Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives

A list of the initiatives underway intended to strengthen the College’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

  • The Dean approved a proposal from the Ad Hoc DEI Work Group on Annual Review to embed diversity, equity, inclusion in performance evaluations for chairs and directors of academic units. 
  • At the Dean’s direction the college is piloting an effort to increase capacity and shared accountability for DEI work in CLA by inviting administrative officers to over .10 to .25 FTE to work jointly with ODEI for a fixed and collaboratively agreed upon period of time. 
  • CLA is partnering with the University Office of Human Resources to build and extend institutional and college capacity by sponsoring 25 faculty and staff to become racial equity practitioners through the Courageous Conversations Practitioner Certification Program. The Courageous Conversations protocol deepens personal, systemic, and institutional racial awareness and sees the engagement with all three as necessary to advance racial equity. Program participants will engage in an intensive nine-month journey toward certification.
  • ODEI is collaborating with the Center for Educational Innovation on a monthly workshop series on inclusive teaching and learning in a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) that will begin in February 2022. 
  • CLA will pilot an Equity Lens Policy Review Committee this spring. This initiative borrows from the University’s Equity Lens Policy Review process and will bring this rigorous lens to the college’s administrative policies, procedures, and guidelines. This pilot will inform similar efforts in other colleges and administrative units across the University system. 
  • The Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RIDGS) and ODEI have partnered to create the Transformational Conversations: Book Club and Conversation Series The book club and conversation series will include ten members from various constituencies (faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni) Members will read and discuss the book and develop action items to implement within the CLA community. Finally, the club will host a public conversation about the book and results of the conversations. 
  • CLA hosted the first CLA Faculty and Staff DEI Gathering on November 19, 2021. The event, which built on DEI summits held for academic departments and administrative units in 2020, created a collaborative space for conversations related to clarifying our shared language, identifying our boldest shared vision, and strengthening and expanding our actionable commitments. 
  • The College created a new role of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. History Associate Professor Malinda Lindquist began a three-year appointment on June 21, 2021.
  • Over 80 CLA staff and faculty members gathered virtually in August 2020 for our first annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Summit. The summit aimed to help connect resources and colleagues, discuss what has been successful in departmental DEI work, what challenges departments face in this space, and what the College could do to assist departmental DEI efforts. A similarly-attended summit was also held for CLA administrative units in October 2020. 
  • Nearly 50 of our faculty participated in the Building Capacity for Engaging Diversity in Undergraduate Education Cohort, offered by the CLA Office of Undergraduate Education and led by Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, a national leader on this topic.
  • CLA’s Office of Institutional Advancement launched the What’s Next? roundtable series, addressing the power of business and philanthropy in the pursuit of racial justice, CLA alumni seeking social change, curriculum and pedagogy in K-12, and policing in Minneapolis.
  • The College is committed to reducing equity gaps in graduation rates.
  • CLA established an equity lens policy review committee in spring 2021.
  • CLA actively participated in the President's Postdoctoral Fellow Program. In FY21, three of the five selected fellows (Christopher Hammerly, Jessica Horvath Williams, and Ron Martin Wilson) reside in CLA departments. Their critical perspectives derive from their non-traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education, both to their research and to our community of scholars.
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