Nineteen Institutions Selected to Participate in Development of TRHT–Focused Campus Climate Assessment Toolkit

The new toolkit will focus on achieving institutional transformation by interrogating systems, policies, programs, services, and practices that perpetuate inequities through a false belief in a hierarchy of human value.

January 26, 2022—Washington, DC—The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the institutions selected through a competitive process to participate in the development of a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT)–Focused Campus Climate Assessment Toolkit. Core teams from nineteen colleges and universities will serve as thought partners in the development of the toolkit, providing their insight and feedback on its relevance, content, and structure.

The participants reflect a diversity of perspectives and institutional characteristics, such as type, designation, and geographic location. The core teams are composed of members from key campus stakeholder groups, including students, faculty, and staff. These individuals are involved on their campuses in multiple and varied ways, and they represent various divisions within their institutions, such as student affairs, research and assessment, academic affairs, and community engagement.

“The ability of an institution to address systemic inequities effectively depends on a clear-eyed, ongoing assessment of the many factors that influence its unique campus climate,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We are thrilled to partner with these nineteen colleges and universities on the development of a new and much-needed resource to support such assessments.”

Drawing on the lessons learned from AAC&U’s work with TRHT Campus Centers at colleges and universities across the country, and guided by the TRHT Framework developed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the toolkit will help institutions and practitioners interrogate systems, policies, programs, services, and practices that perpetuate disparities and inequities through a false belief in a hierarchy of human value. This includes assessing an institution’s historical and implicit racial narratives, opportunities for expanding relationship building, and racial healing among students, faculty, staff, and other constituents.

“As we expand our TRHT efforts in partnership with higher education institutions and communities across the country, we want to provide resources and tools that will translate our visionary efforts into practical strategies for achieving institutional transformation. The toolkit is a key step in that process.” said Tia Brown McNair, AAC&U’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Student Success and Executive Director for the TRHT Campus Centers.

AAC&U will work with national evaluators from TriWest Group to develop the toolkit, which will be designed to complement existing campus climate surveys and to promote deeper understanding of institutional environments and of lived experiences of students, faculty, staff, and communities. Institutions will be able to use the toolkit to identify actionable strategies and practices for examining and transforming harmful racial narratives and building relationships that nurture diversity and equity.

The institutions selected to participate in the project are:

  • Baldwin Wallace University (OH)
  • California State University, Long Beach (CA)
  • Ivy Tech Community College–Indianapolis (IN)
  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  • Marymount University (VA)
  • Millsaps College (MS)
  • Monroe Community College (NY)
  • Mount Holyoke College (MA)
  • Pepperdine University (CA)
  • Rutgers University–Newark (NJ)
  • St. Edward's University (TX)
  • University of Cincinnati (OH)
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (HI)
  • University of Illinois Chicago (IL)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)
  • Willamette University (OR)

Additionally, three institutions received honorable mention and will also participate in the project:

  • Central Connecticut State University (CT)
  • Guttman Community College, CUNY (NY)
  • Texas Christian University (TX)

Click here for more information about the TRHT-Focused Campus Climate Assessment Toolkit project.