College key diversity initiatives + investments
- Diversity and Inclusion Advisory and Action Committee (DIAAC)
In Spring 2019, the College launched the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory and Action Committee (DIAAC), its first-ever committee charged with the overall goal of creating and sustaining an ethos of belonging, inclusion, and equity throughout the College.
The DIAAC is composed of faculty, staff, and student members. Its mission is to (1) assist in broadening and deepening the College’s commitment and its efforts on matters that impact diversity, equity and inclusion in a globally interconnected world, (2) advise the Associate and Assistant Deans for Diversity and Inclusion and other senior College leadership, (3) strengthen the lines of communication between College Diversity and Inclusion administration and faculty, staff, and students, (4) brainstorm innovative programming that crosses institutional boundaries, integrates existing commitments, and identifies potential new initiatives, and (5) assist in transforming ideas into action. In partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the DIAAC reviews existing practices and policies, conducts bench-marking and research, and makes programming and policy recommendations that promote and advance the College’s diversity and inclusion agenda. The College designated $25,000 to the DIAAC to support its initiatives.
The DIAAC devoted Spring 2019 to determining its on-the ground organization and tone; cultivating genuine community among members, delving into existing DEIJ research, and reviewing College and campus reports; identifying DEIJ challenges, gaps, and opportunities in the College; identifying specific and actionable focus areas; and, determining three sub-committees for addressing and executing work in each of the focus areas identified. Currently, the DIAAC is comprised of three subcommittees: Focus Area 1 (FA1): Faculty Hiring and Retention; Focus Area 2 (FA2): Graduate Education, and Focus Area 3 (FA3): Undergraduate Instruction and Enrollment. As for specific actionable items, the following were identified by and for each of the subcommittees.
Focus Area 1 (FA1): Faculty Hiring and Retention
Diversifying and retaining faculty from historically underrepresented groups have been areas of significant challenge. Implementing coordinated initiatives to address these issues at the College level has historically presented challenges since considerable responsibility and authority for hiring faculty, and supporting them once they are successfully recruited, resides with individual units that differ greatly in their approach to both matters. Through the advocacy and work of one faculty of color DIAAC member in particular, conversations were pursued with College leadership to consider requiring diversity statements from all tenure-track faculty applicants to the College. Such work led FA1 to identify focusing on best practices for requiring and assessing faculty applicant diversity statements.
Focus Area 2 (FA2): Graduate Education
The College embraces IU’s commitment (expressed via its bicentennial strategic plan) to “invest in graduate student success” through a variety of policies that seek to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups. Following its own research and exploration, FA2 identified, as a first step, the development and implementation of an extensive climate survey instrument with the goal of systematically assessing the current state of graduate students’ DEIJ-related experiences in the College.
Focus Area 3 (FA3): Undergraduate Instruction
The College Strategic Plan has as one of its focus area’s to “foster a learning environment that attracts and serves a diverse and inclusive student body.” FA3 identified the need to host one of the College’s Community Dinners with the goal of better learning of and gathering information on undergraduate students’ immediate curricular and co-curricular DEIJ-related needs.
- Inclusive Excellence Summit
In Fall 2019, the College organized and participated in a two-day Inclusive Excellence Residency with Dr. Damon A. Williams. An extensive undertaking, this College-wide event brought together not only leadership and departments and units from across the College but also included partnerships with campus leadership and various IUB schools. The two-day residency was comprised of a campus-wide keynote delivered by Williams, and several workshops tailored to College administrative and academic leadership and focused on addressing key strategies for moving the needle on the diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice front. The event created significant momentum for the year, with positive effects that continue to be palpable.
Following the event, and largely the result of consistent advocacy on the part of a College female faculty of color, Dean Van Kooten committed to requesting the following of all College departments: the formation of a diversity and inclusion committee (by May 15, 2020); a departmental diversity statement (by May 15, 2020); and, an expectation that all TT and NTT applicants for a position in the College include a personal diversity and inclusion statement in their application materials (beginning fall 2020).
Modeled after the successful 2019 two-day Inclusive Excellence Residency with Damon A. Williams, an annual Inclusive Excellence Summit will be organized by the College’s ODI. Focused around an overarching theme, the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory and Action Committee (DIAAC) will serve as the primary incubator for ideas regarding and theme, potential speakers, and workshop leaders. The annual summit will provide opportunities for College students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership to continuously develop and strengthen their DEIJ knowledge base, skills, and habits of mind.
Residency, Day 1
Damon A. Williams Public Keynote “Agents of Change: How Generation Z is Leading the Charge on Inclusive Excellence in Higher Education” (239)
Session 1: Building and Committing to a 21st Century Diversity Strategy (93)
Session 2: Developing an Inclusive Curriculum for Centennials
Participants: Academic Chairs and Directors and invited faculty (38)
Session 3: Generation Z and Inclusive Excellence
Participants: Academic advisors and career coaches (54)
Residency, Day 2 (campus-level leaders and constituent groups)
Session 1, in partnership with OVPDI: Retention and Climate
Participants: Deans, Associate Deans, and Chairs
Session 2, in partnership with OVPDI: Strategizing Diversity Efforts
Participants: Staff Diversity Council & others conducting diversity work
Session 3, in partnership with O’Neill School: infusing diversity into the curriculum & inclusive teaching pedagogies; strategic diversity leadership principles & activation steps
Participants: O’Neill School faculty and staff
Session 4, in partnership with Kelley School of Business: Infusing diversity into the curriculum
Participants: Faculty department Chairs and Area Directors of professional staff
- Inclusive Excellence Professional Development Series
The College Office of Diversity and Inclusion launched a 5-part diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development series for College faculty and staff. Designed and facilitated by the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, the series takes a process-based approach to DEI education. The series is a key component for strengthening the connection between diversity and academic excellence in the College, and provides College faculty and staff with opportunities to develop and strengthen their knowledge, skills, and habits of mind so as to build and sustain inclusive and equitable attitudes, actions, and systems across the College. In spring of 2019, the series was launched with a pilot group comprised of College advisors, who provided extensive feedback for its full implementation in Fall 2020.
In July of 2019, a cohort of graduate students (all clinical practitioners) in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences underwent 2 of the 5 sessions in the series.
Since its launch, growing demand required building facilitator capacity. The College approved a proposal to appoint two ODI Faculty Fellows primarily tasked with delivering DEIJ education via the Inclusive Excellence Series.
ODI Faculty Fellows
To meet the growing demand for the Inclusive Excellence Professional Development Series, the College moved forward with its commitment to appoint two ODI Faculty Fellows. Working closely with the Associate and Assistant Deans for Diversity and Inclusion, the Faculty Fellows will play a key role in (1) driving core initiatives to strategically advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the faculty ranks, and (2) promoting an inclusive academic climate in the College. The Faculty Fellows will lead widespread delivery of DEI professional development and education to support best practices in faculty teaching, as well as support efforts to promote the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty.
Inclusive Teaching Exchange Days (iTED)
A peer-to-peer professional development program, Inclusive Teaching Exchange Days (iTED) involves faculty hosts opening their classrooms for colleagues to visit, with the goal of promoting the exchange of inclusive instructional techniques and pedagogical approaches. At the core of iTED is the sharing of teaching that is learner-centered and equity focused, and thus, intentional around ensuring that all students, across differences in academic, social, physical and cognitive background, feel included, challenged, and supported in their learning in the classroom.
In the spring of 2019, when iTED launched, 28 faculty from across the College participated either as host, visitor or both. Faculty interest is such that ODI will continue to offer iTED for the foreseeable future.
- Radical Inclusivity Series
“To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn.” bell hooks
The Radical Inclusivity Series spanned the AY 2019-2020 and extended and deepened active work on inclusive pedagogies.
Through a series of presentations, workshops, and “Tiny Talks” organized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the College invited faculty and instructional staff to reflect upon how they engage with students in the classroom, including how their own embodied social positioning affects not only their students’ learning but the culture and climate of the university. We invited them to consider how their words, actions, and behavior in the classroom affect both learning and culture, potentially reinforcing negative stereotypes, undemocratic practices, and forms of oppression.
The series drew inspiration from a rich and extensive body of research that offers ways of teaching that fundamentally reconfigure the classroom as a truly creative and democratic space. Among others, bell hooks and Paulo Freire have provided a critical approach to pedagogy that encourages students and educators alike to recognize and reflect upon how the institutionalization of our social identities influences not only the lenses through which we view the classroom but also how we participate in that space.
ODI partnered with departments inside and outside the College to feature local and national teacher-scholars who embrace such methods and who are committed to transforming teaching and learning from a purely top-down hierarchical enterprise into one that takes full advantage of the democratic potential of the classroom today, promoting critical self-awareness among teachers and students alike.
Featured guests were followed by a “Tiny Talk” presented by some of our own teacher-scholars throughout the College and across campus with expertise on the series’ theme. Tiny Talks were more intimate and informal opportunities for faculty to engage candidly on oftentimes difficult questions regarding students and the classroom climate.
Fall 2019 theme: Embodied Sites of Knowledge and Liberation
Kyle Amber Clark and Niesha Washington-Shepard
“Experiential Learning Through Eyes and Hands”
In their presentation Clark and Washington-Shepard—both Deaf teacher-scholars— focused on linguicism, a form of discrimination based not only on language and dialect, but also on non-verbal cues and body language in interpersonal interaction. inclusive classroom environment.
Gustave Weltsek, Ph.D.
School of Education, IUB
“Embodied Radical Ways of Knowing and Learning”
In their interactive presentation, using a strategy called “Tableaux,” Weltsek explored the connections between corporality and the multiplicity of ways we individually and collectively know and learn.
Theresa Ochoa, Ph.D.
School of Education, IUB
“Behavioral Diversity in the IU Classroom”
In her presentation, Ochoa shared best practices for supporting students who show symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Overall, the series accomplished three goals: (1) Communicated that a sense of belonging and connectedness is essential to students’ learning and success in any classroom, regardless of course content; (2) Directly and actively engaged faculty in recognizing and mitigating barriers to inclusion, and (3) Provided meaningful opportunities for faculty to explore and imagine (e.g., in the context of the classroom milieu, assessment, grading, etc.) what it would look like if radical inclusion were the top priority in their teaching, and the impact it would have on student learning and success.
- Kovener Teaching Fellows Program
The Kovener Teaching Fellows Program—named in honor of donors Gary and Sharon Kovener—engages teachers and students on an array of pedagogical issues and practices. Uniquely, this program brings together twenty student and faculty fellows for discussion, exploration, and mentorship in a five-person mentor pod structure that includes a senior and a junior faculty member, a graduate student, and two undergraduate students. Through a carefully designed set of readings and discussions, beginning in Fall 2019, Kovener Fellows engaged in work that seeks to make College classrooms inclusive spaces where students feel welcomed, supported and valued in their learning.
Through the program, Kovener Fellows have thus far achieved the following key goals: develop knowledge of the theory and practice of inclusive pedagogy; develop self-awareness around one’s own social identities; and, create and redesign immediate and long-term effective teaching and learning practices that facilitate an inclusive and supportive classroom so as to foster greater student motivation and academic achievement.
In the program’s launch year, this is what Kovener Fellows had to say:
“Having pods include people at various levels was an amazing idea. I am getting to hear perspective that I would not usually hear. Even when [there] is a power dynamic, I found the pods to be a safe space in which we could openly share concerns and not fear judgment.”
“These meetings have been invaluable in terms of finding out more about the students' lived experience and how they view their classroom environments.”
“I think pod meetings [are] not only for teachers to change their teaching ways, moreover as students it [made] me start to understand my professor.”
“Kovener program provides a bridge that connect professor and student. As a student after attending, I would like to tell my friends around me that we should give our professors more chances to get know us. They are trying their best to make the classroom more welcome and more respectful for everyone.”
“The impact that the students have provided throughout this experience has been profound. Being in the "trenches" allows us to see firsthand what is happening in the classroom.”
“…being in this space with others who have more and varied experiences with inclusive teaching and elements of oppression has helped bring me toward a better understanding of these ideas and the language used to communicate them effectively. I really appreciate this opportunity to interact with so many individuals who can help me get better!”
“I think the most helpful experience happened on the very first meeting day. I was a few minutes late, and [X] walked over, introduced herself (and shook my hand) and welcomed me to the group. I can honestly say that was the first time I felt like my presence was valued in a meeting, and it served as a very powerful model for me to think about inclusivity--how my actions make others feel included in what I'm trying to achieve.”
Download the end-of-year report
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- Community Dinners in the College
Community dinners bring together students, faculty, and staff from across the College to share a meal and to discuss DEI-related issues and topics that are meaningful and relevant to the College community. Community dinners are student led, with faculty and staff serving as advisors. Community dinners have four goals: (1) help create and maintain a more inclusive, culturally competent College community, (2) respond to issues that the College community deems meaningful and relevant, (3) connect and learn across differences, (4) cultivate connections among those interested in addressing institutional concerns.
Inaugural Community Dinner, Fall 2019
Title: “Memory, Memorialization, and Monuments: Confronting History”
Student hosts were drawn from three College classrooms and facilitated discussion centered on a challenging topic—the creation of memorials to the history of lynching and massacres. In small group discussions over a meal, students addressed provocative questions about how to remember the past, how to memorialize conflicting histories, and how to come to terms with past wrongs.
Participants: 63 (A highly successful event, which generated a waiting list.)
- Inclusive Excellence Staff Hiring Handbook
Created by the College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in close collaboration with College Human Resources, the handbook incorporates best practices, offers various tools and strategies for strengthening the applicant pool and mitigating barriers to selecting and hiring a high quality, diverse staff.
The handbook is designed to help College staff members, department chairs, and program and institute directors who serve as hiring managers, search committee members, and search committee chairs take an intentional approach to ensuring that search and hiring decisions are based on legal, fair and inclusive practices. At the core of this handbook is the College’s commitment to recruit, hire and retain a highly qualified staff that effectively contributes to and supports the innovation, creativity, and overall excellence of the College community across its broad range of research, teaching, and learning activities. The handbook will be reviewed and revised as needed to address feedback from those who have used it, and to incorporate evolving best practices.
- Cultivating Cultural Intelligence Workshop
This workshop was in collaboration with culture center directors and was an opportunity for faculty and staff to (1) learn of the purpose and the work of OVPDEMA; (2) explore culturally intelligent ways to approach and to improve their interactions with the staff and student leaders of diversity centers; (3) learn concrete strategies for how to orient their own and their students’ behavior, language, communications, values, and ethic perceptions to the identities and realities of others who are different from them.
- Faculty and Staff Diversity Celebration, Spring 2019
This event, which took place at the Dimension Mill, included music, food, and drink. It was an opportunity for faculty and staff, as well as advocates of diversity from throughout the campus, to engage socially with others and to find meaningful connections and a sense of community.
(In partnership with OVPDI)
- Graduate Student Mixers
In 2019, the College Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted four Graduate Student Mixers
- ABRCMS Sponsorship Indianapolis Conference
- Collaborative event with Graduate Mentoring Center and AAADS
- Graduate Student Mixer: 14 participants
- Graduate Student Mixer: 14 participants
- ABRCMS Sponsorship Indianapolis Conference