UK - Diversity Plan 2011-2015

University of Kentucky 2011-2015 Diversity Plan

Download the PDF copy of the 2011-2015 Diversity Plan.

Campus Climate

The University of Kentucky values the contribution of all students, faculty, and staff as members of the educational community. Provision of an inclusive and welcoming environment is the responsibility of everyone.

The University demonstrates its compelling interest in diversity every day by the policies, practices, and initiatives that guide this public, land grant institutional mission. In 2005 the University closely examined and incorporated diversity into student enrollment decisions. In 2008 the Office of the Vice President for Institutional Diversity was established. Student and employee survey instruments are administered as ongoing measures of the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion.

Much work remains. The University must reach the point where the educational benefit of diversity is understood and appreciated, and affirmative policies and strategies that promote diversity and inclusion are not essential to assure progress.

Campus Environment Team

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators are appointed by the Office of the President to serve as members of the University of Kentucky Equal Opportunity Panel (EOP) each academic year. Faculty, staff, and administrators have three year appointments; students are appointed for one year. In accordance with UK Administrative Regulation AR 3:12, the EOP responsibilities follow:

  1. Monitor plans and programs that ensure equal opportunity throughout the University;
  2. Facilitate the development and implementation of diversity perspective in all University affairs; and
  3. Design processes that can assist University officials in exercising their responsibility to assure equal opportunity and a supportive campus environment.

The Equal Opportunity Panel also serves as the University's Campus Environment Team (CET), monitoring implementation of programs, services, and activities that make UK a more inclusive living, learning, and working environment. The CET is charged with assessing provision of equal opportunities throughout the University and fostering an environment of inclusiveness. The CET was established to support the Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities in Postsecondary Education. The remedial Kentucky Plan has been replaced with a new statewide Council on Postsecondary Education diversity policy.

Members of the EOP developed a list of recommendations to focus on during the 2010-2011 academic year. The list of recommendations is responsive to the annual UK Affirmative Action Plan, 2009-2014 UK Strategic Plan, and Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy and Framework for Institutional Diversity Plan Development. University officials are invited to provide information and receive feedback relative to the EOP charge. Following is the list of recommendations that guides the EOP's work:

  1. Promote achievement of employment goals for women and minorities in all position categories. Members of the Equal Opportunity Panel consulted the UK Human Resources Employment Manager. The Employment Office implemented a Hiring Enhancement Program to train UK hiring officials on how to hire the best qualified applicant. To date 329 hiring officials have participated in the program. Pre-paid advertising is also offered to colleges and departments across campus to facilitate access to diverse applicant pools. The 2010 University of Kentucky employment analysis indicates underutilization of women and minorities in job groups such as Executive/Administrative/Managerial, but there is continuous progress in attaining AAP employment goals in every position category. The Equal Opportunity Panel will continue working with Human Resources Employment and monitoring this recommendation.

  2. Examine the University's equal opportunity outreach and engagement initiatives to community and disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) organizations. The Equal Opportunity Panel worked with the Vice President for Facilities Management and the Supply Chain Coordinator to review this recommendation. Facilities Management established goals for disadvantaged business enterprises including:

    • Develop and maintain a database of designated DBE vendors for use by construction managers, general contractors, and other purchasing entities.
    • Create a management system for continuous evaluation of performance for inclusion of DBE contractors and vendors.
    • Increase the total amount of contracted goods and services acquired from DBE contractors and vendors.
    • Serve as a liaison for DBE contractors and vendors desiring to conduct business with Facilities Management in conjunction with the Purchasing Division.

    TKT and Associates, Inc. was selected and is currently performing general consulting in the supplier diversity area and refining UK's supplier diversity process and program. DBE contractor participation has increased to 6.5 percent total with individual projects up to 26.1 percent. The Equal Opportunity Panel will request progress updates from Facilities Management.

  3. Support educational access to the University of Kentucky for low income students and students with disabilities. UK Enrollment Management officials and the Disability Resource Center Director worked with Equal Opportunity Panel members. Enrollment Management seeks ways to provide better information to low income students regarding access to University programs. Enrollment Management staff conducted events for students and guidance counselors in 17 cities on finance to explain assistance available for attending the University of Kentucky. Enrollment Management staff also worked with churches and other community organizations to provide student financial advice. Financial assistance for low income students is becoming more difficult as the gap between financial aid available and student fees increases. UK has recently experienced a 20 percent increase in receipt of financial aid applications. A student financial ombud arranges payment plans for students every academic year that are unable to pay their fees

    Over 1,000 students registered with the Disability Resource Center in 2010. Architectural barriers remain on campus that inhibit facility access for disabled students. Technology has increased program access, including closed captioning, distance learning, and streaming video and additional technological advances. The Equal Opportunity Panel must continue to monitor these areas and provide advisement to University officials on financial access, removal of physical barriers, and other obstacles that challenge inclusion.

  4. Assess progress in achievement of equal opportunity goals for units reported in annual strategic plan updates. Equal Opportunity Panel members consulted the UK Director of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness for guidance in UK Strategic Plan information. Each campus unit is responsible for updating their strategic plan annually. Diversity is multifaceted and unit/program specific. Institutional information will be closely examined and reported when the updating process is complete. Also, academic and administrative units undergo a program review every 5-7 years. The Equal Opportunity Panel will work with Planning and Institutional Effectiveness officials to review campus diversity information.

  5. Review institutional culture and campus climate issues associated with Greek Life. The Equal Opportunity Panel consulted Fraternity and Sorority Affairs officials, Interfraternity Council President, Panhellenic Council President, National Pan-Hellenic Council President, and InterGreek Programming Assembly President. The organizations and chapters are very distinctive but in many ways share common goals. There are programs in place for Greek chapters to work together on community service and social events. Every student has an opportunity to pursue membership in Greek-affiliated organizations, but financial obligations may prevent some students from participating.
    The Equal Opportunity Panel's goal is to review the accessibility of the UK Greek community and work to inform Student Affairs officials of ongoing concerns.

In addition to other endeavors, the EOP seeks to foster learning in a climate of equality, civility, and mutual respect for the rights and responsibilities of all members of the campus community. Academic excellence and University vitality require a community in which persons who are different in race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, and other characteristics participate individually and collectively in the life of the University of Kentucky.

Appendix 3: University of Kentucky Administrative Regulation AR 3:12 Equal Opportunity Panel