CLASS Diversity Statement
We believe that the CLASS Diversity Committee was and still is a key component within the University of Houston for discussions of diversity and inclusion. We have played a very positive leadership role. The committee preceded and has been built upon by several new programs within the university such as: the Advance Grant, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Foundations of Excellence. All these groups have built on our recognition that UH needs to be proactive in building its faculty and graduate student diversity in order to best serve its diverse student body and to adequately build Houston’s workforce of tomorrow. While those new entities are now moving the ball forward, our insights can still contribute importantly.
Since its creation, the Diversity Committee has accomplished a variety of objectives that include:
- Researched and discussed best practices at different institutions across the country to enhance diversity practices within CLASS.
- Tracked and monitored college and university statistics pertaining to gender and ethnic diversity as related to student, faculty and administration.
- Drafted the first diversity statement for the committee and for the college because none existed at the University of Houston. A version of the document is now being considered as a University Diversity statement.
- Surveyed chairs and graduate directors about graduate student diversity and departmental practices to diversify the graduate student pool.
- Created and implemented the job search training that focuses on eliminating biases during the creation of positions and during the hiring process, which has been adopted by UH Advance for use throughout the university.
- Helped shape the new Ethnic Studies minor.
- Held a series of workshops during the Fall 2015 semester to help associate professors with the challenges of going up for full professor. The first workshop consisted of basic information about going up for promotion. The following workshop included full professors who discussed their process in reaching promotion, including challenges, successes and advice to others.
Our discussions have been informed by visits from key faculty and administrators including Elwyn Lee, Michael Olivas, Guadalupe San Miguel, and Karen Weber.
Our committee seeks to maintain a presence within CLASS to continue to address issues of diversity among all our constituent groups (faculty, undergrads, graduate students, staff), while also working to promote and establish related and beneficial initiatives at the University of Houston as a whole.
The following are among the diversity-related resources based in CLASS and the University, available for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni:
- The Advance Portal links the activities of NSF Advance Institutional Transformation Grant recipients and has many links and resources relating to increasing diversity on college campuses.
- Center for Students with DisABILITIES provides support services to students with temporary or permanent health impairments, physical limitations, psychiatric disorders, or learning disabilities. Advocacy services and environmental accessibility assistance are also provided.
- Challenger (TRIO) Program is a federally funded “Student Support Services” project funded by the Department of Education to assist students who are primarily low-income, physically disabled and/or first generation college students. Student participants come from an array of backgrounds that cut cross all ethnical/racial, gender and socio-economic boundaries.
- Cougar Ally Training offered by the LGBT Resource Center
- Council of Ethnic Organizations is a student fee–funded organization that promotes cultural awareness and appreciates the diversity at the University of Houston. This site is a gateway to other ethnic organizations.
- Counseling & Psychological Services, Diversity Institute is an annual campus-wide event for students, faculty and staff, developed to explore issues related to diversity and multiculturalism. Counseling and Psychology Services also offers a number of other resources.
- Language Acquisition Centerprovides interactive tutorials, word processing capabilities, dictionaries, and Internet access for the study of world languages, literatures, and cultures.
- LGBT Resource Center has various resources and programming for and about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community
- Office of Community Relations and Institutional Access focuses on improving the university’s community partnerships and enhancing and improving access to college for talented, underrepresented, low-income and first-generation students. This office also oversees the Women’s Resource Center, the LGBT Resource Center, and the Center for Students with DisABILITIES, which are all linked from this page.
- University Commission On Women is responsible for informing and advising the President and other senior administrative leaders, as well as the general university community, on issues and concerns that have an impact on women at the University of Houston. This site contains a number of resources but most importantly the Status on Women Report.
- Women’s Resource Center has various resources and programming for and about women around our own campus
Identity Based Programs
- African American Studies
- Mexican American Studies minor
- Modern & Classical Languages:
- Comparative Cultural Studies Department:
- Hispanic Studies Department
- Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program:
Report and Committee
The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is committed to the concept of diversity. Faculty and administration are mutually interested in the welfare of the college, and they share in oversight of many aspects of college life.
The committee’s charge will be to initially review the data on ethnic, gender, and racial diversity and retention of faculty, staff, and students in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Additionally it will be expected to use the review of data to develop recommendations for enhancing the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students who contribute to the diversity of the College, especially in areas of underrepresentation.
CLASS Diversity Committee Members
Guillermo de los Reyes, associate professor, Department of Hispanic Studies; and associate director, Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Elizabeth Gregory, professor, Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Amy O’Neal, director of assessment and accreditation services, CLASS Dean’s Office
Demetrius Pearson, associate professor, Department of Health & Human Performance
Raul Ramos, associate professor, Department of History
Linda Reed, associate professor, Department of History
Christina Sisk, assistant professor, Department of Hispanic Studies