Resources for Drafting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plans

How do you assess where you and your employees are with respect to DEI?

Here are a few resources to get you started:

  1. The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) has developed a rubric that you can use for self-assessment. Click here
  2. UC Berkeley has also developed a step-by-step guide for developing DEI plans. Click here
  3. Colleges and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA HR) provides many useful resources. Click here 
  4. CUPA HR also provides a DEI Maturity Index for institutions - where do you think SLU falls on the DEI maturity scale? Take this confidential survey .

As you develop your goals, consider using the SMART Goals framework:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

For specific suggestions and guidance:

10 Forces for Diminishing Accountability (from the March 2021 LACRELA workshop on Accountability)

  1. Avoid treating action plans as a research study: You need data to determine where you and your area are with respect to DEI, but this is just the first step, not the whole project.
  2. Make sure your key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable: Do you plan to do trainings? How many, and for how many employees? Do you plan to improve satisfaction rates? Make sure you have pre- and post- plan data.
  3. Identify employees/groups to be responsible for overseeing and shepherding key objectives and results: Don’t make the mistake of setting goals and assuming they’ll get done by themselves
  4. Reward key employees who dedicate time and passion to this work and do it effectively: A common complaint about DEI work is that it isn’t valued or rewarded. Make sure you reward employees who do this work well. Don’t them to stagnate and grow disenchanted about the institution or the work.
  5. Lead with outcomes, not actions: You absolutely should identify specific actions, but don’t let your plan end with actions. Consider what outcomes you wish to achieve and develop actions with those outcomes in mind.
  6. Actions must be assessed: As you build your plan, consider how you will assess your results.
  7. No wiggle room to “fail forward”: “Failing forward” refers to the idea that you must try new things in order to advance, and not everything you try will succeed. Don’t be afraid to admit that some things don’t work. Understanding failure - what didn’t work and why - is an important step to achieving success.
  8. Don’t share results in a purely performative manner: When you report out, make sure your focus is on results, not just on what you did.
  9. Don’t lump all minoritized groups together: Inclusion is about everyone being valued. It isn’t about “us” vs “them”.
  10. Avoid viewing activists in this work as institutional adversaries: Instead, invite them to the table to help you understand what they feel strongly about, and listen to their ideas. Make them your partners.