The Ad Hoc Committee on Racial Equity and Diversity-Related Professional Development ("Committee") was established pursuant to the racial equity commitments made by President Eisgruber in the summer of 2020. The Committee was charged with developing an action plan to strengthen institutional coordination and support for ongoing racial equity and diversity-related professional development and other educational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. The Committee delivered its report in May 2021.
The Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity will work with campus partner offices to develop a multi-year action plan to address the Committee's initial recommendations of:
- developing learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff
- identifying an administrator who will centrally support existing and potential learning opportunities
- investing in the upskilling of internal facilitators
- investing in a new Learning Management System.
The full report is available below or download a copy (.pdf). The Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity will share periodic updates related to the multi-year implementation plan and progress reports with the campus community as they become available.
Report by the Ad Hoc Committee on
Racial Equity/Diversity-Related Professional Development
The Ad Hoc Committee on Racial Equity and Diversity-Related Professional Development (“Committee”) was established pursuant to the racial equity commitments made by President Eisgruber in the summer of 2020. The Committee was charged with developing an action plan to strengthen institutional coordination and support for ongoing racial equity and diversity-related professional development and other educational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. This report summarizes the Committee’s findings and the resulting University commitments.
1. Current State of Diversity-Related Professional Development
As part of its work, the Committee surveyed administrators from academic departments and administrative units in order to better understand existing professional development and training opportunities. The Committee identified more than 200 diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”)-related development opportunities that were provided to students, faculty, and staff over the past two years via a variety of methods, using both internal and external facilitators. The survey brought to light the excellent work already being done under the leadership of administrators who are committed and knowledgeable with respect to DEI issues.
The Committee recognized that there is no need to replace current efforts, which are led by campus practitioners who best understand the needs of their unique populations. However, as departments are increasingly active in seeking DEI learning opportunities, it is clear that there is a need to provide additional support to facilitators (who are increasingly overstrained by requests for DEI programming), as well as a need to provide guidance to departments in terms of determining which learning opportunities best meet their needs (for example, regarding strategy, medium, order, and facilitator). In addition, due to current decentralization, there is duplication of effort and potentially inconsistent approaches by different facilitators and departments.
2. Practical Considerations, Desired Outcomes
The Committee explored practical considerations, desired outcomes, and parameters with respect to students, faculty, and staff, noting differences and similarities across these populations.
The Committee noted that the connotations of the words “training” and “professional development” differ with respect to purpose and desired outcome. “Professional development” is perceived as a soft skill, whereas “training” is considered to be process-driven and task-oriented learning driven by compliance. For example, there is a need for faculty and staff who have formal interviewing and hiring responsibilities to have DEI-related search, interviewing, and hiring training. However, the need for professional development varies across populations. For example:
- Students in leadership positions (e.g., Residential College Advisers, team captains) and paid student workers have many of the same professional development needs as those described below for staff. Broader student populations seek personal upskilling to be prepared for the job market, graduate school, etc., and this should be leveraged in order to encourage participation in DEI-related professional development.
- Faculty seek to shape inclusive research, mentorship, teaching, and outreach in order to develop a broader talent pool. Programs for faculty should be customized and scholarly, should embrace respected perspectives/voices, and should focus on faculty’s teaching and mentoring roles.
- Staff want to be more inclusive throughout their job responsibilities, in collaborating with colleagues and other units, and in growing Princeton’s talent pipeline. Professional development for staff should be tied to workplace behaviors.
Across all three populations, there is a need to further embed DEI into the University’s institutional values and to communicate that DEI is an institutional value, as well as to embed DEI in departmental actions.
3. Curriculum and Facilitation Methods
In exploring curriculum and facilitation methods with respect to students, faculty, and staff, the Committee discussed the challenges of engaging participants in the learning. In particular, the Committee carefully considered whether mandating training was appropriate for various populations, and reached the following conclusions:
- Certain student leaders and certain student workers should be required to participate in DEI professional development opportunities. With respect to the broader student population, an array of DEI offerings (organized into a curriculum, including synchronous, asynchronous, live, online, self-study, etc. options provided by a variety of offices) should be offered, such that students could earn badges/certificates for completing certain levels of development.
- Faculty should not be required to complete DEI training, except for those faculty who play formal roles in hiring/search committees and in graduate student admission. However, DEI learning should be embedded into existing training/workshops (e.g., research misconduct training, orientations for leadership roles (such as those who hold leadership roles in departments), new faculty orientation, etc.).
- DEI training should be required for staff in the form of online DEI training and periodic boosters/refreshers. Additionally, administrative units should embed DEI learning into regular departmental/unit staff meetings.
In order to support these goals, there is a need to better understand the breadth of population, skill sets, and bandwidth of current internal facilitators. Where outside expertise is necessary, a list should be curated of external facilitators with demonstrated success presenting to our community.
4. Data and Impact
To ensure greater effectiveness and impact, learning objectives should be identified during the planning stage of each learning opportunity. Learning objectives will help to ensure that programs are tailored to specific audiences and complement the DEI strategy of the relevant department. Learning evaluations should be uniformly collected to obtain feedback that allows departments to support and understand the experience of learners.
In order to capture and track learning opportunities, the University needs an improved Learning Management System to house and provide access to existing online training, and for staff, suggest sequenced learning paths.
5. (Initial) University Commitments
Based on the above findings, the University has made the following initial commitments:
- The University will continue to develop learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff consistent with the needs described in section (3) above (mandated training for certain student workers and leaders, faculty with formal roles in hiring/search committees and graduate student admission, and all employees; an array of DEI offerings for students; and further embedding of DEI learning into existing faculty trainings/workshops). The University recognizes that this will be a multi-year process -- particularly developing online DEI training for all staff and creating an organized curriculum of DEI opportunities for students.
- In order to provide consistency across and support for departments and facilitators, the University will identify an administrator who will centrally support existing and potential learning opportunities; facilitate the sharing of educational resources across units; and continue to identify and systematize existing learning opportunities in order to better identify/understand opportunities, gaps, learning objectives, and available resources.
- The University will invest in the upskilling of internal facilitators. Developing and enhancing the capabilities of this population will help to create common approaches and strategies across the institution. In addition, where external expertise/specialization is needed, external facilitators will be identified who can supplement current offerings.
- The University will invest in a new Learning Management System with the capabilities described in section (4).
Over the summer of 2021, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity will work with partner offices to develop a multi-year action plan designed to effectuate these commitments. The action plan will include action items and time frames for deliverables and progress reports to the community.
Appendix A: Committee Charge
The Committee shall develop an action plan in order to strengthen institutional coordination and support for ongoing racial equity and diversity-related professional development and other educational opportunities for all campus populations including students, faculty, and staff.
The Committee shall make recommendations designed to identify best practices and expand educational and training efforts using a range of formats and delivery vehicles that focus on instruction for individuals with managerial or hiring and interviewing responsibilities, as well as support for inter-group dialogue, inclusive pedagogy, bias response, and training and dialogue experiences. Its considerations may include topics such as learning outcomes across populations, infrastructure to track and support professional development, and data that supports the effectiveness of professional development and other educational opportunities.
In conducting its work, the Committee will seek to collect input and feedback from the campus community and relevant stakeholders, and communicate about its activities to that community.
The Committee shall be co-chaired by Vice Provost for Institutional Equity Michele Minter and Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley. Its members will include representatives of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Human Resources, the Graduate School, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, the Office of the Dean for Research, and the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, among others. (Committee members are listed in Appendix A)
Appendix B: Committee Members
- Vice Provost for Institutional Equity Michele Minter
- Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley
- Maureen Connolly, Director, Learning and Development, Human Resources
- Regan Crotty, Director of Gender Equity and Title IX Administration, Office of the Provost
- Thomas Dunne, Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students
- Brighid Dwyer, Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, Office of the Vice President for Campus Life
- Shawn Maxam, Senior Associate Director for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, Office of the Provost
- Verita Murrill, Director of Talent and Organizational Development, Office of the Vice President for University Services
- Katherine Remus, Learning & Development Specialist, Office of the University Librarian
- Kimberly Tiedeken, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources
- Rayna Truelove, Assistant Dean for Access, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School
- Toni Turano, Deputy Dean, Office of the Dean of the Faculty
- Shirley Wang, Senior Associate Director for Teaching Initiatives and Programs, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning
- Catherine Zandonella, Communications Manager, Office of the Dean for Research