Diversity and Inclusion Planning - Colleges/Divisions, 2019-2020

This page contains materials from the planning process for colleges and divisions that culminated in submissions in Fall 2020.

Welcome to the Division of Diversity and Innovation's resource page for Diversity and Inclusion Planning. Here, you will be provided with an overview of the planning process and associated resources that can aid your department, college, division, or auxiliary in developing unit-based plans for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Please note that this website provides information on unit-level diversity plans; for information on the university-level strategic planning process, see Reimagining the Future: A Strategic Plan for SDSU. Also, the timelines and details on this page are largely for the college and divisional plans; for AY2021 timelines and details for departments and schools, please see the page on Diversity and Inclusion Planning for Schools / Departments.

A University Senate resolution approved on Feb. 6, 2018, requires all units to engage in diversity planning. It stated:

“LET IT BE RESOLVED, that San Diego State University creates a campus-wide diversity plan and that all academic and administrative units/divisions also create individual diversity plans that are congruent with the University plan. The University shall provide training and support for developing these plans. This requirement shall be in place by the year 2020.”

After receiving the resolution, President Roush supported the implementation of the resolution and further provided that all units have diversity plans by fall 2020. Any units without an approved plan will not be able to hire beginning Jan. 1, 2021, until the criteria are satisfied. The Diversity and Inclusion Plans are meant to be expansive in nature; according to the resolution language, “all academic and administrative units/divisions” are required to have a plan on file. Beyond the wider university plan for equity, diversity, and inclusion, this includes all 54 academic departments and schools, eight colleges, Library, Imperial Valley Campus, Mission Valley Campus, all divisions (Academic Affairs, Business and Financial Affairs, Graduate and Research Affairs, Information Technology, Student Affairs, University Relations and Development), and campus auxiliaries. However, to ensure vertical alignment between the College Diversity Plans and the Department/School Diversity Plans, in September 2019, DDI recommended to the University Senate that the deadline for the Department/School Plans be moved to March of 2021; that recommendation was approved at the October 1 Senate meeting.

It should also be noted that in Fall 2019, all colleges were asked to create plans detailing how they intend to close equity gaps in student success outcomes. These separate student success plans are expected to be completed in October 2019; therefore, the Diversity and Inclusion Plans discussed on this website focus primarily on faculty and staff. For more information about student success analysis and strategies, please see the page on Closing Equity Gaps in Student Success.

Diversity and Inclusion Plans are an opportunity for units to articulate their goals with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion for all faculty, staff and students as part of their mission of excellence in education and scholarship. A good plan requires understanding how well the unit is (or isn’t) currently supporting students, staff and faculty from diverse backgrounds; developing a shared vision of the environment that the unit wishes to create; and considering metrics for evaluating progress toward shared goals. The process of creating these plans is therefore an opportunity for units to engage in important conversations about values and priorities, and to think strategically about what changes are needed to reach stated goals. At the end of the development progress, these plans will help guide the unit as changes are implemented and progress is evaluated; at the same time, plans themselves will continue to evolve as departments and units continue to grow and develop.

To support the development of these plans, DDI has formed two councils (the Equity and Inclusion Councils) with representatives who are prepared to assist auxiliaries, colleges, and units/departments; in addition, the Professors of Equity are available to provide professional learning opportunities so all faculty and staff have the foundational knowledge necessary to successfully engage in this work. Through the Councils and the Professors of Equity, DDI will provide continued support to all units as they develop their Diversity and Inclusion Plans.

NOTE: Many units already have broader strategic plans, often developed as part of Academic Program Review or accreditation reviews. Those existing plans may already include many of the components expected in the Diversity and Inclusion Plans, and units are encouraged to think about all strategic planning in an integrated way. The Diversity and Inclusion Plans simply provide an opportunity for units to ensure they have thoughtfully and explicitly considered the needs of different populations.

Throughout the academic year, we will convene a series of Diversity and Inclusion Plan Development Institutes. Each Institute will be offered multiple times in each month listed below. Here is the draft timeline and content for the Institutes.

Divisions / Colleges / Auxiliaries
August 2019 Release of readings, materials, and template
October 2019 Institute #1 - Pre-Planning and Equity Gaps
January 2020 Institute #2 - Goals and Interventions
March 2020 Plan Submission opens. Plans will be reviewed and revised with support of Councils.

November 2020

Deadline for Submission of Completed, Final Plan

* In correspondence sent in April 2020, the deadline for approval was extended to November 13, 2020

Once submitted, plans will follow a multi-step process, including:

  • Informal feedback and review from the College/Unit-level Diversity and Inclusion councils
  • Informal feedback and review from the University Inclusion and Equity Council representatives
  • Review and recommendation for approval from the Senate DEI committee
  • Review and approval from the Chief Diversity Officer
Roster and Commitment Forms Plan Templates
Colleges Colleges
Divisions and Auxiliaries Divisions and Auxiliaries

Although the focus in AY1920 will be on College and Division plans, many schools and departments may want to get a head start on their plans as well. For more information on that process, please see the page on Diversity and Inclusion Planning for Schools / Departments.

Guiding Materials

Committee members will likely come back to these resources throughout the process.

Committee members will likely come back to these resources throughout the process.

  • Professional learning seminar on implicit bias and microaggressions offered by the Professors of Equity [online version will be available late August 2020]
  • Complete at least two self-assessments from the Implicit Association Test after completing the professional learning offered by the Professors of Equity. The following self-assessments are recommended: Race IAT, Gender-Science IAT, Sexuality IAT, Disability IAT, Gender-Career IAT, Native IAT, Asian IAT.

Statements should a) establish the unit’s commitment to diversity and inclusion; b) discuss how diversity and inclusion contributes to excellence in the focal area or discipline; c) identify the unit’s long-term goals for equity, diversity, and inclusion; and d) be produced by discussions involving key unit stakeholders.

The environmental assessment involves identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. This includes a review of existing data and the collection of equity data to help inform these strengths and opportunities. Overall, each environmental assessment should be attentive to the following:

  • Representation – to what extent are SDSU faculty and staff proportionally represented within your unit?
  • Climate – to what extent do SDSU faculty and staff perceive the climate environment to be welcoming, affirming, and supportive of diversity and inclusion?
  • Success - At what rate are faculty making progress in advancement (e.g., tenure, promotion) and staff being retained?

Prior to the first Planning Institute (on October 25), DDI will provide each unit with information on the demographic representation of faculty and staff, as well as whatever available data we can on climate and success. During the first Planning Institute, Diversity Committees will analyze this data and identify areas with the largest challenges. However, teams are encouraged to review and discuss their data ahead of the Institute as well.

  • Guiding questions that teams may want to consider:
    • What patterns do you notice? What are the themes?
    • Does the data challenge assumptions about specific populations? If so how?
    • Does the representation of faculty and staff in your unit reflect the student population? Does it reflect the available pool from which you hire? Are there other comparisons that might be appropriate?
    • What are the biggest obstacles/barriers to achieving diiverse faculty or staff representation and success?
      • Are these obstacles/barriers individual or institutional (and at what level of the institution)?
    • What does faculty and staff success look like and how should we measure it? What additional data might be useful?

Additional data:

Units should identify three goals for the next one to five years, informed by the unit’s diversity and inclusion statement and the environmental assessment. Excellent goals will be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Note: When schools, departments and sub-units develop their own plans next year, they will not be asked to develop their own goals. Instead, they will need to propose strategies that will help them achieve these college or division goals (given their local enivironmenal assessment).

Units should identify specific interventions to improve representation, climate, and success for faculty and staff. For each intervention, units should identify incentives, resources, and other factors that may affect the unit’s ability to successfully implement their intended strategies, as well as how you intend to address any challenges.

  • Some common strategies for recruitment, climate and success are listed on the Strategies page of this website.
  • When considering strategies at the college and division level, teams should keep in mind that many decisions and actions that are critical for representation, climate and success may be implemented at the department or sub-unit level. Thus, strategies at the college and division level may require thinking about how to incentivize those decisions and actions, rather than adopting them directly. For example, because faculty search committees are established at the department level, an appropriate strategy for an individual department might be to make implicit bias training a requirement for all search committees members while an appropriate strategy for a college might be that only departments who require implicit bias training for search committee members will be appproved to hire.

Based on the recommendation of the University Senate standing committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), All plans will be evaluated using the following seven criteria:

  1. All plan components are to be described clearly and written with detail
  2. Plans should include data that evidences which groups are experiencing disproportionate impact
  3. Plans should demonstrate a meaningful, deep-dive into the data
  4. A committee and data-gathering process that has broad representation
  5. Direct alignment between challenges, goals, and planned interventions
  6. Each plan should clearly delineate who is responsible for which tasks
  7. A plan that provides intentional and meaningful efforts that (if implemented) are likely to affect desired changes

See this guiding document for additional details and a checklist rubric.

Research-Based Strategies


All units should identify strategies to address groups facing disproportionate impact. These strategies should be based on challenges that were elicited from the environmental scan. However, to help support units in determining research-based practices that can help address D.I., the following strategies are recommended. Please note that any recommendation with an asterisk (*) is required.

  • Use the Building on Inclusive Excellence criteria for all faculty searches*, and use relevant BIE criteria for all staff searches
  • Require all search committees to complete training on implicit bias and microaggressions*
  • Require all search committees to have an Inclusion Ambassador*
  • Certification of applicant pools based on representation proportional to available representation of underrepresented populations*
  • Submit all job advertisements for review for inclusive language from the Division of Diversity and Innovation
  • Have all search committee members complete the Inclusion Ambassador Training
  • Build networks with faculty and staff from minority-serving institutions
  • Require a diversity statement from each applicant
  • Advertise jobs in outlets that are readily accessible to diverse audiences
  • Ask candidates about their demonstrated commitment to diversity
  • Hire a recruiter to assist in reaching out to underrepresented populations
  • Attend conferences within the discipline that have a focus on diversity
  • Identify and network with post-doctoral students from other institutions
  • Direct outreach to fellowships (e.g., Ford Foundation, CSU Chancellor’s Office Incentive Program, UC Postdoctoral fellowship program)
  • Have a departmental representative on the College / Division / Auxilliary Diversity Council
  • Participate in professional learning on diversity and inclusion
  • Set a departmental target for ally trainings (see here for a listing [link coming])
  • Conduct exit interviews
  • Establish a Diversity Officer for the College / Division / Auxilliary
  • Provide opportunities for diverse guest speakers and lecturers
  • Recognize and incentivize faculty and staff who participate in Employee Resource Groups
  • Recognize and incentivize faculty and staff who serve as advisors (formally or informally) for diverse organizations and students
  • Recognize and incentivize faculty who participate in trainings on inclusive pedagogy and scholarship
  • Engage the department in a book club as supported by the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Adopt a policy to begin all formal departmental events (e.g., meetings, retreats, activities) with a statement on land acknowledgement
  • Add a departmental diversity statement to website and for all syllabi
  • Review and modify all syllabi for inclusive and anti-deficit language
  • Add questions on diversity and inclusion to departmental course evaluation
  • Use of resources from the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity
  • Faculty and staff within the unit sign the pledge to support African American students
  • Require all review and evaluation committees to complete training on implicit bias
  • Recognize and incentivize faculty who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their teaching and scholarship
  • Develop a mentoring plan for all faculty and staff
  • Review department policies to ensure equitable distribution of service loads
  • Faculty and staff within the unit sign the pledge to support African American students
  • Require all review and evaluation committees to complete training on implicit bias
  • Recognize and incentivize staff who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their professional development and in interactions with colleagues and students
  • Develop a mentoring plan for all faculty and staff
  • Review salaries and policies to ensure equitable compensation and advancement
  • Build networks with minority serving institutions
  • Ask students about their ability to thrive in and contribute to a diverse learning environment
  • Develop a recruitment video featuring diverse alumni
  • Clearly identify commitment to diversity and inclusion on website (e.g., course, research opportunities, service learning)
  • Develop plan to direct-recruit SDSU undergraduates into graduate programs
  • Develop an ambassador program for diverse graduate students and advanced undergraduates
  • Departmental representation at events celebrating diversity and inclusion, such as the Martin Luther King Luncheon and Caesar Chavez Luncheon
  • Attend a graduation ceremony honoring diverse student populations, such as the Black Baccalaureate Celebration, Lavender Graduation Ceremony, Raices Unidas Family Graduation Ceremony, Andres Bonifacio Samahan Filipino Graduation Ceremony, or American Indian Graduation Celebration.
  • Serve as a faculty advisor to a diverse student club
  • Integrate principles of culturally-relevant teaching into curriculum
  • Recognize and incentivize faculty who adopt inclusive teaching strategies into their courses
  • Provide all students with a customized educational plan
  • Develop service-learning opportunities based in diverse communities

Diversity Planning Definitions

The following are definitions and terms that are being employed by campus to guide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts.

The Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) program allocates additional tenure-track faculty lines for qualified candidates identified in regular faculty searches who meet criteria aligned with SDSU’s commitment to diversity.
DEO is a standing committee of the University Senate. As spelled out by the Senate Bylaws, DEO focuses on University-wide programs for the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students, provides advice to University administration (subject to approval of the President) regarding prohibited discrimination, equal opportunity, outreach, and related matters, and supports other advisement as requested (for example: to Enrollment Services, student organizations, Departments and Schools, the Office of Employee Relations and Compliance, etc.).
Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s) are designed to build an inclusive environment for SDSU employees from various employment groups, with particular attention to employees from historically underrepresented and underserved backgrounds. They serve to advance the university’s diversity and inclusion agenda.
Equity refers to a heightened focus on groups experiencing disproportionate impact in order to remediate disparities in their experiences and outcomes.
Disproportionate Impact occurs when a sub-group has experiences or outcomes that are lower than outcomes for the highest-performing group.
Diversity refers to a rich array of identities and experiences that define people within groups (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, national origin, levels of ability, age, gender identity and expression, religion, national origin).
Implicit bias refers to unconcious attitudes and stereotypes that are communicated without awareness. These messages can carry positive and negative connotations and are readily evidenced through microaggressions.
Inclusion refers to the meaningful incorporation and opportunities for success of individuals within and across diverse groups.
Microaggressions are subtle slights and insults that are often communicated without awareness towards individuals from minoritized communities.

The Provost's Professors provide intensive, ongoing professional development and learning opportunities for SDSU faculty on diversity-related topics, including implicit bias, teaching practices for underserved students, socio-cultural competency and microaggressions.

Underrepresented Minorities are defined by the State of California as individuals who belong to racial/ethnic groups that include African American, Latinx, and American Indian.
Traditionally Underserved Students, as defined by the Chancellor’s Office, include those who have received Pell grants, are first-generation, as well as those who identify as underrepresented minorities.

The following are frequently asked questions regarding the diversity and inclusion planning process. To pose additional questions, please email [email protected].

The Equity Council (University Diversity Council) has representatives from each Division and Auxiliary (Diversity Liaisons). The Equity Council will support the continuous goal of SDSU to be a national leader in recruiting and retaining a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students. The Council will accomplish its goal through information-sharing, data mining, collective sense-making, recommending campus-based metrics, and through strategic interventions.

The Inclusion Council (Academic Affairs Diversity Council) has representatives from each academic college and the library (Diversity Liaisons). The Inclusion Council was established by Academic Affairs to support the strategic implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the colleges and serves as an advisory group to the Provost. The Council will accomplish its goal through information-sharing, data mining, collective sense-making, and through strategic interventions. The appointment of diversity representatives and the establishment of this Council aligns the campus with the Senate Policy File section 7.0 on Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity that requires Diversity Liaisons from each college.

College/Division Diversity Councils have representatives from units (administrators, faculty, staff, students) within a college. College/Division Diversity Councils review, advise, and provide feedback to leaders within their respective areas on matters related to faculty, student, and staff diversity, equity, and inclusion. College/Division Diversity Councils may be asked to provide guidance and support for the development of college/unit and department-level diversity plans, support the Dean/VP’s response to diversity, inclusion or equity issues that arise, and represent the Dean/VP at University-level meetings and committees that concern matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Unit Diversity Planning Teams (Department, School, Administrative Subunit) will be established by each unit, prior to the beginning of October, as part of the first stage of the diversity planning process. These teams will serve as the lead organizers of the diversity and inclusion planning effort, facilitating conversations within their unit.

Diversity councils may be involved in coordinating initiatives across units, contribute to initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in curriculum, onboarding, leadership training and help campus efforts to develop assessment measures for diversity goals. Other potential charges for diversity councils include supporting knowledge, skill, and institutional practices toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, maintaining active lines of communication, and reviewing data regarding institutional diversity. There are currently four types of diversity councils: the Equity Council (university-level), Inclusion Council (Academic Affairs), the College/Divisional Councils, and Unit Diversity Planning Teams (within each Department, School or Administrative Subunit).

Unit Diversity Planning Teams will lead efforts to develop unit-level diversity and inclusion plans. The College/Division Diversity Councils will lead efforts to develop division or college-level diversity and inclusion plans. College/Division Diversity Councils and their Diversity Liaisons (on Equity and Inclusion Councils) will also serve as a guiding body and critical resource for departments as they work to develop their plans.

The Division of Diversity and Innovation will provide all diversity councils with shared materials and literature to support their capacity and their ability to serve their departments, colleges and divisions. Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, DDI will host a series of diversity strategic planning institutes to support all units to develop their diversity and inclusion plans. The Councils will help support the facilitation of these institutes.

Colleges and Divisions will be asked to send representatives from their Diversity Councils. Within Academic Affairs, as part of the first stage of the diversity planning process, each department / school will identify a team to serve as the lead organizers of the planning effort. Members of those teams will be expected to attend the institutes and share back with their respective units. These department-level teams will be established by early October.

No. While all departments, colleges and divisions are required to develop diversity and inclusion plans, the content of these plans will vary and these variations will be clearly articulated in the templates that will be provided in August 2019. Each unit’s plan will be based on an analysis of data provided by Analytic Studies and new data they have collected. The findings from these analyses will produce different areas of focus based on groups that experience disproportionate impact. Departments, colleges and divisions will all be given templates with common elements but individual units are encouraged to add additional elements or tailor the elements to serve the specific needs of their unit.

Supporting campus diversity and inclusion is integral to research and teaching excellence, and relies on the fundamental principles of shared governance - communication, respect and responsibility. DDI will be posting resources on the website starting in August. There are also a range of resources and programs on campus that can support the capacity of your unit and provide development and engagement opportunities for faculty and staff who are interested in becoming more involved:

Professors of Equity are available to provide professional development programming on Implicit Bias and Microaggressions Awareness, Implicit Bias in Hiring Practices, Inclusive Syllabi Development and Inclusive Teaching Practices. Faculty can contact [email protected] for more information.

The Director of Inclusive Faculty Recruitment and Retention, Dr. Angela Coker, is available to provide support to departments and search committees around the hiring process. Please contact her at [email protected] for more information

While all units will be developing diversity and inclusion plans, the University as a whole will also be developing an overall strategic plan. There will not be a separate diversity plan for the University; rather, diversity and inclusion will be woven holistically throughout the larger strategic plan.

Through the larger strategic planning process, the campus will identify a small number of strategic priorities by mid-fall. The timeline for diversity planning was therefore constructed so divisions, colleges and auxiliaries can ensure their goals (to be finalized in early spring) align with those strategic priorities. Departments, schools and administrative subunits will not be asked to establish separate goals but will select strategies and interventions in the spring that will help them achieve the goals of their respective college or division.