In the fall of 2020, we launched an effort to develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic plan. CFANS hired Strategic Diversity Initiatives (SDI) to provide objective, third-party support in assessing collegiate culture and climate.
SDI provided a DEI assessment for the College in the spring of 2021. The results of the DEI assessment coupled with a report from the CFANS Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) titled “Summer 2020 Anti-racism Feedback Report,” brought to light the need for a DEI strategic plan. In late spring of 2021, the CFANS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) was established through a nomination and selection process. This committee convened throughout the summer of 2021 in collaboration with the SDI consultant, CFANS Director of the Office for Diversity (ODI), CDI, and CFANS Director of Human Resources (HR) to create a collegiate five-year DEI strategic plan.
The SPC prioritized the experiences and feedback from CFANS faculty, students, staff, and alumni who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) in the strategic plan. CFANS aspires to be a college that confronts its history and actively works to build a community where everyone can thrive, even when in conflict.
Simultaneously, the University of Minnesota is working on a system-wide strategic plan, MPact 2025, which also includes a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The SPC expects that efforts within the College will be in alignment with the University’s DEI system-wide goals and that CFANS will continue to partner with central offices, programs, and centers that are dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as collaboration and partnerships are crucial to our success.
CFANS has actively engaged in DEI efforts for many years and as such, the strategic plan considers the already existing DEI infrastructure within the college. CFANS was the first college in the Twin Cities to create a focused Office for Diversity and Inclusion in 2007, but despite these efforts, it is clear the intended impact has not been realized. Therefore, the CFANS DEI Strategic Plan contains additional initiatives and assessments. This two-pronged focus will encourage the College to take appropriate action with existing initiatives, including transforming existing, developing new, and/or stopping initiatives when necessary.
The major goal areas of the CFANS DEI Strategic Plan are (in no particular order):
- Institutional Accountability Goal
- Faculty & Staff Expectations Goal
- Education and Curriculum Goal
- Tribal Relations Goal
- Community Leadership Goal
Under each of the above goal areas, the plan includes a college-level goal, recommended actions, and proposed strategies:
- The college-level goal is the overall objective for the College to reach.
- The recommended actions include steps or relationships to achieve this goal.
- The proposed strategies are high-level tactics to achieve these actions.
The intention for including corresponding actions and strategies under each goal is to provide initial momentum at the collegiate level. Departments, units, and centers will use this document to inform their planning by mapping their efforts to these goal areas. The ODI and CDI will coordinate, communicate, and provide guidance to CFANS on implementing the strategic plan.