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Building a university-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scorecard

May 10, 2021


Building a university-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scorecard

By EAB Expert May 4, 2021 0 minutes Image-Rising-HigherEd-white-logo-w-Teal

Dr. Misty M. Bennett

EAB Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellow, currently serving as the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs in the College of Business Administration at Central Michigan University. Dr. Bennett completed a capstone project on building a university-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion scorecard.

At Central Michigan University (CMU), we do Diversity. Inclusion is a part of our core values and vision statement, and diversity strategic plans have been ongoing for decades at CMU, including most recently as part of our Strategic Pathways 2030 process. As is this case for many institutions of higher education, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are values that we strive for as an institution, and to instill in our students. Institutions do a large amount of work in this area but have little data on the effectiveness of each intervention as we aspire to enact change.

Solution: To be more effective at 1) tracking our progress with regard to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on an annual basis, 2) identifying the effectiveness of various DEI initiatives over time, and 3) identifying areas of concern where further analysis may be needed, I proposed developing a DEI scorecard that is university-wide. This scorecard would allow data slices by unit, faculty/staff/student classification, gender, race, and other identifying categories as available (with the goal of developing data sources for those groups which may not be currently represented in existing employee datasets). These data will be analyzed annually and represented visually on our website, which will enable units within the university to examine data for their own units to better inform their DEI efforts. It was important for CMU to take a holistic look at DEI and build this for faculty, staff, and students.

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A challenge in this project for any university is how one will define or operationalize DEI for faculty, staff, and students. This may look different for each university, and be partly dependent upon what data is available to you, but I would encourage others doing work in this area to open a conversation with data stewards on campus rather than be limited by the data they have or do not have.

Resources: EAB has a number of very helpful resources, but individuals doing work in this area first need to start with opening a dialogue on campus between groups involved in DEI work and groups who “own” the data systems; individuals within my own institution were very excited to talk about this possibility and collaborate. I would like to thank my co-EAB fellow and colleague, Dr. Jonathon Russell, and fellow Asst. Dean Dr. Dave Patton, as well as our Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, Dr. Julia Johnson, for working with me to actually build what I had envisioned. I would also like to thank Dr. Kendra Killpatrick, Senior Associate Dean of Seaver College, who was tremendously helpful in sharing resources and brainstorming together.

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