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As we commit to equity, a strategy identified by the College of Natural Sciences Action Team and where we are focusing is on:

Improving evaluation and assessment, data availability, data-informed decision-making and organizational accountability through:
  • establishment of a college assessment task force for data management, reporting, and documentation to oversee ensuring transparency about and strategy for all DEI assessments, audits, and surveys (e.g., climate surveys, salary equity audits, service equity audits, DEI effort reports, etc.) and to recommend new efforts aimed at better understanding equity issues related to retention and attrition (e.g., compensation audits and strategic exit-interviews before and after departures).
  • updating and reinforcing equity-focused teaching policies and practices (e.g., peer assessment teaching forms).
  • establishing new processes and resources for valuing DEI efforts, with new opportunities for compensation (e.g., stipends, teaching waivers, and formal volunteer hours) and new and continuing models for accounting for these efforts in promotions, evaluations, and college honors/awards.
  • redefinition of systems of providing service credit and value for outreach

Examples of Progress

  • New and expanded equity-focused efforts around teaching evaluation and professional development, such as the Texas Mindset Initiative and other TIDES offerings for faculty, including mid-career surveys, peer observations, expert evaluations.
  • New and ongoing college climate assessments are being administered via surveys to faculty, graduate students and undergraduates
  • Created a DEI Graduate Student Fellowship to help support and compensate contributions to DEI work made by thoughtful Ph.D. student leaders, ensuring they have ongoing connections to college leadership and a voice in new initiatives. Similarly, established mechanisms to compensate key stakeholders enlisted to help specific units advance DEI.
  • Established a DEI Data Task Force, which is identifying data needs and available sources of data, as well as recommended actionable strategies for improving data transparency, data availability and data-informed decision making aimed at advancing more equitable college practices.

Priorities for the future:

  • Implement a new CNS demographic data dashboard and data ticketing system, per recommendations of the DEI Data Task Force
  • Develop next steps regarding results of climate surveys, identifying areas for change in practice/priorities
  • Introduce strategies for advancing DEI through faculty annual reviews/staff performance evaluations
  • Use a DEI lens in analysis of outreach efforts in the college.
  • Improve constancy, clarity, and connections to practice with contributions-to-diversity statements
  • Expand staff and faculty onboarding so that it includes signaling of college values and provides newcomers with an understanding of the students we serve
  • Expand exit interviews to better identify DEI-related contributors to challenges in employee retention
  • Audit current faculty committee commitments for more equitable expectations of service