Dear UMBC Community,
I am so pleased and grateful to share that the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) is now a year old. This office was formed through a collaborative, year-long process that included several listening sessions and campus conversations. Key recommendations from students, faculty, staff, and alumni helped create the initial structure for this important work. Much of our work evolved from the large numbers of our community members who participated in our work on addressing sexual violence, which grew into Retriever Courage. We have also been deeply focused on social justice work and will be sharing more information and updates in the coming weeks.
This work changes and evolves regularly and I am grateful and very proud of the flexible and innovative team we have put in place to support our campus community, even as we navigate the challenges presented by a global pandemic, a racial reckoning in our country, changing federal regulations related to civil rights, and a polarizing election.
OEI is responsible for promoting and coordinating the University’s core values of inclusive excellence and equity, and has primary responsibility for managing UMBC’s efforts related to Title IX, as well as other civil rights issues, including discrimination, harassment, hate, and bias.
We could not do this work without our campus partners and support from the UMBC leadership. Thank you all.
OEI’s 2020 Accomplishments
- Created UMBC OEI Confidential Online Reporting/Referral Form
- Implemented Advocate, a new case management software that will assist in collecting, tracking, and responding to complaints
- Launched a brand new website and populated with resources, FAQs, policies and more
- Drafted and implemented sample Title IX syllabus language
- Redesigned and launched annual mandatory training for students and responsible employees
- Summarized and shared the findings of the Campus Climate Survey Held community Town Halls to discuss issues around sexual misconduct, Title IX reporting, racial equity and free speech
- Established the Inclusion Council to function as an advisory board to OEI and began work in 10 subcommittees to address specific equity and inclusion issue areas at UMBC
- Provided supplementary training on equity and inclusion topics to over 1,000 students, faculty and staff across the UMBC community (includes training on pronouns and gender identity, anti-racism, student leadership, and sexual and gender based violence response and prevention)
- Processed 427 total cases of sexual misconduct and discrimination
Total 2020 cases: 427
Total Title IX/Sexual Misconduct: 236
Total discrimination/bias: 191
Total 2020 cases closed: 361
Over 100 accommodation provided
In the spring 2020, 13 % of UMBC students participated in a campus climate survey administered by EAB. The purpose of the Campus Climate Survey is to better understand how students experience diversity and inclusion, and to understand the scope and nature of sexual misconduct, including experiences with, attitudes about, and behaviors toward sexual violence. If you have questions about the Campus Climate Survey please consult our FAQ page.
- 92% of respondents agreed that diversity if fully embraced within the campus culture
- 91% of respondents who received training related to sexual violence believed that training was useful or very useful in increasing knowledge of sexual violence resources.
- 87% of respondents feel welcome and supported at UMBC
- 84% of survey respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that UMBC would take the report seriously if someone reported an incident of sexual violence to a campus authority.
- 2020 Campus Climate survey shows an improvement over the 2018 Climate Survey in the areas of belonging and perceptions of faculty. The survey also shows that there are areas of improvement safety and perceptions of administrators.
- Increase transparency through data dissemination, information about the reporting process and visibility and availability of OEI staff
- Increase collection of culturally reflective resources to add to the OEI website
- Disseminate resources via OEI website and myUMBC group more effectively and frequently
- Continue to cultivate meaningful relationships with campus partners to raise the profile of the office and provide more touch points with students
- Continue to build culturally competent training opportunities for specific populations through collaboration with campus partners to create and implement innovative training and education initiatives that are aligned with best practices and responsive to the community’s needs
- Recruit and hire a Title IX/Civil Right Investigator to support OEI’s daily function
- Work with our campus partners to recruit and hire staff members to provide support to survivors of sexual misconduct and implicated parties in sexual misconduct reports.
- Consider Inclusion Council recommendations and begin implementation