Inclusive Excellence Initiative
Jefferson Community and Technical College is committed to providing a safe, diverse and inclusive environment for all. In 2021, we partnered with Dr. Damon Williams and his team at the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation to undergo a thorough analysis of the experiences of students and employees at our College. After months of listening sessions, surveys, and internal reporting of current diversity, equity, and inclusion activities, the findings were compiled and a set of short-term strategies that have been composed by our Inclusive Excellence Task Force. In addition, a list of longer term recommendations has been created and will continue to evolve. Becoming a more inclusive college is not the job of a few individuals or a few departments. A key factor for transformational change is broad engagement, and the responsibility belongs to all of us.
1. Create a committee from Truth Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) participants to recommend a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) / antiracism statement for the college (to be included in strategic plans, college communications, hiring ads, and syllabi).
2. Include DEI in College Strategic Plan, which may mean working with college constituents to fully integrate DEI into college planning and infrastructure.
3. Require each program and department to identify a DEI Continuous Improvement Action on their Area Review Cycle Assessment (ARCA). Identify guidelines for and ways to support (using diverse faculty and staff input) DEI initiatives and actions on ARCAs for Fall 2022 planning.
4. Conduct equity analysis related to student success.
a. Host of a series of data team meetings to discuss results
b. Based on this analysis, identify a set of key metrics and targets, and institute a DEI college-wide scorecard.
5. Conduct equity analysis of employees across hiring/pay/promotion/tenure/leadership. This should focus on race, gender, and any other identity markers that can be determined. It should include rank/salary, and it should include an analysis of leadership positions in administration and staff in comparison to faculty.
a. Share an organization chart with level/rank/salary
b. Host a series of data team meetings to review data analysis and identify recommendation for improvement
c. Based on analysis, identify a set of key metrics and targets, and institute a DEI college-wide scorecard
6. The Task Force will engage in a review of current policies and practices employed by the Human Resources department to increase hiring diverse faculty and staff.
a. Additionally, the Task Force will identify an inventory of organizations and resources to increase the diversity of hiring pools and work towards codifying a budget line to ensure that job postings meet hiring goals.
7. Revise the My Jefferson Climate Survey to include questions about employee lived experiences. The questions will be vetted by a representative group of college faculty and staff.
8. Develop and support strategies for retaining diverse faculty.
9. Commit financial support for Jefferson Leads.
10. Create DEI Allyship Advisory Committee.
11. Create college-wide committees representative of diverse identities, such as LGBTQ+, Latinx, and differently-abled.
a. For those new committees and the committees for Black Affairs, Women Issues Network (WIN), and ESL, create/revise charge to include policy reviews and recommendations (not just programming).
b. Support each committee with budget.
c. Each committee should (in concert with staff and student participation) create a specific set of strategies to enhance the lived experience of underrepresented communities on campus, including African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ+ and differently abled communities (as appropriate for each committee, or working together intersectionally).
12. Rebrand the Multicultural Center as more inclusive, particularly for LGBTQ+ and ESL/ELL students.
a. Revise Multicultural Center hiring ads to include this focus.
b. Create student allyship program.
i. Use Leadership Class or find funding to “pay” students to participate.
13. Engage external community partners in the College’s DEI work.
a. Invite board members to participate in our college’s DEI PDs and events.
b. Ask for and encourage external constituents and stakeholders (i.e. Jefferson boards) to demonstrate support of the College's mission and goals for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Allyship through sharing their respective diversity plans, initiatives, and training resources for deeper understanding and connection between the mission and overall community engagement.
i. Develop collaborative initiatives to explore DEI and Allyship initiatives and professional development with external constituents and stakeholders
14. Continue to move forward DEI in college infrastructure with conversations about inclusion in college’s strategic plan, ARCA, Distribution of Effort Agreements (DOEAs), and Performance Planning and Evaluations (PPEs).
15. Create a DEI culture by requiring DEI Professional Development
a. Define the requirement
i. Separate and different from the annual training
ii. Entails activities during the year
iii. Included in new hire orientation
Develop base-level DEI PD for all employees by defining the commitment for faculty (i.e. percentage on DOEA) and staff
16. Form identity / affinity groups for networking and to create a pathway for anonymous feedback about lived experiences as employees – e.g. “What’s going on?” (Affinity groups can meet but should not feel obligated to do so.)
a. Create a feedback mechanism to allow for anonymous feedback from college constituents. This anonymous feedback form will include a place where the respondent can identify to whom the response should go (i.e., whether the response should be addressed individually or college-wide).
b. President’s Leadership Team must commit to reading, responding to, and (where needed) acting upon feedback monthly.
c. President’s Leadership Team should provide a budget and clear support for affinity groups.
17. Build Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) culture by requiring DEI Professional Development
a. Send college employees to AACU annual diversity conference (and require them to present back to college).
b. Beginning with Fall 2021 ARCA submissions and raw data from Dr. Williams’ group, create an inventory of DEI initiatives at the College to determine what expertise we already have and what needs may require outside resources.
c. Create advanced/multi-level certifications/pathways in the DEI PD program.
d. Commit funding to adjunct participation.
e. Include professional development opportunities that provide specific strategies on supporting English Language Learners and non-native speakers in class.
f. Offer more Safe Zone training (especially for staff and students).
i. Make Safe Zones more visible on campus.
18. Create ESL/ELL cohorts following the Rise Together model.
19. Create student allyship training.
20. Conduct regular listening sessions (students, faculty, and staff).
21. Invite impacted groups to the table.
22. Enhance new faculty mentoring (especially for how/when to say no, PPE, and promotion).
23. Conduct equity analysis of tenure by race and gender and secure a commitment to address if needed.
24. Host DEI exchanges to learn from each other
a. with faculty from across disciplines
b. with staff from across departments
c. with sister colleges, local universities, board businesses, etc.
25. Support faculty efforts for improving DEI with time built into the DOEA.