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Partner Service

Institutional Strategy Index for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

A research-backed tool for colleges and universities to identify and close your most critical equity-related gaps

  • Schedule a discussion with EAB’s experts to learn how the Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ can help your campus on critical issues. Limited spots available per month.

Higher education institutions have made major investments in DEIJ initiatives in recent years, but these efforts often fail because they do not address underlying causes of specific equity gaps. And too often, institutions face decision paralysis, unable to prioritize initiatives or even decide where to begin.

EAB’s Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ comprehensively and objectively evaluates the current state of your institution’s DEIJ efforts against best practice. It creates a personalized, prioritized roadmap of investments and actions designed to help close your institution’s most critical equity-related gaps.

What we'll assess

The Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ is grounded in EAB’s framework of 33 mission-critical activities institutions must undertake to make progress on their DEIJ strategy. The 33 activities we measure are organized in the six categories below.

Manage vision and strategy


  • Articulate inclusive vision
  • Develop executive understanding
  • Engage governing bodies
  • Develop DEIJ infrastructure and resourcing
  • Integrate stakeholder voices in planning
  • Select metrics and outcomes
  • Set and communicate accountability

Reimagine institutional administration


  • Develop inclusive faculty and staff policies
  • Update budget processes
  • Update procurement process
  • Transform alumni and volunteer engagement
  • Update campus safety policy and practices

Improve student success


  • Update strategic enrollment management
  • Align student support services
  • Transform health and wellbeing
  • Deepen student engagement and belonging
  • Revitalize student onboarding

Redesign student learning


  • Review and update curriculum
  • Develop inclusive pedagogy
  • Integrate academic and career development

Enhance faculty and staff experience


  • Update faculty recruiting and hiring approach
  • Onboard and develop faculty
  • Update tenure and promotion policies and processes
  • Foster an inclusive climate for faculty
  • Update staff recruiting and hiring approach
  • Onboard and develop staff
  • Update staff evaluation and promotion processes
  • Foster an inclusive climate for staff

Transform campus climate


  • Engage student activists
  • Engage local community
  • Develop flashpoint response plan
  • Develop bias and harassment response
  • Engage with institutional heritage

To help partners prioritize which steps to take first, EAB developed maturity models for each activity in the framework. These models define different levels of effectiveness and allow EAB to compare your institution’s current state against industry best practice. Through the Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ, institutions get placed on the maturity curve based on which characteristics of effective practice are present on campus.

Service steps

Learn about EAB’s process for the Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ.

Step 1: EAB supports survey deployment among senior leaders to measure current state of DEIJ

The Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ uses a senior-level survey to assess institutional maturity within each of the 33 activities in EAB’s framework, as well as questions designed to determine how much of a barrier each activity poses to achieving the institution’s DEIJ goals.


Example of survey questions - Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ

Step 2: EAB identifies top critical priorities based on maturity and urgency data

The maturity and urgency data allow EAB to measure the criticality of each activity and generate three priority areas for immediate investment. These rankings allow institutional leaders to identify and make the case for discrete initiatives to invest in now, versus in the future.

Example priority dashboard - Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ

Step 3: EAB customizes a prioritized roadmap of action steps for most critical activities

Based on an institution’s lowest maturity and highest-urgency activities, EAB identifies gaps and provides institutions with a customized report containing a “path to progress” for each of your top three priorities, outlining the concrete actions needed to make progress in those areas and mapping curated EAB resources to drive progress. View an example Path to Progress.

Step 4: EAB facilitates a cabinet debrief session to drive alignment among senior leaders

After your report is delivered, EAB will facilitate a cabinet debrief to share and discuss the survey results and drive alignment on next steps regarding your DEIJ priorities.

Step 5: EAB provides action planning and advisory support to assist implementation

Upon completion of the above steps, EAB will facilitate an action planning conversation to develop a detailed plan of next steps, a template for managing the work during implementation, and further guidance on how EAB can support you throughout the process.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Institutional Strategy Index for DEIJ and how to participate, please fill out the form below.

Want to learn how to participate?

Contact us to learn more about the Institutional Strategy Index and EAB's Strategic Advisory Services.