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Webinar Follow-Up

Audience questions are in bold below

Each week the Q&A will be added to until all of the questions have been addressed

(The answers are  for educational purposes only and not intended to be advice)

Themes

 

What should we call this endeavor?

 

"Why is the "B" (DEIB) missing from this training? I understand more higher ed institutions are adopting DEIB. Belonging is so important especially post COVID with students who have not had the social engagement that young minds need to prosper."

 

In reference to adopting the designation DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging), it is important to name things accurately and belonging is an absolutely essential aspect of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion). Using consistent definitions that most stakeholders understand is also important and DEI is typically the most immediately recognizable acronym.  Of course, individual institutions may want to adopt the best acronyms for their context while considering that this diversity, equity and inclusion endeavor represents a huge learning curve for stakeholders and the less confusion created by inconsistent terminology, the more likely people may remain engaged.

 

Strategy

 

"Dr. Gordon's set of questions are complex and important and would be very helpful for institutional reflection (and I couldn't type fast enough!) is there a chance we could see those typed?"

Yes, here are the questions posed by Dexter Gordon, PhD, Executive Vice President, The Evergreen State College and Founding Director of the Race & Pedagogy Institute at University of Puget Sound) for framing DEI work:

  • What are the urgent enduring and new learning and teaching, public, pedagogical, activist, and social movement tasks before us now?

  • How do we deepen our willingness, awareness, and capacity to do the complicated work of thinking and acting in the present in ways that always keep in mind both a critical sense of the past and the long-haul work of making futures?

  • What are the sources for nourishing and honing an alert sense of critical resilience?

  • Where do we turn for inspiration, intuition, or instruction, in mapping our radical imagination? 

  • What are the practices of knowing and intersections of knowledge, coalitional relationships, socio-historical memories, and resources of the spirit that we need?

  • How do we make our institutions truly ready for taking on the work of transformation and for understanding their historical debt to communities as part a radical praxis of justice?

 

"Do we seek Equality of Outcomes? Or Equality of Opportunity, which already exists? The ladder metaphor suggests the former."

"Disrupting those historical structures..." Is that the goal of DEI? What does that look like, how will we know when we have succeeded? What measurable outcomes = success?"

"Please describe one (1) measurable outcome that signals DEI success? How do we show administrators that DEI is making progress in measurable-numerical ways that show value?"

The 3 bolded questions above are based on highly contextual factors and validate the need for a systematic approach that includes all campus stakeholder groups collaborating on solutions to collectively agreed-upon problems. Often different groups are doing and saying different or overlapping things which can create confusion and compete for the same limited resources, resulting in subpar outcomes.

 

Success depends on what each institution establishes as prioritized. SMART(E) goals: Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Realistic, Time-sensitive and a more recent modification to the acronym, Equitable. Specific campus DEI goals can be based on institution- specific gaps relative to: mission, values, student outcomes data, legal and compliance regulations, accreditation measurements and student expectations, just to name a few. Institutions that already effectively use strategic plans, goals and accountability measures have a better chance of being successful.

 

Sample Goal - The top two demographic groups (name the groups) with the lowest graduation rates will have a 10% increase in graduation rates every year over 3 years.

 

Identify the reasons for the gap, for one example: "The rate of persistence decreases after freshman year."  Determine what interventions could mitigate this challenge:

  • Customized student support activities

  • Mentoring/Counseling – Ensure students know what courses to take to stay on track

  • Ensure required courses to stay on track are available

  • Curricula changes to ensure content is current and relevant

  • Financial aid support where applicable

  • Refer to the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) High Impact Practices (HIP’s) below provided by Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research and National Survey of Student Engagement Institute, Indiana University School of Education​ (First-year seminar, service-learning, undergraduate research, internship, capstone projects).

 

Collaborate across campus to make a plan to close the gap. Integrate the goals into the existing campus strategic plan and cascade to schools/programs/departments/divisions/teams, assign responsibilities and identify resources

 

Incorporate accountability measures that are consistent with federal, state and local laws, institutional policies, union contracts, and other requirements

 

Create and execute an implementation plan, then assess and pivot as needed 

Create a system for reporting progress.

Impact of Anti-Racism Work on White People

What is subtractive for White people? What do they have to give up by looking at processes and investing in priorities to serve all students?

 

Panelists Lee Skallerup Bessette, said, “Faculty have immense responsibility to represent the culture that students experience in their courses. White faculty’s confidence in their ability to teach is subtractive.” Gina Ann Garcia and Lee talked about the need for faculty development around teaching pedagogy, which is not part of the overall process of becoming a professor. Mathew Johnson suggested we need a new language and emotional roadmap for the loss of privilege and a set of tools to talk about interpersonal racism to guide us.

 

In terms of change management, fear is a fundamental factor in resistance to change. Whether it is fear of loss of status, employment or opportunity or even one's sense of their place in the world, self-preservation can be triggered by DEI conversations. 
 

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