Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Historical Progress

In November 2015, a group of students and administrators agreed that the university would work toward the following 12 goals, many of which were already aligned with the university’s strategic goals for diversity and inclusion. Here, you can track the university’s progress.

Goal 1

Increasing the tenured and tenure-track black faculty and retaining them by 10 percent by 2018. 


  • The Office of the Provost has revised the New Faculty Institute, moving from a 2-day session in August to a one-day welcome followed by ongoing meetings throughout the first year.


  • We have implemented an outreach process that requires the development and approval of an Outreach Plan for all tenured or tenure track faculty searches. We continue to review and seek effective institutional outreach resources. Most recently, membership with The PhD Project was secured to provide access to pools of prospective faculty of color.
  • Revisions to current hiring procedures that include additional checkpoints in the search process are under review. Training for faculty search committees has expanded to include a catalogue of courses, including but not limited to Successful Faculty Searches, Writing a Job Description, De-biasing the Hiring Process refresher course, Onboarding Faculty Members refresher course, and the Search Chair refresher course. These expanded professional development opportunities are designed to meet the needs of all faculty search committee members with various levels of experience with the process.
  • We are developing dedicated resources for the purpose of improving our outreach to prospective faculty of color. A web portal that highlights TU’s faculty diversity initiatives and resources is being developed as a marketing tool for prospective faculty. Faculty vacancy announcements will be posted on the prospective faculty web page. A brochure is under development that will serve as an outreach tool for use during conferences and meetings to attract potential faculty of color to TU’s faculty employment opportunities.
  • We have increased our support for academic department chairs and are emphasizing their vital leadership role as it relates to diversity and inclusion. Areas for impact include, but are not limited to, recruitment, retention, climate, curriculum, research, and student development. Working with the Council of Chairs Subcommittee on Equity and Inclusion we are bringing relevant resources to facilitate institutional transformation.
  • We are in the final stages of development of TU’s Faculty Recruitment Incentive Program (FRIP). FRIP, a pipeline program, is designed to increase diversity within the faculty body by placing selected individuals in tenure track positions. FRIP promotes the professional development of underrepresented faculty by facilitating the initialization and completion of graduate work and other appropriate academic pursuits leading to a terminal degree and/or conducting research in their discipline.


  • The recently hired Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion conducted a listening tour which included all affinity groups, exiting faculty, College Diversity and Inclusion Committees within the Colleges, and various stakeholders across the campus community directly connected with the “A More Inclusive TU - Strategic Task Force."
  • TU’s Diversity Faculty Fellows Program was renamed and rebranded as the Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows Program. It will continue to provide selected faculty members with opportunities to infuse diversity into existing curriculum, create models to improve classroom dynamics in support of social justice, or identify and implement strategies to enhance institutional practices to support and affirm a campus culture that values equity, diversity and inclusion. Moving forward, the Provost committed to provide a course release to faculty members who are selected to do such collaborative work. TU’s Multiculturalism in Action monthly Brown Bag Series is focused on showcasing the multicultural and diversity related scholarly activities taking place on the TU campus. This program has brought together more than 20 faculty members that are committed to expanding diversity and inclusion at TU and has fostered the formation of a community of supportive scholars. TU’s academic Intergroup Dialogue Program (IGD) delivers for-credit opportunities for students to participate in multi-week dialogues to come together across social identify differences. IGD faculty facilitators have established a supportive network that encourages faculty retention.
  • Focus groups with faculty affinity groups as well as groups who responded to the call from the Strategic Task Force were conducted for the purposes of learning more about faculty challenges and success at TU. Faculty members shared information regarding what resources and support system were more impactful in relation to securing tenure, promotion, and sense of belonging among colleagues.
  • As a result of extremely positive feedback from faculty members, TU’s membership with the National Center for Faculty Development (NCFDD) is being renewed for the next academic year. NCFDD provides resources and programming that support faculty success. A total of 226 individuals have registered and are taking advantage of resources available through TU’s NCFDD membership.
  • In an ongoing effort to learn more about the primary reasons why faculty leave TU, a three-pronged Exit Interview process for faculty has been implemented. The process includes the options of an online survey, an in-person interview, or opt-out. Data gathered in aggregate forms will be used to determine why underrepresented minority faculty leave TU while creating an ongoing process of climate assessment for all tenured faculty.

Goal 2

Require the president to work with the provost to ensure that every college or department has one meeting per semester dedicated to cultural competency content approved by a student representative that works in the CDSO.

Status: ON TRACK

  • Each college’s Diversity Action Committee (DAC) or College Council develops annual training; the colleges and department chairs have established that at least one meeting per fall and spring term will be devoted to cultural competency.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows Program, established in 2015, gives selected faculty members the opportunity to infuse diversity into their existing curriculum, create models to improve classroom dynamics in support of social justice, or identify strategies to enhance institutional practices. This allows faculty to research ways to enhance diversity and inclusiveness while actively examining their effectiveness in practice. Five fellows were selected for the 2015-2016 academic year; 11 fellows were selected for the 2016-2017 academic year; 10 fellows were selected for 2017-2018; 10 fellows were selected for 2018-2019; and 11 fellows were selected for the 2019-2020 academic year. 
  • The Center for Student Diversity (CSD) now includes a position for Associate Director for Cultural Competency Education to help develop educational models and opportunities for cultural competency training for students, student leaders, student organizations, and for the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (OIIE) now has a University-wide Coordinator of Diversity Training and Initiatives who has been tasked with working with faculty, students and staff to provide education and assistance with cultural competency, inclusive curriculum development, unconscious bias, and developing inclusive and equitable practices in the classroom and across the institution.
  • OIIE hosts a bi-annual Courageous Conversations conference that provides educational sessions and workshops for staff and faculty on diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • The Office of the Provost and OIIE are collaborating on an online clearinghouse of diversity, inclusion and equity resources, searchable by topic and by discipline. It will be housed on the OIIE website and is scheduled to be piloted in spring 2020.

Goal 3

Advocate for IFC fraternities and Pan-Hellenic sororities to have a diversity chair who will promote diversity within their respective organizations and interact with multicultural organizations on campus.


  • One hundred percent of the councils and chapters have a diversity chair position. Diversity chairs are trained on cultural competency by staff from the CSD and are given facilitator training by staff from Fraternity and Sorority Life in order to execute the Greek Life Social Justice training module. Fraternity and Sorority Life worked in close collaboration with the CSD to develop the year-long training module which includes Intro to Social Justice, Identity Development, Current Vocabulary and Language, How to Be an Ally/Commitment to Being an Ally, Chapter Values Alignment with Social Justice Principles, and Developing Culturally Competent Programs. 
  • All new member orientations and Greek summits will now include a module on identity and inclusion.
  • Greek organizations sponsor more than 50 social justice programs each semester.

Goal 4

Send a letter to the president of USM Student Council regarding the review and termination of the contract, vendoring, and purchasing of appliances, tools, furniture and any other items produced within Maryland state and federal prisons. Given the status of the prison-industrial complex and the criminalization of black bodies, along with the school-to-prison pipeline, we find it problematic that we finance the same institution that profits off of black bodies.


  • Provost Chandler, while still interim president, sent the letter to the USM Student Council president. The Maryland legislature mandates that USM institutions purchase items from Maryland Correctional Enterprises. Any Maryland resident may communicate to legislators an opinion or position on this matter.

Goal 5

Advocate to require the SGA to maintain communication with the diverse organizations and their leaders on campus through physical contact, wherein bills and policies that will affect the black student body will be made known and aware to them.


  • The Student Government Association (SGA), through the assistant director of Diversity Outreach, established a core advisory board comprised of eight students from diverse, inclusive backgrounds. Students were recommended to serve based on their interest and involvement in diversity and social justice issues. The board is intended to bridge the gap between SGA and student organizations that represent diverse backgrounds, and to inform SGA about issues related to campus climate and make recommendations for programming.
  • The SGA conducted a survey of all student groups to better understand the effectiveness of senators’ outreach to their assigned groups. As a result of the survey, the SGA has implemented a new system of accountability for senators.
  • The SGA has created a series of diversity-related programs including those relating to Black History Month, Women’s History Month, the impact of student activism in the TU community, and other relevant occasions and subjects.
  • SGA and the Department of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) hosts CultureCon to highlight, through students and student organizations, a wide variety of cultures and promote multicultural exchange. More than 250 students attended.
  • In 2016 the Division of Student Affairs assisted the leadership of Black Student Union with the creation of the Ujima Retreat. The student-run event was designed to build solidarity among the various black student organizations. About 60 students attended the inaugural retreat in 2016 and participation has increased each year.
  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, the SGA established Be Heard Town Hall forums to promote transparency, build cultural understandings, and foster collaboration. Due to low student attendance, future forums will be offered as needed.

Goal 6

Require the University Diversity Council (UDC) and other institution-wide diversity committees to have diverse (including multi-cultural) representation on the committee that reflects the underrepresented cultures of the student body.


  • Presidential Schatzel reviewed the structure of the former Diversity Coordinating Council and other institution-wide diversity committees to evaluate their purpose and effectiveness. It was replaced with the UDC, which is comprised of senior leadership from all Divisions and Colleges.

  • The inaugural Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity was charged with reviewing this structure and making strategic recommendations for improvements or modifications. The vice president is responsible for the University’s strategic vision for the design, promotion, and delivery of best practices in diversity, inclusion and cultural competency efforts across campus.

  • The DAC is comprised of a cross section of members of the academic and administrative divisions of the university and student body and supports the University’s Strategic Diversity Goals, and makes recommendations to the UDC. The DAC’s current work groups focus on campus climate, education and scholarship, and recruitment and retention. With the creation of the Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity, the former hate/bias work group was phased out; OIIE reviews all hate and bias incident reports and consults with other University officials as needed.

  • The Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity created an Equity Lens committee in 2018, to coordinate ongoing efforts across the University and create an equity framework to assist all departments and offices in assessing and improving their diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts.

  • The Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity chairs the Diversity Strategic Plan Task Force, which is producing a five-year plan for diversity, inclusion, and equity that will be released in Fall 2020.

Goal 7

Set an expectation to diversify the representation of the committees determining tenure at TU and require college deans to report on their efforts and results. Such efforts could include but are not limited to: Encourage students to complete course evaluations in course syllabi; invite student feedback for pending tenure cases; provide the opportunity for faculty tenure candidates to identify an advocate to serve on any level of their choosing in the tenure process.


  • In addition to existing efforts via Blackboard and campus email each term, we have expanded marketing-related efforts to increase participation in course evaluations through messages in social media, TU Today (previously the T3), the Towerlight, and digital signage throughout campus. HRL also posted reminders throughout residence halls. We also developed an app through which course evaluations can be completed.
  • We have shared copies of Promotion, Tenure, Reappointment and Merit (PTRM) documents with two of the student leaders involved in establishing these 12 goals, and offered to meet for review. The vice provost will continue to be available to answer questions about this document
  • The Appointment, Rank and Tenure (ART) Document Revision Committee includes a student to provide input into potential changes to the document.
  • We’ve reminded deans, chairs and departmental PTRM chairs that their faculty have the option of securing an external reviewer for their tenure review.

Goal 8

Advocate for the director positions in the SGA to be elected by the people of this university instead of appointed, hired and/or interviewed by the president. The diversity chair is a direct representative of the minority students and should be elected directly by and for minority students.


  • After working with the Council of Diverse Student Organizations (CDSO) and others to identify new approaches, the SGA has amended its constitution to include a call for applications to the position. The CDSO will screen those applications and recommend an individual for appointment to the chair position. While this is an appointment rather than an election, the SGA included the CDSO in the process to ensure that representative consideration on matters of diversity will be considered.
  • The Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity created a Student Advisory Committee in 2018 as an extension of CDSO and includes undergraduate students from every college, graduate students, and student representatives from diverse student constituency groups.

Goal 9

Return the Towson University Debate Team to a traveling debate team as soon as possible and no later than fall 2016. The Debate Team is an intellectual fixture in the TU black community where black students have been nationally successful and active contributors to bringing justice to black people at this institution.


  • The Debate Team participated in some national travel as its handbook was finalized last spring to outline policies and procedures on expectations for participation. The team attended CEDA in spring 2016.

Goal 10

Honestly and strictly enforce the university’s policies on non-discrimination. Proactively work to create a marketing campaign to educate and communicate our hate crimes and bias incident procedures and response. Distribute a public statement on TU’s response on those issues when they occur. The mental and emotional health of this university’s black students across all intersections need to be taken as seriously as their physical health.


  • OIIE will hire a Coordinator for Hate Crime and Bias Incident Prevention and Education by January 2020.
  • A collaborative university-wide group established the hate/bias procedures that were adopted in spring 2016, and a campaign led by the SGA called #NotAtTU promoted awareness and understanding of those procedures to encourage reporting. The #NotAtTU initiative included a marketing campaign, created by students in the Division of University Marketing and Communications Student Agency. While the SGA led student-centered approaches, the Office of the Provost supported and promoted the procedures for faculty, and HRL supported it in residence hall postings. Continued support by multiple offices across campus are provided to SGA in its marketing and implementation of the #NotAtTU awareness campaign and its continued development.
  • In 2017 a work group chaired by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and comprised of faculty, staff, students and administrators reviewed the hate-bias procedures for effectiveness and clarity, and made updates the group deemed necessary.
  • The HRL “Guide to Community Living” brochure has been updated to reflect the value of inclusive and welcoming communities and the ways to report hate crimes and bias incidents. These will be distributed to every student in fall 2016.
  • The Provost's Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion position was folded into the updated Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion position, which is now staffed and housed in the Office of the Provost. The position works jointly with OIIE and the Office of Human Resources.
  • The Provosts’ and Deans’ Council retreat in summer 2016 focused on diversity to advance understanding and progress in non-discrimination. This included an in-depth discussion of awareness of self-identity and privilege to help in understanding the impact of that perspective on one’s own actions and reactions. It also included a discussion of cultural competency, particularly in identifying and setting goals for diversity, equity and inclusion. Training on systematic racism and implicit bias was provided during the fall 2017 Provosts’ and Deans’ Council retreat.
  • HRL has partnered with the CSD to provide development in diversity for professional and resident assistant staff.
  • Over the summer, orientation leaders were trained to facilitate discussions on inclusion.
  • During summer orientation, all first-year students participated in an orientation program that addressed stereotypes and hidden bias.
  • Over the summer, the Division of Student Affairs participated in a staff development program in which each staff member examined their own strengths and weaknesses with respect to diversity and inclusiveness. The program also provided best practices for diversity and inclusiveness, and included planning for initiatives in the 2016-17 academic year.
  • Hate crimes and bias policies and procedures were updated August 2019.
  • Current policies, procedures, and resources on Hate and Bias Incidents are available on the OIIE website.
  • OIIE staff are available to offer trainings on current hate and bias policies, procedures, terminology (hate crime, hate speech, bias incident), and strategies for supporting free expression while enforcing a campus culture free of discrimination.

Next Steps

  • All efforts at minimizing hate crimes and bias incidents and publicly posting reports are ongoing.

Goal 11

Require that policing practices be equitable for black events and white events alike.


  • In summer 2015, a committee of administrators reviewed and revised the process for staffing student events. A writing group rewrote the policy, specifically addressing late night parties and complex event policy. As a result, all similar events are required to use the same support and enforcement.
  • In summer 2016, the committee developed the TU Student Guide to Planning Events (PDF) to increase transparency and better inform students about policies and procedures associated with event planning. 
  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, the CSD conducted a series of dialogues and workshops with Towson University Police Department (TUPD) focusing on equitable policing practices and community building between TUPD and students of color. The engagement with TUPD helps to ensure open communication and understanding between TUPD and students of color.
  • In summer 2017, an e-learning video was created to train key representatives from student organizations wishing to reserve event and meeting space through Event and Conference Services (ECS). The video is designed to help students better understand policies and procedures associated with room requests and reservations.

  • OIIE has continued to provide training to TUPD and ECS related to cultural competency, unconscious bias, microaggressions, and inclusive and equitable practices.

Goal 12

Advocate for the establishment of a course requirement in American race relations for students by meeting with the necessary and appropriate entities (such as the Curriculum Committee, Academic Senate, MHEC, USM, etc.).


The Core Curriculum Revisions Task Force Recommendation #4 was to examine Core 11 as the most plausible place within the Core Curriculum where Race in America might be addressed as a theme. During the 2017-2018 academic year a task force was assembled to examine the feasibility of including Race in America as a major theme of Core 11 (U.S. as a Nation). The review was conducted and the task force concurs that Core 11 is the appropriate designation for Race in America. Preliminary recommendations from the task force and tentative implementation plan and timeline were shared at Academic Senate in February 2018.  In fall 2018, a small sub-task force will be assembled comprised of one representative from each department with courses in the category to examine next steps.