10 Years of Inclusive Excellence

Arlene Nededog smilingI am honored to present the College of Natural Sciences’ 2012 – 2022 Inclusive Excellence Accreditation Report. Broken down into 5 sections – Personnel, Curriculum, Stategic Planning, Engagement, and Outreach – this accreditation report spans 10 years of inclusive excellence within the college. It is a moment of reflection for everyone in our college – and a call to action. As we move into the future, we aim to do so with a renewed commitment and revitalized mind to our mission and values.

The Inclusive Excellence Accreditation Report is the culmination of an intimate effort that we started in Spring 2023. I am proud to say that faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, and friends of the college have contributed their ideas and input to this undertaking. Through a collaborative process, we have developed a comprehensive report that builds upon our past accomplishments and positions us to continue to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.

To everyone in our college and the departments – those of you who work here, study here, and support us – we have come a long way over the decade. I am thrilled to see what we do next. To excellence!

Arlene Nededog, Director of Inclusion
College of Natural Sciences


Composed by Arlene Nededog, this report is intended for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the US department of Education. The HLC group is visiting CSU on September 18-19, 2023.


The College of Natural Sciences will continue to strive for inclusive excellence, through its personnel practices, curriculum improvements, and important, impactful outreach and engagement.


  • We embrace the Principles of Community.
  • We champion DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice).
  • We support world-class education at all levels.
  • We encourage collaboration and multidisciplinary work through inclusive practices.
  • We foster a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.
  • We value local, national, and global engagement.

Inclusive Excellence Evolution​

1998 to Current

Historically, diversity was part of the university and college strategic plan process.

2000 to Current

Diversity symposium, now the Symposium for Inclusive Excellence


Vice President for Diversity position created


Diversity VP for Diversity conducts Diversity Training Initiatives 


VPD Office forms committee to begin formulating strategic plan for diversity and inclusion

  • Diversity Training Retreat for cabinet members and deans
  • College of Natural Sciences, Director of Inclusion position created

2015 to 2016

President Tony Frank

  • Responsibility to discuss issues of race, improvements for women on campus, pay equity and climate and interpersonal violence
  • Acknowledging the incidents of activism, discourse and academic freedom of speech across the United States​
  • Importance of affordable housing, engagement and women and gender initiatives as well the importance of diversity and inclusion​​
  • CSU has taken a strong stand in building a diverse and inclusive campus


Principles of Community established 


CSU students present student recommendations on diversity related to institutional planning, hiring, curriculum, athletics, student support, and governance  


Multicultural Organizational Development (MCOD) model identified to evaluate the organizational progress towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and campus climate  


Employee climate survey launched – Started with 2- year cycle moved to 3-year cycle  

2016 to 2018

The CSU 2016 Strategic Plan establishes diversity, equity, inclusion and campus climate as a priority, and defines goals that all parts of campus should work to accomplish  


The Office of the Vice President for Diversity renamed the division to the Office for Inclusive Excellence  

2022 to 2026

The Courageous Strategic Transformation, Strategic Plan  

Main Topics

01. Personnel

What has changed in 10 years for DEI in the College of Natural Sciences?

  1. Faculty/ Staff Hiring:
    1. 2011-2022
      1. IR Employee Headcount Female vs. Male Document reports gender for Administrative Professionals, Faculty, Salaried Employees, State Classified and Graduate Assistants including minoritized and non-minoritized comparison  
      2. IR Employee Headcount Minoritized vs. Non-Minoritized Document reports demographics for Administrative Professionals, Faculty, Graduate Assistant, Salaried Employees, and State Classified specific to minoritized populations (Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian, Multi-racial, White, International and no response indicated) 
      3. IR Employee Headcount Departmental DemographicsDocument reports demographics by college departments for Administrative Professionals, Faculty, Graduate Assistant, Salaried Employees, and State Classified specific to minoritized populations (Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian, Multi-racial, White, International and no response indicated)
    2. 2015 – Established, Director of Inclusion position in the College of Natural Sciences.
    3. 2018College of Natural Sciences Departments were charged to create DEI Committees and establish departmental goals.
  2. Recruitment (Position Advertisement and Conference Attendance):
    1. Position Advertisement
      1. 2007 Position advertisement required by CSU and followed by CNS 
      2. 2019 Established Human Resources Officer position established to oversee college HR (Human Resources) administration, performance management and talent acquisition 
      3. 2020 to current CNS followed 2007 position advertisement, and departments based on disciplines added these additional sites for recruitment
    2. Diverse Conference Attendance
      • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
        • Paul Laybourn and Erin Nishimura attended SACNAS and networked with potential future hires. For Graduate students, the department has undertaken two recent efforts to expand the graduate program awareness pool:
        • Grad Ambassador Program – graduate students in the program are supported to return to their alma maters and give a presentation on the graduate program at CSU
      • Computer Sciences
        • Attending diverse conferences, but their dates are inconsistent with Computer Science faculty hiring schedules and have not advertised with the conference. 
      • Mathematics
        • Jeff Shriner attended MAA’s MathFest in August 2022 and attended sessions which discussed MAA’s Best Practices for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and existing programs that formalize and recognize a department’s commitment to DEIJ initiatives: TPSE Math COME-IN and SEA Change 
        • Jeff Shriner applied for funding through the Faculty and Staff Success Program to take a small group of graduate students to MAA’s 2023 MathFest for DEIJ and teaching-focused professional development opportunities.  
        • CSU had representatives at Math Alliance’s 2021 virtual Field of Dreams Conference. 

02. Curriculum

Infusing Inclusivity into Curriculum.

  1. Master Teaching Initiative ​
    1. Began in 2006 with Dr. Frank Vattano, Professor of Psychology, and University Teaching Scholar and Doug Hoffman, College of Business to form TILT (The Institute for Learning and Teaching) MTI (Master Teacher Initiative). The college continues to engage in best practices for teaching initiatives with leadership from Paul Laybourn. 
  2. Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence​
      • 2015-2016 Debbie Crams, Chemistry and Paul Laybourn, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
      • 2017-2018 Jessica Hagman, Mathematics  
      • 2019-2022 Erin Nishimura, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Tori Crain, Psychology 
      • 2021-2021 Alexandra Keller, Amplify Learning Community 
  3. Student Success Initiative 2
    1. Develop Readiness in Fundamental Skills to improve student engagement and Momentum Year success in first year Mathematics and Writing Composition Courses.  
    2. Identify and Inclusion in the Majors to involve selected departments in devising strategies that promote major identity and inclusion, with a focus on underrepresented students and a specific focus on racially minoritized students 
  4. Departmental Changes

03. Strategic Planning

CNS Diversity and Inclusion Plans 1998 – 2022.

  1. 1998-2003 CNS Diversity Plan
  2. 2001-2002 Annual Update to the College Diversity Plan – College Contributions to the University Diversity Goals
  3. 2003 Online Faculty Activities System
  4. 2006-2015 Strategic Directions Learning Discovery Outreach Strategic Plan
  5. 2007 Diversity Plan
  6. 2015 Dean Jan Nerger participated in the Vice President for Diversity Office, Diversity Retreat (Spring)
  7. 2015 Director of Inclusion, position created (Spring)
  8. 2017 CNS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey to CNS Faculty, Staff, and Students
  9. 2018 Employee Climate Survey for CNS Presentation on 12/05/19 from Vice President for Diversity Office
  10. 2018-2019 Established CNS Diversity Blueprint
  11. 2018-2020 DEI Inventory from the Office of the President and the Vice President for Diversity
  12. 2018-current: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion College of Natural Sciences Newsletter
  13. May 2019 CEC Retreat – Reframing the CNS Diversity Blueprint for 2019 and Beyond
  14. 2020 DEI Professional Development for the College of Natural Sciences Proposal to the College Executive Council (CEC)
  15. 2020 DEI Leadership Development for the College Executive Council
  16. 2020 College Executive Council Commitment to DEI
  17. 2020 Conversations with Dean Nerger and CNS Faculty Members
  18. Summer 2022 Recommendations for CNS DEIJ Strategic Initiatives, Project Updates and Recommendations for Further Programming, Training and/or Education on DEI Practices
  19. 2022-2027 College of Natural Sciences Strategic Plan

04. Engagement

Does the college have new community partners or objectives they have pursued to partner with underserved communities or organizations?

  1. 1999 to Current REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Site, Molecular Biosciences, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  2. 2010 (approximate) CNS Education and Outreach Center
  3. Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program 2015-2019 to Now, Wolves to Rams STEM Program
  4. College of Natural Sciences Amplify Learning Community
  5. 2022 The Rocky Mountain Alliance for Minority Participation (RM-AMP)
  6. Student Organizations: CO AMP, CO/WY AMP, and RM-AMP Sponsorship for Conference Attendance for Undergraduate Students
    1. 2006 to current – SACNAS Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science Conference Attendance
    2. 2014 – Out in STEM (OSTEM) Conference Attendance
    3. 2018 – Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing (TAPIA) Conference
    4. 2018 – Association for Computing Machinery- Women (ACM-W)
    5. 2019 – NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) Computer Science students win National society of Black Engineers hackathon
    6. 2019 – Grace Hooper Celebration (GHC) the world’s largest gathering of women technologists

05. Outreach

How has the college become more engaged in matters concerning DEI?

  1. DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice) Committees – College
    1. Under the leadership of the Director of Inclusion, the college established the CNS Dean’s Standing Committee for Inclusive Excellence. The committee is comprised of representatives from all eight college departments and from APC (Administrative Professional Council) and CPC (Classified Personnel Council.) The Committee has evolved over the years and is responsible for facilitating the lead in the college initiatives and establishing the vision and mission of the committee.
    2. Each department within the college has established a departmental diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.
    3. 2017-2019 – CNS Dean’s Standing Committee for Inclusive Excellence
    4. 2019-2020 – CNS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council
    5. 2020-current – CNS Dean’s Advisory Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  2. Funding for DEIJ
    1. 2019 Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan Mini Grants (from Office of Inclusive Excellence)
      1. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department — Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) Matrix Lunches: Small, Networking Lunches Will Promote Group Cohesivity and Departmentwide Mentorship (Erin Osborne Nishimura)
      2. College of Natural Sciences – Near-Peer Mentoring for Academic Excellence, Inclusion and Service Learning (Abbie Reade and Liz Hysen)
      3. Computer Science Department – Pilot Project – Computer Science Undergraduate Mentoring Position Targeting First Generation Students for Fall 2019 (Albert Lionelle)
      4. Computer Science Department – Sending Latinx Computer Science Undergrads to the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Richard Tapia & Celebration of Diversity in Computing (Craig Partridge)
    2. 2020-2021 CNS Climate Grants for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
      1. Designed as an action item to address the CNS Employee Climate Survey
        1. Development of a biochemistry & molecular biology two-course “Becoming A Scientist” Series, submitted by Erin Osborne Nishimura
        2. Math Alliance Membership for Mathematics and Statics Departments, submitted by Julia Sharp (Statistics) and Jess Ellis Hagman (Mathematics)
        3. Psychology Department Climate Grant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, submitted by the Department of Psychology Diversity and Inclusion Team (DIT)
        4. Professional Strategies in Statistics Discussion Group, Submitted by Julia Sharp
    3. 2022 Faculty and Staff Success Grants, College of Natural Sciences Award
    4. 2022 EIN Mini Grant Awards

Addendum: DEIJ Through the Years

Rams Shape Science

  1. Description: In the College of Natural Sciences, we believe that science is shaped by the people who study it. Our college is full of people dedicated to discovery, to equity, innovation, and community. Rams Shape Science is their platform to promote their stories, lift their voices, and spread their messages to the CSU community and beyond.


  1. Description: The COVID-19 pandemic sent shock waves through the world and exposed large gaps in health care and disaster readiness, especially within underserved communities. Here are how some members of the CSU community have responded.


  1. Description: These are a few highlights of CSU researchers throughout the years that have achieved in discovering new information and creating new perspectives challenging traditional thinking.

Education Outreach

  1. Description: Outreach provides ways for students to volunteer their time and energy to help better their community and the lives of people around them.

DEI Events/ Minority Health

  1. Description: Many events related to DEI have happened throughout CSU’s years. It is important to acknowledge what has happened, so such lessons do not have to be taught again.

Empowering Women

  1. Description: Women have been innovating and excelling in STEM fields for centuries despite facing harassment and discrimination. more empowerment means more women in science, which means more life-changing innovations that are beneficial for the world.

Outstanding Graduates

  1. Description: Here are some notable graduate students that have excelled so far in their respective fields and deserve recognition for their hard work and perseverance.

Outstanding Faculty/Staff

  1. Description: Here are some marvelous faculty/staff that have worked hard in their careers and deserve recognition for their hard work and innovative minds.

Outstanding Undergraduates

  1. Description: Here are some hardworking undergraduate students that have excelled so far in their undergraduate careers and deserve recognition for their tenacity and leadership.

Implementation Process

The College of Natural Sciences 2012 – 2022 Inclusive Excellence Accreditation Report is a reflection and analysis designed to showcase departments and the college to brainstorm their own tactical plans that align with the college’s strategic priorities of DEIJ.

College Outreach