Creating and sustaining a more inclusive campus for all members of our community remains the north star of our efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at CU Boulder. However, advancing DEI is not the activity or responsibility of one office or campus group—but rather the entire campus community. To fulfill our vision for becoming a more diverse and inclusive community, we must work together with a common sense of purpose.
While the Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan has provided a strong foundation for articulating key areas of need on our campus, naming a refined set of campus goals and priorities reflective of the plan is a next step toward organizing ourselves for action. Today, we’d like to share five DEI goals inspired by the plan that will provide us with a framework for incorporating DEI into all aspects of our work. Broadly, the goals address:
- Employee skills and development
- Student achievement outcomes
- Community building
- Employee recruitment outcomes
- Preparing students to participate in a diverse democracy
These goals are the outcome of a collaborative discussion between Senior Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Sonia DeLuca Fernández and members of the IDEA Council, who agreed that a common set of goals would provide the campus with additional guidance, help us bridge challenges, and align our efforts more effectively and powerfully. Crafted intentionally to consider and honor the current work and unique contexts of campus units, the goals are meant to be broad, unit-focused, flexible and formative.
We support this framework for moving forward and believe we must embed these priorities in all of our activities—but especially in support of people. In particular, these priorities should form the foundation of hiring, promotion, teaching, research and service, and how we set expectations and accountability.
Cross-collaboration and mutual support are critical to our success as a campus community, and we want to acknowledge and thank the academic and administrative units that are already advancing justice and DEI in their spaces and the IDEA Council for its ongoing work to prioritize the recommendations in the IDEA Plan. As we move forward, it will be important to understand the impact of ongoing work and how it supports our next steps.
The five goals are but a part of a broader plan to support campus units in the development and implementation of outcomes, action plans and impact assessments. Informing our collective work will be recommendations from the IDEA Council, the Campus Culture Survey results, Buff Undergraduate Success and other campus DEI-focused initiatives and resources.
Creating change in our behavior and examining new ways of achieving our common goals are critical to advancing DEI on our campus, and these five DEI goals provide a helpful framework for how we will work together to achieve positive outcomes with meaningful impacts.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
COO and Executive Vice Chancellor
5 DEI goals inspired by the IDEA Plan
Campus units will build capacity for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion by focusing on employee skills and development. Outcomes may target:
- Education and training
- Expanding accountability mechanisms (e.g., job descriptions and qualifications, performance appraisals, awards, leadership positions)
- Rewarding and incentivizing professional behaviors that contribute to organizational change
- Education around and use of institutional data
- Building accountability structures to address a lack of engagement with advancing diversity, equity and inclusion or failure to demonstrate contributions or support
Demonstrated impact: Improvements in sense of belonging; knowledge acquisition; skills building; retention of people with minoritized identities
Colleges, schools, and support units will prioritize and invest in initiatives that address inequities in undergraduate, graduate, and professional student achievement outcomes. Outcomes may target:
- Identifying and interrogating common stop-out points or alienation experiences (e.g., prerequisite courses and curriculum sequencing, lab experiences, residence life experiences, transfer processes) and taking actions for remedies
- Evaluating and recreating or pruning programs that do not successfully address inequities
- Creating, expanding, or institutionalizing initiatives that improve the capacity of faculty and staff to interact, advise, and teach across differences
- Creating or expanding student-facing initiatives that support student success (e.g., mentoring, living-learning experiences, coaching, research experiences)
Demonstrated impact: Student retention; amended or streamlined structures; grant funding eligibility
Campus units will collaborate to support community building initiatives (existing and new) to communicate the imperative of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and to enhance everyone’s sense of belonging. Outcomes may target:
- Education and social events that amplify cultural heritage months
- Creating incentives for student and employee participation or attendance in campus events
- Creating “welcome wagon” buddies for new employees
- Creating or supporting employee affinity groups
- Identifying and interrogating alienation experiences in existing programs
Demonstrated impact: Satisfaction; sense of belonging; retention
Campus units will cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce by investing in initiatives that address inequalities in employee recruitment outcomes. Outcomes may target:
- Creating and institutionalizing candidate assessment procedures that address inherent biases (e.g., in-group or implicit bias that influences assessment and interview questions)
- Identifying and interrogating alienation experiences during recruitment process (e.g., job descriptions with alienating language) and amending processes
- Expanding recruitment searches to address reinforcing cycles of inequality (e.g., recruiting only from friends or homogeneous professional networks)
- Rewarding and incentivizing best practices in recruitment efforts or search committees
- Creating specific and measurable recruitment goals
Demonstrated impact: Achievement of recruitment goals; increased talent pool diversity; enhanced employer brand
Colleges, schools and support units will prepare students to participate in a diverse democracy and to be thoughtful citizens. Outcomes may target:
- Creating a required Colorado state history course that addresses historical inequities
- Creating experiential learning to address systemic racism and discrimination
- Creating, expanding, or institutionalizing initiatives that improve students' civic engagement knowledge and capabilities
- Including global perspectives in engagement of DEI-focused work
Demonstrated impact: Retention of students with minoritized identities; knowledge acquisition; skills-building