Progress Towards Student Priorities

Progress Towards Student Priorities

Updated 9:30 a.m. November 14, 2022

Beginning in 2016, committed groups of student leaders have issued lists of priorities highlighting critical issues for student success, especially for minoritized students. The University of Arizona is dedicated to ongoing efforts to create a diverse and inclusive campus community and significant progress has been made in many of the key areas identified by students. 

Using an iterative process that will involve ongoing consultation with students, faculty, and staff, progress will continue to be transparently shared with the campus community through this website and other mediums of communication. We welcome input and constructive dialogue from students, faculty, and staff on these important issues. 

To date, more than $2.8 million has been allocated to advancing campus racial equity efforts that are aligned with student priorities:

  • In October 2020, funding was allocated for Enrollment Management to hire a Recruitment Coordinator with an explicit emphasis on Black and African American student recruitment. 
  • This role has been filled and offers services including virtual workshops tailored specifically to Black and African American students, creating connections with community-based organizations, businesses, churches, and the campus community. 
  • Enrollment Management has created an updateable report/query used for proactive outreach to Black and African American students in the enrollment pipeline.   
  • From Fall 2019 to Fall 2022, Black and African American student enrollment has increased by 26%.
  • In Fall 2020, Student Success & Retention Innovation and Assessment & Research collaborated with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to conduct a broad assessment of the existing barriers to student success for Black students at UArizona. The results, shared with key partners in 2020-21, highlighted the need for an institution-wide investment of time, effort, and funds. In 2022, the study of Black student success at UArizona was updated and can be viewed here.
  • Beyond tracking our overall institutional retention rate, we also pay special attention to the success trends of historically minoritized student populations by disaggregating for demographic characteristics such as race/ethnicity (per IPEDS definitions); first-generation college student status; and low-income status, using receiving a Pell grant at college entry as a proxy measure. Seen this way, many of our minoritized student groups also saw record-breaking retention rates for the 2019 cohort, including Pell recipients, first generation college students and most racially/ethnically minoritized groups. However, since the onset of COVID-19 disruptions, those gains reversed for most groups continuing into the 2021 cohort. Positive momentum was not sustained during the pandemic period for minoritized groups, despite significant investments, and that we are institutionally committed to reestablishing a path of year over year improvements. Through this disaggregated lens, only FTFT students who were white or multiracial achieved their highest retention rates in 2021. See table below. Small sub-population size can lead to variability year-to-year. Please visit the UAIR Interactive Factbook for further detail:
FTFT Disaggregated Retention Trends

  • In October 2020, funding was allocated for Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS) to hire four half-time embedded mental health counselors. These embedded counselors work directly with the Adalberto and Ana Guerrero Student Center (GSC), African American Student Affairs (AASA), Asian Pacific American Student Affairs (APASA), and Native American Student Affairs (NASA). 
  • In August 2022, funding was allocated for Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS) to hire a full-time embedded mental health counselor to serve LGBTQ+ Affairs. 
  • The embedded mental health counselors spend 20+ hours per week in each center and provide walk-in counseling, individual, single session, and short-term counseling, community mental health referrals, outreach, group sessions, and workshops. 
  • Several students have self-disclosed that having access to a counselor that “looks like me” has encouraged them to further seek mental health services. The embedded model also eliminates financial barriers to care.

  • A team of professionals from across campus is currently exploring a mental health crisis response team, which would alleviate the need for University of Arizona police officers to respond to mental health crises.

  • In addition to the annual allocation of $1 million from the Provost’s Investment Fund, in October 2020, funding was allocated to provide additional support to the Strategic Priorities Faculty Initiative (SPFI), which provides temporary University financial support to academic departments to enable them to hire additional full-time, tenure-track faculty or continuing eligible academic professionals who will enhance the University of Arizona’s distinctive strengths in advancing Inclusive Excellence. 
  • The additional resource allocation to SPFI increased opportunity for several hires in 2021. A total of 13 new faculty members supported by the SPFI program accepted offers during the 2021 cycle. Nine faculty members joined UArizona in Fall of 2021, two joined in Spring of 2022, and two more joined in Fall of 2022. 
  • In July 2021, funding was allocated to create the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP), which offers postdoctoral research fellowships in all fields coupled with faculty mentoring, professional development, and academic networking opportunities. These presidential fellowships are an exceptional opportunity to recruit potential new faculty to the University whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at UArizona. 
  • In fall 2022, the University welcomed the inaugural class of five Presidential Post Docs.
  • Based on both the IPEDS race ethnicity and inclusive race ethnicity reporting, the UArizona Black faculty and staff population has seen an increase since Fall 2020. Based on inclusive race ethnicity, we see an increase of 17% since Fall 2020. Using IPEDS definitions, we see a growth of over 13%. 

  • In October 2020, funding was allocated for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to hire a Director of Training Initiatives. This role has since been elevated to a Senior Director of Inclusive Learning, Engagement, and Leadership. They are responsible for the development, coordination, and presentation of campus-wide programs and training that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • CAPS staff completed Racial Trauma training in April 2021, and has since formed a social justice steering committee. This committee makes recommendations to the CAPS director about training and other initiatives that support QT+BIPOC students and staff.  CAPS now engages in 2-3 trainings related to cultural competency/responsiveness every semester.

  • In August 2020, the Bias Education & Support Team (BEST) was formed. BEST provides a mechanism for members of the campus community to report bias-related incidents, provides care and support to impacted individuals, and offers optional opportunities to engage in activities and dialogue that promote education, understanding, and healing.

  • In June 2021,  the University dedicated additional space for African American Student Affairs (AASA) in the Martin Luther King, Jr Building. In summer 2022, Asian Pacific American Student Affairs (APASA) was provided a new space in the Student Union Memorial Center and Native American Student Affairs (NASA) gained extra space and remains in the Nugent building.
  • There is a plan in place to move, expand, and improve the LGBTQ Affairs space in the Student Union Memorial Center and make physical improvements to the Women and Gender Resource Center.
  • In July 2022, the Immigrant Student Resource Center (ISRC) united with the Thrive Center to increase support to immigrant students and moved to the brand new Bartlett Academic Success Center in the Student Success District.
  • To support holistic and spiritual wellness, the University dedicated the institution's first interfaith and serenity space in Spring 2022. The Serenity Space is intended for spiritual practice and not group discussions. This is a unifying space for multiple beliefs at the University of Arizona. The Serenity Space is located on the 3rd level of the Bear Down Building.
  • In January 2021, $250,000 was allocated to increase lactation space across campus, including campus locations throughout Arizona. Additional lactation spaces have been added in high traffic campus areas including the University Services Building (USB), McKale Center, and the Administration building. An additional 13 lactation spaces are in the process - 8 on the Tucson Main Campus and 5 in other UArizona locations.
  • The Office of University Initiatives is coordinating a Campus Early Childhood Education and Care Working Group to conduct a feasibility study. The feasibility study will include a needs assessment, market research, stakeholder interviews, operational model considerations, and space and budget considerations. The feasibility study will allow us to better understand our campus community’s early education and child care needs as well as potential education and care options for UA parents and caregivers, including the possible development of a campus early childhood education and care center for faculty, staff, and students. A comprehensive report with recommendations will be finalized in Spring 2023.

Student Calls for Action

2016 MSUA Letter

2020 COBA Letter