At the University of Konstanz, we appreciate and value the diversity of all our members. We promote organizational structures and an academic culture that is free from discrimination to enable all our members to reach their goals. As a reform university, we have consequently pursued our vision of equal opportunity and equal access to education. The university is proud to take on its social responsibility. We have demonstrated our self-commitment by signing the “Diversity Charter” (2014), by introducing our “Guidelines to Combat Discrimination and Sexualized Violence” (2015) and by gaining certification in the audit “Vielfalt gestalten” (creating diversity) of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (2018).
1. Diversity at the University of Konstanz
Three central aspects shape diversity at the university: we acknowledge diversity, we ensure that all members can fully participate in university life and we work to prevent discrimination.
Acknowledgement means that we appreciate and value diversity as our social reality. All members can develop their full potential. Diversity encompasses personal and social characteristics such as age, gender, skin colour, physical or health condition, life and family models, different backgrounds (ethnic, national, social or economic), gender identities and sexual orientation.
Full participation means that we promote equal access to higher education as well as to all positions, bodies, networks and levels of qualification.
Discrimination prevention means that we work to eliminate direct or indirect discrimination. We take individual circumstances into account to counterbalance disadvantages. This particularly applies to our formal regulations, informal practices, qualification paths, selection processes, advisory services and the use of funds. It is extremely important to eliminate barriers and to establish greater openness in our institution.
2. Positive diversity climate – a goal for the entire university
To what extent do the university members experience the university as a place that is open to diversity, that values diversity and where students and employees can work to achieve their potential? Diversity will be embraced if all members are encouraged to look upon others and assess them without prejudice. Consequently, staff with leadership responsibilities critically reflect on how they assess the achievements and potential of their students and colleagues; they avoid stereotyping and make sure that communication is free from discrimination.
3. Diversity in studies, teaching and research
At the University of Konstanz, we are committed to promoting diversity among our students, teaching staff and researchers and encouraging critical reflection upon socially relevant diversity topics. We provide an inclusive research environment so everyone enjoys equality of opportunity and can achieve their full potential. Assessments are carried out free from discrimination, according to transparent criteria. Our study programmes and the way we teach take students in all their diversity into account.
4. Diversity in staff development and the advancement of early career researchers
Our processes in staff recruitment, from job advertisements to staff development, are transparent and fair. We clearly communicate all rights, obligations, internal processes and options in cases of difficulties and conflicts to make sure no one is discriminated against and in order to foster an environment that welcomes diversity. Our staff with leadership responsibilities advance organizational structures and an academic culture that promote diversity and that support the participation and empowerment of under-represented groups.
5. Diversity in organizational development and quality management
As an organization, we keep learning and therefore continually assess our structures and processes to make sure they do not contain any discriminating mechanisms. Goals, measures, resources and responsibilities are laid out in the university’s structure and development plan. A designated university body works out suitable measures and suggests them to the Rectorate.
The code has been adopted by the Senate and approved by the Rectorate of the University of Konstanz on 13 February 2019