College of Liberal Arts Equity-in-Action Plan
Five-Year Equity-in-Action Plan
MESSAGE FROM DEAN LEE COHEN
As home to a large and diverse group of departments, centers, institutes and programs, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) is charged to deliver the foundation of the education provided at the University of Mississippi. While it is our intent to promote and advance the fields of science and mathematics, the humanities, the social sciences, and the fine and performing arts, we also believe it is essential to expand the capacity of the mind to think critically, analyze information and consider different points of view. Many studies have shown a clear connection between diversity and innovation. When you have a diverse team working on a problem, you are more likely to come up with new and creative ways of solving it. I believe we have a deep responsibility to reflect the diverse public we serve to effectively educate and train problem-solving leaders and lifelong learners. This is only one part of the equation. For a diverse and equitable workplace to exist, we must reflect on what we have learned, continue the effective practices that have been implemented, and continue work toward creating an environment that is even more welcoming to our entire community. As such, the College of Liberal Arts is committed to increasing equity and diversity through mechanisms that increase access and inclusion in all we do.
As dean, I have worked to build diversity, equity and inclusion into the heart of our research, teaching and service missions. In 2018, I appointed Dr. Kirsten Dellinger as the college’s first associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and hired Ms. Valeria Ross to serve as program manager to expand capacity for work on diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, I have allocated recurring budgetary support to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts across the college. While the primary role of Dr. Dellinger and Ms. Ross is to assist me in ensuring this important work remains at the forefront of all we do, they also serve as college liaisons to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement and to coordinate interdisciplinary efforts to enhance our ability to secure external funding earmarked to support a diverse and inclusive environment (e.g., HHMI IE3 and NSF ADVANCE proposals).
Most recently, along with the faculty, staff and students in the college, we have worked to create the 10 in 3 Equity Plan which focuses on 10 specific, measurable goals we aim to achieve in the next three years. Ultimately, it is our intent to create a more culturally competent environment that delivers a more equitable support system and experience for all.
MESSAGE FROM THE ASSOCIATE DEAN AND PROGRAM MANAGER FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (AND DIVERSITY LIAISONS to DCE)
The university’s Pathways to Equity plan provides a clear and compelling commitment to institutional change. As the associate dean and the program manager for diversity and inclusion in the College of Liberal Arts and the diversity liaisons to the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DCE), we recognize this current equity work as connected to a long history of important calls for change at the University of Mississippi starting with the 27 demands for an end to racism issued by the Black Student Union in 1970 to more recent reports. This includes a 2014 Action Plan (PDF) on Consultant Reports and Update on the Sensitivity and Respect Committee, the 2017 UM Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context, the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women reports (PDF), and the 2018 Microaggressions Report (PDF) to name just a few.
We developed the CLA “10 in 3” plan — a plan that has identified 10 equity initiatives to be accomplished in three years — in the midst of a reckoning with racism in summer 2020 that galvanized the nation — and the College of Liberal Arts — to create a more equitable and racially just world. Based on a series of dialogues with students, faculty and staff, the College of Liberal Arts “10 in 3” equity plan, with five focus areas highlighted in our “Equity-in-Action” plan (below), will be a living road map to equity taking these and other calls for change into account. As the largest academic unit at the flagship public institution in the state of Mississippi, we feel a tremendous responsibility to pursue collaboration that will ensure that Black Lives Matter on our campus and beyond and that we build a college that reflects the full breadth of diversity among our students, staff and faculty, supports access to power in leadership and decision making, and fosters full participation and inclusion. If we are successful, it will mean we have expanded the full breadth of diversity in the people who make up the college, broadened access to power for all faculty, staff and students, and paved the way for full participation and a sense of mattering and belonging.
The first phase of this work will require systematic reflection. We will review our current practices and policies at the college and department/unit levels. We need to better understand who we are, what we do and how we do these things, so we have a better chance of retaining the excellent faculty, staff and students who currently work here and then attracting and recruiting new faculty, staff and students into a healthy, equitable and thriving community.
Our efforts to pursue equity will be:
- Integral and central to our mission, practices, policies, not “something separate” or apart from them.
- Data driven: We will use institutional data and best practices to help identify who we are, what challenges and opportunities we face, and how to assess our progress.
- Context specific: While identifying CLA common goals, we also recognize that each department/unit will have unique challenges, areas of need, and opportunities that are critically important to our collective success.
- Grounded in a strengths or asset-based approach and an “ethics of care”: We will focus on identifying and rectifying organizational or structural barriers, not individual deficits; recognizing where change is happening; and supporting people to make that change more possible with an acknowledgment and effort to address the disproportionate invisible labor placed on women and people of color who often provide this support.
- Collaborative: The power of change is only possible by working together and bringing all of our unique strengths, knowledge and skills to bear on solving complex social problems. We strive to create an iterative process for change centered in the experience, needs and expertise of faculty, staff and students in the college.
- Accountable: We are committed to developing a more diverse, equitable and inclusive college in a systematic fashion, and holding ourselves and each other, as a college, accountable for making progress on the broad initiatives laid out in the “10 in 3” and the five areas of focus specified here in the “Equity in Action” plan. We commit to developing an ongoing process for assessing where we are successfully “moving the needle on equity” to determine what is working and what is not. We wish to explore and experiment with motivating ways to make our progress more visible.
- Achievable: We recognize that structural change takes long-term and sustained efforts, and that there is a sense of urgency and need for immediate action. We are dedicated to a “small wins” approach to change where seemingly simple changes in approach and practices can motivate further action and commitment to the achievement of broader equity goals.
GUIDING STATEMENTS IN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS
College of Liberal Arts Mission
The mission of the College of Liberal Arts is to provide the general education component of all of the University of Mississippi’s undergraduate degree programs, offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, extend the boundaries of research/scholarship within the fields represented by the college, actively participate in making the resources of the college useful to the general public, and shape the cultural life of the University of Mississippi.
Diversity and inclusion are critical components of this mission. The College of the Liberal Arts is dedicated to increase diversity and fully include members of underrepresented groups among students, staff and faculty. Diversity enhances overall creativity, intellectual achievements, and contributes profoundly to the training of conscientious citizens in our society. The qualities that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to institutions of higher education help us to think in more complex ways, consider varied perspectives, create new approaches, and achieve excellence as community members and leaders in an ever-changing world.
As part of the initial stages of the equity planning process, we have developed a working draft of a College of Liberal Arts Equity Statement, which will be developed further as we work together with various groups in the college to pursue the goals of the “Equity-in-Action” plan.
College of Liberal Arts Equity Statement
The College of Liberal Arts is committed to equity in higher education. We seek to build diversity, equity and inclusion into the heart of our research, teaching and service missions. We strive to create an environment of learning and discovery where students, faculty and staff are supported and can expect respect and a sense of belonging as they pursue their best work. The College of Liberal Arts has experts in many fields who can help us understand the historical, cultural, symbolic, scientific and social scientific implications of many forms of inequality and paths to equity.
Our path to achieving a diverse, equitable and inclusive College of Liberal Arts is guided by a two-pronged approach: 1) A clear understanding of the historical and structural dynamics of power that affect the life chances of groups and individuals in our society and 2) an asset-based approach to progress and change, one that focuses on the resources and support that individuals identify as critical to their success. Access to higher education nationwide has been hindered for groups of people based on race/ethnicity and gender (and other systems of power, including socioeconomic status/class, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, religious beliefs and practices, among others). Greater access to education is possible when we consistently, intentionally and collectively work to identify paths to success for all groups.
As the largest academic area at the University of Mississippi, the flagship university in the state, we have a deep responsibility to reflect the diverse public we serve in order to effectively educate and train problem-solving leaders and lifelong learners. To foster this work and build the strongest college possible, our goal is to collectively create policies and practices in the college that ensure that power, resources and decision making are equitably distributed. We will strive to develop authentic relationships and partnerships in this ongoing academic and civic journey, and we will hold one another accountable for our progress toward equity, learning from our failures and celebrating our successes as we go.
PATHWAYS TO EQUITY: University of Mississippi Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
The University of Mississippi continues its commitment to excellence and making a positive difference in society through higher education. Pathways to Equity stands as our institutional guidepost for addressing and advancing our institutional mission through centering on diversity, equity and inclusion. Our complex institutional history coupled with our rich culture of students, faculty and staff striving for inclusive change has led us to the solidification of this institutional plan. Pathways to Equity works in concert with the university’s strategic plan to leverage university-wide, college/school-level and departmental transformative initiatives that cultivate a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus.
With Pathways to Equity, the University of Mississippi aspires to achieve the following statements by the conclusion of this plan.
- The University of Mississippi consistently and comprehensively articulates diversity, equity and inclusion as essential in fulfilling the mission, vision and values of the institution.
- The University of Mississippi is organizationally and culturally equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to continue advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
- A campus climate is fostered that ensures all individuals are valued, supported and feel a sense of belonging at the University of Mississippi.
- The University of Mississippi has decreases in disparities across underrepresented groups in the enrollment, retention and graduation rate at undergraduate and graduate levels.
- The number of underrepresented groups employed at the University of Mississippi is increased to reflect a talented and diverse workforce at all organizational levels, especially tenure-track faculty, managerial positions and executive leadership positions.
The development of this plan requires us to address individual, social, organizational and systemic factors that create and sustain inequities that prevent all members of our community from fully participating and thriving. We view this as central to the mission of the University of Mississippi. As we embark on this journey together, we must commit to the following shared principles:
- Equity-mindedness – We embrace the institutional responsibility and agency to actively address the challenges and disparate outcomes at all levels of our community. This requires us to be data informed and connect best and promising practices to generate high-impact change for underserved groups in our community.
- Institutional Accountability – We must ensure efforts outlined throughout Pathways to Equity are acknowledged in the established systems of recognition, performance and accountability. It is vital that we work to account for the advancement of these goals in our ideas of success, merit and reward. Further, we must account for, honor and recognize faculty, staff, administrators and students in their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Transparency – In our execution of Pathways to Equity, our success is predicated on a highly accessible and collaborative process that actively involves university stakeholders to work as virtuous partners. To that end, we will consistently, publicly and broadly share our intended actions, goals and measurable impacts of this plan.
- Innovation – Actualizing diversity, equity and inclusion will require us to deeply examine and rethink our policies, practices and procedures at the University of Mississippi. Each unit and individual across campus is invited to offer new thoughts, ideas and perspectives as we thoughtfully consider ways to make our institution more equitable and inclusive through an intersectional lens. This disposition will create a community of learning, growth and development as we collectively engage in this complex work.
- Alignment of Critical Resources – During this planning process, we have navigated a global health pandemic that has shown the vulnerabilities in our systems that disparately affect underserved and under-resourced communities. As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, we must not falter in our commitment to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. Instead, we must recognize that our commitment to equity is even more important today than ever.
The following goals represent the University of Mississippi’s commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). These overarching goals represent interconnected priorities that are applicable to UM broadly, from our comprehensive divisions, down to individual teams. We aim to have all units see meaningful alignment of these goals with their work. We will ensure UM embraces the transformative nature of diversity, equity and inclusion across all levels of the institution, addressing challenges to DEI at every corner of our institution by combining contextual understanding with internal and external expertise.
- Advance Institutional Capacity for Equity
Infrastructure, Information, Systems, Education and Processes
- Cultivate a Diverse and Equitable Community
Recruiting, Retaining, Advancing and Succeeding
- Foster an Inclusive Campus Climate
Support, Value and Belonging
OVERVIEW OF PLAN
College of Liberal Arts “10 in 3” and “Focus 5” Equity-in-Action Plan
Initial planning sessions during summer 2020 were devoted to establishing and prioritizing equity goals for the College of Liberal Arts. They included collegewide, open listening and discussion sessions (by Zoom) with individuals and the following groups in the college: students, staff, student-centered advising staff, faculty and Black faculty. Kirsten Dellinger and Valeria Beasley Ross conducted these sessions and took detailed notes. Each session included questions about possible goals for the college and discussions about these goals and their prioritization.
Taking into account the themes from these listening sessions, and recommendations from past reports and taskforces, we created the “10 in 3” Equity Plan for the college —10 major equity issues that we will work diligently to “move forward” in three years. The 10 in 3 plan will help achieve the goal of a stronger, more inclusive, more equitable college and includes:
- Implement systematic and sustained equity training/education at all levels
- Conduct comprehensive Equity Program Reviews for every CLA unit
- Create website that sets expectations and supports equity-minded work foundational to our R1 status
- Establish a student committee to work specifically on diversity, equity and inclusion matters
- Support and highlight work of student-centered advising staff in the college
- Conduct regular meetings with CLA staff from underrepresented and marginalized groups
- Highlight, recognize and reward Black faculty’s expertise and CLA faculty expertise on racism, antiracism and social justice
- Support more leadership opportunities for faculty from underrepresented and marginalized groups
- Recruit and hire more Black faculty and faculty from other underrepresented groups in the college
- Clarify mechanisms for bias reporting and ensure effective follow-through
Immediate work on several of the items in the “10 in 3” has already begun including the establishment of a collegewide group of department/unit equity representatives that will become a mechanism for facilitating comprehensive Department/Unit Equity Reviews (No. 2); the creation of a working group and process for restructuring and revamping of the college website by summer 2021 (No. 3), the establishment of a student committee (No. 4), initial exploration of strategies for better support for student-centered advising staff (No. 5), the establishment of a faculty equity leadership advisory board (Nos. 7 and 8), and initial meetings to address clarification of existing bias reporting mechanisms (No. 10).
During summer and fall 2020 and spring 2021, we have continued to build an organizational structure in the college committed to expanding and supporting equity work and to gain feedback on the equity plan. (See more on this in the next section). We held meetings with department chairs and directors, a faculty equity leadership advisory board, a student council, and a group of CLA department/unit equity representatives from all of the college’s 18 departments and many of the 15 centers/institutes and units, all which are providing feedback on the “10 in 3.” Based on the feedback from these initial meetings, and in line with the Pathways request for three-to-five initiatives, we have selected five areas of focus from the 10 in 3 with the broadest impact on faculty, staff and students in the college:
“Focus 5” (from the “10 in 3”)
- Systematic education at all levels to promote ongoing learning and engagement with diversity, equity and inclusion
- Comprehensive department/unit equity reflection and reviews
- Highlight and reward faculty, staff and student expertise and accomplishments in ways that are tied to success and advancement
- Provide leadership opportunities for faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups
- Recruit and retain Black faculty, staff and students, and faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups
DIVERSITY PLANNING COMMITTEES
As has been mentioned, Dean Cohen created an established set of administrative positions in the Dean’s Office to address diversity, equity and inclusion. Kirsten Dellinger, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts, and Valeria Beasley Ross, program manager for diversity and inclusion in the College of Liberal Arts, are charged with leading the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the college, including equity planning.
Dellinger and Ross, in turn, have created the following set of equity working groups in fall 2020 and spring 2021 to facilitate ongoing discussion and feedback to guide further development of and implementation strategies for the “10 in 3” and “Focus 5”:
- CLA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Council;
- CLA Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board;
- CLA Department/Unit Equity Faculty and Staff Committee.
The purpose of each group and the list of members are listed below:
The committee includes representation from the Graduate Student Council, Associated Student Body, Black Student Union and International Student Organization as recommended by each of these group’s current presidents. The role of the student board is as follows:
- Advise and support recruitment, retention and success for CLA diverse faculty, staff and students
- Advise the CLA on ideas to include in student orientations to support recruitment of students from underrepresented populations
- Create a process for CLA students to express diversity-related concerns
- Create diversity-related educational and professional development programming for CLA students
- Publicize diversity-related events
Board members regularly meet with the associate dean and program manager for diversity and inclusion. The student board also meets with the dean once (minimally) per semester and as needed to discuss developing and/or unexpected diversity, equity and inclusion matters.
CLA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Council
- Associated Student Body, Hayden Williamson
- Black Student Union, Je’Von Franklin
- Graduate Student Council, Eduardo Rangel
- International Student Alliance, Elsi Munoz
The inaugural members of the CLA Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board were selected by the associate dean and program manager of diversity and inclusion in consultation with the dean.
The goals of the CLA Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board include the following:
- Tap into leadership and faculty expertise that is already existing in the college, especially among faculty doing equity work, and faculty who are from underrepresented or minoritized groups.
- Compensate and recognize the people who are already doing this work so that we move away from a model of “unpaid invisible labor.”
- Support specific equity projects as imagined and designed by the board members with the goal of measurable outcomes that work to “move the needle” on equity in line with current strategic plans.
- Create diverse leadership teams so that we make better decisions as a college and are clearly working on issues that increase and advance equity. Provide regular advice to the dean and on critical equity matters.
- Develop a leadership track and professional development opportunities to bring more faculty of color and underrepresented or marginalized faculty into existing (and newly envisioned) administrative roles.
CLA Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board
- Aileen Ajootian, professor of classics, Student Recruitment/Retention
- Julia Bussade, lecturer and director of Portuguese & basic Spanish programs, Modern Languages, International Faculty & Student Engagement
- Simone Delerme, McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies & Anthropology, Community Engagement
- Shennette Garrett-Scott, associate professor of history and African American studies, Faculty Mentoring and Inclusive Pedagogy
- Vivian Ibrahim, Croft Associate Professor of History and International Studies, Faculty Recognition/Awards and Bias Reporting Processes
- Willa Johnson, associate professor of sociology, Fundraising & Grants
- Amy McDowell, associate professor of sociology, Gender/LGBTQ Equity
- Susan Pedigo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, HHMI/Inclusive Pedagogy in STEM
- Charles Ross, professor of history and African American studies, Faculty Recruitment/Retention
- Beckie Symula, instructional associate professor of biology, HHMI/Inclusive Pedagogy in STEM
- Peter Wood, instructional assistant professor of theatre and film, Gender/LGBTQ Equity
CLA Department/Unit Equity Representatives
Department chairs and directors nominated a faculty representative and staff representative (if available) for each department and several center/institutes/units in the college.
The goals and purpose of this committee are to:
- Help ensure awareness of equity planning at university and college levels and share information with departments/units.
- Share feedback and ideas from CLA departments/units.
- Ground plans in experience and vision of faculty and staff through an iterative and transparent process for equity work.
- Foster creative and innovative approaches to equity in a collaborative space.
- Aerospace Science, Chris Maroney
- Art & Art History, Kris Belden
- Biology, Tammy Goulet
- FASTrack, Camp Best, Gray Flora
- Chemistry & Biochemistry, Susan Pedigo, Danny Bailey
- Classics, Aileen Ajootian
- Economics, Mark Van Boening
- English, Leigh Anne Duck
- Gender Studies, Theresa Starkey
- Health Professions Advising Office, Sovent Taylor
- History, Marc Lerner
- Mathematics, Laura Sheppardson, Marilyn Lisa Sanders
- Modern Languages, Tamara Warhol
- Music, Libby Hearn, Cara Matlock Jones
- Naval Science ROTC, James Zaken
- Philosophy & Religion, Steven Skultety, Stacy Hilterbrand
- Physics & Astronomy, Leo Stein, Thomas Jamerson
- Political Science, Lauren Ferry
- Psychology, Grace Rivera
- Public Policy Leadership, Melissa Bass, Crystal Jones
- Sociology & Anthropology, Catarina Passidomo, Evelyn Johnson
- Southern Studies, Catarina Passidomo, Afton Thomas
- Student Services, Kordarius Parker, Kelly Houston
- Theatre & Film, Sarah Hennigan, Katherine Stewart
- Writing & Rhetoric, Victoria “Tori” Brown
These “Focus 5” areas from the “10 in 3” reflect a broad commitment to building equity into existing College of Liberal Arts practices and policies. Each of these five areas affects faculty, staff and students. We will focus on achieving our goals through these strategies over the course of five years, with attention to some strategies in each category every year. All five of these areas are important. The order in which they are listed reflects the importance of first reviewing and strengthening our current practices and policies in order to improve the access and success of our existing students, faculty and staff, so that when we recruit new students, faculty and staff, they will be entering a more inclusive and equitable environment.
Encourage systematic education at all levels to promote ongoing learning and engagement with diversity, equity and inclusion (No. 1 in “10 in 3”)
- Search training for members of CLA search committees (including chairs/directors). (HR, EORC and DCE).
- Online Title IX and EORC training and “Case Study” workshops for deans, department chairs/directors, GPCs. (For faculty/staff — future goal).
- Online Everfi Diversity Training for incoming CLA students. Develop CLA-specific “Expect Respect” orientation session. Identify and highlight a range of already existing experiential learning opportunities that provide equity education in the first year.
- Support involvement in inclusive pedagogy learning community (CETL and DCE).
- Invite external experts for workshops (search processes, evaluation, tenure and promotion, inclusive pedagogy, etc.) —“Train the trainer” framework to build capacity. Coordinate with DCE and other partners to maximize impact. Make external experts aware of our equity goals so they can speak to and reinforce these efforts.
The College of Liberal Arts will take proactive steps to build the capacity for equity and inclusion by ensuring that leaders, faculty, staff and students are aware of best practices for creating inclusive department, classroom and campus environments. We will use best practices backed by academic research to guide our efforts. To continually expand our understanding of these practices, we will encourage voluntary participation (and track and monitor the percentage of individuals participating) in the UM Division for Diversity and Community Engagement search trainings and CETL trainings on inclusive pedagogy each year. We will also expand knowledge of best practices by inviting internal and external experts for lectures and workshops on this topic for staff, faculty, and chairs and directors in the college. To encourage and ensure the use of these practices to reduce harm for people of color and members of other underrepresented groups on campus, we will work to build best practices into currently existing practices in the college including job search recruitment and candidate assessment, teaching evaluations, faculty activity reports, staff appraisals, administrative quadrennial reviews, orientations and mentoring.
Area(s) Responsible: dean, associate dean and program manager for diversity and inclusion, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
Resources Statement: funds for external training and support for inclusive teaching course transformation
- Percentage of deans and department/chairs completing annual Title IX and EORC training (HR and Title IX)
- Percentage of deans and department/chairs completing a DEI educational opportunity provided by an external speaker funded by the Dean’s Office
- Percentage of CLA faculty and staff search committee members trained (HR and DCE)
- Percentage of faculty and staff completing a DEI educational opportunity provided by an external speaker funded by the Dean’s Office
- Percentage of first-year CLA students completing Everfi Diversity Training (Dean’s Office and chairs)
- Percentage of new CLA faculty and staff completing Everfi Diversity Training (as a way to better understand what our students are experiencing)
- Percentage of faculty participating in at least one “inclusive pedagogy” session per year
Diverse and Equitable Community
- Percentage of faculty funded to transform a course based on best practices in “inclusive pedagogy”
Inclusive Campus Climate
- Percentage of departments that have integrated a DEI best practice into teaching evaluations
- Percentage of departments that have integrated a DEI best practice into faculty activity reports
- Percentage of departments that have integrated a DEI best practice into staff appraisals
- Percentage of quadrennial reviews that have integrated a DEI best practice
- Percentage of orientations that have integrated a DEI education component
Comprehensive Department/Unit Equity Reflection and Reviews (No. 2 in “10 in 3”)
- Review existing demographic data
- Train equity representatives and chairs/directors on “Diversity Dashboard” (IREP)
- Develop sustainable mechanism to review demographic data on searches (pools, short lists, hires)
- Review existing climate data
- Review CLA Climate Survey (by discipline area)
- Other department or unit climate information
- Identify useful comparison groups for demographic and climate data
- discipline/area as a whole or other relevant external comparison group
- Identify and use existing mechanisms for reporting demographic data.
- Begin by including demographic data in a new section of July 2021 department/unit annual reports.
- CLA will vet department/unit “equity review models” for pilot implementation in years 2 and 3
The College of Liberal Arts will take systematic steps to implement regular equity reflection and review for every department and unit in the college. To encourage and ensure the use of these practices to reduce harm for people of color and members of other underrepresented groups in our departments and units, we will work to build these reviews into regularly occurring review processes including, but not limited to, annual department reports, external program reviews and quadrennial reviews. First steps in understanding “Who we are?” will require an examination of the demographic and climate data at department and unit levels with the goal of identifying unique needs or challenges in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. These are not “check the box” exercises, but will take time and reflection to build equity practices into existing (and new) processes over a five-year period.
Area(s) Responsible: deans, chairs and departments
Resources Statement: Funding to support faculty and staff serving as department/unit equity representatives
- Establish committee of CLA department/unit equity representatives by spring 2021
- Associate dean and department/unit equity representatives provide feedback to dean on possible instruments and/or processes for department equity reviews by December 2021
- Percentage of departments/units that have completed IREP training on use of Diversity Dashboard
Diverse and Equitable Community
- Percentage of departments/units that have generated baseline demographic data (gender and race/ethnicity) on students, staff and faculty in their departments/units by December 2021
Inclusive Campus Climate
- Identify existing department/unit level data that measures department/unit climate.
- Review climate data from university’s Climate Study by four areas in the college (fine and performing arts, humanities, social sciences, and math and sciences) by December 2021.
Highlight, Reward and Promote Faculty, Staff and Student Expertise and Accomplishments in Ways That are Tied to Success and Advancement (No. 7 in “10 in 3”)
- Review existing CLA (and university) awards processes to enhance equity and access: scope and criteria of awards, evidence of excellence, advertisement, nomination requirements, past pools/winners and visibility to enhance equity, etc.
- Create new research, creative achievement, teaching and service awards
- Inclusive pedagogy and course transformation
- Grants for equity-focused and community engaged research
- Increase meaningful recognition of faculty, staff and student expertise through intentional communications, including website presence and feature stories
- Create Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board
- Focused equity projects w/ CLA support
The College of Liberal Arts is dedicated to recognizing the excellent teaching, research and creative achievement of all faculty and the expertise and accomplishments of staff and students creating avenues for sharing, featuring and discussing this work. This includes the creation of forums for the presentation of work by UM faculty, staff and students, inviting outside speakers to share their work, and fundraising to support the creation of new awards and research and teaching support in the college.
Area(s) Responsible: dean and associate dean for diversity and inclusion
Resources Statement: funds for new awards, research and teaching support
- Establish summer funds for IAP course development/inclusive pedagogy grants
- Establish equity research/scholarship/creative achievement award(s)
- Establish inclusive pedagogy award(s)
- Establish DEI staff award(s)
- Establish DEI student award(s)
- Create IDEAS forum (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Advancing through Scholarship) and host at least three events per semester to highlight and share scholarship from UM faculty (and invited faculty) on equity issues.
- Utilize the IDEAS forum to introduce faculty and postdocs from underrepresented groups to campus by inviting them as speakers.
Diverse and Equitable Community
- Review existing awards and report demographic data on past winners
- Track number of yearly nominations for existing awards and diversity of pools
Inclusive Campus Climate
- Explore and encourage effective, frequent ways of highlighting and recognizing faculty, staff and student contributions and accomplishments via awards, grants, social media posts, feature news stories, mementos of appreciation for service, etc. Number of highlights for faculty, staff and students in the college and each department/unit per year.
Provide More Leadership Opportunities for Faculty, Staff and Students from Underrepresented Groups (No. 8 in “10 in 3”)
- Create Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board
- Focused equity projects with CLA support
- Create staff leadership programs
- Explore direct appointment opportunities for staff promotion
- Seek feedback from faculty, staff and students to determine most desired professional development opportunities
The college is dedicated to more consistently recognizing existing talent and expertise among faculty, staff and students from underrepresented and marginalized groups, providing avenues for desired professional development and networking, and actively pursuing more gender, racial/ethnic diversity in existing and new college leadership positions and roles.
Area(s) Responsible: Dean’s Office and chairs
Resources Statement: Funding for Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board ($2,000 per member per year); budget for events organized by faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups
- Create a Faculty Equity Leadership Advisory Board where existing faculty expertise and experience in equity work is acknowledged and supported to drive change in the college.
- Create staff leadership workshops where existing staff expertise and experience in equity work is acknowledged and supported to drive change in the college.
- Survey of faculty, staff and students to determine specific desire for professional development programs by fall 2021.
- Create at least one equity-focused, sustainable professional development program for faculty, staff or students by December 2021.
Diverse and Equitable Community
- Percentage of faculty from underrepresented groups serving in primary department leadership roles in the college (deans, chairs, directors, associate or assistant chairs, graduate coordinators, undergraduate coordinators, Faculty Senate representatives)
Inclusive Campus Climate
- Create clear and transparent process and guidelines for seeking CLA funding for equity-focused events by fall 2021.
- Number/percentage of events in the college organized by faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups (or with a focus on equity) that have been supported by department and CLA funding
Recruit and Retain Black Faculty, Staff and Students & Faculty, Staff and Students from Underrepresented Groups (No. 9 in “10 in 3”)
- Reflect/Review/Retain before Recruit — See “Review Existing and New Data” in section on training/education
- CLA systematically compare two-to-three cohort hiring or strategic hiring models by summer 2021. Prepare to utilize when hiring in the college resumes.
The College of Liberal Arts will take proactive steps to recruit and retain more Black faculty, staff and students and faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups to help build a college that better reflects the state we serve. We will use best practices backed by academic research to guide our efforts. We will gather and review recruitment and hiring data on every faculty and staff search in the college and design a plan for cohort or strategic hiring for implementation as soon as possible. To continually expand our understanding of these practices, we will encourage voluntary participation in the UM Division of Diversity and Community Engagement search training each year. We will also expand knowledge of best practices by inviting internal and external experts for lectures and workshops on this topic for chairs, directors and search committees in the college.
Area(s) Responsible: dean, chairs, DCE and search committees
Resources Statement: Strategic use of lines held back in the college in face of budget cuts and central resources for strategic hiring at the provost and chancellor’s level. Funds for external experts on equitable search processes.
- Percentage of search committee members that have completed UM Diversity and Inclusion Search Committee Training (Baseline: N/A)
- Percentage of chairs/directors that have attended search workshops by external experts invited by the dean of the College of Liberal Arts (Baseline: N/A)
- Percentage of departments that include national statistics regarding percentage of doctoral degrees received by members of underrepresented groups in their request to conduct a search (Baseline: N/A)
- Creation of a CLA orientation session for students from underrepresented or marginalized groups by fall 2021.
Diverse and Equitable Community
- Diversity of faculty and staff applicant pools (Baseline: N/A)
- Diversity of faculty and staff invited for “on-campus” interviews (Baseline: N/A)
- Diversity of faculty and staff hired (gender/race & ethnicity) (Baseline: N/A)
Inclusive Campus Climate
- Creation of a College of Liberal Arts cohort hiring plan with comparison to two or more models successfully used at other institutions. Recommendation of strategy by December 2021.
- Percentage of search committee chairs that have incorporated one or more new strategies in faculty searches (diversity statements; rubric for evaluation; campus visit practices) (Baseline: N/A)
- Percentage of graduate program coordinators that have incorporated one or more new strategies in graduate student recruitment (diversity statements; rubric for evaluation; campus visit practices) (Baseline: N/A)
- Percentage of departments/units that have incorporated one or more new strategies in student recruitment (campus visit practices) (Baseline: N/A)
 Bensimon, E.M., Dowd, A.C., Witham, K. (2016). Five principles for enacting equity by design. Diversity and Democracy, The Equity Imperative. Winter 2016, Volume 19, No. 1.