- Interested in learning more about successful diversity planning models both here at UT Austin and at peer institutions?
- Need advice on how to create a diversity and inclusion committee and establish its mission?
- Wondering what types of data would inform your unit’s diversity planning process?
- Want to know more about ways to engage your organization in the planning and implementation process?
Then take a look at the Office for Inclusion and Equity’s diversity planning tools. Within this webpage, the Office for Inclusion and Equity provides guidance to assist unit-based diversity and inclusion committees in developing and implementing their strategic diversity plans.
The process outlined below was utilized by the College of Fine Arts and the Fine Arts Diversity Committee throughout their diversity planning partnership with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
To learn more about the Office for Inclusion and Equity’s diversity planning partnership with the College of Fine Arts, visit the Fine Arts Diversity Committee’s website. Also tools from the University of California, Berkeley Division of Equity and Inclusion were adapted in the development of our resources.
Table of Contents
- Introduction and Overview
- The Benefits of Diversity Planning
- Stage 1. Diversity and Inclusion Committee Formation
- Stage 2. Development of Diversity Planning Process
- Stage 3. Data Collection and Analysis
- Stage 4. Development of Diversity Plan
- Stage 5. Implementation of Diversity Plan
- Diversity Planning Resources from Peer Institutions
“It is not uncommon to encounter or participate in efforts to increase diversity and equity that are passionate, ambitious, and serious in nature. However, it is quite uncommon that these initiatives culminate in lasting institutional change that goes beyond achieving often limited and frequently short-lived victories. Through our five-year diversity plan, the College of Fine Arts is intentionally engaged in specific actions, based on theory, data, and sustainable methodologies, to improve diversity and equity within the college, resulting in long-term institutional change.”
John A. Yancey
Fine Arts Diversity Committee Chair
Professor, Department of Art and Art History
College of Fine Arts
Introduction and Overview
The University of Texas at Austin fosters an environment of excellence in education, research, and public service by creating and supporting an inclusive campus that promotes diverse people and perspectives. By diversifying the faculty, students, and staff and advancing initiatives to create a more inclusive campus culture, University colleges and schools will better reflect the globalized society that the University serves, while also increasing democratic outcomes for graduating students including greater citizenship engagement and cross-cultural understanding. The pursuit of excellence and diversity are intertwined and integral to achieving the University’s mission and core purpose of transforming lives for the benefit of society.
In order to achieve systemic change, the University must embed transformational change within all academic and administrative units across campus. The Office for Inclusion and Equity Diversity Planning Tools provide an overview of an established diversity planning process piloted with the College of Fine Arts, as well as specific tools for achieving a more inclusive teaching, learning, research, and work environment. Additional tools were adapted with permission from the University of California Berkeley’s Division of Equity and Inclusion. The overall process and resources outlined in this document provide opportunities for customization, with the guidance of the Office for Inclusion and Equity.
“The College of Fine Arts has adopted a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Diversity that was the result of an intensive reflection on our community’s strengths and shortcomings as an inclusive community and curriculum. At every step along the way… the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement provided the steady guidance and facilitation that made that process possible. We’re a better, more inclusive college today because of it.”
Dean, College of Fine Arts
The Benefits of Diversity Planning
Benefits emerging from a more inclusive and diverse University community are well established in the research literature and increase institutional viability and educational quality (see for example, Bensimon & Malcolm, 2012; Hurtado et al., 2012; Museus, 2014).
In conducting strategic diversity planning within your academic or administrative unit, you will:
- Develop comprehensive strategies for attracting and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff members;
- Foster an inclusive culture that supports all individuals in the academic or administrative unit; and
- Establish an inclusive learning and work environment through effective policies and practices, curriculum and pedagogical approaches, and more.
Stage 1. Diversity and Inclusion Committee Formation
From the unit’s diversity and inclusion committee (estimated time – 1 month)
- Develop and finalize the diversity and inclusion committee’s structure, membership, mission, and charge.
- Establish a diversity and inclusion committee that is reflective of the academic or administrative unit, including representation with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators as appropriate.
- Include perspectives of multiple constituencies in committee work and the planning process.
Planning Tool –
Stage 2. Development of Diversity Planning Process
Develop the strategic diversity planning process (estimated time – 1 month)
- Adapt the planning process, develop a planning timeline, form subcommittees, and identify critical issues.
- Identify and confirm the overarching purpose and guiding principles of the diversity planning process.
- Work with the Office for Inclusion and Equity to ground committee conversations in an appropriate diversity planning framework that outlines the varying inter-connected organizational dimensions (structural, compositional diversity, interpersonal, etc.) influencing the culture.
- Brainstorm a list of key internal and external stakeholders to engage in the process.
- Develop processes to convey the importance of all stakeholders in creation and implementation of the plan.
- Establish communications plan to ensure internal and external audiences are informed throughout the process.
- Identify and tailor appropriate quantitative (climate assessment) and qualitative (focus groups, stakeholder interviews) data methodology for Stage 3.
Planning Tools –
Stage 3. Data Collection and Analysis
Collect and analyze college/school/administrative unit and university data (estimated time – 4 months)
The following steps can be adapted to fit the needs of individual colleges, schools, and administrative units. In this stage, units will gather information related to equity and inclusion with the guidance of appropriate university offices. Data collection is critical to the planning process, as the data will inform the committee on the current context within the college/school/administrative unit and guide their decisions as they develop the diversity plan.
- Gather and analyze quantitative data currently available from internal UT Austin sources in the form of a data packet (i.e., data from the Office for Inclusion and Equity, Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, and Institutional Reporting, Research, and Information Systems).
- Develop data packet in conjunction with offices across campus and include information such as current and trend data related to departmental demographics for faculty, students, and staff; faculty and staff recruitment and retention information; promotion and tenure data; student admissions statistics; student retention and graduation rates; and other relevant data informing the diversity planning process.
- For more information on diversity planning, contact the Office for Inclusion and Equity at 512-471-1849.
- Conduct a college/school/administrative unit reflective inventory utilizing the reflective inventory tool and/or conduct a college/school/administrative unit-wide climate assessment via an online survey.
- Consider whether it is helpful to the process to inventory current college/school/administrative unit diversity and inclusion practices and initiatives.
- Utilize Curriculum and Teaching Inventory adapted from the University of California, Berkeley Division of Equity and Inclusion Strategic Planning for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Toolkit to review curriculum and teaching practices in college/school.
- Analyze data referenced above and identify overarching themes emerging from the data.
- Identify questions based on themes and conduct multiple focus groups and interviews with various stakeholders (i.e., department leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members).
- Refine themes based on the responses in the focus groups and interviews.
Planning Tools –
Stage 4. Development of Diversity Plan
Develop the college/school/administrative unit’s diversity plan (estimated time – 2 months)
- Conduct an analysis of diversity strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the college/school or administrative unit.
- Develop goals, objectives, action plans, and metrics for a five-year period based on data collected in Stage 3.
- Seek constituent feedback on goals, objectives, action plans, and metrics (possible methods include online evaluation, town hall meetings, faculty/department/staff meetings, college/school/administrative unit-wide e-mails, postings on a website, references in social media, promotional materials).
- Request feedback from the Office for Inclusion and Equity and other appropriate campus offices.
- Write the diversity plan document – including an introduction and overview of the plan that articulates the importance of diversity to the college/school/administrative unit, as well as an overview of the college/school/administrative unit’s data collection and analysis during the diversity planning process.
- Finalize plan and record in BaseCamp, TracDat, or other project management tool.
Planning Tools and Additional Resources –
Stage 5. Implementation of Diversity Plan
Develop the college/school/administrative unit’s diversity plan (estimated time – ongoing)
- Adopt the diversity plan.
- Form an implementation committee, which may include members from the diversity and inclusion committee, as well as other people from across the college/school/administrative unit.
- Set annual priorities and establish work groups, as needed.
- Develop a communications plan to articulate the implementation and progress across the college/school/administrative unit (i.e., website, newsletters, emails).
- Seek feedback from constituents at least annually, as well as connect with other relevant campus offices including the Office for Inclusion and Equity.
- Record progress in BaseCamp, TracDat, or another project management tool.
- Review committee membership, as needed.
- Return to Stage 1 prior to completion of the plan’s implementation.
For more information on diversity planning, contact the Office for Inclusion and Equity at 512-471-1849. Word documents for the planning tools and templates are available upon request.
Diversity Planning Resources from Peer Institutions
- University of California, Berkeley Strategic Planning for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Toolkit for Academic Units
- University of California, Berkeley Strategic Planning for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Toolkit for Administrative Units
- University of California, Berkeley Campus Strategic Diversity Plan
- Ohio State University Diversity Action Plan
- University of Michigan Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan