Goals & Actions
AU worked diligently to develop a new plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion that would combine as part of a comprehensive strategy of immediate actions with demonstrable impact, designed to demonstrate commitment and accountability, with other steps that require a longer time horizon. The strategies and tactics outlined in the plan align with long-term plans designed to make measurable change in our campus climate.
Through the data review, analysis, and synthesis processes, five thematic strategy areas were identified and organized into the Inclusive Excellence framework.
These five priority goals are summarized, along with immediate objectives for impact in the plan's first two years. (Development of the long-term objectives, projected to span over five years, is occurring parallel with the implementation of the immediate objectives.) For comprehensive details on action steps by year of implementation and assignment of responsibility, please refer to the Action Plan.
Goal 1: Training, Learning, and Development
Objective: Members of the AU community will demonstrate cultural competency by learning key concepts that will reduce bias and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion, and equip them to lead change in a complex world.
- Implement a university-wide system of tracking and assessment and report annually on completion rates and effectiveness of training programs.
- Evaluate the impact and outcomes of existing diversity and inclusion training for all community members and leaders.
- Implement a comprehensive institution-wide training plan for all community members and leaders, tailored to the needs of specific AU constituencies, and designed to focus on unconscious bias and cultural competence as critical aspects of orientation and learning, onboarding, and professional development.
- Evaluate and assess the effectiveness of all professional development and learning programs.
Goal 2: Campus Climate, Culture, and Community
Objective: We will develop a campus climate and culture where all community members feel safe, experience a sense of belonging and satisfaction—and their overall well-being is supported through respectful, authentic, and engaged relationships with each other.
- Collaborate with the Faculty Senate to examine and make recommendations about how best to assess classroom climate and to design the next phase of improvement efforts.
- Provide more effective support and outreach for students to engage with faculty, staff, and administrators, both individually and in small group settings, especially when dealing with difficult issues.
- Develop and expand formal mentoring and affinity-based groups that foster deeper connections and build meaningful relationships between faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni-especially for those who are members of historically underrepresented minority groups at AU.
- Provide designated meeting and social space(s) for registered student groups to foster a greater sense of belonging and unity, and explore the feasibility of offering living and learning environments that promote socially and culturally distinctive affinity-based programming for students from diverse backgrounds.
- Review the array of student support services, with particular attention to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and recommend a set of outcomes to advance the persistence and success of students.
- Provide small grant incentives that encourage collaboration across departments and student organizations, to develop and showcase innovative diversity and inclusion programs, build a sense of community, and positively impact climate for faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
Goal 3: Systems, Policies, and Procedures
Objective: AU's systems, policies, and procedures will facilitate diversity, inclusion, transparency, and accountability. We will evaluate, revise, and communicate changes in policies and protocols that will facilitate reports of bias and discrimination, improve clarity, provide transparency, promote fairness, and enhance accountability.
- Conduct an institutional policy review, regarding reporting on incidents of bias, discrimination claims, use of social media, accommodations, and grievances. Communicate changes to improve clarity, provide transparency, promote fairness, and enhance accountability.
- Implement a university-wide strategic communications plan for diversity and inclusion.
- Adopt consistent hiring committee policies and practices across the university to further equitable outcomes.
- Implement metrics for measuring outcomes and monitoring accountability at all levels.
- Recommend strategic oversight, coordination, collaboration on the institution-wide diversity, equity and inclusion goals to ensure ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and sustainability.
- Provide a comprehensive update annually on progress made on the institutional diversity and inclusion plan. Ongoing progress will also be made throughout the year, as needed.
Goal 4: Access and Equity
Objective: We will transform the way we recruit, hire, train, develop, evaluate, and recognize AU faculty, staff, and administrators to encourage the achievement of our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
- Each school will institute an appropriate diversity and inclusion body to address diversity goals for hiring, inclusive pedagogy, and ongoing curricular efforts.
- Each administrative division will institute an appropriate set of diversity goals for hiring.
- Pilot a training program for faculty hiring and reappointment/promotion review committees, focused on recognizing and eliminating bias in the recruitment and promotion processes.
- Establish or strengthen community partnership opportunities that result in robust recruitment pipelines for faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
- Build a pipeline of academic talent at AU by better leveraging existing faculty fellows and post-doctoral programs.
Goal 5: Curriculum and Instruction
Objective: We will offer an inclusive core curriculum that advances a holistic learning experience and demonstrates AU's values of critical inquiry, intellectual engagement, and respectful discourse across diverse perspectives.
- Each school will participate in a professional development and learning programs focused on enhancing classroom climate.
- Implement the mandatory AU Experience (AUx) course by fall 2018, resulting in all first-year students successfully transitioning to AU, exploring the concept of social identity, and modeling ways of communicating and living in a diverse society.
- Continue to develop and support the work of the Antiracist Policy and Research Center that will focus on increased knowledge and advancement of research on the systemic and structural barriers of racism in critical policy areas.
- Continue to develop and support the new African American and African diaspora studies major.