The EDUCAUSE Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The EDUCAUSE Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Illustrated silhouettes of a variety of humans with the text overlaid that says: The EDUCAUSE Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At EDUCAUSE, we are committed to enabling sustained growth in DEI, both internally as an association and for you, our community of IT and technology professionals. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is vital to the success of the association and the community we serve. Long-term and lasting progress will require time, sustained effort, and the cumulative impact of incremental and individual actions.

For EDUCAUSE and higher education, the value of DEI is manifest in at least three interrelated dimensions:

  • Teams with diverse viewpoints outperform teams with members of similar backgrounds.

  • IT and academic technology organizations often do not reflect the diversity of the constituents their institutions serve.

  • Academic success depends on educational environments that are welcoming to all students, from all backgrounds.

We recognize that people and organizations are at different places on the DEI journey, that they will take different approaches to DEI, and that they will move forward at different speeds.

The resources on this page include action steps to put the principles of DEI into practice, as well as learning and engagement opportunities to deepen your understanding and continue your journey.

An Invitation to Advance Your Journey

Acknowledging that DEI is critical for higher education institutions and their students, faculty, and staff to thrive is the first step, but how do you get started? Where can you apply your time and energy to build and maintain momentum for DEI?

EDUCAUSE set up a DEI Task Force in 2018, which developed our CIO's Commitment on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that outlines six steps IT leaders can take to promote DEI. In our continued work with the help of members of our community, we broadened the application of these six commitments to create a resource for all technology leaders in higher education.

The commitment steps below include discrete activities that can guide and sustain your personal DEI journey, as well as that of your organization. The activities are organized into three starting points—Explore, Engage, and Transform—allowing you to tailor your approach based on your circumstances.

  • Explore: Exploring a new topic is a good way to better understand it. These activities offer a proactive beginning to DEI awareness.

  • Engage: Once you understand something new, it's time to get involved. These action items help you form and build relationships and will vary depending on your DEI journey and comfort level.

  • Transform: As you mature on your DEI journey, the value you bring to your organization changes. This step moves from participating in DEI initiatives to immersive involvement for sustainable change.

Use the steps to become more aware of and involved in DEI, moving from commitment to action.

The Steps: From Commitment to Action

Explore

Engage

  • Connect with campus or system offices of diversity and inclusion about available resources.

  • Host and/or discuss DEI topics during your division/unit meetings.

  • Invite speakers from diverse backgrounds to speak with your team.

  • Complete diversity and inclusion training opportunities offered at your institution.

Transform

  • Create a way to share DEI stories or references with staff (e.g., newsletters, social media, Slack channel).

  • Include DEI in the IT annual report.

  • Create a DEI Committee to develop a DEI organizational plan that can be measured and shared.

  • Update or create new procedures, policies, and actions that include specific steps to achieving a more diverse workforce such as hiring rubric or inclusive job descriptions and job posting(s). See our Inclusive Hiring Kit.

Explore

  • Explore the EDUCAUSE Inclusive Hiring Kit for tips and resources. And stay tuned for our free self-paced email series (coming in July) to dive into the content one unit at a time. 

  • Develop job descriptions that encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply (recruitment).

  • Develop job descriptions that ensure employees from diverse backgrounds feel welcome in the organization (retention).

  • Update institutional communications (e.g., websites, documents, social media) to promote diversity.

Engage

  • Use co-chair model for hiring committees.

  • Ensure hiring committee members represent diverse perspectives and have received training in DEI and hiring practices. Members of underrepresented groups should not participate in more interviews than others, so that this does not become extra work.

  • Partner with campus employee resource groups (ERGs) (retention) to understand and help navigate their challenges. Be cautious to not create additional unpaid work for ERG group members.

Transform

  • Partner with HR to create inclusive hiring practices such as creating a hiring rubric and an unbiased screening process, and conduct a post-search review for improvement.

  • Ensure that members of marginalized groups have a variety of opportunities to build networks, are provided resources and time for professional development, and are engaging in conversations with their supervisors about their career development and professional paths.

Explore

Engage

Transform

  • Serve on professional DEI boards and/or committees to influence the transparency of DEI within our organizations and the profession.

  • Advocate and/or lead a social justice and equity program at your institution, such as the one offered by the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

  • Regularly publish demographic technology workforce data in annual reports or in strategic plans.

Explore

Engage

  • Partner with the institutional research office on DEI data that is used to support compliance and reporting efforts.

  • Support an institutional DEI dashboard, such as the University of Nebraska Diversity Dashboard.

Transform

  • Facilitate internship opportunities with regional workforce development offices.

  • Fund and hire a position dedicated to planning, strategy, organizational change, and implementation required to make progress in DEI-related workplace culture change.

Explore

  • Review which existing STEM curricular programs are active at your institution.

Engage

  • Collaborate with STEM departments to create internships and employment opportunities for engagement with IT for students of color.

  • Support and elevate research computing and data roles as distinct and highly-valued career paths (partner with CaRCC).

Transform

  • Partner with academic departments in co-creating curriculum to expand opportunities and eliminate the barriers for students from underrepresented populations interested in computer science, data sciences, and other technology-related fields. Including executive, online, and continuing education. Exemplar: Nebraska cybersecurity internship program and HEISC listserv for internship programs.

  • Collaborate with local high schools, Tribal Colleges, and other institutions to offer workshops in STEM fields, as has been done at the Information Technology Academy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Explore

  • Review the DEI landscape in your profession (e.g., DEI organizations, STEM advocates, affinity groups, student associations, accessibility organizations).

Engage

  • Volunteer and meet with DEI groups at your institution.

  • Get support or partner with senior administrators on national DEI initiatives and projects.

  • Form DEI advocacy networks.

Transform

Illustration of two stick figures assembling a puzzle 

Advance Your DEI Hiring Strategies

Before, during, and after the recruitment process, leaders play a crucial role in creating and supporting a diverse workforce. In the EDUCAUSE Inclusive Hiring Kit, we take you through the inclusive practices you can implement in recruiting, screening and interviewing, hiring and onboarding, retention, and measuring and highlighting success.

Sign up for our 5-day microlearning email series to dive into the content one unit at a time. Log in or create a profile to select the microlearning series on your communication preferences page. The first email will reach your inbox the next business day!

Sign Up for the Microlearning Series

Inclusive Language Guide

EDUCAUSE is committed to starting and sustaining a dialogue about the ways in which we can uncover and understand the harm that language can cause and to developing a common set of guidelines to help us use language inclusively. We have developed an official style guide for inclusive, bias-free, and equitable language that we welcome the community to use.

A Special Thank You

We'd like to thank the members of the EDUCAUSE DEI Advisory Committee and the founding members of the 2018 DEI Task Force who helped develop this content and continue to serve as the voice of the EDUCAUSE membership on DEI matters.

Share Your Feedback

The EDUCAUSE DEI Advisory Committee welcomes your feedback! If you have DEI resources, comments, or suggestions to share with our community, contact us at [email protected].