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August 15, 2006

Current Best Practices and Exemplars in Diversity Efforts in the AHC

1. Creating and strengthening partnerships/formal agreements with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other institutions with a large proportion of underrepresented students

2. Revising core competencies to include diversity/cultural elements (Public Health: “Cross Cutting Competencies�-ASPH working to develop)

3. Initiating the first meeting of all academic searching with EEOA (diversity) coaching

4. Assigning to an Associate Dean of student affairs the responsibility to devote a percentage of time to diversity/culture programming

5. Creating a Center for American Indian and Minority Health

6. Offering seminars/workshops with EOAA to evoke broad discussions on race/cultural issues...to help leadership and faculty “Get It�

7. Offering evening dinner presentations including topics on culture and health-1 ½ hour-once/month;

8. Charging a college-wide Institutional Effectiveness Committee with one responsibility of diversity tracking

9. Remodeling space that is more conducive to faculty counseling/private dialogue to address sensitive issues

10. Increased number of clinical education and service learning sites in underserved communities: NorthPoint, Hibbing Clinic, CUHCC, Fremont Clinic, Broadway Clinic, Care Mobile Dental Unit

11. Conducting special Events to promote volunteerism and build cultural awareness;

12. Designating faculty point(s) to serve as cultural educator and information resource to peers;

13. Attending to esthetics in environment such as more culturally appropriate and welcoming artwork

14. Installing flat screen televisions located throughout school to promote events;

15. Establishing a program to prepare foreign trained dentists for US licensure to increase diversity in school

16. Establishing school-based diversity committees and developing school-based plans

Emerging Themes in the Assessment of Academic Health Center Diversity

• Each of the six schools has a different approach to diversity and inclusiveness.

• Two AHC schools have refined their mission statements to articulate their commitment to diversity. All other schools rely on a broad statement of diversity which is isolated from their mission statement.

• AHC schools are in the first stages of developing diversity plans which will consider faculty and student recruitment and retention, curriculum development and academic climate. Schools are, however, at various stages in implementing diversity policies and programs. Recently resources have been allocated or expanded to support elevating a diversity plan.

• Admissions policies rely in large part on students’ proven academic abilities and use qualitative student information at the schools’ discretion.

• Experiential opportunities (clinical rotations, as well as, service learning) in diverse, underserved populations are required in all AHC schools.

• Each school offers a number of culturally related courses, many of these, however, are not required curriculum.

• A number of outside funding sources are available for student financial aid. Identifying them and educating students on how to pursue these funding opportunities will be key in reducing student debt loads.

• Faculty development to increase cultural awareness is available but not customized to health professions training. These are not required of faculty.

• Underrepresented minority faculty and student data is available but not reported the same within the schools. All schools are beginning processes to identify and collect data (in addition to demographics) needed to assess and improve their diversity.

Guiding Principles

• The Diversity Council will be lead by the senior vice president and his staff.
• The Diversity Council will consist of between 15 and 20 members.
• Diversity Council recruitment will occur at 3 levels: Internal-University, External-Local and External National.
• Internal Council membership will include interprofessional faculty, staff, and students.
• The Council will consist of health professionals and non-health professionals.
• The Council will include national figureheads with varying levels of expertise on diversity and multicultural issues.
• Age, gender, race/ethnicity and nationality of council members will be appropriately considered.
• The Diversity Council will convene quarterly, but communicate as necessary.
• The activities of the council will be marked by a transparent focus on data, with clearly identified metrics and benchmarks and consistent monitoring of institutional progress towards a more inclusive campus climate.
• The Diversity Council’s ultimate goal is institutional transformation.