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Action Steps

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This section addresses two different types of action: “Work We Are Doing” and “What We Will Do.” At the bottom of this document, we outline in some detail the actions the university will take to transition from the results of the survey to the tangible measures to effectuate change, namely (1) Hearing Your Voice – Community-centered DEI Goal Setting and (2) Aligning Our Efforts. But before we turn our attention to what we will be doing, we think it is important to share with you the steps that are already underway.

Work We Are Doing

Throughout the university, both at the institutional level as well as in individual schools and units, significant activity is currently underway to address a variety of inequities reported by members of our community. Those efforts were formalized when President Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Drell announced the IDEAL Initiative in 2018 and have accelerated in the ensuing months, particularly in the wake of the racial reckoning that occurred after the murder of George Floyd. The work being done is reflective of the university’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

We readily acknowledge that while the work to date is significant, it is not sufficient. As reflected by the survey results, we have much more to do. However, we have not been passively waiting for survey results to take action. The efforts we have been making represent action by numerous members of the Stanford community in furtherance of our collective goal of a more diverse and equitable community.  

The university leadership is appreciative of the commitment of the countless members of the Stanford community—many of whom are from marginalized communities and who have suffered the effects of inequalities. They have worked tirelessly, in many instances outside of their normal job duties, to advance this vital cause. Some of the key initiatives are listed below. Click on any heading to go to further details of the initiative.  

Developing a Strategic Framework for Staff

  • IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee

Accountability for Change

  • DEI Strategic Leadership Alignment Sessions (Staff): To align the top 400 senior leaders on the DEI strategic framework for staff
  • New DEI Framework for Student Organizations (Students): Trainings for student organizations on DEI. 

Driving Culture Change Through Education

  • IDEAL Learning Journey (Staff): Immersive DEI educational program.
  • DEI Training for Faculty (Creating Inclusive Spaces of Belonging) (Faculty)
  • CREATEngagement (Faculty): Toolkit for fostering climates of engagement in academic units 
  • Additional Online Faculty Anti-Bias Training (Faculty): Online training resources on anti-bias topics 
  • Expanded DEI learning opportunities (Students): Training opportunities for undergraduates in on-campus

Recruiting Excellence

  • IDEAL Recruit (Staff): Program to ensure diversity principles are followed in the sourcing of candidates for all positions
  • Impacts of Race in America: Faculty Cluster Hire (Faculty): Recruitment and selection of 10 eminent scholars and researchers who are leaders in the study of the impact of race in America 
  • IDEAL Provostial Fellows for Studies in Race and Ethnicity (Faculty): Early-career researchers who will lead the next generation of scholarship in race and ethnicity 

Addressing Harmful Incidents

  • HR Empathy and Mediation Training (Staff): Curriculum for HR with a focus on making Stanford more inclusive and anti-racist 
  • Dispute Resolution Academy (Staff): Project to develop conflict avoidance and conflict resolution skills
  • Protected Identity Harm Reporting (Students): Process to address conduct or incidents that adversely and unfairly target an individual or group based on identity  

Elevating DEI Work

  • Black Community Council (All Populations): Oversight of the initiatives focused on supporting Stanford’s Black community  
  • Enhanced Role for Affinity Groups (Staff): Advisory role for IDEAL initiatives, additional financial resources, executive sponsorship, leadership and mentoring and resources to assist with event planning and execution
  • School/Department/Business Unit DEI Initiatives (Staff): A number of schools and departments have independently engaged in substantial DEI efforts
  • Programmatic Funding for Student Communities and Services (All populations): The university has actively and successfully pursued additional funding for areas

Collaborating to Find Solutions

  • Disability Task Force (Students/Staff): A task force to examine the current educational experience of students with disabilities and make recommendations
  • Gender Data Enablement (All Populations): Improve how IT systems collect and present gender identity and pronoun information
  • IDEAL for the IT Community at Stanford (Staff): A system of programs focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) across Stanford IT. 
  • Pilot Program to Support Students with Disabilities (Students): Space and support services for disabled students.

Next Steps – Actions We Will Take in Response to the Survey Results

Hearing Your Voices: Community-centered DEI Goal Setting

When announcing the DEI survey in March 2021, university leadership told the community that Stanford would use its findings to hold ourselves accountable for improving the climate on campus, and further committed that the survey will help us to include your voices in how we address our problems and where we put our resources – on both university-wide and local levels. Your responses will inform the actions we take to reach our goal of a truly equitable and inclusive university.  As you can see from the above, the university has been engaged in a number of efforts to advance the IDEAL initiative in the area of creating a more inclusive environment for all members of the Stanford community. We will continue with these efforts, but we clearly need to do more. Our goal is to engage in targeted efforts in meeting the articulated needs of our community. You have already supported this process by sharing your voice through participation in the survey. What you have shared to date from the survey is key to helping us to develop the data necessary to bring our problems into clearer focus. The steps outlined below will convert the focus into action:

  • Online Input: We encourage you to share any thoughts about what we are doing and what you think we should be doing on IDEAL survey website. We will constantly monitor this information and use it to guide our actions.
  • Write-In Survey Responses: There is a part of the IDEAL survey for which the data are still being analyzed. The survey also included open-ended or write-in questions that asked about steps you think the university should take to improve in its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and other questions about what you think we are doing well. Thousands of such responses were received. To ensure none of those responses made respondents vulnerable to exposure of their identity, we have engaged an outside consultant to compile and categorize these responses in a manner the ensures the protection of the confidentiality of the sources. We will have this date in the winter quarter and will then make it public.
  • Establishing and Refining Goals: Based on the online input and write-in survey responses, we will develop preliminary goals to address the issues that underlie the survey results. These goals may be to refine or enhance existing programs and initiatives. develop and implement completely new initiatives aimed at identifying and eliminating racism, bias, and other inequity on our campus, or both. We will then partner with the community to assess whether these goals require refinement. This process will take the form of a series of focus groups and community forums. We want to be clear about what these sessions will and will not be. What they will not be is listening sessions. While we will always have an attentive ear for the evolving needs of our community, we are beyond the time for listening, we are at a time for action. As such, these sessions will be targeted and action-oriented with the singular objective of developing meaningful and measurable goals to advance our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, along with metrics to measure success.

Aligning Our Efforts

As referenced above, many schools and units around our campus are already engaged in DEI efforts, many independent of the IDEAL initiative. In the coming months, we will be meeting with the executive and DEI leadership of every school and unit on our campus to gain a full understanding of the scope and nature of any DEI efforts in which these campus organizations may be engaging. With this information, we will work to align and harmonize the school and unit efforts with institutional goals and objectives to provide the best possible opportunity for a consistent and unified approach to addressing DEI issues on our campus.  

Details of Work We Are Doing (summarized above)

Developing a Strategic Framework for Staff

  • IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee: The cornerstone of the IDEAL initiative for staff is the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee, which has broad representation from across the campus. This committee was formed by University Human Resources in October 2020 and supported by the provost with a mission “to advance racial justice (including eradicating anti-Black racism) and building a diverse, inclusive and equitable community through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in a Learning Environment.” This group has developed a strategic framework for sustainable and measurable DEI success on our campus. The framework has five pillars: 

  1. Diversity and Leadership: To ensure commitment to and ownership of DEI strategy and goals.
  2. HR Policies and Procedures: To determine areas for strategically aligning, standardizing, and/or centralizing HR.
  3. Engagement and Culture: To define the systemic changes needed to create a culture of respect and inclusivity.
  4. Learning and Development: To build awareness and skills related to addressing racism, implicit bias, diversity, inclusivity and belonging.   
  5. Community Engagement: To identify ways to have an impact in the community, including supplier partnerships.

There are critical initiatives underway in each pillar and subcommittees are working to further them, including DEI Strategic Leadership Alignment Sessions, the IDEAL Learning Journey, and IDEAL Recruit.

Accountability for Change

  • DEI Strategic Leadership Alignment Sessions (Staff): The objectives of these sessions are to align the top 400 senior leaders on the DEI strategic framework for staff; set the expectation that all senior leaders in the university and their teams are accountable to the staff DEI vision and goals; and secure commitment of senior leaders’ involvement in the plan moving forward. This program will give leaders tips and tools to drive excellence in DEI and take concrete actions needed to ensure our success. 

  • New DEI Framework for Student Organizations (Students): The Office of Student Engagement has redesigned its trainings for student organizations to include prominent DEI components and it has completed a comprehensive review and revision of policies pertaining to student organizations to ensure anti-racist practices and approaches. 

Driving Culture Change Through Education

  • IDEAL Learning Journey (Staff): The Learning Journey is a comprehensive program within the Learning and Development pillar of the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee strategic framework. The Learning Journey is an immersive educational program designed to ensure all staff, including leadership, build self-awareness and are educated about biases, racism and injustice, microaggressions, diversity and social justice. The Learning Journey also provides resources that would assist staff in changing their behaviors and habits and influence such changes in others with the aim to create an inclusive environment where staff feel safe to speak up and stand up to racism and injustice. A pilot of the program was completed in summer quarter 2021. Approximately 250 staff participated and shared feedback about their experience. After an evaluation and some adjustments, the Learning Journey will be offered to staff university-wide in 2022.

  • DEI Training for Faculty (Creating Inclusive Spaces of Belonging) (Faculty): This faculty DEI training was developed by the Office of Faculty Development, Diversity and Engagement and was conducted by Berkeley Interactive Theater. The pilot training included 104 faculty members, department chairs, and members of departmental DEI Committees. The training allowed them to participate in a series of three virtual workshops that addressed problem areas in research labs and mentoring/advising situations with students, trainees, and colleagues. Participants in the workshop series went beyond awareness-building into the deeper level of practice and skill-building. They learned how to use an inclusive mindset and specific communication techniques to build more inclusive and equitable environments in labs, research groups, and departments. Options are now being explored to make this training available to wider audiences across the campus.

  • CREATEngagement (Faculty): The Office of Faculty Development, Diversity and Engagement developed a toolkit for fostering climates of engagement in academic units. This comprehensive approach supports the development of an engaging department based on five characteristics of a positive department climate: Collaboration, Respect, Equity, Assistance, and Transparency.

  • Additional Online Faculty Anti-Bias Training Resources (Faculty): The Office of Faculty Development, Diversity and Engagement has developed and compiled online training resources to assist faculty members and administrators in leading discussions or workshops with faculty in departments or schools on anti-bias topics. The materials cover topics including how to recognize and address microaggressions, identifying bias, stereotype threat, and what to do if one sees or experiences one of these actions. The materials also cover, among other subjects, essential conversations in the classroom, difficult conversations, and taking action as an upstander. The materials were developed in consultation with a committee of faculty members and administrators from four schools (Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences; Education; Engineering; Humanities & Sciences) and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

  • Expanded DEI learning opportunities (Students): VPSA’s Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning (ICIL) subdivision is expanding training opportunities for undergraduates in on-campus residences through the National Inclusive Excellence framework. For graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, ICIL has institutionalized the Certificate in Critical Consciousness and Anti-Oppressive Praxis Program developed in the School of Medicine and will soon recruit the next cohort of participants. Planning for additional graduate learning opportunities is underway in consultation with the Graduate Diversity Council. Additionally, the office of Inclusion, Belonging and Intergroup Communication has developed new self-guided learning opportunities on its website and LINKS (Learning, Inclusion, and Knowledge for Students) in-person sessions that utilize experiential activities, educational frameworks, and facilitated conversations/dialogues for all students who are interested in engaging in reflection and having essential conversations around identity, diversity, equity, and justice.

Recruiting Excellence

  • IDEAL Recruit (Staff): The university has made significant progress on developing “IDEAL Recruit,” a program to be rolled out early next year that will implement consistent practices throughout the university to ensure diversity principles are followed in the sourcing of candidates for all positions and that there is diversity in the groups of people making hiring decisions. This program is intended to embed best practices in hiring processes, break down silos, ensure cross-school/unit communications, create accountability for achieving goals and objectives and enhance the skills of those engaged in the recruitment process. 

  • Impacts of Race in America: Faculty Cluster Hire (Faculty): In fall 2020, the university embarked on recruitment and selection of 10 eminent scholars and researchers who are leaders in the study of the impact of race in America, focused on searching in the humanities and social sciences, law, business, education and policy and the impact of race in STEM fields, such as medicine, engineering, and environmental justice. These university-wide searches included all seven schools as well as the Institutes in the Office of the Dean of Research. So far, nine offers for faculty positions have been accepted or are pending.

  • IDEAL Provostial Fellows for Studies in Race and Ethnicity (Faculty): This program supports the work of early-career researchers who will lead the next generation of scholarship in race and ethnicity. The first cohort of five fellows began work at Stanford on September 1, 2021. The program has a number of goals that support IDEAL. In the short term, it will increase the amount of research and teaching related to race and ethnicity at the university. It will be an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to interact with some of the most promising young scholars in the nation doing research about the impacts of race and ethnicity. Longer-term, this program may create opportunities to recruit these individuals to Stanford and enhance the diversity of our faculty. These fellows are appointed for three-year terms and when the program is fully scaled up, it will include 15 fellows in three cohorts.

Addressing Harmful Incidents

  • HR Empathy and Mediation Training (Staff): Understanding that staff would benefit from a variety of dispute resolution options, University Human Resources is designing and implementing a curriculum for HR Directors, HR Managers and Employee Labor Relations, in partnership with the National Conflict Resolution Center, with a focus on making Stanford more inclusive and anti-racist. A pilot will take place early next year. This training can be particularly helpful in addressing race-based incidents or microaggressions and will include a focus on effective conversations, inclusive communications, restorative community-building circles, bystander challenges, and a community-building circle that will bring together all of the lessons learned.

  • Dispute Resolution Academy (Staff): This project is a collaborative effort between Institutional Equity and Access and Stanford Law School to help a broad cross-section of staff and students to develop conflict avoidance and conflict resolution skills. The first session is scheduled for February 2022.

  • Protected Identity Harm Reporting (Students): In October 2021, the office of the Vice Provost of Student Affairs announced the new Protected Identity Harm (PIH), formerly Acts of Intolerance, reporting protocol. The process addresses conduct or incidents that adversely and unfairly target an individual or group based on one or more actual or perceived characteristics: race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender or sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. One goal of the PIH Reporting process is to help students who have been affected by experiences that cause harm because of their identity and allow them to receive a meaningful response and potential resolution. This process is intended to create an environment where students who report harm will feel heard and supported.  

Elevating DEI Work

  • Black Community Council (All Populations):  The Black Community Council was created by President Tessier-Lavigne to have oversight of the initiatives focused on supporting Stanford’s Black community.  This council is charged with: establishing and maintaining holistic knowledge of what is going on with the Black community at Stanford and ensuring that it consistently communicates with the president and his senior leadership team; communicating effectively Stanford’s efforts and progress with respect to issues of diversity and racial justice to its alumni of color and to the broader alumni community; recommending ways to meaningfully and effectively involve Black alumni and alumni of color within the life of the Stanford community ensuring the future success of racial justice initiatives and; recommending an infrastructure for ongoing monitoring in the future.

  • Enhanced Role for Affinity Groups (Staff): Stanford has eight recognized staff groups that include the American Indian Staff Forum, Asian Staff Forum, Black Staff Alliance, Disability Staff Forum, Filipino American Community at Stanford, La Raza Staff Association, Queer University Employees at Stanford and Stanford Staffers. As part of a collaborative effort between the Engagement and Culture subcommittee of the IDEAL Staff advisory committee and the Diversity and Access Office, the university has engaged with the staff groups to discuss both an expanded role for these groups that is aligned with the institutional DEI vision and IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee strategic framework. The enhanced role will include an advisory role for IDEAL initiatives, additional financial resources, executive sponsorship, leadership and mentoring, and resources to assist with event planning and execution

  • School/Department/Business Unit DEI Initiatives (Staff): In addition to the institutional initiatives listed above, a number of schools and departments have independently engaged in substantial DEI efforts. Some of those schools and departments include:

    • Business Affairs (1,000+ employees)
    • External Relations (500+ employees)
    • Land, Buildings and Real Estate (nearly 600 employees)
    • Residential and Dining Enterprises (850+ employees)
    • Stanford Alumni Association (nearly 100 employees)
    • Stanford School of Medicine (7,500+ employees)
    • Vice President of the Arts (nearly 100 employees)
  • Programmatic Funding for Student Communities and Services (All populations): The university has actively and successfully pursued additional funding for areas including the Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership, ethnic theme dorms, and the First Gen and Low-Income office to support these programs’ robust agenda for students. The funding success includes recent endowments in the Asian American Activities Center, the Black Community Services Center and Ujamaa House. 

Collaborating to Find Solutions

  • Disability Task Force (Students/Staff): The Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) and the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Access and Community have collaborated to create a task force to examine the current educational experience of students with disabilities and to recommend steps the university could take to advance further equitable access to opportunities for students with disabilities. The task force will consider ways to improve the delivery of federally-mandated accommodations, such as those facilitated by the Office of Accessible Education, as well as other ways to enhance the educational experiences of students with disabilities. The educational experiences addressed by the task force will include curricular learning as well as learning in the residences, learning through student organization activities, and experiential learning such as public service. HR and other university staff are members of this task force to help translate any learnings for the benefit of staff.

  • Gender Data Enablement (All Populations): This project will improve how our information technology and operational systems collect and present gender identity and pronoun information to the campus including adding gender data attributes to campus IT systems, such as pronouns and gender options, making this data available to allow Stanford community members to be respectfully recognized in campus settings by their appropriate gender, and developing more inclusive institutional reporting that is representative of Stanford’s diverse community.

  • IDEAL for the IT Community at Stanford (Staff): IDEAL IT is a system of programs focused on diversifying recruitment, deepening inclusion and belonging, and increasing overall cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) across Stanford IT. These programs include Neurodiversity in IT, Year UP Internship Program, People of Color in IT, Accessibility in IT, and Women in IT. The program is sponsored as a strategic initiative by the CIO Council.

  • Pilot Program to Support Students with Disabilities (Students): The university, in partnership with students in the disability community, is launching a pilot space and program to support students with Disabilities.  This includes the hiring of a Graduate Coordinator, programming funds, and a dedicated community space that can be accessed after hours with access to a conference room and kitchen.