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OPERATIONALIZING DEI

Webinar Series Co -Sponsored by

Crucial Shift Consulting for Higher Education Change Management

and

Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education at the Evergreen State College 

Higher education professionals across the country are working to improve student access, belonging and educational outcomes through diversity, equity, and inclusion interventions. However, there are often complex challenges to meaningful and sustainable progress. Crucial Shift Consulting and Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education convened a series of virtual panel discussions designed to delve into practical strategies for managing change across the entire institution. We “Interrogated the Relationship Between Capacity and Institutional Goals for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Our Campuses.” Wiley Publications contributed curated resources for this series from The Department Chair and The National Teaching & Learning Forum Publications. Four hundred participants from 200 institutions attended over the course of the series. 

The DEI webinar series was designed to move dialogue closer to practical application. There were several planning considerations:

  • Time. Balancing the time needed to be effective with the time participants could reasonably devote. Sessions were 1.5 hours in duration. 

  • Complexity. Participants enter the space with various levels of expectation, experience, awareness, understanding, commitment, authority, responsibility and institutional context.

  • Context. People want/need quick, easy answers. This highly context-driven work requires nuanced responses that are a bit more comprehensive than real-time allows. Also, this work often requires a directness in an industry culture that may not appreciate it, particularly in an unequal rank setting.

  • Continuity. How to make each session simultaneously self-contained and iterative.  

  • Relevance. How to move from discourse to implementation when our primary audience isn’t necessarily responsible for day-to-day project execution and may therefore be unaccustomed to the level of detail necessary to effectively lead the DEI project through change.

  • Discernment and Dexterity. How to gauge and respond to reactions to sensitive topics, especially when you can’t see the audience.

 

For Audience Questions and Answers 

PANELISTS

WORD AROUND TOWN

​Participant Take-aways

  • “The forum reignited my passion for diversity in a state where the fire has been diminished through legislation.”

  • “We need to consider personal and institutional capacity as we engage with ideas that push us into discomfort.“

  • "Appreciated open acknowledgement of messier aspects of DEI work and organizational change. . . . I'm always up for a more general DEI topic, but this was so welcome because it pushed beyond."

  • “The local context of an institution shapes practices so much, as does the specific role of the individual in the institution. I'm reflecting on what can be generalized vs. what is specific to an individual at a particular role in a particular institution.”

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