Office of Vice President for Diversity
Colorado State University
February 15, 2018


The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI) acknowledge the diligent and thoughtful work of the PCDI’s Diversity Plan Subcommittee in drafting this document. While the specified elements of the CSU Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Campus Climate Blueprint are original to CSU, the inspiration for an overall approach to guide this endeavor can be attributed to various institutions that have travelled this journey.


The overarching purpose of the Institutional Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Campus Climate Blueprint is to realize the vision that, “CSU will be the best place to learn, work, and discover.” Supporting this vision, it is our shared desire to mobilize CSU towards being a rewarding, inspiring, productive, and inclusive community for all employees and students.

Context Timeline

The following key events and initiatives led to the construction of the Blueprint:

U.S. Representative Justin Morrill, a Vermont native and son of a blacksmith, proposed the notion of government land grants to support practical public education for the working classes. President Abraham Lincoln signed the first Morrill Act into law on July 2, 1862.
The signing of the second Morrill Act.
The Hatch Act to establish Agricultural Experiment Stations.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 created the Cooperative Extension Service.
In May 2010, the Vice President for Diversity (VPD) position was implemented to coordinate, initiate, enhance and lead CSU’s diversity efforts by President Tony Frank. The VPD leads diversity planning efforts, including assessment, evaluation, and accountability; develops strategic partnerships, alliances and collaborations; organizes the annual Diversity Symposium; helps to coordinate activities among on-campus units, commissions, committees, and task forces; and represents the University through networking and collaboration with outside communities, schools, and organizations. The VPD reports directly to the President and serves on the President’s Cabinet.
During the 2013 Fall Address, President Tony Frank announced the launch of the Ripple Effect, now called The Women and Gender Collaborative, an initiative to make CSU the best university in the country for women to work and learn. In 2016, President Frank established the President’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion.
The Principles of Community articulates our shared foundation for a collaborative and vibrant community.
The Multicultural Organization Development (MCOD) Model is a tool adopted by CSU to evaluate the organizational progress towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and campus climate.
The CSU 2016 Strategic Plan establishes diversity, equity, inclusion and campus climate as a priority, and defines goals that all parts of campus should work to accomplish.

Institutional Diversity Plan Goals

The University’s Strategic Plan contains eleven major goals that serve to guide institutional efforts. Goal 8 in the Strategic Plan delineates a set of six goals/objectives with a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Campus Climate. These six goals/objectives form the foundation for the Blueprint. The Blueprint resonates and expands the goals/objectives listed in the University’s Strategic Plan to encompass a more holistic strategy for diversity, equity, inclusion and campus climate.

  1. Increase recruitment of marginalized and excluded faculty, staff, and students
  2. Improve retention and promotion of marginalized and excluded faculty, staff, and students
  3. Develop cultural competency of all faculty, staff, and students
  4. Cultivate an inclusive institutional climate
  5. Embed diversity and inclusion in curriculum, educational programs, and research across all campus units
  6. Increase outreach and engagement with marginalized and excluded external communities

How to use the Blueprint

Each goal is defined to provide better understanding and direction. Examples of initiatives are organized in a four-step framework in order to emphasize the process necessary to effectively reach the goal. The four-step framework also aids the user to observe which process area(s) their unit may have low to high activity.

The Analysis phase can be considered as the information-gathering stage. Interviews, focus groups, surveys, data, and institutional records are ways to gather information. This phase answers the question: What do we know?

The Design phase is to design strategies and propose appropriate interventions. Brainstorming ideas is a typical exercise to boost idea production. This phase answers the question: How are we going to meet the goal?

The Implementation phase is to implement the intervention, program, strategy, or idea. This phase affirms: We are doing this!

The Evaluation phase is to determine if desired results have been achieved. This phase answers the question: How did it go?

Goal 1: Increase recruitment of marginalized and excluded faculty, staff, and students

Goal defined: Actively support efforts to increase recruitment of faculty, staff and students from marginalized and excluded populations.
Example Unit Initiatives Sorted by Phase


  • Utilize national and state demographic trends of secondary school and community college student populations to prepare for shifting priorities in enrollment management, including outreach, engagement, recruitment, and student success.
  • Utilize data to support the need for providing living wages commensurate to job responsibilities in the context of a high cost of living city and surrounding areas.
  • Utilize availability data and applicant flow information in faculty and staff hiring processes and improve applicant pools.


  • Establish/expand collaborative relationships between outreach/access/recruitment efforts and academic departments to better coordinate secondary school and community college pipeline, transition and transfer initiatives to connect and match potential students to academic departments.
  • Develop communication strategy to convey the benefits of being part of our CSU community.
  • Develop job descriptions and work environments that articulate areas of support and commitment to inclusive excellence.
  • Establish/coordinate student/employee/faculty affinity groups to increase connections, networks, and support.


  • Provide/support sustained, intentional, age/cultural/linguistic-appropriate programming that increases awareness and benefits of your academic programs by connecting with identified populations, either on campus or the community, or from secondary/community college visits.
    • Attend high school career fairs to showcase the benefits and academic preparation for your department’s academic programs.
    • Connect and collaborate with professional associations in efforts to engage high school and community college students.
    • Host events and programs to familiarize potential students with the breadth of career and job opportunities that graduates of your programs enjoy.
    • Deploy communication strategy (brochures, leaflets, one-pagers, infographics, videos, table displays, pens, calendars) that compliments establishment of personal connections and engagement.
  • Work toward goal of 100% participation of hiring authorities, particularly deans and associate deans, in search committee training that addresses best practices, implicit bias, and cultural responsiveness; provide potential job candidates with information about affinity groups to publicize the existence of employee networks.
  • In alignment with the PCDI Hiring Subcommittee recommendations, hire centralized Equal Opportunity Coordinators (EOC) centralized in the EOC Office. Until centralized professional EOCs are in place, EOCs on committees must be affiliated with a unit external to the hiring unit, EOCs must participate in refresh training to institutionalize consistency and expectations, minimize the impact of bias, and advocate for diversity and inclusion, and proactive support the role of the EOC to set expectations of hiring authorities, search chairs, and search committees.
  • Pursue cluster hires where appropriate, particularly when opportunities exist across units; promote visibility of research area and teaching needs of each department, and explore post-doctoral opportunities that attract diverse faculty; connect with professional associations to engage diverse undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.


  • Track numbers and percentages of underrepresented faculty and staff to analyze recruitment trends.
    • Analyze trends over a specific peiod of time defined by the unit, e.g. quarterly, annually, etc.
    • Analyze these numbers by position and job type if applicable.
    • Compare trends to peer institutions/Colorado institutions/programs if available.
  • Track numbers and percentages of underrepresented students (first generation, Pell recipient, minority status, gender) to analyze recruitment trends.
    • Analyze trends over time.
    • Analyze these numbers by student level, major, and intersectionality of student characteristics (first generation, Pell recipient, minority status, gender).
    • Compare trends to peer institutions/programs if available.
    • Compare trends to the numbers and percentages of national and state demographic trends of secondary school and community college student populations.
  • Record attendance of who participates in the implemented programming and track number of new students/employees who were exposed to the implemented recruitment programming prior to joining CSU. Analyze number of participants who join the CSU community over time and which programming is an effective recruitment tool.
  • Track attendance in search committee training.
    • Compare over time to track trends towards 100% participation.
    • Track over time the usage of the CDI’s recommended search committee practices.

Goal 2: Improve retention and promotion of marginalized faculty, staff, and students

Goal defined: Actively support efforts to increase retention and promotion of faculty, staff and students from marginalized and excluded populations.
Example Unit Initiatives Sorted by Phase


  • Compare equity disparities in pay across employee groups by gender and race/ethnicity.
  • Explore achievement gaps between student populations (first generation, race, gender, etc.).
  • Explore perceptions of the unit climate by obtaining unit level feedback from internal survey, informal interviews, exit interviews, course evaluations, focus groups, unit level data from employee campus climate survey if possible.
    • Collect data on best practices from peer units for fostering an inclusive climate for faculty, staff and students.


  • Develop and scale-up transition and support programs that work to reduce achievement gaps by engaging and connecting students to student success resources.
  • Establish and continue practices that increase transparency in the promotion and tenure process and usage of student evaluations in the promotion and tenure process.
  • Create a promotion plan for staff and introduce succession planning or activites to improve staff engagement.
  • Utilize and amend best practices from peer units for fostering an inclusive climate for faculty, staff and students.
  • Develop partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaboration for fostering a more inclusive climate.


  • Create a task force or catalyst team for diversity and inclusive excellence.
  • Facilitate activities that nurture mutual and community support, such as women of color and allies retreat, new faculty of color lunches, employee welcoming and orienting processes, and/or a mentoring program for lower/upper level students and/or junior/senior faculty and staff.
  • Create/connect with first generation student initiatives.
  • Widely communicate, educate, and support family friendly policies/processes, professional development and leadership opportunities.


  • Track increase in retention of underrepresented students, faculty and staff.
  • Track promotion trends by underrepresented faculty and staff.
  • Track decrease in pay disparity over time and by employee characteristics.
  • Track decrease in achievement gaps over time by student group.
  • Track patterns over time in exit interviews.
  • Track decrease in percentage of underrepresented students who receive early warning feedback (UTurn) over time.

Goal 3: Develop cultural competency of all faculty, staff, and students

Goal defined: Build an environment where students and employees are more culturally competent and have skills to work in a diverse global workplace.
Example Unit Initiatives Sorted by Phase


  • Utilize Institutional Research resources to review interactive reports.
  • Conduct focus groups and surveys (or other means of collecting meaningful data) that represent the experiences of all stake holders in the unit (faculty, research personnel, staff, undergraduate and graduate students).
  • Survey faculty and staff to determine number of professional development trainings or conferences attended over the previous year related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Facilitate assessment of unit’s cultural competency with integrative models such as the Multicultural Organization Development Model and research based information specific to the unit.
  • Conduct a review of best practices to identify what will guide next steps.
  • Review and utilize Campus Climate survey results to inform design.


  • Establish diversity and inclusion committee in the units with representation of faculty, staff and students (undergraduate and graduate).
  • Develop process to conduct cultural competency assessment for the unit.
  • Research cultural competency assessment models and best practices applicable to the unit.
  • Identify professional opportunities for training on and off campus as it relates to the unit.
  • Create assessment tools specific to each unit.


  • Unit leadership participation in Vice President for Diversity training programs – Creating Inclusive Excellence Program (CIEP).
  • Faculty participation in Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence (FIIE).
  • Unit employees participation in Social Justice Leadership Institute (SJLI).
  • Unit employees attendance at professional conference(s) with focus on diversity and inclusive excellence.
  • Participation in the Fort Collins Multicultural Community Retreat.
  • In conjunction with SDPS (Student Diversity Programs and Services) Cluster, develop cultural competencies necessary for graduating students.
  • Support efforts to promote underrepresented students participating in education abroad programs.
  • Increase efforts of underrepresented students engaging in undergraduate research (e.g., Multicultural Undergraduate Research, Arts, and Leadership Symposium (MURALS)).
  • Ensure curriculum is inclusive of historically excluded and marginalized communities.


  • Graduate Student Climate Survey.
  • Student Climate Survey.
  • Employee Climate Survey.
  • Program Attendance & Feedback.
  • Workshop Attendance & Feedback.
  • Training Attendance & Feedback.
  • Resources (Pride Resource Center, Employee groups).
  • Increased number of university initiatives.
  • Increased number of guest speakers and visiting faculty.
  • Increased interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships.

Goal 4: Cultivate an inclusive institutional climate

Goal defined: Improve the campus climate of inclusion.
Example Unit Initiatives Sorted by Phase


  • Campus Climate Survey: conduct a campus wide survey on a biennial basis to assess current campus dynamics regarding diversity and inclusion.
  • Collect and analyze current exit surveys for students, faculty, and staff who have left the university to determine whether campus climate contributed to their decision.
  • Collect and analyze stay surveys for students, faculty, and staff.


  • Ensure that all university training and orientation programs encompass diversity and inclusion best practices.
  • Develop, support, and identify, diversity and inclusion practitioners who proactively promote and affirm inclusion.
  • Mentor and advise campus members, units, and departments, on strategies regarding diversity and inclusion best practices.
  • Address incidents of bias and coordinate response efforts for the campus with inclusion best practices in mind.
  • Develop ‘Principles of Community’ to address bystander intervention and values clarification for the University Diversity Training Programs (Creating Inclusive Excellence Program).
  • Increase inclusion efforts and visibility of inclusive physical and virtual environments on campus, promote accessibility and inclusion.


  • Reduction of grievances and incidences, complaints, discrimination filings.
  • Reduction of hate incidences.
  • Disseminate Principles of Community.
  • Graduate Student Climate Survey.
  • Student Climate Survey.
  • Employee Climate Survey.
  • Program Attendance & Feedback.
  • Workshop Attendance & Feedback.
  • Training Attendance & Feedback.
  • Facilities that are inclusive.
  • Resources (LGBT, Employee groups).
  • Increased number of university initiatives.
  • Increased number of guest speakers and visiting faculty.
  • Increased interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships.

Goal 5: Embed diversity and inclusion in curriculum, educational programs, and research across all campus units

Goal defined: Enhance effectiveness of curriculum, educational programs, and research, with regard to diversity and inclusion.
Example Unit Initiatives Sorted by Phase


Conduct surveys of undergraduate and graduate courses to assess the number of courses which currently infuse diversity into the curriculum.


Collaborate to establish directors of diversity and retention in each college or academic unit (e.g., College of Agricultural Sciences model).


  • Increase opportunities for faculty members to learn and apply effective pedagogies for teaching diverse student populations by expanding trainings and resources, such as the Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence.
  • Diversity Inventory Project.
  • Inclusive Classrooms Short Course.
  • Diversity Cluster Hires.
  • Sponsor events and Diversity Symposium.


  • Systemic review of curriculum to establish baseline.
  • Increased number of diversity-infused courses offered.
  • Expanded recruitment efforts in diverse and general publications.
  • Increased number of guest speakers and visiting faculty.
  • Increased interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships.
  • Increased in breadth of research topics and publications.
  • Increased number of cluster hires.
  • Increased attendance at Diversity Symposium.
  • Increased implementation of inclusive practices.
  • Increased attendance at Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence.
  • Increased work with TILT.
  • Increased opportunities to participate in professional development that promote inclusive excellence practices.

Goal 6: Increase outreach and engagement with marginalized and excluded external communities

Goal defined: Increase Outreach and Engagement with External Communities.
Example Unit Initiatives Sorted by Phase


  • The Colorado Extension Planning and Reporting System summarizes educational outreach and service activities to diverse audiences by Extension employees.
  • Extension employees document an increase in significant programming for diverse audiences and diverse audience participation in programming through the Performance Appraisal process, COERS system, and Work Team reports.


  • Maintain Diversity Catalyst Team (DCT) with membership representative of Extension employment categories.
  • Develop minimum expectations for cultural competency for Extension staff.
  • CSU Extension Diversity Plan 2009-2012 includes four goals categorized by three areas: community, faculty and staff, and leadership.


  • The Extension Program Leadership Team (PLT) is composed of six Core Competency Area (CCA) leaders each provide leadership for one of Extension’s six primary programming areas, three regional directors, and the Associate Director.
  • 4-H STEM AmeriCorps Program targets improved educational and behavioral outcomes for economically disadvantaged youth and supports their success in post-secondary educational institutions and career readiness.
  • National Center for Dropout Prevention will reduce the dropout rate, including active learning, afterschool learning, safe learning environments and school-community collaboration and, at some sites, family engagement, career and technology education, educational technology and service learning. The content will focus on contextual and cultural relevance.
  • Individual employee performance appraisal narratives include information regarding diverse audience inclusion, integration and outcomes.
  • Work team program reporting templates include a matrix for program delivery to new/diverse audiences, and these data are included in the annual Federal Report.

Glossary of Terms

Campus Climate is the perceptions and attitudes about the campus and the immediate workplace.

Cluster Hire is the process of hiring a group of faculty/staff to fill a need for expertise in a certain area, such as research and teaching.

Cultural Competency is a set of academic and interpersonal skills that allow individuals to increase their understanding, sensitivity, appreciation, and responsiveness to cultural differences and the interactions resulting from them. The particulars of acquiring cultural competency vary among different groups, and they involve an ongoing relational process tending to inclusion and trust-building.

Difference between diversity and inclusion

  • Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.
  • Diversity refers to the variety of differences and similarities/dimensions among people, such as race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, physical abilities/qualities, sex, sexual orientation, age, culture, first generation status, different ideas and perspectives, familial status, immigration status, geographic background marital status, national origin, religious and spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic status, and veteran status.
  • Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive university promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the skills and talents of all.

Ethnicity is the culture of people in a given geographic region, including their language, heritage, religion and customs.

Equity in education is defined as composed of fairness and inclusion. Fairness can be thought of as ensuring that people do not encounter irrelevant obstacles toward achieving their human potential. It creates opportunities for equal access and success in higher education among historically underrepresented student populations, such as ethnic minority and low-income students. Within the postsecondary education community, “equity” is further defined into three terms:

  • Representational equity, which refers to the proportional participation of historically underrepresented student populations at all levels of an institution;
  • Resource equity, which takes account of the educational resources, when unequally distributed, that are directed at closing equity gaps; and
  • Equity mindedness refers to the outlook, perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners and others who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes, and are willing to assume personal and institutional responsibility for the elimination of inequity. This includes being “color conscious,” noticing differences in experience among racial-ethnic groups, and being willing to talk about race and ethnicity as an aspect of equity. Equity perspectives are evident in actions, language, problem-framing, problem-solving, and cultural practices.

Excluded is the structural mechanism to systematically subordinate and marginalize people of non-dominant groups.

First generation definitions will vary by institutions:

  • Parents with no education after high school.
  • Students whose parents have never enrolled in postsecondary education.
  • First person or generation in one’s nuclear family to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
  • Parents that have never graduated from any post-secondary education institution.
  • Parents who have completed one or two years of college but did not finish and parents who have completed a community college degree.

Gender or Gender Identity is one’s concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither. This self conviction is not contingent upon the individual’s biological sex. This also has no bearing on the individual’s sexual orientation.

Inclusive environments are spaces where all members feel welcomed, valued, and affirmed.

Inclusive Excellence re-envisions both quality and diversity. It reflects a striving for excellence in higher education that has been made more inclusive by decades of work to infuse diversity into recruiting, admissions, and hiring; into the curriculum and co-curriculum; and into administrative structures and practices.

Intersectionality is a complex of reciprocal attachments and sometimes polarizing conflicts that confront both individuals and movements as they seek to “navigate” among the raced, gendered, and class-based dimensions of social and political life. The concept was originally published by Kimberlé Crenshaw to address the intersection of race, gender, and violence.

Marginalization is the significant reduction of involvement in society and the considerable loss of opportunities experience by certain groups or individuals within a specific society, with a consequent breakdown of ties either in terms of social control or in terms of reciprocal solidarity. Such reduction leads to a progressive decline in social participation.

Microaggressions are everyday insults, indignities and demeaning messages sent to historically marginalized groups by well-intentioned members of the majority group who are unaware of the hidden messages being sent.

Multiethnic is a person who identifies as coming from two or more ethnicities; a person whose biological parents are of two or more ethnicities.

Multiracial is a person who identifies as coming from two or more races; a person whose biological parents are of two or more different races (“Bias Glossary” 2013).

Organizational climate is the shared perceptions and attitudes about the organization.

Organizational culture is the shared beliefs and assumptions about the organization’s expectations and values, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members.

Race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics.  Sociologists use the concept of race to describe how people think of and treat groups of people, as people very commonly classify each other according to race (e.g., as African American or as Asian). The concept of race has no biological foundation, it is a purely social construct. Racism however is real and it is based on the social classifications and hierarchies created in different societies based on various physical characteristics, including skin color.

People of Color is collective term to refer to people of Asian, African, Latin and Native American backgrounds; as opposed to the collective “White” for those of European ancestry. Used primarily in the United States to describe any person who is not white; the term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism.

Privilege is an unearned right, license, or exemption from duty or liability granted as a special benefit, advantage, or favor.

Social Construct is the idea that “[r]ace, class and gender don’t really mean anything. They only have a meaning because society gives them meaning. Social construction is how society groups people and how it privileges certain groups over others.

Social Identity involves the ways in which one characterizes oneself, the affinities one has with other people, the ways one has learned to behave in stereotyped social settings, the things one values in oneself and in the world, and the norms that one recognizes or accepts governing everyday behavior.

Social Justice is a broad term for action intended to create genuine equality, fairness and respect among peoples. It is both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.

Unconscious Bias (Implicit bias) refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Occurs when someone consciously rejects stereotypes and supports antidiscrimination efforts but also holds negative associations in his/her mind unconsciously.

Underrepresented in higher education refers to racial and ethnic populations that are disproportionately lower in number relative to their number in the general population, and “historically” means that this is a ten year or longer trend at a given school.

White privilege is a set of advantages and/or immunities that white people benefit from on a daily basis beyond those common to all others. White privilege can exist without white people’s conscious knowledge of its presence and it helps to maintain the racial hierarchy in this country.


Campus Climate Survey (2016):
Fall Address and University Picnic (2013):
Institutional Research:
Land Grant Tradition:
Opportunities 2016 Strategic Plan:
Principles of Community:
Report to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty at Colorado State University:
Strategic Plan (2016):
Vice President for Diversity, May 10, 2010:

Recommended Reading

Jackson, B. W. (2006). Theory and practice of multicultural organization development. In Jones, B. B. & Brazzel, M. (Eds.), The NTL Handbook of Organization Development and Change (ppw. 139-154). San Francisco: Pfeifer.
Willams, D. A. (2013). Strategic Diversity Leadership. Sterling: Stylus.