Student Life DEI Action Team: A Year in Review

Screenshot of the Student Life DEI Action Team website.

The Division of Student Life’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Team spent the 2021-22 year working on systemic change, developing training and education opportunities, and identifying and expanding DEI resources.

The team was created in summer 2020 to develop, guide, and advance DEI efforts in the division. While the team spent their first year setting goals and priorities and writing a public action plan, they also immediately got to work. Progress from the 2020-21 year was published in a 2021 DEI update from the division.

The team is co-chaired by Dean of Students Kimberly Moore, Ed.D., and Director for the Center of Student Diversity and Inclusion Dasha Wood.

In its second year, the action team focused on advancing existing efforts and creating brand new resources for both students and staff.

“The team was incredible this year,” said Moore. “They stayed focused on producing meaningful outputs that will positively impact the student experience. All the accomplishments are practical, yet purposeful and student-centered.”

With focused, energized members, the team was able to make significant progress in several initiatives.

Inclusive Programming Guide

Nearly every unit in the Division of Student Life offers some type of programming to students. The inclusive programming guide was developed to ensure that programming offered by the division has a baseline for inclusive practice. This digital resource helps students and staff who are planning events keep inclusive practices in mind from the start.

DEI Forums

The team hosted three DEI divisional forums designed to bring the division together to discuss DEI related topics and issues. The space has offered professional development, dialogue, and community building. This year’s topics and forum formats were chosen as a result of a mid-year divisional staff survey.

DEI Onboarding and Development Program

The action team developed a DEI onboarding and development program to help new members of the division understand and continue to cultivate the DEI value that serves as a pillar of our shared mission to serve students in inclusive environments. The program also aims to create a scaffolding for divisional staff beyond their first year to continue advancing in their DEI goals. The program will be integrated into the performance evaluation process starting in 2022-23.

Departmental Diversity Audits

Each department head will conduct multi-year diversity audits that entail reviewing existing departmental policies, processes, and practices for inclusion, and centering different student identities and demographics. The audits ensure each unit within the Division of Student Life is developing, guiding, and advancing DEI initiatives within their work.

Looking Forward 

While official goals for the 2022-23 academic year have not yet been set, next year’s action plan will be publicly available on the DEI action team website.

“Goals are likely to revolve around systems, resources, and education and training,” said Wood. “These three areas ground our work each year. We will also be using results from a divisional DEI survey in June to inform next year's action plan.”