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Dean's Messages

September 23, 2016


September 23, 2016

Subject: Diversity and equity is everyone’s responsibility

Dear Colleagues,

I’m typing this just several hours after attending a luncheon hosted by the Colorado Women’s Foundation. 

The celebrated Principal Ballerina with the ABT, Misty Copeland was the guest speaker.

She spoke from the many experiences she has had and the challenges she regularly faces being both a worldclass ballet dancer and a role-model/pioneer who broke down racial barriers. As we all know, diversity and matters of race still need all of our attention. Recent national news just shows the challenges that highlight our need to be aware of the need to make diversity and equity strategic priorities of the College of Arts & Media.

Ms. Copeland’s strength of character is epochal, to say the least. She is a Principal with what many consider America’s foremost ballet troupe. At the same time, she carries the expectations and weight that come with being someone who has broken down barriers—that brings an extra set of expectations. The other members of the company can just dance…

Like Misty Copeland, our faculty, staff and students of color, varied sexual orientations, and all other diverse backgrounds carry extra challenges with them. And as your Dean, I want to be very clear about my expectations that we have an open and inclusive environment of mutual respect and the explicit acknowledgement that a CAM education will not be complete without the diversity that our population offers.

The CAM Diversity Council has been diligent and focused in developing the following systemic definitions-inprocess as a starting-point to encourage open engagement and discussion in a safe and nurturing environment.

Diversity

Diversity encompasses the presence of a broad spectrum of differences among individuals and group/social constructs within our community. Some dimensions of diversity include the following: age, color, disability, ethnicity/national origin, family status, gender identity or expression, generation, language, life experiences, organization function and level, physical characteristics, race, religion/belief/spirituality, sexual orientation, thinking patterns, and veteran status.

Inclusion

The term inclusion is used to describe the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the CAM curriculum, in co-curricular activities, and in communities within the college as reflected in thought patterns, interpersonal and institutional behaviors, and in educational practices.

Equity

Equity is only found in communities in which all participants are provided the necessary tools and resources to access the same opportunities for success. The council works to maintain an environment of transparency and support to the overall student experiences at CAM. In addition, the group will make concerted efforts to develop systematic support for faculty, staff, and students from underrepresented backgrounds.

They also have provided us with 4 CAM Strategic Goals:

1) Improving student experience and services through more diverse support offered by the college and expanding/globalizing the college curriculum with course offerings and content to reflect a wider net of content and context for learning

2) Implementing concerted college recruitment efforts for underrepresented groups to diversify the college community of faculty, staff, and students

3) Empowering faculty and staff to create a safe community through communication strategies that encourage engagement, discussion, and thoughtful discourse with colleagues and students without retaliation

4) Promoting institutional and behavioral awareness and action to support the abolition of barriers which serve the purpose of exclusion

So as a college, let’s make doubly sure that we align these strategic priorities and diversity statement with the institution, bringing attention to fulfilling the new non-discrimination policy for UCD and Anschutz as of July 2016 that is at the bottom of this message.

Let me conclude by saying that as scholars, researchers, artists, designers, performers, professional staff and others in all areas of creativity we cannot ignore the news of the day that shows how far we still have to travel--to assure equal opportunity and treatment of all citizens. As your dean, I feel that we need to provide vital first-stage support to foster individual creative self-awareness, expression, and personal growth, but also to motivate our students to reach out and explore the potential of emerging areas of public consciousness and social accountability. I believe that when, by word and personal example, our students examine and address the steep social challenges and cultural barriers they witness in the world, they will become empowered to contribute, through their academic, professional, and social endeavors, as vital contributors to the betterment of our changing society.

Thank you to our CAM Diversity Committee, Shannon Squires (chair), Denise Larson, Stephanie Kelly, Leah Haloin, Katryn Bowdle, Aleysia Whitmore, Peter Stoltzman, Craig Volk, and Quintin Gonzalez. 

This committee worked very hard, and I ask that all of you consider filling out this brief survey (<1 minute): https://ucdenver.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_dh5GqJnCddJM1TL

Onward!

Laurence D. Kaptain, DMA and FRSA
Dean, College of Arts & Media (CAM)

____________________________________________


Administrative Policy

Title: Nondiscrimination Policy

Source: Office of the Provost

Prepared by: Office of Equity

Approved by: Roderick Nairn
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

Effective Date: July 1, 2016

Replaces: New

Applies: All Campuses

________________________________________________________________________

A. Introduction

Unlawful discrimination and harassment has no place at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus and offends the University’s core values, including a commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion. All University employees, faculty members, students and community members are expected to join with and uphold this commitment. Robust discussion and debate are fundamental to the life of the University.

Consequently, this Policy shall be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with academic freedom as defined in Regent Law, Article 5D.

B. Policy Statement

The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. As such, the University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities. (Regent Law, Article 10).

This policy: (1) provides a definition of discrimination and harassment based upon Protected Class status and related retaliation; (2) prohibits such discrimination; and (3) identifies the procedures (the “Procedures”) the University follows when it receives a report alleging a violation of the university core values. Individuals who violate this policy shall be disciplined or subjected to corrective action as outlined herein. This policy is meant to be read in conjunction with the accompanying University Nondiscrimination Procedures.

C. Prohibited Conduct

The conduct listed below is prohibited, as are attempts to commit and aiding, abetting, or inciting others to commit them. Prohibited conduct also includes conduct engaged in by electronic means including, but not limited to, computers, any type of phone, or any other means of electronic communication. 

Discrimination occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence on the basis of a protected class. Examples include failure to be hired or promoted or denial of admission to an academic program based on protected class status. Harassment means verbal or physical conduct related to one’s protected class that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

Harassment means verbal or physical conduct related to one’s protected class that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

Hostile Environment. Whether a hostile environment exists is determined from both a subjective and an objective perspective. The subjective perspective evaluates whether or not the reporting party experienced unwelcome conduct [based on a protected characteristic]. The objective perspective evaluates whether or not the unwelcome conduct was, from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged reporting party’s position, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities. [Harassment becomes prohibited by this policy where enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued participation or receipt of benefits from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities.] Mere offensive conduct, such as petty slights and annoyances, such as stray negative comments in an otherwise neutral evaluation, “snubbing a colleague,” or negative comments that are justified by an individual’s poor performance or history are not enough to create a Hostile Environment. 

Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a single or isolated incident of discrimination or harassment may be sufficient.

Retaliation. Means any adverse action threatened or taken against a person because an individual has filed, supported or provided information in connection with a complaint of discrimination, including but not limited to direct and indirect intimidation, threats and harassment. An “adverse action” is any conduct or action that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting an allegation of discrimination or participating in an investigation of discrimination. 

D. Protected Activity and Good Faith Reports

Protected activity includes complaints involving violations of the Non-discrimination Policy and the Sexual Misconduct Policy. It does not include complaints involving violations of other policies. Not does it include complaints raising ethical, financial or other concerns unrelated to discrimination. Protected activity does include requesting reasonable accommodation based on, for example, disability or religion. Protected activity is covered under this policy even if the claims involved were ultimately found invalid so long as those claims were made in good faith. It is a violation of this policy when a person knowingly or recklessly alleges a false complaint of protected class discrimination or harassment or provides false information during the course of an investigation, and violations may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, expulsion or termination of employment, as applicable. This provision does not apply to reports made or information provided in good faith, even if the facts alleged are not later substantiated.

E. Reporting Obligations

Any faculty or staff member who is considered a Responsible Employee, as defined herein, who witnesses or receives information regarding possible prohibited protected class discrimination or harassment is required to promptly report the information to the Office of Equity or his or her designee. Such information about the alleged conduct, where possible, should include:􀂃 name of the alleged complainant(s); name of alleged respondent(s); name of any alleged witnesses; and􀂃 any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident.

All other individuals who become aware of an incident of Prohibited Conduct are highly encouraged to report all known details about the Prohibited Conduct to the University Office of Equity by telephone, email, in person, or through the University’s online Incident Report Form.

The University may have an obligation to report to the police, keeping the name of the victim confidential, in circumstances where the incident includes an allegation that a crime has been committed.

F. Procedures

Reports or complaints made pursuant to this policy will be addressed promptly and as practicably as possible after the report is made in accordance with the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Nondiscrimination Procedures.

G. Related Policies

University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Administrative Policy on Anti Violence, October 21, 2011 University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Nondiscrimination Procedures University of Colorado Administrative Policy Statement APS 5014 Sexual Misconduct For related complaint, grievance or disciplinary processes, refer to Regent Policies under 5. Faculty, 5. H. Faculty Senate Grievance Process and 5. I. Faculty Dismissal for Cause Process (for faculty), State Personnel Board Rules (for classified employees), and campus student disciplinary policies and procedures (for students). University of Colorado Denver Student Code of Conduct, including Student Conduct Codes promulgated by the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School, Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry.

Definitions

Appointing authority/disciplinary authority. An appointing authority is the individual with the authority or delegated authority to make ultimate personnel decisions concerning a particular employee. A disciplinary authority is the individual who or office that has the authority or delegated authority to impose discipline upon a particular employee or student.

Complainant and/or Respondent. Within the context of this process and related procedures, the individual alleged to have been subjected to harassment or discrimination may be referred to as the “complainant or reporting party” and the person(s) against whom the complaint is filed is the “respondent” or “responding party.” For related complaint, grievance or disciplinary processes, refer to Regent Policies under 5. Faculty, 5. H. Faculty Senate Grievance Process and 5. I. Faculty Dismissal for Cause Process (for faculty), State Personnel Board Rules (for classified employees), and campus student disciplinary policies and procedures (for students). Equity, Office of. The Office of Equity at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct and relate retaliation based upon an individual’s Protected Class status. This Office has the authority to impose discipline in conjunction with the appointing authority/disciplinary authority.

Protected Characteristics/Class. Are those personal traits, characteristics and/or beliefs that are defined by applicable law as protected from discrimination and/or harassment. They include race, creed, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, veteran status, marital or domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation and/or other characteristics protected by applicable law. For further information on the definitions of protected classes, link to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/.

Responsible Employee. Means any employee who has the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade, formally advise or direct faculty, staff or students and/or has the authority to redress sexual misconduct. This definition does not include any medical, mental health, counseling or other office personnel, in addition to any other offices covered by a statutory privilege or designated in campus procedures as not subject to mandatory reporting to the university.

University Property. University property is defined as land, buildings, and facilities in possession or owned, used or controlled by the university or funded by university budgets.

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