Recognizing Inclusive Excellence
through Collaboration
President Hank M. Bounds establishes university-wide award that recognizes outstanding contributions to enhancing diversity, access and inclusion and equitable outcomes.

As Nebraska's only public university, faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska are uniquely positioned to transform the lives of Nebraskans and others through teaching, research and innovation. Modeling inclusive excellence strategies at the university is one way we can positively impact our campus community.
To elevate and celebrate university faculty and staff‘s contributions in diversity and inclusion, President Bounds in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Access and Inclusion established the Inclusive Excellence Collaboration Award (IECA). The award lauds collaborative achievements in diversity, access and inclusion spaces that move the NU System toward inclusive excellence. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor is the president’s 2019 inaugural recipient, recognized for their Husker Dialogues series and Inclusive Leadership Retreats.

The Husker Dialogues series and Inclusive Leadership Retreats are examples of how departments can collaborate to create initiatives that help shape the campus climate and student experience. Husker Dialogues create a space for first-year students to lead and participate in discussions about diversity and walk away with the tools to exercise inclusion. The Inclusive Leadership Retreats allow students to take a deeper dive into issues around diversity and inclusion while exploring inclusive leadership. Students who complete the daylong retreat are then encouraged to apply for key student leadership positions where they can employ what they learn.

Spearheaded by Dr. Amy Goodburn, UNL’s senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education; Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and in collaboration with over 100 faculty, staff and students across campus, both initiatives represent the best in teaching, research and innovation in diversity and inclusion. 
President Bounds along with University of Nebraska chancellors share a commitment to supporting the creation of a campus environment that embraces diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
It’s not enough to simply say that we value diversity. We have a responsibility as a university to make certain students have opportunities to sit next to, talk with, and learn from others who may not look or think like them,” Bounds said. “That’s how we’ll build the next generation of leaders who will live and work in an increasingly connected world.
— President Hank Bounds and University of Nebraska Chancellors
Faculty and staff of the University of Nebraska are encouraged to apply for the IECA this fall. Potential applicants should read through the materials to learn more about this new award and complete the application . Collaboration between two or more NU campuses on these efforts may also be nominated. Recipients receive $25,000 and will be announced and honored by the president’s office next spring.

The President’s Executive Order and Free Speech at the University of Nebraska
How does President Trump's executive order impact D&I leaders and the University of Nebraska
In late March 2019, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on campus free speech - Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability At Colleges and Universities. The order was accompanied by a vow by President Trump to withhold federal funding from universities who violate the order.
There has been both support and push back on the controversial order. David R. Harris, president of Union College asks university leaders to take a deeper look at what free speech means in his opinion piece, A Campus Is Not the Place for Free Speech. He states, "On campuses...we must strive for something more than free speech. Our mission requires that we seek what I refer to as constructive engagement. It is not enough for individuals to speak freely. We must also find myriad ways to put a range of views into conversation with one another." Read the c omplete o p-ed.
Regardless of competing views of free speech, “the executive order essentially directs federal agencies to ensure colleges are following requirements already in place. And it doesn't spell out how enforcement of the order would work.” said Andrew Kreighbaum, federal policy reporter for Inside Higher Ed. Read more from Kreighbaum.
The University of Nebraska has had a long-standing commitment to freedom of expression on its campuses and has a policy in place. The president’s executive order provides an opportunity to review the policy that should serve as a baseline and that campuses should familiarize themselves with. The policy clarifies and underscores the university’s long-standing commitment to freedom of expression. It also makes clear the University places a high value on civil discourse and that no one should prevent, impede, or obstruct the freedom of others to exercise their rights to express themselves. The policy also requires all campuses to develop and publicize clear time, place and manner requirements for their facilities. See the University of Nebraska Board of Regents Free Speech Policy here.

Lack of Geographic Inclusion Leads to Lack of Legal Representation in Nebraska
The Nebraska College of Law Works to Address Gap with Geography Based Grants

Intentional and ongoing engagement with a diversity of communities is also an important aspect of inclusion. Currently in Nebraska, 12 of the state's 93 counties, including McPherson, Arthur, Blaine and Hayes, have no attorneys, making the need for attorneys in rural Nebraska is greater than ever. Without attorneys, residents of rural areas are left with no access to legal support for issues around housing, environment, public services, employment and other issues that impact their daily lives.

The shortage of attorneys in these rural Nebraska areas means that people may have to drive hundreds of miles for legal assistance. Communities not only lack lawyers and judges, but also important leaders for schools, community organizations and businesses.
“It is basically the denial of access to justice,” says Lyle Koenig , a self-professed “country” lawyer and co-chair of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Committee on Rural Practice Initiative. “Even if somebody isn’t suing you or something like that, if you just need a deed drafted or a will drawn, there’s no way to do it unless there’s an attorney that’s handy in your local community.” ( Read the full article. )
The Nebraska College of Law has created The Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP) which aims to ensure all Nebraskans have access to legal representation by encouraging the practice of law in the state’s rural communities. Through the program, students from certain Nebraska areas will study at one of three Nebraska State Colleges or Universities, obtain their legal education at Nebraska Law and then practice in rural areas throughout the state.
The Nebraska College Of Law has also established The Underserved Law Opportunities Program (ULOP) to address the lack of representation in law in urban areas. The program aims to provide the opportunity for a legal education for students in underserved communities, and to encourage students to provide legal services to those communities.
Realizing the Full Power of Diversity Through Intentional Inclusion
The value of diversity is not fully realized viewed solely as the addition of difference or a finite goal to be reached. For organization’s to experience diversity more holistically, intentionality focused on putting diversity into action is necessary.
Only through inclusion – creating an environment of support, engagement, respect and collaboration – can institutions experience the full power of diversity and reap the benefits of varying backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas that heighten organizational performance and lead to equitable outcomes.

Inclusion can be achieved with a few initial steps to assess, disrupt and build a framework for it:

Identify Possible Barriers to Inclusion
Successful diversity and inclusion efforts are often complex in nature and cannot be achieved in isolation. Putting diversity into action also requires the evaluation and examination of climates and where necessary organizational processes, structures and procedures that pose barriers to D&I efforts. 

Disrupting Systems that Pose Barriers to Inclusion
Systemic barriers must be “disrupted” and brought into alignment with the organization’s desire to create a diverse and inclusive environment. 

Without structures in place to support inclusion efforts, the system remains perfectly designed to perpetuate the environment and outcomes it always has. Implementing these structures results in true diversity and inclusion and the advancement of equitable outcomes to remain elusive.

Collaboration Provides the Best Conditions for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)
The best conditions for collaborative D&I efforts exist when there are shared goals, cooperation and institutional support is present. Through the collaboration of an established network of partners across shared outcomes, an institution’s capacity to achieve its D&I objectives increases exponentially. 

The pathway forward also requires the development of a strategic framework that integrates D&I efforts into core institutional operations through sustained efforts. The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) provides a framework tool for bringing together campus leaders and practitioners across divisions and departments. Download a copy of the tool Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning here.

Celebrate Diversity And Be Inclusive Year Round!
According to a study by Harvard University, diversity training usually fails unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice . Diversity events and monthly themes can be helpful for respectful scheduling, and also provide a great opportunity for inclusion, and shout outs to diverse groups.

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Workshop
Date: May 17, 2019 Time: 9 a.m.–Noon
132 CPACS, UNO Dodge Campus
Contact: Michelle Nelsen, 402.554-6342 or mdnelsen@unomaha.edu
Cost: $15; optional $10 for three social work and mental health CEUs.

In this transparent CLAS training, mental and physical health professionals will learn about CLAS and practical methods to implement CLAS standards to provide equitable health care.

CLAS standards are federally mandated for mental or physical health providers receiving federal funding. However, because CLAS standards have not yet been mandated at the state level in Nebraska, increasing numbers of mental and physical health providers are at risk of violating CLAS, which decreases accessibility to quality care for priority populations. View flier here.

The workshop will be offered again on September 27. 

2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award
The INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award, which recognizes individual schools’ or colleges’ initiatives that inspire underrepresented students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as related fields. These programs can include bridge or pipeline programs, those focused on K-12 recruitment, internships and career opportunities, community and corporate partnerships, and mentorships, among others.

This award is a measure of an institution's commitment to encourage and support the recruitment and retention of these students. The deadline to submit your nomination for the INSIGHT Into Diversity Inspiring Programs in STEM Award is June 30, 2019. All award recipients will be notified by July 15, 2019, and will be featured in the September 2019 STEM Disciplines issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

If you have any questions, please email lpearlstein@insightintodiversity.com.

Higher Education Excellence In Diversity (HEED) Award - Insight Into Diversity 

The Insight Into Diversity HEED Award , open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach. Methods measured include: student recruitment, retention and completion along with hiring practices for faculty and staff.

If your campus is interested in learning about the successful D&I strategies being utilized by HEED Award recipients, please access the 2018-2019 HEED data report in the resources section of the Diversity, Access, & Inclusion website . The data report offers insight into the diversity characteristics and capabilities of the 96 HEED Award recipients of 2018. The Health Professions data report provides information on 35 Health Professions HEED Award recipients of 2018. 

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

The LSAMP program is an alliance-based program with the overall goal of assisting universities and colleges in diversifying the nation's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders.

LSAMP Deadlines: Nov. 1 & 15, 2019


National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE)
May 28–June 1, 2019
Portland, OR

The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED)
June 11–13, 2019
Indianapolis, IN