The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

A Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Enough With the Lip Service … It’s Time for Action!

if not now whenRecent events at the University of Missouri and Yale (and several other institutions over the past couple of years) should serve as a reminder that a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion MUST be the personal and professional responsibility of every higher education leader, as well as the responsibility of every member of the campus community.

Our Shared Institutional Responsibility
Higher education human resources professionals, and others responsible for managing the higher ed workforce, directly affect institutional excellence by fostering individual commitment to and engagement in building a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. This means that we all must work together to build institutional capacity and individual capability, to shape culture and to cultivate supportive and inclusive learning environments that advance organizational effectiveness and success.

Our Unique Position to Provide Leadership
Higher ed HR professionals are uniquely positioned to, and therefore must, provide leadership for institutional efforts to expand the opportunities and address the challenges created by the changing workforce and the local, global and environmental forces prompting those changes. Knowing the importance of this work, CUPA-HR has worked diligently to create programs, services and resources to help those working in higher ed HR develop the knowledge, skills and cultural competence they need to help institutions manage these significant opportunities and challenges.

These resources can also help those responsible for managing the higher ed workforce explicitly replace barriers that create discrimination, exclusion and bias (both conscious and unconscious) with inclusive and equitable practices. The role of higher ed to develop the talent and capabilities of the future global workforce makes this work imperative.

A Call to Action
For the last five years, your higher ed HR peers and CUPA-HR national office staff have been working to develop and link to resources and tools that can help create and foster a more inclusive environment on campus. Our newest resource, the Building a Successful, More Inclusive Search e-learning course, was designed to speak specifically to how we can attract diverse candidate pools for faculty and staff positions on campus. A companion facilitated version of this course will be available in January so that you can adapt this resource to meet the specific challenges, needs and goals of your campus community.

Also in January, CUPA-HR will be launching its Creating Inclusive Communities project, which we hope will be the springboard to help campuses build community through the sharing of individual experiences that encourage us to value our similarities and differences and increase our understanding of the importance of diversity to our communities.

We look forward to continuing our work and to helping you foster and create a welcoming, inclusive environment on campus.