Diversity Plan 2008-2013


Vision Statement

Recognizing the necessity of diversity for the sake of learning, we envision a campus community that demands respect for diversity and a campus climate that fosters an understanding of diversity grounded in the College’s fundamental commitment to human dignity.

Plan Outline

The goals, objectives, and strategies found in this five year plan have been developed to further this vision for diversity at Daemen College. The Strategic Plan of 2006 calls for the development of a diversity plan to articulate and strengthen the College’s commitment to diversity (SP p. 16). There are four main sections of this diversity plan: (I) Curriculum; (II) Student Development; (III) Faculty, Administrative Staff, and Board Development; and (IV) Campus Climate and Environment. It should be understood that these categories are interrelated and interdependent. Goals indicate the broad scope of initiatives and desired outcomes; they are not necessarily measurable. Objectives are specific, measurable outcomes that will indicate whether we are making progress toward achieving our goals. Strategies are specific ways in which we seek to attain our goals and objectives.

Accountability is defined primarily at the level of objectives, identifying who is responsible for seeing that objectives are met within the specified time periods. Accountability is designated relatively high in the organizational structure of the College in order to facilitate knowledgeable oversight of multiple initiatives, purposeful delegation, and inter-departmental collaboration. To that end, except where specifically noted, this Diversity Plan does not specify or request a separate “diversity” budget. Our commitment to diversity is to inform all aspects of our respective operations; the resources needed to carry out the initiatives specifically indicated here shall therefore be determined in the ordinary course of business and included in the annual budget request process. The President and his Cabinet are accountable for the oversight of this plan and the fulfillment of its goals and objectives. This plan was developed by an ad hoc and volunteer Diversity Plan Committee, called by Kathleen Boone, Associate Dean of the College and EO/AA Officer, who was tasked by the Cabinet with leading this initiative.

Participants included

  • Mike Brogan, Dean of Health & Human Services; Assoc. Prof., Physical Therapy
  • Mary Rose Franjoine, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
  • John Frederick, Executive Director, Program in Exec. Leadership & Change
  • Sharon Held, Associate Professor & Chair, Physical Therapy Dept.
  • Randy Kramer, Executive and Artistic Director, MusicalFare Theatre
  • Carol McPhillips, Learning Center Coordinator
  • Doris Murphy, Administrator, Office of Academic Affairs
  • Pam Neumann, Personnel Director
  • Dan Nilsson, Assistant Director of Residence Life
  • Tamica Oaks, Academic Advisor
  • Susan Ross, Director of Global Programs
  • Joanne Sadler, Assistant Professor of Education
  • Joe Sankoh, Associate Professor of History and Government
  • Donna Shaffner, Dean of Admissions
  • Karl Shallowhorn, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
  • Mimi Steadman, Director of Institutional Assessment
  • Kevin Telford, Dean of Arts and Sciences; Associate Professor of French
  • Blake Thurman, Executive Director, Academic Support Services
  • Sara Walsh, Director of Residence Life
  • GE Washington, Assistant Professor of Art Education
  • Beverly Weeks, Director, Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program
  • Adriane Williams, Director, Liberty Partnership Program
  • Frank Williams, Senior Associate Director of Admissions

Diversity in the Curriculum


To enhance and enrich learning, the Daemen College curriculum and its manner of delivery, both within the Core Curriculum and within all degree programs, will fulfill the College’s stated mission to prepare graduates who are comfortable with diversity, who recognize the importance of a global perspective, and who respect the human dignity of all people.


By Fall 2009, complete a comprehensive assessment of the extent to which the Daemen College curriculum exposes every student to the diversity necessary for fulfilling our institutional mission; an action plan to address deficiencies will be implemented by Fall 2011, with indicated objectives to be attained by Spring 2013.


Vice President for Academic Affairs and Educational Policy Committee (EPC)


From a Spring 2007 baseline of 51% of seniors at Daemen and 52% at peer institutions reporting in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that their “experience at this institution has contributed to understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds” either “quite a bit” or “very much,” Daemen percentages will continue at least to match the mean of peer institutions and aim to exceed the Spring 2007 baseline by a minimum of 10 points (i.e., 61% reporting “quite a bit” or “very much”) in Spring 2012. Accountable: Vice President for Academic Affairs 3 and Educational Policy Committee (EPC)

*Note: Here and elsewhere, use of NSSE data is consistent with the Strategic Plan goal of improving the College’s NSSE results (SP p. 10). For the purposes of this plan, “peer institutions” are private institutions in the mid-east region of the mainland U.S., plus four CIEL schools, totaling 63 institutions.


By Spring 2010, a representative sample of student Core Curriculum e-portfolios will be analyzed for evidence of skills and competencies relating to diversity; areas for attention will be identified, with this assessment provided to all parties conducting diversity-related curricular review. Accountable: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS)


  1. Conduct curricular review at the departmental level to facilitate the embedding of diversity content as appropriate throughout the department’s course offerings, particularly within degree programs.
  2. Identify all courses throughout the Daemen College curriculum which have a significant component devoted to diversity; determine which courses are required or recommended within which majors or for Core credit; create a baseline analysis of the extent to which our current curriculum exposes Daemen students to diversity; identify areas for improvement.
  3. Explore and adopt pedagogies that engage the demographic diversity of the student body and promote safety, dignity, and respect for all persons in classrooms and other learning environments.


To enhance the global perspective of our learning environment, Daemen College will increase access to international education opportunities for faculty and students, as specified in the Strategic Plan (SP p. 9):

  • By Spring 2011, 25% of all full-time Daemen students will have had an international educational experience;
  • By Spring 2011, 70% of full-time Daemen faculty will have had an international educational experience;
  • By Spring 2011, an average of 50 international students (exclusive of Canadian students) will be on campus each academic year. Accountable: Vice President for Academic Affairs Vice President for Enrollment Management


  1. Provide financial resources to enable more students to take advantage of international education opportunities.
  2. Continue pursuing intentional strategies for enrollment of international students on Daemen’s main campus; continue developing articulation agreements with foreign institutions.
  3. Provide resources and incentives to increase faculty participation in international experiences.

Student Development


The College will increase its enrollment of students under represented at Daemen relative to the average student demographic at peer institutions and the College will increase the persistence to graduation of students of diverse backgrounds, thereby increasing experiences of cultural diversity, related learning, and personal development for all Daemen College students. (This goal is consistent with the Strategic Plan goal for improvement of student centeredness.


By Spring 2013, the College’s enrollment of currently under represented students, both in the College as a whole and within specific academic programs, will seek to match or exceed that of peer institutions and programs. (This objective coheres with the Strategic Plan’s recruitment goal and related objectives (SP p. 15), while emphasizing recruitment of under represented students.) Accountable: Vice President for Enrollment Management Vice President for Academic Affairs


Specifically identify categories of students under represented at Daemen and continue developing targeted recruitment strategies for such students.


Within the context of the College’s Strategic Plan objective of attaining retention and graduation rates of 80% and 65%, respectively, by 2011 (SP p. 15), the College will also specifically identify and target categories of students whose persistence rates are lower than our institutional average, implementing supplemental action plans to improve their persistence. These efforts will be reviewed in 2011, with continued action implemented as required to address any continuing gaps in persistence, targeting parity by 2013. Accountable: Vice President for Academic Affairs Vice President for Student Affairs Strategy: Pursue Title III funding to increase rates of student retention and progression to graduation by identifying, tracking and providing interventions for students at risk of attrition.


Daemen College will engage in a targeted recruitment and retention program to achieve cultural diversity within the Resident Assistant staff that reflects that of the resident student population by Fall 2010. Accountable: Vice President for Student Affairs


Daemen College will engage in a targeted recruitment and retention program to achieve cultural diversity within all student leadership positions, including but not limited to orientation leaders, peer mentors, admissions tour guides, and alumni ambassadors, targeted to reflect the diversity of the Daemen College student population by Spring 2012. Accountable: Vice President for Student Affairs


  1. Identify types of students under represented in leadership roles and develop a plan to engage them in leadership roles.
  2. Publicize and strengthen mentoring systems through which faculty, staff, and experienced students will guide students in various areas of college success.
  3. Leadership training that stresses the importance and benefits of cultural diversity and culturally diverse leadership will be provided for all members of the Student Association, E-board members of student groups, resident assistants, orientation leaders, admissions tour guides, and other student leaders.
  4. Develop a marketing plan explicitly linked to the Core Competencies to increase faculty and staff awareness of student leadership, service, employment, and other co-curricular opportunities so that they can purposefully identify diverse students for appropriate opportunities and advise and encourage them to participate.
  5. Develop strategies for faculty support of and participation in these strategies, including course-based incentives for participation in co-curricular activities.


In Spring 2007, the percentage of Daemen seniors reporting in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that they “often” or “very often” had “serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own” and “serious conversations with students who are very different in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions or personal values” was 42% and 46%, respectively, ten points below the mean of peer institutions in each case (52% and 56%, respectively, at peer institutions). By Spring 2010, the College will reduce this lag by five points and eliminate it by Spring 2012. Although it is impossible to predict the mean of peer institutions five years hence, it seems safe to assume that similar initiatives at peer institutions will yield similar increases in diversity of student experience. Setting a specific target of 70% for Daemen seniors answering “often” or “very often” to both questions would seem a helpful guide to meeting or exceeding the experience of students at our peer institutions. Accountable: Vice President for Student Affairs.


  1. Promote strategies, such as “Each One Invite Three,” for club moderators, officers, and others to recommend or invite people not already known to them to take part in an event, organization or leadership opportunity.\
  2. Provide incentives for collaboration, such as preference of TGIF dates, room reservations, moneys for group budgets.
  3. Use “Your First College Year” (YFCY) data on first-year students’ reported interactions with students of racial/ethnic backgrounds other than their own to identify areas for purposeful intervention and to track progress in increasing interactions among diverse students.

Faculty, Staff, and Board Development


The College will recruit and retain a diverse faculty, administrative staff, and board and will encourage all employees and trustees to contribute to and support the cultural fluency and diversity of the campus. (This goal tracks the Strategic Plan recommendation to address faculty diversity (SP p. 16).)


The College will purposefully seek to recruit and retain a diversity of Board members, with the composition of the Board of Trustees reflecting the diversity of Daemen’s student body by Fall 2013. Accountable: Chair, Board of Trustees President.


By Fall 2013, the percentage of minority faculty and administrative staff will match or exceed the mean percentage of peer institutions as reported by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Accountable: Vice President of Academic Affairs EO/AA Officer (Associate Dean of the College) Personnel Director.


  1. Investigate best practices at peer institutions on recruitment and retention of faculty, administrative staff, and trustees of diverse backgrounds.
  2. Ensure that employee recruitment material, both print and electronic, is positive and inclusive, explicitly reflecting our commitment to diversity – for example, our provision of benefits for same-sex partners; diversity-related community information; resources for people with disabilities.
  3. Support professional development opportunities to facilitate promotions of faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds.
  4. Disseminate Affirmative Action Plan data annually to better inform the campus community regarding employment of women and minorities and any areas of concern.
  5. Review faculty and administrative search committee procedures and provide appropriate guidance to committee members as needed to ensure that full consideration is given candidates of diverse backgrounds.
  6. Survey employees who have been hired within the last five years to determine the degree to which they have felt welcomed and supported, explicitly referencing diversity-related factors; identify areas of concern, develop and implement action plan.


The College will foster an environment in which faculty and staff are increasingly culturally proficient, including communication and other interpersonal skills:

  • By Spring 2010, the percentage of seniors indicating that the campus environment encourages “contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds” either “quite a bit” or “very much” will have increased 20 points from a Spring 2007 baseline of 42% (46% at 2007 peer institutions) to 62%.
  • By Spring 2012, a minimum of 75% of Daemen seniors will indicate on the NSSE that the campus environment encourages “contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds” either “quite a bit” or “very much.”
  • By the Spring 2010 NSSE survey, there will be an increase of 10 points in the percentage of Daemen freshmen who strongly agree that faculty are “available, helpful, and sympathetic” (i.e., from 51% in Spring 2007 to 61% in Spring 2010). (“Strongly agree” is defined for this purpose as an answer of 6 or 7 on a 7-point Likert scale.)
  • By Spring 2012, 70% will strongly agree. By the Spring 2010 NSSE survey, there will be an increase of 10 points in the percentage of Daemen freshmen strongly agreeing that “administrative staff are helpful, considerate and flexible” (from 40% in Spring 2007 to 50% in Spring 2010).
  • By Spring 2012, a minimum of 60% will strongly agree.

Accountable: All Cabinet members Faculty Senate Personnel Director


  1. The College will provide cultural proficiency development programs for faculty and staff at least once a year.
  2. Administrative and academic departments will specifically identify diversity-related professional development needs within their units, implement professional development opportunities as needed, and assess the effectiveness of these initiatives in their Annual Assessment Plans.
  3. Diversity-related activities will be explicitly assessed in performance of all employees: i.e., administrator and staff performance evaluations; promotion, tenure, and post-tenure reviews of faculty; student evaluations of course/instructor.

Campus Climate and Environment


The College will promote and sustain an environment of dignity and access for all people, with particular attention to potentially marginalized groups, and will conduct regular, purposeful, and holistic assessments to ensure that campus resources are strategically deployed to reflect the College’s commitment to diversity.


By Fall 2008, a standing committee of the College, representing students, faculty, and staff, shall be constituted and provided with an initial annual budget of $1,000 to perform two primary functions: (i) provide cross institutional diversity-related programming; (ii) monitor and report annually to the President on progress in achieving plan goals, with the President informing the campus community of diversity plan progress each year in his State of the College address; and (iii) recommend modifications to this plan in light of ongoing assessment of the plan’s effectiveness.


By Spring 2009, the committee will conduct a campus climate survey baseline assessment, with reassessment in Spring 2012 to identify improvements and continuing challenges. By Spring 2013, the committee will complete a summary report of goals and objectives achieved under this plan, including recommendations for the future. Accountable: Chair, Diversity Committee All cabinet members.


  1. Conduct an annual environmental scan of the campus, identifying any accessibility concerns and making recommendations for effective and creative use of campus resources – including structural and aesthetic – with progress reported in subsequent annual scans. (This strategy may be accomplished in cooperation with the campus environment committee and aesthetics subcommittee defined in the Strategic Plan (SP p. 22).)
  2. Investigate and implement strategies to promote safe environments and occasions for candid discussion of diversity-related issues and concerns.
  3. Proactively maintain dialogue with the Amherst Police Department and other municipal authorities to foster a safe environment, both on campus and in the wider community, for all Daemen students, faculty, and staff.
  4. Anticipate where possible and seize when necessary opportunities to express the College’s commitment to all forms of cultural diversity, including but not limited to such areas as religious belief, political affiliation, and sexual orientation.
  5. Publicize policies and procedures for requesting accommodation of disabilities.


Following completion of all current construction and office moves (2009), engage consultant(s) to evaluate the College’s landscaping, architecture and other aspects of physical plant to assess the College’s provision of an inclusive, accessible and safe environment for people with disabilities: immediately correct and document any identified safety concerns 9 and develop an action plan to address any other areas of concern, reporting by Fall 2012 on actions taken. Accountable: Vice President for Business Affairs.


By Spring 2009, survey students with learning, mental health and other disabilities for their recommendations on improving access and inclusion: develop an action plan and address areas of concern by Fall 2012. Accountable: EO/AA Officer (Associate Dean of the College).

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