Message from Debora Ferreira
Executive Director for Equal Opportunity and Diversity
Welcome to Diversity Matters at UMass Amherst, where you can find information about the exemplary work that is being done in the area of diversity on our campus and in the local area. Diversity in all its forms is integral to the success of this institution. UMass Amherst safeguards freedom of speech and prohibits discrimination due to race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information and disability. As always, to report any civil rights related concerns that you may have, you can contact the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity by phone or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMass Amherst is a diverse and multicultural community that values, supports and is accepting of differences; a community that continually strives to be equitable, fair and inclusive. This website will showcase best practices for diversity programs that work on our campus and in the local area. A key goal for this website is to enhance communication and collaboration in the area of diversity, both across campus and in the surrounding communities.
As a brief background, during the spring of 2010, new steps were taken to strengthen and revitalize diversity initiatives on campus. Then Chancellor Holub formed the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee to serve as an advisory board on matters of diversity. This Committee brings together offices, programs and individuals who do important work to advance the campus’s commitment to diversity and equity, and is comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members. As charged, the Committee developed a Diversity Mission Statement for the campus, and contributed to the development of a comprehensive diversity and equity plan. The Diversity Plan describes UMass Amherst’s continuing efforts to promote diversity and outlines priorities that will help to guide our steps and focus our efforts as we move forward in this important arena.
Matters of diversity are a top priority at UMass Amherst. Each of us contributes to and has a role in building the diversity of our campus community. In order to further this important message, you are invited to share events, programs and activities related to diversity. This website is a work in progress and your feedback and updates are welcome.
For the past academic year, the University, as part of the system, has been involved in a review of our policies, processes, programs, activities relevant to Title IX. The system engaged Saundra Schuster, a NCHERM consultant, to lead this review. One of the outcomes of this review is to ensure that our policies and procedures as a University (and as part of the system) are in compliance with all of the federal and state laws relevant to Title IX, Clery, VAWA, Campus SaVE, etc. To that end, the University is continuing its work with Saundra by engaging her to assist us in revising the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, the Grievance Policy and Procedures and the relevant portions of the Code of Student Conduct relevant to Title IX and Civil Rights. The revisions will result in having One Policy/One Process that would be applicable to faculty, staff and students. The revision will be modeled on the ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators) Model Policy and Procedure for Civil Rights Equity Grievance Resolution https://atixa.org/resources/model-policies/#onepolicy
The UMass Amherst Civil Rights Equity Grievance Resolution for Faculty, Staff and Students Draft Policy is now available. Any feedback on the DRAFT Version of the Policy can be sent to the Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office email@example.com by 5/8/15.