Commitment To Diversity
TLU Is Committed To The Values Of:
- Equality - We promote a culture of mutual respect and strive to create opportunities for all.
- Inclusion - We are committed to fostering a welcoming atmosphere that respects and celebrates contributions made by our diverse community members and their cultures.
- Social Justice - We are called to work alongside people on the margins to empower them and to improve their quality of life.
- Freedom - We value dialogue, difference, and debate in pursuit of knowledge and understanding that encourages growth and discovery.
- Leadership Through Service - We value opportunities for growth as global citizens and leaders through service learning and civic engagement.
Commitment To Diversity Programs
A Special Message From President Cottrell
Texas Lutheran University’s excellence is directly tied to its diversity. We are fortunate to be a campus that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, a diverse array of perspectives, and a respect for difference. We are particularly proud to be a place that welcomes and supports first-generation college students. By design and practice, we serve and reflect our region well. The values articulated in our Commitment to Diversity Statement—equality, inclusion, social justice, freedom, and leadership through service—provide the foundation for the teaching and learning that take place at TLU every day.
We also recognize that the critical work of diversity, inclusion, and equity is not easy, nor is it ever finished. The environment on our campus requires that we continually put energy toward respect, education, and communication as we celebrate the differences within our community.
Our Diversity Committee, working closely with the President’s Cabinet, will continue to do important work on our campus. We anticipate focusing on opportunities associated with training and development, search processes, assessment efforts to help inform our strategic planning process, and welcoming speakers like interfaith expert Eboo Patel. The success of this work will require that all members of our campus community participate in these opportunities and consider individually and collectively how we will grow and advance the concept of being an inclusive campus.
As the president of TLU, I am committed to furthering all of these efforts and to celebrating the diverse components that comprise our community of learning and community of faith. It is an honor to join you on our journey of excellence and diversity.
TLU is one of 26 colleges and universities associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
TLU students, faculty, and staff have a wide variety of religious identities, including no religion at all. We welcome religious diversity and believe that it enriches our life together. We do not require a faith commitment of any kind.
Chapel services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays provide opportunities for prayer, community, and spiritual growth. These are purely voluntary and incorporate worship practices from many Christian traditions. As part of the general education curriculum, students take at least one course in theology so as to cultivate informed reflection on faith and its relation to the contemporary world.
TLU is a Hispanic Serving Institution
With a Latinx student population of nearly 35 percent, TLU is proud to be a Hispanic-Serving Institution as designated by the U.S. Department of Education. TLU affirms and supports Hispanic and Latinx students through relevant curricular offerings, dedicated student support programs, the Center for Mexican-American Studies, and bilingual documentation and staff whenever possible.
TLU also hosted the 2018 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies FOCO Conference (NACCSC).
More than half of our students are also first-generation meaning they are the first person in their immediate family to attend or graduate from college. Many of our faculty and staff are also first-generation college graduates.
In Spring 2018, the university was one of 25 colleges and universities selected to participate in an institute sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) titled, "Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts." Participating in the institute led TLU to develop a detailed action plan focused on the following goals:
- Expand student support systems in ways that consider distinctive needs of our diverse student body
- Prioritize faculty and staff diversity at every level of the university
- Build models on our campus for civil discourse across difference
- Refine and expand curricular offering in ways that emphasize diversity and inclusion
- Increase co-curricular modules devoted to diversity and inclusion
- Implement a university-wide review and revision of hiring procedures with the goal of increasing diversity
- Host a lunch series on cultivating civility in both the classroom and student life
- Expand educational opportunities in interfaith diversity through curriculum revision and invited speakers
- Train faculty and staff in the pedagogical practices of the Inter-Group Relations (IGR) program at the University of Michigan
- Prioritize diversity issues in the next university strategic plan
As part of efforts to reinforce the importance of civil discourse on campus, Math Professor Dr. Betseygail Rand is leading several discussions throughout the academic year. With around 30 faculty and staff members in attendance for the first meeting, there’s clear indication of an interest to discuss how we address difficult topics like politics, race, gender, and sexuality in productive ways.
Title IX Information
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Legal Citation: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX). Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Campus Climate Survey
2018 Executive Summary
Kristi Quiros, TLU Vice President and Dean of Students
In April 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women published a web article about sexual assault on college campuses and indicated that campus climate surveys would soon become a Title IX compliance requirement (Not Alone: Protecting Students from Sexual Assault, 2018). By the fall of 2015, TLU began planning to administer a campus climate survey to comply with Title IX and, more importantly, to use the results to improve campus safety for the entire TLU community. This report highlights the main overarching challenges and several strengths suggested by the survey response data. The recommendations herein are actionable.
Since the study was undertaken and concluded in the October 2017 many educational and prevention programs and services have been implemented. In July 2017, TLU rolled out the Education and Compliance program that works to bring educational resources to assist our employees with a variety of online educational courses, in person speakers and presentations, as well as awareness month campaigns (Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Stalking Awareness Month, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month).
In Fall 2017, TLU developed a partnership with Guadalupe Valley Family Violence Shelter where on Monday and Fridays of every week, there is a confidential advisor located in the Alumni Student Center available to speak with faculty, staff, and students about gender-based violence and provide information regarding the services that are available in the Seguin and surrounding communities. Since Spring 2017, TLU has gained institutional memberships to Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) and Texas Council on Domestic Violence.
Overall, survey findings reveal that students, faculty, and staff are positive about TLU and enjoy their experiences here. Additionally, respondents agree in the need for more diversity on our campus. Employees and students, in general, feel a strong sense of belonging at TLU. Another broad finding is that respondents trust TLU to be fair and equitable in the handling of sexual misconduct and racial/ethnic bias complaints. All respondents expressed trust that TLU would take their report of such incidents seriously. For instance, 94% of faculty and staff respondents and 95% of student respondents believed TLU would take their reports seriously.
In addition to these positive findings, areas of challenge were identified through the survey responses as well. For instance, African American students describe experiencing incidents of racial micro-aggressions and encountered sexual misconduct by faculty/staff. Faculty and staff do not indicate ever experiencing sexual misconduct at TLU. However, it is likely that some employees have had these experiences without reporting them, given the national statistics on reporting victimization (Violence Against Women in the United States: Statistics, 2018).
Student focus groups and employee comments were helpful in the development of recommendations and provided context for the data analysis. TLU will use these findings to improve the educational and work environment, develop training and prevention programs, and expand our efforts to educate the community on sexual misconduct post-reporting processes.
Throughout this process, both strengths and challenges were found, and recommendations were made based on the results. As a community, we must work together to implement strategies and tactics to improve the TLU campus climate. The process will take commitment, perseverance, and a shared vision for what our campus climate can be. There will likely be many different ideas on how to accomplish our goals but it is crucial that we stay the course.
TLU encourages student involvement through a wide variety of organizations, events, activities, workshops, seminars, and structured experiences that promote personal learning and growth in a student-centered environment. Organizations include the Mexican American Student Association, Black Student Union, SAFE (Sexual Awareness For Everyone), Environmental Action (EnAct), Mariachi Oro y Negro de TLU, and many others.
The Counseling Center at TLU recognizes at its core that bias and discrimination have devastating consequences on marginalized individual’s physical and mental health. Data on race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity show time and time again that the experience of bias has a severe impact on individuals’ feelings of self-worth, willingness to receive care, and ability to attend to medical and mental health conditions as they arise. Clinicians must do the work to understand and respect the needs of all of their patients as a matter of the care they provide at the most basic and human level.
We are committed to helping students navigate challenges related to mental health and well-being. We offer free and confidential services to all registered TLU students.
For additional information about accommodations or counseling services, please email Dr. Marlene Moriarty, LPC-S or call 830-372-6585.
Center For Servant Leadership
TLU's Center For Servant Leadership is dedicated to civic engagement; the action to meet the basic needs of a community. TLU graduates are empowered to collaborate for positive social change, both as local leaders and global citizens.
At TLU, we know that transformation happens through relationships. We grow the most when we learn and do with community partners, rather than for them. TLU faculty and staff design service and civic engagement projects to invigorate learning about community, personal civic identity, and the strengths of both academic and community knowledge. Learning boldly and living to inspire doesn’t wait until graduation – it’s an everyday experience at TLU.
Dr. Chris Bollinger, Communication Studies
Dr. Corinne Castro, Sociology
Dr. Rebecca Czuchry, History, Director of African American Studies
Amelia Koford, Director of Women's Studies
Samira Lopez, Director of First-Year & Campus Programs
Dr. Jennifer Mata, Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies
Dr. Marlene Moriarty, Director of Counseling & Disability Services
Dr. Tiffiny Sia, Psychology
Please email any questions about TLU’s efforts to Diversity Committee Chair Dr. Corinne Castro.