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Diversity: Report to the Regents
February 2005
University of Colorado at Boulder

Programs and planning

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), along with each division across campus, continues to plan, implement and monitor diversity activities. Activities have focused on extending best practices, increasing outreach efforts, coordinating and linking programs across campus and improving campus climate.

This year all campus units were asked to update and align their unit diversity plans with the campus diversity plan, "A Blueprint for Action." Best practice models and templates were provided to units for guidance. Most units have submitted their plans for review by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs (CACMA). Next year units will be asked to report progress.

The ODE has also stepped up its recruitment efforts and focus on faculty retention. The ODE has also been bringing groups together, both staff and faculty, to talk about ways to improve campus climate and to build community.

This year the CACMA will celebrate its 10th anniversary of the Campus Diversity Summit. This year's summit is entitled "Wake Up! Diversity is Now!" and will focus on the need to increase diversity efforts on campus. Additional milestone celebrations include the 30th anniversary of the Women Studies Department, the 30th anniversary of Disability Services (fall 2004), the 10th anniversary of the Women's Resource Center and the GLBT Resource Center (spring 2005), and the 10th anniversary of the Chancellor's Committee on Women which was established in April 1996 coming up next year.


  • Last year the campus renewed its focus on enforcing the diversity outreach efforts of the search committee process. All search plans for faculty and unclassified staff are approved by the director of the Department of Equal Opportunity (DEO) before a search can begin. Following the search, a search summary must be submitted to the director of the DEO for approval, to verify that the search plan was followed, before it is submitted to the appointing authority.
  • Faculty Affairs has received additional funding to facilitate the recruitment of women and faculty of color and to bring additional candidates to the campus. A Special Opportunities Program provides additional funds to recruit new faculty. Support for spousal hires is also available.
  • The DEO continues to work closely with each faculty search committee. The DEO's web site has been enhanced to include search process information as well as an on-line process for getting resumes.
  • Postdoctoral fellowships are another outreach strategy designed to recruit faculty of color and women. This effort is being funded jointly by the President's Diversity Grant and the campus.
  • Understanding campus culture and building a sense of community is vital for retention of faculty. The Office of Diversity and Equity has been providing small group sessions throughout the year that serve as a sounding board for faculty and staff concerns.
  • The campus has examined female and minority faculty salaries each year since 1997, statistically controlling for differences in faculty rank, market demand and experience. In 1999 the Chancellor committed $240,000 in funding for a two-year program to eliminate an observed gap in female salaries. Starting salaries and packages for women faculty have also been reviewed and are now being monitored for equity.
  • Research in the area of multicultural perspectives is supported by IMPART grants (Implementation of Multicultural Perspectives and Approaches in Research and Teaching Award Program). Awards are given annually on the campus. These grants are open to all faculty on campus, but priority is given to junior faculty working in diversity areas to support the establishment of their research agendas.

Campus Goals

Some progress has been made on all three of the campus goals:
1) climate for living, learning and working
2) student access and opportunity
3) diverse faculty and staff


  • Goal 1, climate for living, learning and working: Creating a diverse climate continues to be a high priority on the Boulder Campus. Strategies to improve climate have been emphasized throughout the diversity plan revision process. More of our undergraduate students are actively participating in recruitment efforts, helping prospective students understand the quality and opportunities CU-Boulder offers. Coordination among programs has increased faculty, staff and student interactions.


  • Goal 2, student access and opportunity: This goal has been advanced significantly through the Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, and Diversity Scholarship Program (CU-LEAD). The College of Music and the College of Architecture and Planning are in the early stages of developing a CU-LEAD Alliance program. Over 1,100 students are currently being served in the CU-LEAD student retention initiative. These neighborhoods include the Multicultural Engineering Program, Minority Arts and Sciences Program, Honors CU-LEAD Program, Chancellor's Leadership Residential Academic Program, McNeill Academic Program, Diverse Scholars Program (Business), Journalism Diversity Scholars Program, McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, First Generation Scholars Program, White Antelope Scholars Program, and the Education Diversity Scholars Program. Academic scholarships have been organized to make more strategic use of funds for first generation students, students of color and underrepresented students.
  • Student support services such as the Center for Multicultural Affairs, the Student Academic Services Center and the Office of Career Services continue to assist students in their academic, personal, and cultural development, playing an important role in campus diversity efforts.
  • The latest graduation statistics indicate that campus efforts to support a diverse student body are paying off. The overall graduation rate for undergraduate students of color hit an all-time high of 60% in the most recent class to have completed six years (the entering class of 1998). In-state residents of color fared even better at 63%, moving closer to the overall graduation rate of 66%. This exceptional rate, which jumped as much as 20-30% since the 1990's for some groups within that category, is at an all-time high. The graduation rate for non-resident students of color is now 55% and also an all-time high for this group. CU-Boulder's minority six-year graduation rate is the highest in the state.
  • The CU-LEAD programs and the Center for Multicultural Affairs have been cited as major contributors to student success. The overall improvement in graduation rates indicates that these programs have a positive outcome. The average retention rate for students participating in the CU-LEAD programs is 87%. The campus, with the support from the Chancellor and Provost, continues to develop and implement programs that will increase diversity of our student body and support the success of all students on campus.
  • The campus is working diligently to increase minority graduate student enrollment and retention and there is good news to report on these efforts as well. The Colorado Diversity Initiative in science, math, and engineering oversees two major grants that support diversity initiatives in science, math, and engineering fields. Enrollment of graduate students of color, sponsored by this initiative, increased from 41 in 2000 to 141 in 2004. Enrollment for graduate students of color overall is at an all-time high, increasing by 14% from fall 2002 to fall 2004 (442 students to 502 students). In addition, diverse students represented 25% of this year's entering class at the School of Law.


  • Goal 3, diverse faculty and staff: Faculty issues have been addressed above. Recruitment and retention are the top issues the campus continues to focus on in terms of staff diversity. In 2001, the Chancellor's Child Care Task force identified childcare as a critical issue for the retention of the many staff and faculty who are parents. As a result of the Task Force's efforts a child care website, resource guide and Child Care (CU CARES) coordinator position were established. Unfortunately recent budget cuts have now eliminated this position. Also a significant piece of diversity training for staff has been lost due to budget cuts.
  • On a more positive note, the campus has held its ground on several diversity initiatives, despite budgetary cuts. The exit survey/interview program, started in 1999, is being revitalized. HR continues to participate in multicultural job fairs locally. HR also provides New Employee Orientation and Sexual Harassment Policy training, and offers translation of important information for Spanish speaking employees. HR is currently working on increasing computer access and computer literacy for custodial and food service employees. Additionally, HR has created a Spanish section of its website which has documents and information that are commonly needed by staff, translated into Spanish.
  • Staff areas that can benefit from increased diversity in terms of ethnicity and gender include classified positions outside of the food service and custodian positions. The Chancellor is asking HR and the ODE to explore additional ways to recruit and retain staff in these areas.
  • The Chancellor's Committee on Women (CCW) has launched a study of the campus as an environment for women. This spring, CCW will be conducting a series of town hall meetings in order to identify ways for improving the campus environment for women.

The Numbers


  • Fifteen percent of tenure/tenure track faculty who are US citizens, naturalized US citizens, or permanent US residents, and have ethnicity recorded on PeopleSoft, are recorded as African American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Native American. These individuals are referred to as "faculty of color."
  • The number of faculty of color in tenure/tenure track positions has more than doubled over the past 15 years from 71 in 1990 to 144 in 2004. Fourteen new faculty of color have been hired in the past two years.
  • This past year was the only year for which there was a slight drop in the increasing number of faculty of color, from 148 in 2003 to 144 in 2004.
  • 38% of assistant professors and 56% of instructors and senior instructors were women in fall 2004.
  • The percentage of women among tenure/tenure track faculty is now 29% and has remained fairly constant at or above 28% over the last three years, with an 11% increase in the number of female faculty since 1994.
  • An additional 76 women (compared to 122 men) joined the ranks of research professionals (research associate and professional research assistants) in fall 2004, representing 38% of all new researchers hired. People of color represented about 17% of new hires (excluding international) in professional researcher ranks in fall 2004.


Bachelor's degrees

  • The number of students of color receiving bachelor's degrees increased from 449 in 1993-94 to 573 in 2003-04, an increase of 28%. In 2003-04, 12% of bachelor's degrees awarded to US citizens went to students of color (African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Chicano, and Native American), up from 11% of all bachelor's degrees awarded in 2002-03.
  • The number of international students receiving bachelor's degrees dropped from 74 in 2003 to 57 in 2004, the lowest it's been in the last 12 years except in 2002, when 51 degrees were granted to international students.
  • Women have received 50% to 51% of all bachelor's degrees awarded every year for at least the last four years. This has increased from the 10 year period before that: between 1990 through 2000, women received 48-49% of all bachelor's degrees awarded.

Graduate-level degrees

  • In the last two years, the number of students of color receiving master's, doctoral and law degrees has increased by 9% over the number received in 2002. The proportion of US students of color receiving graduate-level degrees has remained stable in the last couple of years, at 11%. The proportion has been consistently higher in the last 10 years (10-12%) than it was in the six-year period before that (5-8%).
  • International students received 16% of master's, doctoral, and law degrees awarded in 2003-04. The number of graduate level degrees received by international students has remained constant in the last two years, and has shown an 18% increase over the last five years, with the exception of a substantial drop in 2001-02, likely due to 9/11.
  • Women have consistently received 46%-47% of master's, doctoral and law degrees over the last three years, up from 41% five years ago.

Graduation and retention rates

  • The first-year retention rate for freshmen students of color entering in fall 2003 is 82%, versus 84% for all students combined.
  • The six-year graduation rate for students of color entering as freshmen in 1998 is 60% (compared to 67% for other freshmen), an increase of two percentage points in one year, for the second year in a row, and an overall increase from 45% for students entering in fall 1992.
  • The six-year graduation rate for all women (now 69%) is consistently higher than that for all men (64%), and has remained four to six percentage points above the rate for men over the last five years.

Freshman admissions

  • New freshmen entering in fall 2004 included 39 fewer students of color than in fall 2003, a decrease of 4%. The number of new Colorado freshmen of color has been steadily increasing and is at an all-time high of 607 students. " The yield rate (the proportion of admits who enroll) for Colorado freshmen students of color has been 51-54% over the past 5 years, comparable to that for whites.


  • Since fall 1998, enrollment of undergraduate students of color has increased from 2,068 to 3,541, or 71%; this compares to a 23% increase in other domestic (U.S. citizen) undergraduate students. The percentage of domestic undergraduates who are students of color increased from 11% in fall 1988 to over 15% in fall 1994, decreased slightly for several years, and has been stable at about 14% for the past seven years.
  • Enrollment for graduate-level students of color is now 502, an all-time high. This is a 79% increase since fall 1988 (from 281) and a 14% increase in the past two years (from 442). The percentage of domestic graduate students who are students of color was 6% in fall 1988, and is 11% in fall 2004.
  • Although Law has been and remains among the campus graduate-level programs with the highest representation of students of color, the number of new law students of color started dropping in 1996 and has been slowly recovering to former levels. In fall 2004, 19% of domestic law students are students of color, up from 16% last year. This proportion is the highest since before 1996, when it had been between 21-22% for years 1992-1995.
  • The number of enrolled international graduate students has decreased over the past two years by 22% from an all-time high of 829 in fall 2002 to 648 in fall 2004, and is back at the same enrollment level it was in fall 2000.


  • The number of campus administrators (officers and professional exempt) who are people of color has increased steadily over the last 10 years from 54 in 1994 to 83 in 2004. The proportion of people of color in administrator positions has also increased over this period, from 17% in 1994 to 21% in 2003, except for a drop in 2004, to 18%. Female administrators represent 56% of all administrators, up from 54% in 2003.
  • Females represent 58% of classified staff outside food service and custodial positions. Staff of color hold 18% of these positions.
  • The percentage of people of color in skilled crafts increased from 18% in 1999 to 31% in 2004. Female representation in skilled crafts is still low at 8%.
  • The percentage of people of color in clerical positions has remained relatively constant over the past five years at 14-17%, as has the percentage of women at about 82-85%.

Last updated 02/11/05

Last revision 05/02/16

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