The Newcomb Tulane College Faculty voted to pass two new curriculum changes that will ensure that all undergraduate students have the opportunity to intellectually engage with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Starting in the Fall of 2018, all undergraduates will be required to take at least one course on race in the United States and one course that focuses on a global-international context from a perspective outside of the United States.
One course that focuses on race and inclusion in the United States, to be completed by end of the sophomore year. Courses that fulfill this requirement--which will be determined by Newcomb-Tulane Curriculum Committee and Newcomb-Tulane Faculty--will focus at least 60% of their content on race and inclusion in the United States. These courses may also be used to satisfy other general education curriculum requirements.
One course that focuses on a global-international context from a perspective outside of the United States, to be completed by end of the sophomore year. Courses that fulfill this requirement, which will be determined by Newcomb Tulane Curriculum Committee and Newcomb Tulane Faculty, will focus at least 60% of their content on an area beyond the United States and may also be used to satisfy other general education curriculum requirements.
Our percentage of students of color increased from 17.55% to 22% in the last three years. We continue to work for greater progress.
Tulane’s new Vice President for Enrollment Management, Satyajit Dattagupta has made it a top priority to diversify the class, and in his first few months on the job, has already implemented the strategy described here. He will work with the graduate and professional schools to coordinate efforts across the campus.
The Admissions office has hired four new recruiters who are people of color. These staff members include a regional director in the Midwest, an admissions counselor for Mississippi and Florida who assists with K-12 group visits to campus, and a recruiter for northern Louisiana and parts of Texas who will also serve as the new diversity coordinator for the office.
Regional Support: Admissions is developing a network of regional partners by reaching out to over sixty different community organizations working in the greater New Orleans area. Admissions staff will meet with these organizations to learn how their office can support the postsecondary aspirations of their young people. This will culminate in a Focus on NOLA event, a collective conversation on how best to support our local community from within both admissions and financial aid will take place. The admissions staff anticipates hosting more tours on-campus for regional youth, hosting workshops both on financial aid and the college application process, and exploring new efforts to foster these collaborations.
Admissions will host an extended Campus Preview Day for regional students with bus service to and from campus. Groups from across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are anticipated. While on campus, students will be exposed to the breadth of what Tulane has to offer, learn about the financial aid process, and receive support to complete their application for admission.
Counselors will include regional community based organizations and school-based programs, such as AVID and Upward Bound, in their fall recruitment strategy. In the Chicago area we are developing a deeper partnership with the Chicago Scholars program, especially because a former Tulane staff member is now their manager. Some counselors, including those working in the New York region, will be hosting workshops on college access during their fall travel. Admissions hopes to extend these types of programs through the spring as an annual component to our traditional recruitment regimen.
Admissions continues to partner with Raise.Me which targets organizations, counselors, and students to promote postsecondary access amongst first-generation, low income students. Students earn micro scholarships by engaging in college-going behavior.
During the spring semester Admissions will continue to work with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to host a fall and spring fly-in program for admitted underrepresented students. While here, students will be interviewing for additional scholarship support, as well as learning more about the Tulane community.
Admissions continues to be a College Track and POSSE partner. The former is a scholarship program focusing on students from the greater New Orleans area. The latter is a program that brings in students from Los Angeles and New Orleans. We are also a member of Say Yes to Education, which provides full tuition scholarships after Pell grants and other aid.
Tulane is working hard to improve the campus climate for our students of color and to provide them the support that they need.
The University has launched a Center for Academic Equity, housed in the Newcomb Tulane College, to provide academic support to students of color and first-generation college students. This proposal came from the work of the Undergraduate Experience Taskforce.
Tulane has increased the emergency funds already available to students who have financial emergencies that threaten their ability to stay at Tulane. Applications for those funds can be submitted to the Dean’s office of Newcomb Tulane College or to Financial Aid by contacting assigned financial aid counselors. The University will work within the federal regulations and institutional guidelines to provide additional financial assistance as warranted.
Tulane has provided an additional staff member for the Office of Multicultural Affairs (“the O”) to help support its crucial work. The University has also provided significantly more funding for the O's important programming and mentoring work.
Some students have expressed concern about the O’s location in the basement of the LBC. Tulane will continue to look for an appropriate and bigger space, but at the moment, it will be difficult to find a more prime location than the O’s location in the LBC, next to the rest of Student Affairs and the offices for student government and student activities. We also know, however, that students need more comfortable spaces to gather.
The O’s space has been expanded by one office. The University has opened the Rathskeller during Wednesdays at the O and other times when students need more space.
The University doubled the funds available for Community Engagement Advocates. The advocates create trainings and workshops that will educate students, faculty and staff in the areas of social justice and diversity. Currently, the University has over 25 student advocates who lead peer to peer operations. The University also provided funding for an additional faculty stipend to enhance student training.
Pilot sections of the Tides courses will provide a section (or “anchor”) on the subject of diversity.
Reading project – all first-year students read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates as the 2017-18 reading project selection. The book is a letter to the author’s teenaged son about being black in the United States. The Tulane Reading Project creates shared intellectual experience for the entering first-year class through the reading and discussion of the selected book. Find out more about the Reading Project here: https://success.tulane.edu/reading
The University is working to create a diversity training program to help our students better engage with the community in which they serve in their public service requirement. Teaching students cross-cultural understanding is crucial in a global economy and an essential part of our educational mission.
Dr. Michael Cunningham, Professor of Psychology, has begun focus groups of students of color to learn more about their experiences and needs. This qualitative work will assist in developing a later quantitative survey.
Responding to specific incidents and concerns. The University has added a specific category to the on-line student concern system to better track bias incidents. Those reports can be made at Tulane.edu/concerns.
Those reports, whether anonymous or not, will now go to a wide array of university officials to receive immediate follow up. That follow up will range from referrals to TUPD or Student Conduct when appropriate. Some incidents, however, involve unknown perpetrators, but still require an immediate community response to address the damage done. Other incidents will not rise to the level of violations of student handbook, but still require a thoughtful and appropriate response. The Office of Institutional Equity will create a semi-annual report of bias incidents to let the community know about the problems we grapple with on campus.
Finally, while the focus of some of these reforms has begun with projects primarily affecting undergraduates, the Commission will work on ways to broaden these efforts to graduate and professional students.
Tulane remains competitive with our peers in faculty diversity, but seeks to do far better. The President will work with the new Provost to make the recruitment and retention of faculty of color a high priority.
The Provost has worked closely with the deans to find ways to better train faculty search committees to broaden their pools, to counter implicit bias and to creatively recruit faculty of color. The Office of Institutional Equity has created training videos and guidelines to assist in those efforts.
The President has made additional funds available to help recruit diverse faculty, and he will continue to fundraise for the significant levels necessary to compete with our wealthier peer institutions.
The President led two half-day retreats with faculty of color from across the University, to listen to their concerns and to enlist their help to improving recruitment and retention efforts. The new provost will work on improving mentorship to support the promotion and retention of faculty of color, often burdened with the extra work they shoulder mentoring students of color and diversifying university committees.
The Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT) is bringing in a national trainer to work with faculty on improving the classroom climate and doing battle with implicit bias. CELT will make programming available in different formats all year.
Tulane has “banned the box” and no longer requires the disclosure of felony convictions on staff and administrative employment applications.
Student leaders raised concerns about allowing contract employees, such as Sodexo workers, to ride the Tulane shuttles. As of February 2017, contract employees are allowed to utilize Tulane’s shuttles services through the Tulane Shuttle Affiliate Ridership Program.
Tulane will continue having student representation on search committees for high-level searches involving academic or student life.
The University is working with its Procurement and Materials Management departments to review its outreach and supplier diversity efforts.
The sub-committee is reviewing the Office of Human Resources’ exit survey for departing employees. The committee is working to include inquiries that will capture responses regarding climate, inclusion, diversity and equity.
The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) conducts reviews of several staff and administrative positions to ensure a diversified search and selection process has occurred. OIE also conducts training sessions across campus and online to train hiring managers on hiring qualified and diverse employees.
Tulane has in place a set of protocols for its contractors and how those companies treat their employees.