This is the first issue of the Office for Institutional Diversity Briefing—an e-mail newsletter that OID will issue each semester to provide information regarding the University's efforts to sustain and advance an inclusive culture. We hope you find this update useful, and we welcome your comments and suggestions.
Richard Jefferson, Executive Director
New Federal Reporting Requirements
Under the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, new rules for collecting and reporting information about students' and employees' race and ethnicity began to take effect in the 2009 admission year, and will be implemented for all job applicants this summer. Also, by the end of this summer, all current students and employees will be given an opportunity to verify or update their racial/ethnic classification in accordance with the law's new, more extensive classification system. The timing of these changes has been established to meet a November 2010 reporting requirement. While the collection of this information may seem a relatively minor matter, several operations will be affected, from data management to the design of application materials for students and employees. A task force that includes OID, Information Technology Services (ITS), Enrollment Management, and Human Resources is working toward University-wide implementation, and will notify managers about the implications of the law in the coming weeks and months. Contact Richard Jefferson, executive director (552-3334; firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information.
Welcome to Judy Ferres
We are pleased to welcome Judy Ferres as OID's new associate director. With 20 years' experience in the human resources field, Judy holds a BA in public administration from Eastern Michigan University, received an MA in industrial relations from Wayne State University, and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Prior to joining OID, she was a human resources consultant for a Boston law firm where she assisted clients in drafting affirmative action programs and in complying with various federal and state regulations. At OID, Judy will help guide the University's compliance with EEO regulations and work to refine and implement Boston College's affirmative action program. She can be contacted at 552-2947 or email@example.com.
Affiliates Program Turns 10
This June, OID will graduate the 10th class from its University Affiliates Program, an annual professional enrichment opportunity designed to enhance the skills of University employees from underrepresented groups and to increase their potential for promotion. The program, which grew out of an initiative by the Black Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association, has the goal of broadening participants' knowledge of higher education management through mentoring relationships, educational seminars with senior University executives, and networking opportunities. "I've had the opportunity to meet people and learn about different organizations in the University, from Residential Life to Health Services," said Affiliate Vijaya Kommineni, principal database administrator at ITS and a member of this year's class of 10 Affiliates.
The yearlong mentoring relationship each Affiliate develops with a University executive is a key component of the program. We deeply appreciate the substantial contribution of time and talent from this year's mentors: Michael Bourque, vice president of ITS; Patricia DeLeeuw, vice provost for faculties; Janice Foley, manager of student support services; Sheilah S. Horton, associate vice president/dean for student development; Joyce King, executive director of financial services and reporting in the controller's office; Robert Lewis, associate vice president for human resources; Peter McKenzie, financial vice president and University treasurer; Brenda Ricard, associate vice president for advancement operations and planning at University Advancement; Jack Spang, director of production and data services at ITS; and Gregory Stoller, CSOM lecturer.
Contact Sidney Holloway (552-8730; firstname.lastname@example.org) for information about the Affiliates Program.
While OID focuses on hiring, retention, and other practices that support a diverse and inclusive workplace, we also serve as an in-house consultant to offices and departments that are facing diversity challenges. Four years ago, University Dining Services found that personality conflicts and communication lapses were interfering with team-building efforts among its more than 200 employees—a multigenerational group of men and women dispersed over 13 campus sites and reflecting some 35 cultural heritages.
Employees and managers said they felt a lack of respect from peers, supervisors, subordinates, and customers. Dining Services initiated a "Boston College Dining Services Respect Campaign," which included conducting 26 focus group sessions for all Dining Services employees, led by OID Associate Director Sidney Holloway and Director of Faculty/Staff Assistance Programs Patricia Touzin. They found that the definition of respectful and disrespectful behavior varied among workers depending, in part, on cultural background. In response, Dining Services provided diversity training for its managers and held forums for all employees to discuss workplace respect. Boston College Dining also began holding "Diversity of Homelands" sessions during which employees took turns describing their native countries and customs. It now schedules group retreats for employees to step back from day-to-day chores and discuss workplace issues. "It's made a big difference in how employees relate to one another," says Beth Burns, human resources manager of Dining Services in describing her office's multifaceted approach. "Morale and productivity have definitely improved."
OID is available to work with other offices and departments to analyze workplace dynamics and to foster an inclusive environment that supports superior team performance.