Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Strategic Plan
Inequity is a pervasive problem in our society and, unfortunately, this problem permeates all organizations in a variety of ways. The healthiest organizations and leaders are the ones who acknowledge this reality. They take meaningful actions to address inequities in decisions and behaviors large and small.
This Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) strategic plan will guide our collective efforts on these vital issues for the duration of our strategic term (2022 – 2028).
About the Broader Context
This DEIB strategic plan was developed from inputs made during DASA’s broader equitable, participatory strategic planning process—called a Wave®—throughout 2021 and 2022. We found ourselves more than a year and a half into the global COVID-19 pandemic, following many months of widespread protests, and amid rising social discourse centered around injustices of many kinds—in particular, racial injustice. The pandemic as well as an increase in climate-related crises exacerbated existing inequities intersecting with gender, caregiver status, disability, class, sexuality, gender identity, and more, as well as socioeconomic and health inequities. All these factors informed the context in which we undertook this work.
For all of us in DASA, it was an exceptionally challenging time emotionally, physically, and in terms of the creativity and tenacity it took to continue to pursue our work. Despite these realities, all DASA faculty and staff were invited to participate in the collaborative Wave® approach, which empowered us to co-design the division’s broader strategic plan and the call to action, values, and DEIB strategic plan goals outlined here. This DEIB strategic plan is designed to complement the overall DASA strategic plan. Additionally, the Wave® process empowered the design of a Culture Charter which includes behavioral aspirations for creating an equitable organizational culture at DASA.
This Wave® process brought new and diverse voices and perspectives to our strategic planning table; 170 of our colleagues shared their experiences and perspectives in Listening Sessions, 187 contributed thoughts and ideas in a Qualitative Insights Questionnaire, and 114 contributed strategic ideas during digital strategic co-design micro-sessions. Together, we have shaped a strategic plan that will have relevance and resonance for years to come. Advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is of pivotal importance to our present and future relevance as a division and to the success of all our students, faculty, and staff. Our objective is to ensure that each and every one of us can achieve our full potential. To that end, we take up our DEIB call to action and the DEIB strategic plan goals below and bring them to life in everyday work and decision-making. In so doing, we will build an organizational culture we can all be proud to be a part of, and one in which we all truly belong.
Our DEIB Strategic Plan
Call to Action
In DASA, we take personal and collective responsibility to use inclusive decision-making to advance and embed equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in everything we do. When making decisions, we actively seek out different perspectives and new voices and ideas that reflect the full diversity of our stakeholders and community members, so together we can
understand, anticipate, and meet the needs of the full diversity of students, faculty and staff.
- Equity and Accessibility
DEIB Strategic Plan Goals
Lead the university on representational diversity
Because DASA serves such a broad and diverse community, we will take the necessary steps to lead the university on expanding diversity of representation at all levels and in all roles.
Advance equity in the distribution of tasks, pay, and opportunities
We aim to reduce burnout, accelerate equality of opportunity, and build a community in which we all can achieve our full potential. Regardless of rank or role, we will all take meaningful steps to distribute opportunities for professional development and advancement and share the burden of workload equitably and fairly.
Create more inclusive processes, services, supports, and educational and enrichment experiences
In DASA we all engage in the thoughtful and essential work of centering the needs of faculty, staff and students from underrepresented and under-served populations, uncovering where inequity exists, in order to build an inclusive organization serving all well.
Build a culture of belonging
In all our work, we endeavor to design a culture and higher education environment in which everyone who wishes to live, learn, work, and play here can truly belong.
A Note About DEIB Strategic Plan Goals
Several specific areas of focus emerged from the many voices that contributed to the Wave® process. These are particular areas where community members would like to see DASA leaders focus attention, and they are areas to which actions on the strategic plan goals should be attuned. These include:
- Improving pay, opportunity, and workload equity (with consideration for race, gender, and role).
- Increasing racial and ethnic diversity at all levels and in all roles of the organization.
- Eliminating negative faculty, staff and student experiences of inequity and discrimination related to race, gender, sexuality, disability status, and other minoritized identities.
- Centering the needs of underrepresented, marginalized, and vulnerable stakeholders in the design and delivery of work.
- Reducing the higher rates of burnout described among underrepresented and under-served populations at DASA and fostering an environment where equal opportunity is nurtured and thrives.
- Significantly increasing accessibility for students, faculty and staff with visible and invisible disabilities.