Strategic Diversity Framework

To provide greater cohesion and lend direction to diversity efforts at SPU, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion developed a strategic diversity framework that articulates a set of priorities and next steps for the work of diversity at SPU.

people walking along a gravel path

Universitywide diversity goals

The strategic diversity framework outlines overarching goals intended to focus campuswide efforts and guide unit- and department-level diversity plans. The framework’s core goals focus on four areas:

  1. Reflecting the diversity of God’s kingdom. This goal focuses on developing comprehensive strategies for attracting, welcoming, and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff.
  2. Cultivating diversity and reconciliation competencies. This goal focuses on creating a learning environment where all students, faculty, and staff develop the competencies needed to facilitate understanding, healing, and reconciliation across differences.
  3. Fostering an environment of belonging. This goal focuses on promoting respect and dignity for all members of the SPU community and removing barriers to meaningful participation in the life of our campus.
  4. Maximizing resources for equitable outcomes. This goal focuses on leveraging University resources toward the alleviation of disparities in student outcomes and experiences.

Department-level diversity action plans

Over the next three years (2018–21), each department will be required to develop a diversity plan with an emphasis on concrete actions to advance the overarching goals. The four goal areas provide broad expectations with multiple pathways for achieving them, allowing flexibility in the design of action plans to fit departmental needs.

Need ideas for developing your own department-level plans? The following examples represent the types of activities that can be used for a department-wide diversity action plan.

  • A department completes an inventory training by Intercultural Development Inventory ↗ as part of a larger effort to assess and build upon current levels of intercultural competence. Staff members then use the results of the IDI to establish annual professional development goals and diversity competency is incorporated into annual performance reviews. In addition, the department establishes a cultural diversity development program for the unit by seeking opportunities for employees to receive training on diversity related issues and including diversity conversations as a regular part of staff meetings. Meets SPU diversity goal area 2: Cultivating diversity and reconciliation competencies.
  • Members of a unit participate in Oregon State University's Search Advocate training ↗ as part of a comprehensive plan for developing and integrating diversity-aware hiring practices. Following the training, staff members work collaboratively to create more substantive interview questions, rubrics, and metrics for evaluating applicants through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. A systematic data collection process is developed and used to inform ongoing hiring and retention processes. Meets SPU diversity goal area 1:  Reflecting the diversity of God's kingdom.
  • A department develops a process for conducting an equity audit of policies, procedures, and practices. Results from the audit are used to make needed changes to existing policies, procedures, or practices and to design ongoing training for staff to ensure a more equitable and inclusive environment. Meets SPU diversity goal area 4: Maximizing resources for equitable outcomes.

Diversity seed grants

The ODEI offers seed grants to support and incentivize the development and implementation of department-level plans. Apply for a seed grant.

2018–19 Timeline

  Autumn 2018
Winter 2019
Spring 2019
Application opens
September 15
January 1
March 1
Application closes
November 1
February 15
April 15
Award notifications
December 1
March 15
May 15
Award disbursed
Winter Quarter 2019
Spring Quarter 2019
Autumn Quarter 2019

See how some departments and schools are using seed grants

University Communications

With their seed grant, University Communications staff will participate in the Seattle-based Storytelling Strategies for Dismantling Racism (SS-DRS) workshop led by Natasha Marin. During this training, UC staff will be introduced to strategies for practicing deep listening, with regards to the language of power and privilege, and learn how to identify and dismantle problematic racial narratives that are embedded in institutions.

Drawing on lessons from the workshop, the UC diversity committee will develop concrete strategies in the form of a best-practices document to guide the team’s marketing approach. UC will also establish and implement an ongoing action-learning initiative around SS-DRS principles for new and continuing UC employees.

School of Psychology, Family, and Community

The School of Psychology, Family, and Community will use their seed grant to conduct the departmental readiness evaluation (DRE). Grant funding will be used primarily for faculty time dedicated to completion of the DRE and will help build upon ongoing diversity efforts within SPFC:

  • 2015: SPFC was one of six schools to participate in an Opportunity Hire Initiative to promote faculty diversity.
  • 2016: The school established a school-based diversity committee to enhance diversity related to curriculum, student life, and community activity.
  • 2017: The school conducted a survey focused on experiences of students of color in SPFC, to provide an evidence-based foundation to guide school-based diversity initiatives and provide a model for other schools to replicate.

Capacity Building

Building individual and institutional capacity to engage the work of diversity is a primary focus of the strategic diversity framework. The ODEI carries out this focus in a number of ways:

  • Providing professional development workshops
  • Consulting with students, staff, and faculty on diversity-related matters
  • Working with search committees to identify strategies for diversity-aware hiring
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