Understanding our strategic plan: Goal 1, Objective 1

Kimberly A. Lawless
September 27, 2021

I think it’s safe to say that we all want to work and learn in a welcoming, friendly and intellectually challenging environment. This goal, with its objectives, action items and implementation tasks, is designed to create such an environment – a space we look forward to occupying each day.

To achieve our goal, we will engage in intentional practices to develop an inclusive College of Education that derives strength from multiple identities and lived experiences and mirrors the representation of individuals in our society.

Objective 1 deals with societal representation. We plan to increase the diversity of the students, faculty and staff of the College of Education to reflect our national and global society more fully. We have two action items identified to reach this objective.

The first is to recruit, support and retain faculty and staff from historically underrepresented groups, particularly people of color.

The implementation tasks that support this action item are:

  • Collaborate with the Office of Education and Social Equity to review existing College of Education policies and strategies for recruitment, support and retention.
  • Develop and implement an improvement plan for faculty and staff candidate pool identification and hiring processes to increase the number and percentage of faculty and staff of color as well as individuals from other historically underrepresented groups.
  • Identify and develop partnerships with higher education institutions and organizations to enhance recruitment efforts (e.g., historically Black and Latinx institutions, UCEA’s Barbara Jackson Scholars).
  • Build upon current mechanisms, groups and initiatives to provide infrastructure that supports faculty and staff of color and other members from historically underrepresented groups.
  • Explore the possibility of remote work to expand the geographic radius from which staff are recruited.

The second action item to support this objective is to recruit, support and retain students from historically underrepresented groups, including students of color, students from families living in poverty, rural students, students with disabilities, male students in elementary teaching areas and other identified students at all levels. The implementation tasks in support of this action item are:

  • In collaboration with the Office of Education and Social Equity and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Studies, review existing strategies, and based on the findings, develop and implement an improvement plan for graduate student recruiting efforts, particularly with respect to students of color.
  • Review and enhance the College of Education’s student engagement opportunities to better align with needs and interest of students of color and other historically marginalized students.
  • Administer surveys that collect the perceptions of undergraduate and graduate students (both graduates and noncompleters) about their experiences and capture suggested areas or ideas for improvement, particularly with respect to equity, diversity, inclusivity and support.

While specific implementation tasks may need to be addressed by specific individuals, there always is something each one of us can do in support of this objective. It is incumbent upon everyone to create and maintain a friendly, welcoming, supportive and respectful environment for colleagues and students. Together, we can and will create an environment people want to be in to work and learn.

Coming up

The next Initiatives column will look at the second objective under Goal 1, inclusivity, belongingness and participation. You can read the full plan on our website.

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Last Updated October 22, 2021