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DRAFT Diversity Plan

UMKC Diversity Strategic Action Plan


UMKC Five Dimensions of Diversity


Dimension 1.      Representation, Access & Success


Goal:  UMKC will engage in activities to recruit and retain a diverse campus community that facilitates the realization of academic achievements, growth and development of all faculty, staff, and students.


Objective 1.       Improve the number and proportion of Under-represented (UR) and diverse students


Strategies and Activities:

  1. Develop new recruitment and retention strategies, including new scholarships, community engagement and outreach to develop a pipeline of students.
  2. Improve six year graduation rates by developing and implementing a retention initiative plan.
  3. The Office of Institutional Research will assess progress and report findings to the Chancellor and to the campus


Objective 2.       Improve the number and proportion of UR and diverse faculty and staff in all areas of campus including leadership positions.


Strategies and Activities:

  1. Hire a talent coordinator whose responsibility is to assist all areas of campus in identifying qualified applicants for positions throughout campus.
  2. Develop a faculty orientation and on-boarding program targeted to diverse and all applicants that focuses on the cultivation of core values of inclusion, acceptance, and respect for the similarities and difference that contribute to the UMKC community.
  3. Establish a high quality mentoring and faculty development program for UR and diverse faculty, monitoring outcomes and effectiveness in recruitment and retention.


Objective 3.       Build support systems that allow for success of diverse groups within the Institution and its units.


Strategies and Activities:

  1. Identify existent programs and develop new programs of support and mentorship for students, faculty and staff.
  2. Identify exemplar programs at other institutions and evaluate applications to UMKC.
  3. Establish congruent leadership titles across diversity offices at UMKC.
  4. Develop mechanisms for recognition (credit) for mentorship of UR groups by faculty, staff as an institutional value counting towards relevant activities for promotion and or advancement.
  5. Identify an ombudsman for students and staff to work on policies that impact interactions in the classroom or workplace
  6. Expand resources and activities to be inclusive of a broad definition of diversity and to include people of a variety of cultures.
  7. Expand support of multicultural student activities
  8. Expand support of international student affairs office
  9. Create a virtual cultural resource center for UMKC
  10. Develop forums for ongoing discussions in novel ways that promote a culture of inclusion and respect by facilitating joint projects of such groups as:  the Women’s Center, Office of Multicultural Student Center, LGBTQIA student group, Black and Latino/a Studies and Disabilities Office.

Objective 4.       Create improved campus access for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities so that UMKC can be known as one of the most accessible campuses.


Strategies and Activities:

  1. Adopt a proactive policy regarding services to students with disabilities that goes beyond simple compliance to focus on student success.
  2. Seek to recruit, develop and promote faculty and staff with disabilities.
  3. Establish ongoing review processes that examine the experience of individuals with disabilities at UMKC and develop a prioritized plan to address the systemic issues in all aspects of the campus including: campus facilities, access to services, technology, and personnel.
  4. Adopt a proactive policy of compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and apply the accessibility standards published by the U.S. Access Board for electronic and information technology products and services that the University buys, creates, uses or maintains. This includes a commitment to making all website, Content Management Systems (CMS) media (such as Blackboard, Moodle, etc.) and software fully accessible.
  5. Require vendors who wish to do business with the University to provide information about their product’s conformance to applicable accessibility standards by using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).


Objective 5.       Collect ongoing meaningful data that is mindful of how we define and count representation among diverse groups.


Strategies and Activities:

  1. Develop acceptable ways for identification/self-identification of various groups whom campus may wish to improve services for:  (Disabilities, LGBTQIA, etc) to develop more comprehensive baseline data.


Dimension 2.  Climate and Campus Environment


Goal:  UMKC will cultivate an environment committed to civility and respect where all students, faculty and staff are empowered to pursue their personal, academic and professional goals.


Objective 1.       Create an environment of inclusion, nurturance and valuing of the diversity of UMKC


Strategies and Activities:

  1. Create forums across campus at multiple levels for transparent, open conversation about the richness of the campus culture as a core value.
  2. Provide management/leadership level training in leadership styles fostering openness, engagement, inclusion, and communication style conducive to interactions of respect
  3. Create an environment of belonging at UMKC where all are reflective of and open to other person’s perspectives
  4. Create monthly forums for facilitated discussions around topics of “difficult conversations” on diversity for leaders, faculty, students and staff.
  5. Develop an orientation program for new hires focusing on the meaning of inclusion, respect and core values for diverse learning and workplace meaning to UMKC.
  6. Provide training programs for faculty, staff, students that is experiential to insure increased awareness of microagressions, privilege and appreciation for the contributions of differences within our UMKC community.
  7. Further develop campus Reward Structures by evaluating and developing recommendations for awards, policies, and practices supporting the core value of diversity
  8. Commit to developing a program that will foster effective self-advocacy and group advocacy skills among students, staff and faculty with a focus on civil discourse and reason.

Objective 2.       Build on and maintain meaningful departmental and unit-level strategic plans for diversity outcomes, assessment, resources and accountability to support those plans.


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Each academic, administrative and support unit develops a Diversity strategic Plan involving faculty/staff/students in their area.
  2. Unit Diversity Plan outcomes are monitored on a campus level for relevant evaluative data that is reported annually.


Objective 3.       Maintain and promote visibility and activities supportive of UMKC Core Values that build community on campus.


Objective 4.       Develop and maintain an ongoing campus climate assessment protocol and tools to monitor and improve climate at the campus and unit level.


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Conduct future quality, inclusive climate study that may be phased to monitor progress going forward.


Dimension 3.      Responsive Teaching, Research, and Experiential Learning to Infuse Diversity Outcomes in Learning                


Goal:  UMKC will provide a diverse learning and life experience to create culturally competent individuals.


Objective 1.       Infuse content related to cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion as a requirement for teaching effectiveness across curricula in all units.


Strategies and Activities:

  1. The campus will create a first-year seminar with an intercultural emphasis.
  2. The assessment of students’ appreciation of diversity must be an ongoing coordinated effort directed by a campus committee charged with accountability for curricular outcomes across all academic units
  3. Provide relevant faculty development opportunities for ability to assess the achievement of diversity related learning outcomes for curricular and co-curricular activities
  4. Offer courses and other learning opportunities for undergraduate/graduate/professional level study which achieve diversity and inclusion learning goals.
  5. Develop General Education experiences/requirements inclusive of diversity topics and cultural competence and establish processes rewarding/protecting faculty
  6. Advance educational resources (especially library collections) that reflect the breadth of the human experience, reflections on it, without censorship.
  7. The Academic units will work with faculty to increase the number and quality of international cultural learning opportunities and study abroad opportunities within curricula that are recognized with academic credit.
  8. Create a bi-annual audit of curricular offerings related to diversity learning objectives.
  9. Develop co-curricular transcripts that include diversity topics and cultural competence.


Objective 2.       Develop an academic structure and funding development plan to support the breadth and depth of teaching and research needed to obtain inclusion, equity and diversity outcomes in learning and contributions to knowledge on campus, regionally, nationally, and globally.


Strategies and Activities:

1.            Dedicate increased resources for faculty/staff development of knowledge/values related to cultural competency, diversity and inclusion

2.            Create incentive/reward programs supporting faculty/staff development

3.            Create on-line and face-to-face professional development opportunities aimed at improving cultural competence

4.            Commit to universal design concepts in the development of curricula and educational materials supporting all students.

5.            Develop curricular elements (learning objectives/courses) supporting social responsibility for work on resolving contemporary challenges as members of a world economy, and global structure supporting the advancement core values


Objective 3.       Create, maintain and increase the amount of faculty, student and staff research initiatives at all levels of education that enriches inclusion, equity and diversity.


Strategies and Activities:

1.            Increase the number and quality of research projects (including faculty and student research), and scholarly activities that advance equity, inclusion and diversity and are mindful of the human condition by creation of a research incentive pool for qualified projects/activities.


Objective 4.       Prepare for future demographic shifts in students and workforce, supporting a new community, region, nation, and world.


Strategies and Activities:


  1.      Develop campus infrastructure, educational and support resources to prepare for the student of the future.


Dimension 4.  UMKC and the Urban Community in Partnership

Goal:  UMKC will build relationships with the urban community to advance its role as an urban serving University committed to its neighborhood and region.


Objective 1.       Engage community leaders in advancing diversity strategic initiatives to improve and achieve UMKC strategic diversity objectives.


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Develop civic engagement activities that embrace the breadth of human experience in an urban community.
  2. Periodically review the potential for effective partnerships and engagement with community programs and services that support individuals with disabilities.
  3. Charge the UMKC Trustees with developing a plan for student, faculty and staff engagement in projects that improve the collaboration between UMKC and its community.


Objective 2.       Engage in meaningful public outreach scholarship and experiential learning that supports UMKC diversity priorities and develop resources to sustain these endeavors.   


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Develop student capstone experiences across academic units that support student learning objectives while addressing community needs as required curricular elements.


Objective 3.       Utilize the expertise and experiences of UMKC constituent groups to enhance the contribution to and awareness of diverse community groups in campus life activities and environment.


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Develop cultural learning opportunities utilizing constituent group expertise that support campus life and learning.


Dimension 5.  Institutional Infrastructure and Resources

Goal:  UMKC will ensure diversity initiatives are actively reviewed and owned by the University community.


Objective 1.       Create infrastructure to develop new initiatives and sustain and expand ongoing initiatives across UMKC that meet the objectives of the campus Strategic Diversity Plan.


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Create and fund a budget to support activities of the Strategic Diversity Plan.
  2. Establish a centralized budget pool into which all divisions contribute that will be used to provide the necessary services for individuals with disabilities.
  3. Create structures, accountabilities and processes to sustain activities and benchmark outcome assessment monitoring throughout UMKC via a virtual resource center and dashboard of metrics that are reviewed semi-annually for progress, opportunities and challenges to diversity initiatives.
  4. Establish a mechanism through the Office of Diversity, Access, & Equity to support grant-writing and fund-raising to enhance diversity initiatives connecting UMKC, the urban community and regional initiatives that support the citizens of Kansas City and Missouri and our mission.
  5. Enhance the physical and technological infrastructure to provide accessibility for all campus members.
  6. Develop a process for review of campus policies and create guidance on topics addressing issues of diversity centered in the Office of Diversity, Access & Equity.
  7. Coordinate organizational change to support our diversity goals centralized in the Office of Diversity, Access & Equity.
  8. Establish and maintain standards of excellence regarding staffing of diversity efforts that support the success of diverse students, faculty and staff.




Objective 2.       Develop a communication plan for the campus including academic and support units that has a high profile and visibly states UMKC’s ongoing commitment to enhancing diversity initiatives.


Strategies and Activities:


  1. Develop internal and external communication plans around UMKC appreciation for diversity, tolerance and appreciation of all peoples.
  2. Support the Office of Diversity, Access & Equity in an expanded role in communicating the outcomes, metrics, activities of diversity activities at UMKC.



Objective 3.       Support the office of Diversity, Access & Equity as UMKC’s accountability resource hub for all diversity information and activities across campus.



Objective 4.       Develop enhanced visibility and access to campus policies and procedures for all activities related to diversity focused within the office of Diversity, Access & Equity.


Objective 5.       Create infrastructure supporting academic and support-unit level accountabilities for implementation and ongoing review of unit diversity actions plans including objectives, strategies and outcome assessment.


One Comment

  1. Lee Rathbone-McCuan says:

    This continues to be a critical UMKC priority directly related to our effective response to our urban core partners. The plan is very expansive, almost too goal-filled to be met within only a few years. Has the core committee further prioritized these objective and what will be the topics of the focus groups so that I might understand how I might best be able to contribute.

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