Published: Nov. 9, 2018
Diversity summit attendees sit in a circle

The Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence and Academics Plan (IDEA Plan) is posted for campus review, and town halls to facilitate community input into the plan begin next week.

The culmination of a three-year effort, the plan is “a continuously renewing blueprint of action designed to promote diversity, improve equity for all people underrepresented in the campus community, and to continuously engage our community in reflection and action to transform our campus climate,” said Bob Boswell, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and community engagement.

The IDEA Plan was developed by an authoring-revising committee representing a cross section of diverse communities on campus and drawing from faculty, staff and students. It was chaired by Daryl Maeda, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of ethnic studies, and Merna Jacobsen, assistant vice chancellor and deputy chief HR officer for CU Boulder.

The committee’s work built upon an extensive campuswide process, from the 90-plus inclusive excellence narratives authored by nearly every department and unit on campus in 2015–16, to the open town halls held this past spring, to an ongoing form on the ODECE website to solicit feedback on content and processes.

Over the summer and through mid-September, the revising committee met with administrators and program directors at all levels of campus, including those of such programs and offices as the CU LEAD Alliance, the Office of Institutional Research, the International Student Support Services Office, the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, as well as the leadership of all of the campus’s transformative initiatives—Academic Futures, Financial Futures, Foundation of Excellence—and the University Executive Leadership Team, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committees and the chancellor and his cabinet, to name only a few.

The wide array of input is vital, say the authoring-revising committee co-chairs, because the effort the plan supports is the most comprehensive the campus has undertaken.

“The IDEA Plan seeks to actualize our campus values and put them into action,” said Maeda. “It puts diversity, inclusion and equity into the center of how the institution carries out its important work.”

The IDEA Plan outlines goals for progress in three key areas: climate, infrastructure and leadership at CU Boulder. It then identifies actions to enable the plan’s three goals. Its emphasis on permanent structural change that enables individuals to “find their fit on campus”—to be as they are, inhabiting their identities and fully participating in campus life—without running into institutional impediments at every corner,” said Jacobsen.

The plan will be posted on the ODECE website for a month or so, and town halls will begin on Nov. 13 and 14 as part of the system-wide Diversity and Inclusion Summit, hosted at CU Boulder this year. They will continue into early December for the CU Boulder campus.

Further revision, based on a second review arising from community input, will begin in December. The goal is to have the first working iteration of the plan approved by the chancellor and his executive leadership team, and up and running in the spring semester 2019.