Guidelines for Implementation Planning

A vision for diversity and inclusion must be both aspirational and operational, broad enough to encompass the range of what we do yet specific enough to inspire real action. As with any roadmap, the structure of the plan must have a sense of direction and purpose. It must draw on history and experience even as it sets the course for future improvement.

Student firefightersNo strategic plan is fully operational without an implementation plan. Implementation plans, created within the realities of organizational hierarchies, will be working documents that evolve—even as they stay true to the goals and objectives of the original plan. These plans need to be customized to the needs of faculty, students, and staff across all campus units. The strategic plan is the argument for resource allocation for diversity and inclusion efforts; the implementation plans will deal with the realities of that allocation over time. The campus is in a state of active growth, but it faces serious limitations in terms of resources. With the guidance of this diversity and inclusion vision, schools, colleges, departments, administrative units, and governance bodies must decide priorities for themselves, within the context or guidance of the strategic plan, and embed them into budgets and models of evaluation accordingly. Where funding from the Office of Campus Diversity can be instrumental in giving this plan momentum, we look forward to using the implementation phase to converse with leadership, at all levels, on the appropriate use of institutional resources for incentives and innovation.

Recognizing that the campus is not starting from ground zero, the plan identifies examples and models from across the campus. These examples are not meant to be comprehensive, nor do they imply that the work on a particular objective is complete. In some cases, an example has had limited application, it may answer only part of the strategy, or it may be under-resourced or under-utilized. However, the model may be one that could be expanded or extrapolated to serve additional constituencies.

DI Strategic Vision / Plan: DI Implementation Plans:
One, intended for all campus Many, customized at unit level
Means for campus-wide engagement Navigates unit-level realities
Unified vision Embedded within unit-level strategies
Published at a moment in time Evolves over time as working documents
Communicated widely, high-profile and public Targeted to those who will lead change
Argues for resource allocation Attuned to realities of resource allocation over time
Guides prioritization Defines what, when, and how funded
Identifies metrics Sets benchmarks

In this document, the steering committee has recorded some of the direct feedback we heard in the nearly thirty engagement forums held during the formulation of this plan or read in more than twenty-five recent campus reports that referenced issues related to diversity and inclusion. Under the title “What We Heard,” we include a selection of comments that we heard repeatedly that possessed an important specificity or that represented issues worth underscoring.

As colleges, schools, departments, stakeholder groups, and units begin the hard work of acting on the plan, we suggest that implementation teams identify and engage with those strategies that make most sense to them. We acknowledge that not every unit will be able to act on all strategies. Instead, we hope that units will:

  • Recognize their unit’s strengths and weaknesses related to diversity and inclusion
  • Identify objectives and strategies that are exciting, relevant, and important to their populations
  • Communicate the importance of diversity and inclusion to department chairs, supervisors, and individuals, and begin to incorporate the objectives and strategies in their unit’s
    planning processes
  • Embed diversity and inclusion into their values, initiatives and activities
  • Provide everyone with the knowledge, skills, tools and training to achieve desired outcomes
  • Acknowledge, support and reward successful outcomes

To support these efforts, the Office of Institutional Diversity will offer a program of consultation with individual units; development of toolkits (including workshops and webinars) for departments to use in their own diversity and inclusion planning; highlighting of case studies and successes; funding of innovative ideas; coordinating a resource-intensive website; and continued work on the diversity analytics framework outlined in this plan.

This strategic vision has been one step in an ongoing and evolving effort to achieve the values set forth in our Principles of Community and in the UC Diversity Statement. We hope this vision for diversity and inclusion is just the beginning of an ongoing campus-wide conversation about implementation, benchmarking, prioritization and resource allocation.

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Defining Success and Measuring Progress

Leaders at the university will need a set of simple, clear metrics to know if the campus is making progress on these diversity and inclusion goals. Oversight of these measures must be distributed throughout the structure of the university, especially within divisions, colleges, schools, and departments, the key drivers of transformation and progress for the campus. In developing a data framework for understanding diversity, we recognize the need to create a set of standardized reports (or dashboards) that show the campus its progress and to conduct special research projects that respond to more timeline questions and concerns. We recognize that campus-level reporting cannot answer all questions or determine the cause of certain patterns of concern. Campus reporting is intended to prompt resource allocation for further investigation.

The following principles have guided our approach to data:

  • Create multidimensional benchmarks to track real progress, facilitate data-driven decision-making and support strategic priorities
  • Where relevant, disaggregate demographic data to better identify populations that need attention
  • Change the way data are framed around access and success factors
  • Show trends over time
  • Support benchmarking against peers where valid and useful
  • Reflect, as much as possible, the current ways we understand ourselves, our institution, and our world
  • Tell the diversity and inclusion story at UC Davis by debunking myths and highlighting critical strategies
  • Identify areas for improvement in data collection

We started with a review of available standards and best practices. We referred to the work of other institutions of higher education, organizations that are leaders in recruitment and retention metrics, leading scholars in the field of diversity, and reports produced by or for the University of California Office of the President, the US Departments of Labor and Education, and NSF-ADVANCE. We consulted with UC Davis colleagues in Academic Affairs, Budget and Institutional Analysis, Center for Student Affairs Assessment, Graduate Studies, Human Resources, and Office of Campus Community Relations to identify reliable institutional data sources. While engagement, experience, and perception data are not always a precise measurement, we made a critical review of climate and compliance data and surveys in conjunction with other data to identify further opportunities for improvement and timely response—including but not limited to the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA), Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) Staff Engagement Survey, the University of California Undergraduate Engagement Survey (UCUES), the UC Cost of Attendance survey, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Survey of Faculty Satisfaction, the Annual Affirmative Action Report and the UC Campus Climate Survey.

With an outline of the strategic vision plan in hand, we created of list of questions to ask the data (see “Diversity Analytics: Strategic Questions,” page 11). We defined aspects of diversity relevant to the process of measurement and assessment (see “Defining Diversity for Measurement,” page 12), recognizing that some of the data will be available historically, some data are starting to be collected now, and some data will have to wait for future development or census-taking. Our preliminary findings are presented in the Data Appendix to this document. These findings are intended to provide context for this document, and highlight opportunities to understand, learn, and improve the diversity and climate of our institution.

Defining Diversity for Measurement

Wherever differences are disproportionally represented or underrepresented, it is important to understand whether structural barriers are preventing proportional representation. No system of sorting or categorization is without controversy; neither is it acceptable to assume that a blindness to all categories is equivalent to correcting for biases.

For students, we reflect on the categories of ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, income, postal code (rural or urban), educational attainment of parents (“first-generation college students”) and residency status. For our workforce, we also reflect on the categories of ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, education level, rank, salary, duration of employment, citizenship, nation of bachelor’s degree, and postal code (urban or rural).

For undergraduate students, underrepresented status requires a comparison with California and national demographics and an understanding of the pipeline of students from early in the K–14 pipeline. For graduate students, we must understand how our graduate student population compares to the undergraduate student population, as well as the demographics of national M.A., M.S., Ph.D., and professional students. Faculty can also be benchmarked against the national pool of graduate and professional students, composition of their undergraduate population, and hiring at peer institutions. For staff, the campus looks at designated availability pools depending on the position and title—some positions pull candidates from the local area, while others are part of recruitments from a larger—even national—pool of candidates. We also look internally, across our own structures of schools, colleges, departments, divisions, and administrative units, to understand where we can learn from each other on the challenges and benefits of enabling a diverse composition of people and ideas.

You can view some of the data that informed this strategic vision here.

Start reading the Goals and Objectives for:
Pipeline, Recruitment, and Retention
Research, Teaching, Public Service, and Training
Institutional Commitment