University of Houston Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services (DSAES) Student Life was selected to receive the Innovation Grant from the National Association of Student Personnel Association (NASPA). This grant was created to provide awards that support innovation, exploration, and development for its member institutions. Selection for this grant will enable the Student Life team to implement a Diversity and Inclusion departmental review process over a span of three years.

A committee of staff representing the nine DSAES Student Life departments has worked to develop the Diversity and Inclusion departmental review process. Based on the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World, the committee developed rubrics, processes, and report templates that will guide the review process.  Below are the seven areas that will be assessed through this initiative:

  • Leadership and Accountability
  • Structure and Implementation
  • Learning and Education
  • Assessment, Measurement and Research
  • Communication
  • Products and Services Development
  • Marketing and Customer Service

This is one of the many ways the Student Life team hopes to create a more inclusive environment at the University of Houston. Departments will be reviewed on each of their diversity and inclusion goals as well as measure staff development through training and performance evaluations. The goal is to repeat the cycle of department reviews so that department and individual progress will be long term and sustainable.

“We are so excited to receive this Grant Award. The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services Student Life unit has made diversity and inclusion a main focus of growth over the last two years, and has included staff and student leaders at all levels.  The NASPA Innovation Grant will provide additional support for the new initiative of Diversity and Inclusion Departmental Reviews, scheduled to begin in summer 2017. The results of this effort will provide a clear path for our staff to take action toward creating a more inclusive environment for our diverse student population, as well as the many stakeholders we work with across the institution.”

Keith T. Kowalka, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs -Student Life
More about DSAES: Comprised of 29 departments and programs, the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services supports the University of Houston's mission by providing a comprehensive array of services, programs, and activities which enhance the learning environment and development of the whole student. With over 400 full-time employees and 1200 student employees, the division’s functional areas contribute to student life, health and wellness, student housing, student support services and enrollment services.