Press Release


May 12, 2014


Contact Information:
Missy Kline
Managing Editor

California State University, Fullerton Receives CUPA-HR’s Inclusion Cultivates Excellence Award

California State University, Fullerton has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2014 Inclusion Cultivates Excellence Award. This award recognizes and celebrates institutional initiatives and programs that have made a significant impact with respect to inclusive and equitable workplace practices, particularly those that have brought about cultural change throughout the organization. Thanks to the generous support of The Chronicle of Higher Education, CUPA-HR is pleased to offer a $6,000 contribution to California State University, Fullerton’s endowment.

Cal State Fullerton President Mildred Garcia has placed great emphasis on diversity and inclusion at the university as it relates to both the student population and the workforce. To this end, she recently moved human resources out of the administrative unit in which it was housed and created a stand-alone division of human resources, diversity and inclusion (HRDI), encompassing both staff and faculty personnel functions. She also elevated the head of HR to a vice president level, making Fullerton the only campus in the California State University System to include HR in the president’s cabinet.

In just nine short months, Cal State Fullerton has made significant strides toward advancing diversity in its workforce.

Diversity Recruitment Training

HRDI has conducted training sessions across campus with college deans, department chairs and faculty search committee chairs to educate them about best practices in recruiting and onboarding. Training topics have included several critical aspects of the recruitment process, such as how to develop applicant feeder programs; guarding against unconscious bias in search and screening; finding funding for recruitment initiatives that focus on underrepresented groups; coordinating recruitment with community, government and academic associations; creating faculty position descriptions which attract highly qualified candidates; and best practices in retention strategies.

E-Recruit for Faculty

HRDI has also implemented an e-recruitment program that has resulted in close to 95 percent of faculty candidates self-identifying their ethnicities (previous efforts achieved only 30 percent to 50 percent self-identification rates).

Campus Climate Survey

In March, HRDI launched a campus climate survey to assess the learning and working environment at CSUF. The survey was designed to assess the experiences and behaviors of faculty, staff and administrators and their perceptions of institutional actions including administrative policies and academic initiatives that impact campus climate.

Entrance Survey and New Employee Orientation

An “entrance” survey given to each new hire assesses the factors that attracted the individual to CSUF as a place of employment, his or her experience during the application, interview and onboarding processes, and his or her experience during new employee orientation. As part of the new employee orientation program, twice per year, faculty and staff hired within the previous six months are invited to a mixer to discuss how they are acclimating to the environment and to share with HRDI any concerns or feedback they may have about the workplace.

“Thanks to President Garcia’s commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, Cal State Fullerton has been able to accomplish more in nine months than many organizations do in five years,” says Lori Gentles, the university’s vice president for human resources, diversity and inclusion. “Instead of talking things to death, we’re actually DOING, and I think the campus community is really beginning to understand the benefit that is derived from the breadth of views and the unique contributions that a diverse workforce brings to our university.”

Read more about Cal State Fullerton’s workforce diversity efforts.


CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 17,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 1,900 member organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.

CUPA-HR’s annual Higher Education Human Resource Awards honor excellence in higher education human resources and recognize service and commitment to CUPA-HR and innovation in the profession.