The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

CUPA-HR’s DEI Maturity Index – A Tool to Improve DEI Among the Higher Ed Workforce

In the last decade, much emphasis has been placed on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in higher education, but efforts are often focused on the student population rather than the higher ed workforce.

In a recent CUPA-HR webinar, Jackie Bichsel, director of research at CUPA-HR, shared that the current COVID-19 crisis has shed even more light on the lack of progress and guidance in this area. Women and minority jobs have been impacted disproportionately during the early stages of the crisis, and history shows that these groups are typically the first to lose their jobs and the slowest to recover from an economic recession.

While current events can easily overshadow conversations surrounding DEI, CUPA-HR’s DEI Maturity Index is one way to bring this critical topic back into focus.

What Is the DEI Maturity Index?

CUPA-HR’s DEI Maturity Index, sponsored by Segal, was designed with the help of higher ed HR leaders and professionals across the country to help higher ed institutions take meaningful steps in their DEI efforts around faculty and staff.

The index helps you measure your institution’s progress on five areas of workforce DEI, including communication and education; assessment; culture; investment and infrastructure; and compensation, recruitment, and retention. Based on your responses, the index identifies areas for improvement and provides resources for each factor to guide your next steps toward creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive higher ed workforce.

Results So Far

So far, more than 130 unique institutions have utilized the maturity index to gauge their DEI efforts. Based on their responses, the average DEI score across participating institutions is 2.15 with the lowest score being 0 and the highest score being 5. The factor with the lowest overall average score is assessment, and the factor with the highest score is investment and infrastructure.

These results show that while institutions are thinking about DEI and making some effort on their campuses, they lack the strategies to communicate the value of DEI across campus and fall short on assessing the effectiveness of current resources and practices.

How does your institution score on each of the five DEI factors in the index? Take the free assessment to pinpoint areas in which you can begin to move the needle on DEI; then, explore resources for development on each DEI factor.

Related resources:

CUPA-HR Research

CUPA-HR’s DEI Maturity Index Helps Institutions Identify Gaps in DEI Efforts (Higher Ed HR Magazine)

Here’s How CUPA-HR Is Contributing to the Pay Equity Conversation (The Higher Ed Workplace Blog)

The Equity Case for Competency-Based Hiring (Higher Ed HR Magazine)