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CESS Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

Dear Colleagues –

To further our commitment to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion within

CESS and at UVM, we have been charged by Dean Scott Thomas to engage in a
process within our CESS community to create a revised edition of our CESS
Strategic Action Plan for Diversity and Inclusion. This revised action plan will
complement our CESS Strategic Plan (2022) by embedding diversity change
strategies within all aspects of our work. All Colleges and Divisions at UVM are
undertaking similar iterative actions in accordance with President Sullivan’s and
Vice President Heading-Grant’s directive, “to map out high leverage points,
strategic goals, obstracles to be addressed, and measurable actions that move the
needle on inclusive excellence, and which are aligned with the UVM Framework
for Inclusive Excellence.” Each College and Division will be required to create an
Impact Report during the 2020-2021 academic year detailing impact our efforts
have had since Spring 2017.

Dean Scott Thomas has asked that in the process of revising this action plan that
we re ect the ve high leverage change opportunities that he outlined  in his
Dean’s Message of March 26, 2018 (located on the CESS “About Us” webpage);
create measurable actions that will produce small wins producing culminative
impacts toward desired change; and adhere to planning that is reasonable in
scope and responsible in resource management. We plan to nalize the plan in
June, and launch it in September 2019 with the aim to help us move closer to the
ideals of our mission and vision in the College. We are asking for your feedback on
this plan that is newly framed using the concepts of People, Programs, and Place;
but, it was rst developed in alignment within the framework of UVM's four pillars
of UVM’s Inclusive Excellence.

This survey is designed to present the near nal draft of diversity and inclusion
action statements developed by varying degrees of involvement by the
contributors listed below. You will be asked after each of the three sections
(People, Programs, and Place) to concisely share what resonates with you and what
feedback you would like to offer. The CESS Faculty Committee on Equity, Action
and Diversity will host a Diversity Brown Bag forum on May 3 at noon to host a
conversation about this action plan (to be held in Waterman 426). This survey will
close on May 10.

Thank you for your input on this important strategic action planning document,
and your ongoing commitment to advance equity, diversity and inclusion every

Lynn C. White Cloud, and Tiffanie Spencer

Co-Chairs, CESS Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan Committee


CESS Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan


Scott Thomas, Professor/Dean of the College of Education and Social

Lynn C. White Cloud, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs,
Co-Chair CESS Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan Committee/Co-
convener, CESS Diversity Action Plan Work Group (Community, PCIE Pillar
Tiffanie Spencer, Director for Diversity and Community Engagement, Co-
Chair CESS Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan Committee/Co-
convener, CESS Diversity Action Plan Work Group (Community, PCIE Pillar

with colleagues,

Ellen Baker, Director of Teacher Education, DOE

Kate Ball, Business Manager, SWSS
Emma Bielicki, Undergraduate Student (Class of 2020), Secondary
Education (History) with Education for Cultural & Linguistic Diversity
Penny Bishop, Professor, DOE/Associate Dean for Innovation and
Pam Blum, Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration/Convener, CESS
Diversity Action Plan Work Group (Operations, PCIE Pillar 4)
Tricia Brown, Lecturer, DOE
Lisa Cota, Director of Assessment, Data and Accreditation
Jessica DeMink-Carthew, Assistant Professor, DOE
Hedy Eagan, Graduate Student, Higher Education and Student Affairs
(M.Ed. 2018)/Program Coordinator for Residential Life
Jean Evans, Business Manager
Marisol Garcia-Bender, Undergraduate Student (Class of 2020), SWSS
Bernice Garnett, Associate Professor, DOE/Co-Chair, CESS Faculty
Committee on Equity, Action, and Diversity (CEAD)
Jay Garvey, Assistant Professor, DLDS
Doug Gilman, Communications Director
Quin Gosnell, Graduate Student, Educational Leadership and Policy
Haley Grigel, Student Services Coordinator
Shana Haines, Assistant Professor, DOE
Kieran Killeen, Associate Professor, DLDS/Associate Dean for Graduate
and Non-Degree Programming
Winnie Looby, Lecturer, DD Certificate Program Director
Marshall Murphy, Undergraduate Student (Class of 2020), Elementary
Education with Nutrition & Food Sciences, and Education for Cultural &
Linguistic Diversity
Jeanne Nauheimer, Dissemination Coordinator for the Center on Disability
and Community
Jen Prue, Senior Lecturer, DOE
Kunie Renaud, Business Manager
Cynthia Reyes, Associate Professor, DOE
Emily Schwartz, Undergraduate Student (2021), Secondary Education
(History) with Special Education
Katie Shepherd, Professor, DOE/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and
Research/Convener, CESS Diversity Action Plan Work Group (Academics,
PCIE Pillar 1)
Lance Smith, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, the Graduate
Counseling Program/Co-Chair, CESS Faculty Committee on Equity, Action,
and Diversity (CEAD)
Jesse Suter, Research Associate Professor/Executive Director, Center on
Disability & Community Inclusion/Co-convener, CESS Diversity Action Plan
Work Group (Environment, PCIE Pillar 3)
Alan Tinkler, Associate Professor, DOE
Leon Walls, Associate Professor, DOE/Former member of the UVM
President’s Commission for Inclusive Excellence (PCIE)

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1. Continue using a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee

appointed by and reporting to the Dean, and co-chaired by designates. The
committee will make recommendations on the pace of progress and maintain
current revisions to the diversity and inclusion action plan.  This work will be
done in a highly consultative and collaborative manner to examine trends,
opportunities, and potential obstacles. The committee will also be responsible
for compiling information for an annual CESS Impact Report and other reports
as requested by the University.  The committee members will be appointed for
a two-year service commitment beginning in Fall 2019.

2. Continue interrogating the concept of multicultural competency, and why

this alone is not enough to achieve our collective goals related to equity and
a) Create a working group or use an existing committee to propose shared
terminology and de nitions (e.g., critical consciousness) to guide how we
engage in topics related to equity to vet with faculty, staff, students and
community partners. (by end of Fall 2019)
b) Based upon recommendations from the working group, plan a faculty
and staff CESS retreat and/or meetings for faculty and staff focused
on critical consciousness professional development. (to be held by
May 2020)

3. Utilize the annual performance review as a time for faculty/staff to self-

re ect on equity and diversity related issues. Embed equity and diversity
assessment throughout workload documents, in alignment with CESS and
UVM guidelines further operationalizing our Dean’s commitments to equity
made in March 2018. (begin in Fall 2019)

4. Create an annual awards program that recognizes faculty, staff and students
to recognize exceptional diversity and equity work in CESS who pursue
inclusive excellence in teaching, research and/or service, to be managed by the
CESS Dean's Of ce.  Additionally, the CESS Innovation Fund and other internal
grants will award a designated percentage to proposals that demonstrate
impact on diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. (by Spring 2020)

5. Identify strengths and opportunities within current approaches to

connecting students from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds to
university supports and resources, including options within the new EAB
Navigator advising system. (Fall 2020)

6. Heighten visibility of faculty and staff involved in institutional diversity and

equity leadership, research, and practices (e.g., the Provost’s Of ce Diversity
Faculty Fellows program, leaders in Residential Life and Student Affairs,
CDCI, etc.), and facilitate awareness of these partnerships through structured
reporting and resource sharing connected to CESS strategic priorities. (launch
Spring 2020)
7. Encourage CESS college- and departmental-wide concurrent hiring of
faculty and staff who prioritize inclusive and social justice centered practices
in their research, teaching and practice, particularly when multiple positions
are open simultaneously.  Particular emphasis should be focused on faculty
and staff who identify as being part of underrepresented identities. Activation
and fostering of these strategies should result in a 5-10% increase in
diversifying the faculty and staff within 4 years. (by end of Spring 2023)

8. Develop a CESS student (graduate and undergraduate) cohort of equity

fellows whose role is to examine issues of equity in the college, provide
leadership through student-led programming, and serve as consultants with
faculty, for example the CESS Committee on Equity Action and Diversity
(CEAD), and staff (e.g., The Of ce of Student Services, The Director of
Diversity and Community Engagement) for development of curricular and co-
curricular programming. (begin in Spring 2020, and launch in Fall 2020) 

9. Share transparent college- and departmental-wide funding and

staf ng/leadership models of resources devoted to equity programming.
(begin in Summer 2019)

10. Develop a core team of CESS faculty, students, staff, and community
members to collaborate with CESS senior leadership in creating action items
informed by university campus climate results and follow-up processes,
including how data will be shared and will inform change. (Summer/Fall 2019)

11. Enhance monitoring (such as collection, tracking, disseminating, and

analyzing data) of CESS compositional diversity of students, faculty, staff, and
community partners as mutually decided (e.g., self-reported data) that re ects
CESS’s commitment to equity and representation including identities that may
include but are not limited to: representation across multiple marginalized
identities including, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity,
English language learners, and caretaker status. (Spring 2020)

12. Examine and formalize existing exit interview form questions and process
for CESS faculty and staff. (begin 2019-2020)

13. Explore scholarship funding opportunities for our in-state and out-of-state
underrepresented students in both undergraduate and graduate programs
while following University policies in creation of these scholarships. (begin

 What resonates with you about the statements of People, and what

feedback would you like to offer?

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1. Based upon an inventory of needs across the College, provide annual college
professional development opportunities designed to support faculty in 1)
incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles in their teaching,
2) designing curricula informed by an evolving equity and social justice
framework, 3) ensuring that syllabi and teaching materials re ect current
guidelines on accessibility, and 4) continuing to develop their own critical
consciousness concerning issues relevant to their role in higher education. (by
Spring 2022)

2. Incentivize faculty teaching in D1 and D2 courses to participate in annual

professional development related to curriculum development and facilitation
of classroom conversations and interactions related to diversity. (by Spring

3. Advance annual priorities of the CESS and Student Accessibility Services

(SAS) Work Group:
a) Partner with SAS to offer annual in-service opportunities and resources
access (orientation, faculty meetings, etc.) to increase faculty members'
understanding of accessibility services, compliance, and accommodations.
(beginning in Fall 2019)
b) Work with University SAS and the Center for Teacher and Learning
(CTL) to review data and develop means of better incorporating
commonly needed supports into curriculum. (beginning in Fall 2019)

4. Form a working group to examine approaches to incorporating explicit

diversity and inclusion criteria into annual evaluations for faculty and staff
within the college, and evaluate using instruments designed for this purpose
(e.g., for faculty, revised course evaluations that allow students to evaluate
instructors’ awareness to diversity and inclusion). (by end of Spring 2020)

5. Create, vet, and pilot CESS equity related questions for course
evaluations.  Consider language that addresses classroom conversations,
valuing student identities/presence, and ability of professor to cultivate
critical spaces for learning and growth as it relates to equity and diversity. (by
Fall 2019 and Spring 2020)

6. In the process of considering these changes, ensure that the proposed

solution minimizes the potential for evaluations of courses to negatively affect
faculty teaching these courses, and in particular, faculty teaching D1/D2
courses, faculty of color and women. (by end of Fall 2019)

7. Examine and analyze aggregate students of color evaluation responses and

trends to identify opportunities and obstacles as it relates to diversity and
equity. (by end of Fall 2020)

8. The CESS Strategic Innovation Fund program and other internal grants will
include speci c criteria around inclusive excellence and will have the option to
give preference to proposals that demonstrate impact on inclusive excellence.
(begin in 2019-2020) 
9. Establish two to four external formal MOU CESS accessible pathway
partnerships to foster recruitment, enrollment, and retention of students of
color and other underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., rst generation, low-
income, English Language Learners, individuals with developmental
disabilities, learners who do not have a four-year degree, learners who have
degrees in other countries) towards CESS undergraduate, graduate, and
certi cate programs. Activation and fostering of these partnerships should
result in a minimum sustainable annual increase of 2% (10 to 14 students). (by
Spring 2021)

10. Create a mentorship and retention program for CESS undergraduate and
graduate students who self-identify as students of color and other
underrepresented identities. Program design and outcomes should be created
in collaboration with CESS colleagues advancing retention, students
representing underrepresented ethnicities/races and identities, campus
partners, and in accordance with current research and best practices of
mentoring and retention programs. (by end of Fall 2019)

11. Create space/structure/time for faculty-, staff-, and student-led

discussions about issues of climate, discrimination, and race open to CESS
students, faculty, and staff. Use exit surveys to monitor and evaluate impact
for participants and leaders. (begin in Spring 2020)

12. Develop an inventory of current diversity and equity curricular, co-

curricular and professional development initiatives within CESS including
availability, use and partnerships; identify gaps, opportunities, and resource
allocations. (Spring 2020)

13. Offer and provide resources for an annual CESS diversity lecture series
hosted by the Committee for Equity Action and Diversity (CEAD) Committee.
(Spring 2019)
14. Acknowledge ongoing work to improve digital and physical accessibility
within the college. (Spring 2020)

15. Determine and implement communication plans for accessibility

issues. Utilize expertise of the CESS Business Of ce, CDCI, and the university
ADA Coordinator to determine and implement communication plans for
accessibility priorities. (begin rst phase of plan by Fall 2019)

 What resonates with you about the statements of Programs, and

what feedback would you like to offer?

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1. Create and implement an annual physical accessibility plan that prioritizes

research, training and technical assistance (e.g., Jean S. Garvin
Fellowship). (Fall 2020)

2. Conduct an annual accessibility audit of CESS' digital content, and

recommend prioritized changes. (by end of Fall 2019/Spring 2020)

3. Collaborate with Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on adopting

Onboard Bb Ally, including formulating adoption timeline and any necessary
training. (Fall 2019 launch)

4. Create an annual calendar to promote and offer accessibility focused

digital and software tools. (Fall 2019 launch)

5. Create and implement a cultural and language artifact audit of CESS

affiliated physical and digital environments. (Fall 2021)
6. Use CDCI and other accessibility and cultural checklists (i.e., “Building
Wider Doors” Blackboard Jungle workshop resources) to plan for hosting
inclusive events. (Spring 2020)

7. Annually have each CESS academic program provide one compelling

write up for CESS media relating to inclusive excellence following CESS
guidelines for creating and submitting. (begin in 2019-2020)

8. Create a CESS diversity and inclusive excellence webpage

encompassing our strategic priorities and impact, while integrating content
throughout all CESS web pages (by 2020-2021). Promote and create a
CESS-wide campaign that connects climate assessment results with action-
oriented change (much like DOSA’s "You Said, We Acted” accessible via
webpage, but also disseminated electronically and/or by printed material.
(Fall 2020)

 What resonates with you about the statements of Place, and what

feedback would you like to offer?

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