Minimum Steps for A Cultural Shift at The University of Alabama
1. Invest in Students, Faculty, and Staff
1.1 A minimum of $1,000,000 set aside every year towards:
1.1.1 Full tuition scholarships to black students and students of color.
1.1.2 Research and conference travel for black/POC students and faculty.
1.1.3 Income-based scholarships to aid student’s expenses in the summer.
1.2 Provide at least 100 loaner laptops available at no cost to students for the academic year.
1.3 Invest at least $50,000 into groups like Tide Together for students of color and low income students.
1.4 Develop a 4-5 year strategic plan to increase the enrollment of black students and students of color, with a focus on majors where they’re underrepresented.
1.5 Develop a 4-5 year strategic plan to increase retention of black students and close the graduation gap.
1.6 Fund and begin construction of the intercultural diversity center’s permanent location within the next year, as well as multiple cultural centers reflecting the diversity of the campus (e.g. a space specifically for black students, Latinx students, etc.) within the next 4 years.
1.7 Double the current number of black/POC tenure-track faculty and release annual public reports on the efforts, in addition to diversity reports comparing the gap of income between white and black/POC faculty.
1.8 Include faculty service to students as a valued component of tenure & promotion.
1.9 Develop a strategic plan to increase the recruitment & hiring of faculty of color.
1. 10 Fund associate dean for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion positions for every college.
1.11 Create mentoring programs for faculty & staff, with an emphasis on underrepresented minorities.
1.12 Begin co-operation with the city of Tuscaloosa to create spaces off-campus where students can access the internet for free.
2. Address Discrimination within Greek Life
2.1 Reform APA and IFC recruitment strategies to include a higher standard of diversity goals, scholarships for black/POC students, and mandatory disciplinary action for discriminatory behavior.
2.2 Make yearly in-person bias and reporting training required for all APA/IFC members as presented by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to be repeated should an organization experience a bias-incident.
2.3 Require that DEI officers within each fraternity/sorority have semesterly in-person meetings with Dr. Christine Taylor to discuss and refine the organization’s commitment to diversity, as well as provide diversity reports to the public.
Diversity training should be a requisite, ongoing process.
3. Make Reporting Racism Easy and Effective
3.1 Create an accessible office on campus specifically dedicated to the reporting of incidents of racism/discrimination/bias.
3.1.1 This space should provide counseling for victims, with a sufficient number of counselors —who specialize in work related to these incidents— in ratio to the student of color population.
3.2 Revise procedures for handling acts of discrimination to include
3.2.1 A UA alert that informs students of what happened and where students can go to report similar incidents.
3.2.2 Disciplinary hearings for the university affiliated individual accused.
3.2.3 Transparency on how the punishments were rationalized.
3.2.4 Anonymous reporting.
3.3 Restructure the onboarding processes of student held positions, such as Resident Advisors and Teaching Assistants, to promote a diverse environment wherein students feel comfortable reporting incidents.
4. Learn the History
4.1 Expedite the General Education Taskforce(GET)’s development of a comprehensive plan for general education for implementation by Fall 2022 Semester.
4.2 Support the Gender and Race Studies department by creating a minimum of three graduate teaching assistant positions (including at least two students within GRS, and one from an outside department), as well as one research assistantship, for graduate students to give and assist with research for Dr. Green’s Hallowed Grounds tour and research.
4.3 The sign up process for the Hallowed Grounds tour should be available alongside registration for the main tour.
4.4 Information from the Hallowed Grounds tour should be mandated in the Capstone Men & Women’s tour script while also providing informational brochures with additional Hallowed Grounds tour information and links to register.
4.4.1 This integration is similar to efforts such as that already in place at the University of Virginia.
4.5 To maintain this work and show an appreciation for it, invest in a PhD program in African American Studies with competitive stipends.
4.6 Begin a memorialization effort dedicated to those who were enslaved on UA campus with their names included.
5. Create a No-Tolerance Policy for White Supremacy
5.1 Remove all remaining namesakes of those who advocated against the current diversity of UA campuses.
5.2 Move all confederate monuments to more appropriate historical settings.
5.3 Ban confederate symbolism on campus, with the exception of within the University’s historical archives.