With unit plans in hand, diversity process enters next phase

The University of Oregon’s aspirations to become a more welcoming, supportive and respectful community for people diverse in culture, identity, thought, perspective and interests has taken another step forward with the completion of individual diversity plans by 35 units within the university, including every school and college.

In November 2016, President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane instructed each administrative unit, school and college to create a diversity action plan in line with the president’s priorities and the IDEAL Framework with its five pillars of inclusion, diversity, evaluation, achievement, and leadership.

“We are encouraged by the ongoing work and plans to engage in new programs, policies and processes to make equity, inclusion and diversity commonplace on campus,” said Yvette Alex-Assensoh, vice president for equity and inclusion. “We are eager to continue with next steps for moving forward to meet our IDEAL goals.”

To work on their individual plans, each unit, school or college received a template and had opportunities to engage with consultants at a campus leadership workshop and in one-on-one sessions. The Division of Equity and Inclusion also provided units with access to online resources, workshop and training opportunities, and other assistance.

Units were asked to identify tactics, measures, resources, and lead personnel over a three-year timeline. The plans also identified specific target groups, such as students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni for each tactic.

The division has already provided an initial review of all of the diversity action plans submitted.

“The second phase of the review will involve collaborating with administrative and academic partners across campus to seek out opportunities for achieving short- and long-term goals and projects, as well as to identify where the university can coordinate leadership to help mobilize the work of multiple units,” Alex-Assensoh explained. “We will use feedback from administrative and academic review teams to make recommendations to the president and provost.”

The goal is to provide initial feedback to all units before the beginning of summer term.

Alex-Assensoh said later phases of the project will include creating accountability structures and communication mechanisms, an iterative process for updates and feedback, implementation processes and planning, and a celebration of completion of the diversity action plans.

—By tova stabin, Division of Equity and Inclusion