School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Diversity Plan

In 2015, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) faculty approved the following school-wide Diversity Plan focusing on the areas of Curriculum, Recruitment, Retention, Climate, and Community Engagement. While some of this plan needs re-assessment given shifting roles on campus, it continues to guide the work that we do.


Diversity Plan

Revised per IAS faculty feedback
May 28, 2015
Developed by IAS Diversity Committee: Julie Shayne (co-chair), Lauren Lichty (co-chair), S. Charusheela, Yolanda Padilla, Minda Martin, Miriam Bartha, and David Goldstein.

Working Definition of Diversity

Diversity is defined herein as individual and institutional actions taken to counteract relations of power and difference historically characterized by the social exclusion, marginalization, and oppression of one group and the unearned privilege and overvaluation of another. Diversity is fluid in that the status and representation of groups shifts over time and context. In our current moment, this includes, but is not limited to, race, sex, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, visa/documentation status, religion, and military status.

Statement of Principles

Our definition extends anti-bias frameworks and recognizes that identities are intersectional, complex, and multiply determined. We seek to redistribute opportunities and resources to foster equity and social justice. As we operationalize, enact, and assess this plan, we are guided by the following critical questions:

Who does diversity exclude? Does our diversity work foster a shared sense of responsibility in our commitment to advancing social justice? Do we promote inclusive, diverse participation in knowledge production both in and out of the classroom? And does our diversity work contribute to a community engaged university?

Implementation and Assessment

Each committee within IAS is responsible for implementing and reporting alignment with this Diversity Plan (additional details below). Committees will submit an annual report on the alignment of their practices with IAS’s stated goal to ensure that we collectively address diversity in priority areas as highlighted in this plan. Reports will be submitted to the Dean or Dean designate and distributed to the entire faculty via the IAS online hub.

Priority Areas

The IAS Diversity committee has identified five target areas that merit explicit attention.

  • RECRUITMENT: Faculty, staff, student (UG/G)
  • RETENTION: Faculty, staff, student (UG/G)
  • CLIMATE: Lived experience of faculty, staff, student (UG/G)
  • CURRICULUM: Content, delivery
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Partnership development

Action Items

Overarching (impacting all priority areas)

Year 1

Develop model language for diversity (social justice, power, anti-oppression, intersectionality, global diversity).
Implementation: Diversity Committee Propose, Faculty Approve

Revise IAS mission and learning objectives to more accurately reflect diversity work and priorities.
Implementation: Diversity Committee Propose, Faculty Approve

Collaborate with the UWB Office of Community-based Learning and Research and others to ensure that our community partnerships enact and enlarge the values of diversity, access, and equity, promote reciprocal benefits for our community partners, and support our commitment to social justice.
Implementation: Individual Faculty engaged in CBLR

Incorporate diversity priorities, practices, and assessment into all IAS committees (majors, search, personnel, curriculum, admissions, school council).
Implementation: See below, Committee Chairs

Create liaison position(s) between IAS faculty, committees, school council, IAS dean, UWB Director of Diversity, and Diversity Council to oversee the implementation and initial assessment of the diversity strategy for up to two years as needed. Compensation for this work will be determined by the Dean and Diversity Committee and could include course release(s), depending on existing service load of the successful applicant.

Implementation of this plan requires ongoing investment across all IAS committees and faculty across all ranks. This person (or persons) will support each committee’s efforts to design and assess their own process for implementing, sustainable practices, and ongoing reporting. In addition, the Liaison will attend to the accessibility of diversity trainings and resources to support and hold all faculty, from contingent faculty to full professors, accountable for implementing practices that effectively engage diversity in alignment with this plan.
Implementation: Diversity Committee in concert with Dean

Generate rubrics and measures to demonstrate progress and achievement of all goals as described herein for the search, mentoring, school council, curricular, personnel, and graduate admissions committees.
Implementation: Liaison works with all relevant committees and groups to develop plan, implement, and assess.

Year 2

Implement & evaluate accountability and reporting process whereby search, mentoring, school council, curricular, personnel, and graduate admissions committees report on their practices and priorities annually to the Diversity Committee.
Implementation: Committees report to Liaison, Liaison reports to Dean and Diversity Committee

Recruitment & Retention

Year 1

Faculty

Strengthen job ad language.
Implementation: Diversity Committee Propose, Faculty Approve

Mandate diversity statements as part of application package.
Implementation: Diversity Committee Propose, Faculty Approve

Mandate that all search committee members receive diversity training.
Implementation: Diversity Committee Propose, Faculty Approve, Special Liaison to VCAA for Faculty diversity and Development

Create search chair/committee hand book.
Implementation: Dean or dean designate

Request all search committees incorporate a discussion of the contribution to diversity in their committee recommendation.
Implementation: Search Committee Chairs

Commit to hiring a diverse faculty that is reflective of our student body and addresses current (2015) imbalance of diversity among IAS faculty.
Implementation: All IAS faculty

Incorporate diversity as a category in merit/promotion assessment.
Implementation: Personnel Committee and all Promotion and Tenure Committee Chairs

Invest in funds for diversity-related research and collaborations.
Implementation: iDISCO, Dean or Dean designate

Staff
Create and mandate diversity training for all staff to be implemented by UWB Diversity Office.
Implementation: Director of Diversity, Dean, and Managers

Commit to hiring a diverse staff that is reflective of our student body.
Implementation: Director of Diversity, Dean, and Managers

Graduate Students
Incorporate rubrics and diversity as a category in admissions and funding award selection.
Implementation: Associate Dean for Curriculum and Graduate Program Directors

Invest in funds for diversity-related research and collaborations.
Implementation: Director of Graduate Studies at UWB & IAS Dean

Curriculum

Year 1

Mandate strong diversity statement language for all syllabi.
Implementation: Diversity Committee and all Faculty

Incorporate specific diversity-related learning objectives into degrees and committees.
Implementation: CAWG Coordinators, Associate Dean for Curriculum

Incorporate diversity learning in curriculum assessment /course evaluation.
Implementation: Assessment Committee, Associate Dean for Curriculum

Year 2

Invest resources in faculty and curriculum development for evaluating and expanding diversity capacity across IAS (including developing skills, evaluating current practices, etc). This should include examining how diversity conversations are showing up and advancing across levels of our curriculum (e.g., intro to advanced courses) with consideration of student and faculty readiness and processes. This one time investment is intended to enhance our coverage of diversity, oppression, and social justice across IAS courses by gauging redundancies, identifying excellence in pedagogy, and providing scaffolded learning opportunities for students. Suggest use of re-allocated I-DISCO/CAWG enhancement funds to support intentional in-depth examination of curricular activities across curricular areas.
Implementation: Diversity Committee proposing, CAWG coordinators, outside support, and Dean or Dean designate

Collaborate with TLC to fund and implement an on-going structured Diversity Fellowship similar to CBLR Fellows program.
Implementation: Diversity Liaison and Director of TLC

Climate & Retention

Year 1

Create visible space for tracking and publicizing diversity-related IAS resources and activities.
Implementation: IAS Communications Manager

Develop feedback loops for faculty, staff, students to communicate their lived experiences to the diversity committee (includes parties reporting to committee and committee reporting back). This may include a quarterly meeting with a student ambassador, anonymous feedback drop sites, etc. Liaison will work with students, faculty, and staff to determine feedback strategies.
Implementation: Diversity Committee and Liaison

Create IAS Diversity and Social Justice Award to recognize IAS faculty and students contributions to diversity to be announced at Diversity Office campus event.
Implementation: Diversity Committee

Ongoing

Advocate for the establishment and full resourcing of a Diversity Center.
Implementation: Diversity Committee Propose, IAS faculty support

Commit to hiring a diverse faculty that is reflective of our student body and addresses current (2015) imbalance of diversity among IAS faculty.
Implementation: Hiring committee chairs, Dean, IAS faculty

Commit to hiring a diverse staff that is reflective of our student body.
Implementation: Managers and Dean

Collaborate with administration to create and mandate ongoing training on diversity, microaggressions, sexual harassment, and student mentoring for all faculty and staff (to be completed every 3 years).
Implementation: UWB Diversity Office

Recommendations to Diversity Council

Develop with TLC an on-going structured Diversity Fellowship similar to CBLR Fellows program.

Mandate ongoing training on diversity, microaggressions, sexual harassment, and mentoring marginalized students for all faculty and staff (to be completed every 3 years).

Train students to engage diversity at a college level (in and out of the classroom).

Create School Specific Diversity and Social Justice Award to recognize each school’s faculty, staff, and student contributions to diversity to be announced at Diversity Office campus event. Nominations should come from within school.

UWB Diversity & Social Justice Award for faculty, staff, and students.