Here at UMass Lowell, we work to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to receive an education and work in an inclusive and supportive environment. This work is in line with some of our guiding principles, such as reducing poverty and inequality. Our AASHE STARS Reporting outlines many of the ways in which we are working to achieve this goal for our students and employees.
Diversity & Equity
UMass Lowell has an Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach (EOO) whose mission is to provide consultation to the campus community on the implementation of best practices in diversity and inclusion as related to workforce planning and management. They serve faculty, staff, administrators and students, and their work includes recruitment, outreach with minority communities, a variety of intake services and monitoring compliance programs. The Office of EOO offers the following services and programs:
- Diversity Education and Awareness workshops, civility tool-kits and online programming
- Search Committee Responsibilities
- Nondiscrimination Guidelines, Employee Conduct, and Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure
- Sexual Harassment/ Title IX Procedure
The mission of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is to create an inclusive campus community that promotes social justice and diversity. They serve and support all students of our community, particularly individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. Using a student-centered approach, our office strives to create change and transformation through programs, initiatives and support. The Office of Multicultural Affairs offers the following programs:
- Ally Space
- Diversity Peer Educator Program
- Faculty and Staff of Color Network
- Invisible Identity Series
- MLK Week
- Multicultural Programming Committee
- Student Committee on Fostering Inclusive Communities
- Training and Workshops
Assessing Diversity & Equity
UMass Lowell uses a broad and multifaceted set of tools to encourage and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus in employee and student populations. UMass Lowell is a member of the EAB Student Success Collaborative. As such, we use EAB’s student success management system, Navigate, to link administrators, faculty, staff, and advisors in a coordinated care network to support students from enrollment to graduation and beyond.
Admission rates are tracked by ethnicity. 4 & 6 year grad rates are tracked by ethnicity and gender. Hiring across campus is tracked by ethnicity, age and gender by department division. Student success is tracked using a variety of early warning tools, such as Navigate, that allow university employees to direct at-risk students to existing resources on campus to encourage their success.
The assessment results are presented in our Institutional Research Factbooks, the UMass Lowell Report Card, and an annual reporting from a variety of Offices including the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Equal Opportunity and Outreach (EOO) Division of Human Resources.
Support for Underrepresented Groups
UMass Lowell does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, national origin, covered veteran status, disability, ancestry or any other characteristic protected by law in employment, admissions, participation in its programs, services and activities, and selection of vendors who provide services or products to UMass Lowell. Feel free to read UMass Lowell's full Nondiscrimination Statement as well.
UMass Lowell has adopted numerous equal opportunity and conduct guidelines. The university has a robust Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure and a Sexual Harassment/ Title IX/ VAWA Procedure.
UMass Lowell's policy for bias reporting shows how our discrimination response is structured to:
- document the occurrence of discriminatory acts or bias incidents,
- provide support those who have experienced or witnessed an act of discrimination or bias, and
- develop programs to help to prevent or eliminate discrimination and bias activity.
UMass Lowell is committed to increasing the diversity of our campus' student, faculty and staff populations. In late 2016, our Chancellor released a statement on Diversity and Inclusion which included set targets for deepening representation from underrepresented groups.
Affordability & Access
UMass Lowell provides need-based student employment for qualifying students with financial aid work awards.
Recognizing time and cost barriers that low-income college students face, UMass Lowell is designing a three-year pathway to a bachelor’s degree and since 2007, has expanded its efforts to increase access to higher education for underrepresented populations, which research shows face the greatest challenges in attaining a college degree, by raising millions of dollars for scholarships. These scholarships often support low-income and/or part-time students. During that timeframe, the university has seen the enrollment by students who identify themselves as being from diverse backgrounds more than double.
The Office of Residence Life worked with several faculty and staff including the advisor to the Navigators student group to create a 12-month housing option. For non-traditional students, students without families, or students who prefer not to go home for breaks, this option allows them to select an apartment-style suite for a full calendar year. Students who select a 12-month option do not have the stress of figuring out where they will live for winter break, summer break, etc. Also, the 12-month option does not require students to have a meal plan – giving them the flexibility and money to plan their own meals.