Diversity Plan

THE STATEWIDE DIVERSITY PLAN (replaces the Kentucky Plan on Equal Opportunities)

Diversity Definition

Diversity, as a concept, describes an inclusive community of people with varied human characteristics, ideas, and world views related, but not limited, to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, color, creed, national origin, age, disabilities, socio-economic status, life experiences, geographical region, or ancestry. Diversity in concept expects the creation by institutions of a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment that honors and respects those differences.

The Murray State Diversity Plan

A copy of the most recent institutional diversity plan: Murray State University Diversity Plan

In accordance with the Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Council on Postsecondary Education requires an institutional diversity plan. Murray State University’s Institutional Diversity Plan, as mandated by the CPE, is driven by institutional initiatives organized by and focuses on each of the following three (3) areas: opportunity, success and impact. 

Opportunity – (Recruitment and Enrollment of Diverse Students and includes the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Enrollment components)

Initiative/Objective 1: Enhance strategically focused student recruitment and enrollment efforts

Success – (Student Progression & Success and includes the Student Retention 1st to 2nd year, Graduation Rates and Degrees Conferred components)

Initiative/Objective 2: Increase student retention and graduation rates

Impact – (Campus Climate, Inclusiveness and Cultural Competency and includes Workforce Diversity components)

Initiative/Objective 3: Address the challenge of recruiting and retaining faculty  and staff who are members of underrepresented groups**

Implementation of the Plan 

The Executive Director of IDEA also serves as the institution's Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and partners with the President's Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce (IDEIT), academic student support and non-academic units to implement ideas, collaborate on outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts for students and employees, and to enhance efforts toward student achievement. IDEA staff works with the various units through the Vice Presidents in developing diversity and inclusion strategies and metrics in their individual strategic plans. Additionally the Office for Institutional Effectiveness serves as a partner with IDEA to help all units    understand and use of data collected on students, faculty and staff as it relates to any impact on campus climate and inclusivity institutional efforts.

Degree Program Eligibility
Kentucky statute states that an institution's eligibility for new academic programs is connected to its performance in implementing equal opportunity objectives. The statute does grant the Council on Postsecondary Education authority to grant a temporary waiver if an institution demonstrates progress in meeting equal opportunity objectives, and for the granting of a temporary waiver to a state-supported postsecondary education institution which has not met its objectives.

The Kentucky Plan on Equal Opportunities

The Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities in Higher Education embraces the dynamic nature of public postsecondary education in Kentucky as institutions seek to provide greater access for an increasingly diverse student population. The Committee on Equal Opportunities (CEO) oversees the Commonwealth's desegregation and equal opportunities plans for postsecondary education. The Committee reviews institutional progress and makes recommendations for equal opportunities policy improvements to the Council. The Kentucky Equal Opportunity and Desegregation Plans were created to address the 1981 finding that the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, had failed to eliminate the vestiges of its former de jure racially dual system of public higher education. The Equal Opportunity Status Reports and Partnership Agreement Status Report detail the progress of Kentucky's public postsecondary institutions regarding the implementation of their commitments to bring Kentucky into compliance with Title IV. The reports identify each commitment and the status of progress.  

The Council has been involved in equal opportunity planning since 1981 when the Commonwealth was asked by the U. S. Office for Civil Rights to develop a voluntary desegregation plan. Since that time, several five-year plans were developed. The goal of the Kentucky plan is to have a system of postsecondary education that is student centered, where choice of institutions is unfettered; success is realizable for everyone regardless of race; and, all perspective students are provided an undergraduate educational opportunity regardless of social, ethnic, or economic circumstances.

Murray State Diversity Initiatives  

It should be noted that the report submitted to the CPE to demonstrate institutional progress is not submitted in real time and lags to afford institutions the opportunity to submit complete quantitative and qualitative information for the data collection period. 

Murray State Strategic Initiatives  Plan

**Racial Categories for Diversity Plan

Although IPEDs requires institutions to collect data for all races (see below); when institutions collect race and ethnicity data from students and staff, they are required to use a 2-question format. The first question asks about ethnicity (is the individual Hispanic or Latino, yes or no) and the second question asks about race (the individual is asked to select one or more race categories with which he or she identifies: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; White. So there are 6 categories for data collection. ALL respondents must have the opportunity to answer BOTH questions.

There are 9 racial categories for data reporting to IPEDS. The categories for reporting are: Hispanic (regardless of race); and for non-Hispanics: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; White; Two or more races. In addition, Nonresident alien (for whom race and ethnicity is not reported), and Race and ethnicity unknown.

Murray State University counts all racial categories, however, it should be noted that when reporting to the CPE about progress toward institutional initiatives/goals,  the CPE counts/considers the following as URM:

**Underrepresented Minority (URM) – Students who categorized themselves as a) Hispanic or Latino, b) American Indian or Alaska Native, c) Black or African American, d) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or e) Two or more Races.    

**Special Notes:  If Hispanic is marked along with other races, Hispanic is the only racial category to be noted as it supersedes all other racial categories.  If any other race is marked with a race OTHER than Hispanic, the racial category to be noted is Two or more races.

NOTE: The Office of Equal Opportunity transitioned to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access effective July 1, 2013. All references within campus-wide documents to the Office of Equal Opportunity should be considered analogous to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access.

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