The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee added a section in the faculty annual report to encourage a stronger commitment to DEI across all departments.
TCU’s new online system, Faculty180, documents every permanent faculty member’s achievements in awards, teaching, and service. The system gives the university access to this data in order to find new ways for the university to support them.
In addition, the new DEI section asks faculty to list examples illustrating a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion from teaching, research and/or service to their department, their college, the university and toward their profession.
Dr. Karen Steele, associate vice provost and co-chair of the DEI committee, said those who have shown advocacy and commitment through the reports will be rewarded, but faculty who have not shown much commitment to DEI will not lose merit.
The DEI section of the report is currently optional, however, Dr. Steele hopes it can be a requirement for faculty in the future.
“Some departments here have not devoted much of their time to committing to diversity, equity and inclusion in their profession as often as they would have liked to,” Steele said. “Making this section optional in the report gives them an opportunity to get used to the idea.”
Timeka Gordon, director of Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services, said leaving the DEI optional lets faculty reflect on their own values and decide if those values match with that of TCU’s.
“If faculty is going to do it, it’s for the greater good and their values are in line with the university,” Gordon said. “If their values are not in line with the university, then they’ll have to ask themselves if this is the place where they want to be.”
The DEI committee has done research with other leading universities across the nation, such as the University of Michigan, and used their input to produce this process in order to solicit input from faculty.
“It’s about being proactive rather than reactive in response to the changes of higher education in DEI,” Steele said.