Diversity and Inclusion Planning for Schools / Departments

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.

Department / School Plans vs. College Plans

In September 2019, the University Senate changed the deadline for the Department/School Plans to March 2021. The two primary differences for the school / department plans, compared to the college plans, are a) they will be expected to discuss strategies that will align with the goals laid out in their college's plan (which should be approved in Fall 2020), and b) they should include analysis of equity gaps in student achievement and strategies to improve faculty and staff support of students. In particular, the Senate DEI committee has provided the following recommendations for school/department plans (approved at March 2020 Senate meeting):

  • Given that all colleges should have approved plans by November 2020, department and school plans should indicate how the individual department or school will support the goals outlined in the college plans;
  • Similar to the college plans, department and school plans should indicate how the individual department or school will support the research based strategies to improve equity-minded hiring;
  • Department and school plans should include an explicit analysis of equity gaps in student achievement;
  • Department and school plans should include strategies to improve faculty competencies with equity-minded teaching practices and inclusive pedagogies; and
  • Department and school plans should include strategies to improve staff competences with inclusive student support practices.

In addition, in response to the events of this spring and summer, each department is charged with reviewing existing coursework and/or developing new curricula to advance racial and social justice, anti-racism, and cultural diversity across the curriculum. The template for department / school plans has been updated to reflect all these changes.

In order to support departments and schools, Campus Diversity will again host two Institutes, tentatively scheduled for December 4, 2020 and February March 5, 2021. At the fall Institute, we will walk through using the SDSU and CSU dashboards to access data on student achievement, analyze disproportionate impact and begin considering appropriate strategies. At the spring Institute, we will discuss specific strategies for faculty and staff. As with the Institutes offers in AY1920, these events are as much an opportunity for planning teams to sit down and work together, as to provide information. Also, staff from Campus Diversity will be available to meet with individual departments throughout the year. Please the Associate Chief Diversity Officer for Faculty and Staff (at [email protected]) to arrange such a consultation.

Planning team members are also invited to self-enroll in the Diversity Planning Canvas course Spring 2022 Update

  Departments / Schools
August 2020

Release of readings, materials, and template

October 2020

Submit roster and commitment forms, team completes pre-readings and implicit bias professional learning

December 2020

Institute #1 - Equity Gaps, Curricular Review

March 2021

Institute #2 - Interventions

March 2021

Original deadline for submission of completed, final plan; plan submission opens. Plans should be reviewed and revised with support of Councils prior to final submission.

May 2021

Deadline for completion of data and curriculum analysis.

Oct 2021

Deadline for submission of FINAL plan

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. For those who did not complete this workshop in AY19-20, you can enroll in the online version.
  • 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.

There are two main sources for data on gaps in student outcomes:

Here are some suggestions for questions that may prompt useful discussion within your department and planning teams (note: if you would like support in facilitating these discussions, contact AVP for Faculty and Staff Diversity, Jennifer Imazeki, [email protected], or see the CIE page on Managing Challenging Conversations).

Institutional Inequity

(adapted from Richards, 2017; also see Dafina -Lazarus Stewart, 2017)

  • Which group or groups feel most at home in your department and which ones feel like (unwanted) guests?
  • Whose norms, values and perspectives are considered to be normal or legitimate? Whose are silenced, marginalized or delegitimized?
  • Who inhabits positions of power?
  • Whose experiences, norms, values and perspectives influence the laws, policies and systems of evaluation?
  • Whose interests are institutionally protected?
Disciplinary / Course Inequity
  • What do you believe is the “core” of your discipline? WHY?
  • Whose norms, values and perspectives are considered to be normal or legit
  • Whose ideas are included / centered, and whose are missing? WHY?
  • When was the last time you examined or changed your topics, texts, readings, examples, images, assignments?
  • To what extent are your beliefs and content influenced by legacies of racism, colonialism and dominant ideologies?
Individual beliefs
  • What should "ideal" students look like? How should they dress, wear their hair?
  • How should they talk? When should they talk?
  • How should they act, with each other and with you?
  • What should they know before your class begins?
  • What is required for a student to succeed?
  • To what extent are your expectations embedded in assumptions related to race, identity, culture? What are the implications for your classroom?

Plans will receive feedback at multiple stages including:

  • Data and curricular analysis (sections 5 and 6) submitted in June will be reviewed by the AVP for Faculty and Staff Diversity and the Director of Inclusive Curriculum
  • Final plans should be reviewed by the College Diversity Council prior to submission
  • Review and recommendation for approval from the Senate DEI committee
  • Review and approval from the Chief Diversity Officer

Reviewers will use the Evaluation Criteria and Checklist; teams should ensure plans follow this rubric. 

My department already has a diversity plan - do we need to go through all this?

If your current plan includes all the required components already, you do not need to create a whole new plan. However, your plan will still need to be submitted for review and approval at the university level.

Our department just went / is going through Academic Program Review and we included a lot of similar material in that. Do we need to do that work all over again?

You absolutely can (and should!) re-use pieces of your APR self-study. Much of the data on student outcomes, in particular, should be similar to what is expected in APRs so you can just cut and paste those sections.

The March 2021 deadline seems too soon, given everything going on with COVID. What if we need more time?

Departments now have until October to submit their full, final plans. However, in order to ensure everyone does keep moving forward, you will be asked to complete the first two sections (data analysis and curricular review) before the end of the 2021 academic year.

Doesn't requiring us to change our curriculum impose on our academic freedom?

The requirement is not necessarily to change your curriculum but to review courses and curriculum with an eye to how you might better advance social justice within your discipline. This certainly could result in a departmental decision to develop new courses or revise existing course; it could also mean making existing efforts more visible and transparent, ensuring better integration and assessment of existing program learning outcomes, adoption of new material by individual instructors, etc. What is needed, and what is possible, will vary tremendously across departments.