Walls Could Speak,” Kramer Hall and online: documents the harsh realities of Mexican migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. as documented in Casa del Migrante, a Catholic-run shelter.
- February 5-October 31, 2020: Lennox Warner, “Solo Exhibition,” Noyes Arts Garage: highlights the work of West Indian migrant Lennox Warner, a leading member of the Atlantic City fine arts community.
- The Noyes Museum received an AC Community Fund grant to create a travelling exhibition highlighting the history and culture of Ducktown while also celebrating the growth in community diversity in partnership with the Ducktown Community Development Corp.
- The Stockton Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning received its third TD Bank grant to support homework completion programs in Atlantic City and Pleasantville, NJ.
- ARHU received two Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation grants to support grantee partners vulnerable to economic instability and serve communities of color.
- EDUC received a Dollar General Foundation grant to strengthen literacy at Pleasantville Elementary School.
- SOBL collaborated on a Garden State Equality Grant which surveys educators, students and community members to examine the application, experiences, and outcomes of the state’s LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum.
- The Office of Continuing Studies received funding from Atlantic and Salem Counties to provide work preparation programs for low-income individuals ages 18-24 residing in those counties. Atlantic County also issued funding for work preparation, job development, placement and retention programs for residents receiving public assistance.
- The Center for Community Engagement & Service-Learning received grant funding from TD Bank to support the homework completion program in Atlantic City and Pleasantville. This is a collaboration between the SCCESL, the Atlantic City Police Department (ACPD), and the Atlantic City Housing Authority and Urban Redevelopment Agency and has a primary goal to engage children in their schoolwork and offer children a vision into the potential of a future college education. The program is also meant to foster trust in local police officers.
- Enrollment Services received a grant by the NJ Office of Higher Education to support college readiness programs to the Atlantic City and Pleasantville High School students.
- Prioritized library purchases by authors of color.
- Archived summer 2020 Black Lives Matters statements by campus constituencies.
- Updated Historical Studies and American Studies resource guides to highlight primary source collections relating to BIPOC history and linked to Africana Studies guide.
- Partnered with Facilities and Operations to identify potential campus locations.
- Formed a pan-institutional working group to identify future center priorities and goals that enhance BIPOC student support initiatives, as well as multicultural and social justice education and advocacy.
- Completed the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) in fall 2020; participating institutions receive their data files, along with a customized report that includes results and practical recommendations (see: https://stockton.edu/student-affairs/student-surveys.html for updates as they become available).
- The Office of Student Development is sponsoring a Leadership Lunch series every Thursday at 12pm from February 18 – April 8, 2021 on including diversity and inclusion, adapting to change, ethics, advocacy, communication skills, and more. The fall 2020 Leadership Series was held from October 29 – December 3, 2020. Details available at stockton.edu/ospreyhub
- Student Development continued support and advisement for the creation of cultural and theme month programing, including open, more inclusive, consistent funding process, inclusion of educational outcomes and outreach to create new programs and partnerships.
- Student Transition Programs strengthened our strategies, resources, and impact by partnering with campus stakeholders to facilitated culturally based programs to increase sense of belonging, engagement, development, academic achievement, and post-graduate success among students of color.
- The Community Conversations & Collective Action series offered four sessions focused on addressing equity gaps, access to institutional fellowships, the Black Lives Matters Movement, mentorship, and student success in a time of COVID-19 and social/political unrest.
- Community Conversations on Black and Latinx Student Success Series: The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs launched a weekly series entitled, “Community Conversations: Black and Latinx Student Success” focused on informed research and best practices that support Black and Latinx student success.
- Social Justice Education for Student Leaders: The Office of Residential Life, Student Transition Programs and Student Development will lead divisional efforts to provide student leaders and student workers with social justice education-based training.
- Social Justice Education for Student Community: The Office of Residential Life will launch a social justice education module for the entire student body during the Fall 2020 semester to raise awareness about implicit bias and other issues related to racial and social justice.
- SPACES Initiatives: Will hold a mixer/social networking event hosted by SPACES during welcome week, which will include stakeholders from TogetHER and Sankofa.
- Hired a Director of Academic Achievement Programs as a part of its prioritization equitable educational access, achievement and degree attainment through the new focus on expanding access to high-impact learning experiences.
- The Office of Career Education and Development (CED) will facilitate a Blacks in STEM: a panel event for students of color to speak to professionals in STEM fields, will implement Career Coaching Circles: an alumni career coaching initiative for Black and Latinx students, and will dedicate a resource web page for minoritized students on the CED website: a section of the CED website will be comprised of targeted resources for BIPOC students to help them navigate challenges they may face in the search process and the professional work.
- Career Education and Development will collaborate with race-ethnicity-based cultural Greek organizations to provide additional coaching outside of Career Education and Development to support Black and Latinx students in preparing for graduate and professional school.
- Educational Opportunity and Success Programs (EOSP) will host a Privilege Walk, which helps scholars understand the various privileges they experience, and share and find commonalities amongst their peers and will facilitate the Identity and Diversity Program, which allows scholars to examine their identities and how these identities differ from how others may view them.
- The Office of Military and Veteran Services (OMVS) will promote the "Step Up Stockton" Program that encourages students to intervene when they witness any instances of racism or injustice in the campus community.
Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
- Established a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Educators Group on September 22, 2020 to enhance current and develop new diversity and inclusion programs for the campus community.
- Convened the Bias Prevention Education and Review Team.
- Partnered with the Provost Office Director of Strategic Initiatives to offer conversations about race with the President’s Cabinet and Provost Council.
- Co-founded the National Search Advocate Community of Practice with Oregon State University to advance the principles of search advocacy.
- Co-chaired with a faculty member the Committee on Campus Diversity and Inclusive Excellence (CCDIE). The CCDIE plans to release their inaugural newsletter in February 2021, to host a virtual pre-conference on Unity of All Religions and Spirituality with the main virtual conference in October 2021.
Office of Equal Opportunity and Institutional Compliance
- Implemented improvements to the university’s EEO/AA case processing procedures, as recommended in the Baker & Tilly internal audit report, to make the process more transparent, timely, and efficient.
- Oversaw the integration of revised NJ Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace and NJ Procedures for Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace, which include more diverse and inclusive language and detailed explanations of diversity and inclusion policies and provisions, into the Stockton University Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace and the Stockton University Procedures for Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace.
- Expanded OEOIC capacity by adding an in-house investigator.
- Contributed to the programming for the President’s Cabinet on questions about race relations.
- Developed trainings for the Title IX Practitioners Group on the intersection of race and Title IX.
- Worked with Human Resources to require that all university employees take Safe Colleges on-line training on Title IX to help maintain and provide a university environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender.
Reorganized undergraduate and graduate admissions staffing and management and renewed commitment to recruiting students of color.
- Used GEAR-UP/GOALS Program to create a summer academy as a pipeline for incoming first-year students.
- Established mentor program with Stockton alumni.
- Worked with academic programs to create information sessions aimed at diversifying students in STEM and Health Sciences.
- Developed strategies for closing the financial gap between financial aid and college cost using Stockton Grant in Aid (institutional need-based funds).
- Created instructional videos about applying for financial aid and the FAFSA process for first-generation and minority students.
Athletics and Recreation
Created an Athletics Diversity & Equity (DEI) Committee to recommend specific actions to address staff/student-athlete issues around racism and to determine education efforts and programming for the year.
- Established a Racial Justice Team of the DEI comprised of 10 student athletes and four staff members to build awareness about race and the Stockton community within Athletics, recommend strategies to promote equity and inclusion, and promote actions to address racial injustice.
- Recommendations include: a safe space for collective dialogue about race and racial bias, programs that target the dismantling of institutional racism; partnerships with student organizations at Stockton and in the surrounding community, and a social media campaign for Black History Month highlighting stories of athletes of color.
- Launched a conference-wide diversity training course for athletic administrators.
- Developing five 1½ hour modules that will be undertaken monthly by NJAC athletics leadership.
Development and Alumni Relations
- Planned in conjunction with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion this year-long conference will focus on diversity, inclusion and social justice issues and feature Stockton alumni, faculty, staff and other guests.
- An alumni planning committee has been established and three panels have been planned for the spring 2021 semester.
Reviewing and Enhancing the Foundation Scholarship Program to ensure diversity and equity among recipients.
- Several funds have been created in the last year that seek to provide scholarship support to students from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds. Through private support, the Stockton University Foundation has provided support to students from Atlantic City, such as the Engelberg Leadership Scholarship Program, the First Ospreys Scholarship Fund, the Robert Sydney Needham Memorial Scholarship, and the Carolyn Jane Scott Charitable Trust Scholarship.
- Through the First Ospreys Recognition Event, the Foundation created awareness of the needs of first-generation students at Stockton – who represent 57% of the current student body – and secured over $4500 in scholarships for first-generation students.
- Development staff are working with campus partners and members of the Scholarship Selection Committee to review the award process and ensure equitable access for all students.
- Partnered with AC Campus Operations and the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County opportunity to launch a drive to donate bookbags and supplies to children attending schools within and immediately surrounding the University District in Atlantic City.
- Additional service projects will be announced throughout the year as part of Alumni Relations’ Second Saturdays program, which hosts free and low cost family-oriented educational and community-based events on the second Saturday of each month at Stockton Atlantic City.
- Partnered with Career Education and Development and the First Ospreys Committee to develop Career Coaching Circles for students of color featuring alumni mentors, a Hispanic Heritage Month alumni career panel and a First Ospreys alumni career panel.
- Partnered with UNIDOS and the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County to raise funds for programming and initiatives that served the Latinx populations of faculty, staff and students at Stockton and the surrounding community.
- Coordinating a strategic approach to fundraising for programming and initiatives aimed at advancing diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. Called the “Visioning Series,” this has included collecting and disseminating grant opportunities that would underwrite program-specific and campus-wide initiatives and programming aimed at advancing racial and social justice and equity.
University Relations and Marketing
Coordinated branding efforts for campus constituencies to highlight diversity and equity efforts and programs.
- Developed Academic Achievement Programs brand identity.
- Designed Fannie Lou Hamer event marketing material.
- Designed MLK Day of Service event marketing material.
- Designed Choose Campaign marketing material featuring diverse student body.
- Highlighted diversity, equity & inclusion resolution; engagement & global perspectives in President’s Annual Report.