In 2013, President Michael Gottfredson affirmed the centrality of diversity, equity and inclusion to the UO’s academic mission. He charged the campus—as well as friends of the university and community partners—to work together to assemble an overarching strategic framework for diversity, equity and inclusion. His charge included the need to develop metrics and evaluative tools to measure performance and drive accountability.
The Vice President for Equity and Inclusion (VPEI), in collaboration with the University-Wide Diversity Committee (UWDC), presented a report to then-Interim President Scott Coltrane and then-Acting Provost Frances Bronet in 2014. Coltrane and Bronet commended the UWDC’s work and encouraged it to prioritize strategies for finalization.
After President Michael Schill’s appointment in July 2015, the Division of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity—and the UWDC—worked to ensure the IDEAL Framework aligned with and supported his three university priorities. An updated committee report was presented to President Schill in early 2016, and a final framework was prepared by the president in spring 2016 in consultation with the VPEI and UWDC.
In developing IDEAL, the planning team, led by the Division of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, consulted with several universities, hosted a Diversity Expert in Residence Program, engaged in a listening tour, hosted a day-long symposium on best practices, facilitated focus groups, and held a campus town hall meeting to receive feedback. Additionally, an independent firm conducted an environmental scan of the UO’s diversity and inclusion climate as well as a review of previous campus-wide and unit-wide climate data.
A heartfelt “thank you” is due to all members of the UWDC, Division staff, and members of the broader campus community who participated in the development of IDEAL.
The IDEAL framework builds on the previous 2005 Diversity Plan, which focused on six pillars: cultural-responsiveness, climate, building critical mass, expanding and filling the pipeline, developing and strengthening community linkages, and developing and reinforcing diversity infrastructure. IDEAL seeks to connect with past accomplishments and introduce new areas of opportunity by providing more opportunity for units to get to work immediately through strategies and tactics that have been devised with the assistance of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners.
As the graphic below illustrates, IDEAL is a living document that represents eighteen months of data gathering, conversations, town-hall meetings, and research.
The 56-member planning team, led by the Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion consulted with several universities; hosted a Diversity Expert in Residence Program, featuring colleagues from Berkeley, Cornell, and UCLA; engaged in a listening tour; and facilitated focus groups. McClaurin Solutions conducted an environmental scan of the climate and a review of previous campus-wide and unit-wide climate data. In partnership with the Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC), the Office of Institutional Research, and the Center for Assessment Statistics and Evaluation (CASE), the planning team collected and analyzed data on faculty, staff, and students. The planning team also hosted a day-long symposium that featured best practices across a range of areas from ten peer institutions in Oregon and beyond, as well as campus forums, to get a comprehensive response to different versions of the IDEAL framework. In April 2015, we engaged more than 200 campus and community partners in a Town Hall meeting to get feedback on the full scope of the plan. That input from the Town Hall meeting has been incorporated into the current version. The eighteen-month process led to the design of this three-year IDEAL framework, the purpose of which is to engage every individual and unit on campus in our goal to make diversity, equity, and inclusion integral to the workings of the University of Oregon.
Key findings from our work identified five strategic outcomes that constitute the IDEAL framework: Inclusion, Diversity, Engagement, Achievement, and Leadership (IDEAL).
Each of the strategies contains five tactics that all departments on campus will work collaboratively to achieve. IDEAL focuses on areas where policies and structures are needed to begin and sustain the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Taken together, the strategies and tactics are designed to improve climate, recruitment, retention, intergroup connections, graduation rates, professional success, and leadership for all UO students, faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as for University friends and other external partners. For the IDEAL framework to become commonplace in our practices and policies at the UO, all students, faculty, and staff will need to work collaboratively to make diversity, equity, and inclusion an integral part of every academic discipline, administrative unit, and UO partnership.
The five parts of our strategic framework for diversity, equity and inclusion are inextricably linked to the University of Oregon’s academic mission to be a competitive public research institution. Using the language of students, staff, faculty, friends, and external partners, we here define each part of IDEAL, enumerate the outcomes that we will achieve, and explain the strategies and tactics that will lead to these achievements. It is important to note that this plan will operate in partnership with a campus-wide strategic plan that also affirms diversity, equity, and inclusion as core institutional values and principles.