Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jake Holweger
Sustainability Intern
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

Approximately every 18 months, The Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success (IES) works closely with the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) to administer the culture and climate survey to VCU employees through REDCap.

IES also distributes a separate systems diversity survey via Google Forms to each senior-most leader of each major business unit (MBU) at VCU to inquire on the diversity and inclusion practices in their academic or administrative unit.

IES analyzes the combined responses by applying a proprietary algorithm to measure:
Diversity Index - measures the diversity of staff within a unit including the probability of randomly selecting two underrepresented minority (URM) employees, proportion of female and male employees in leadership roles and the diversity of vocabulary used within the MBU's publications, i.e., ads, plans, curriculum handbooks, etc.
Inclusion Index - measures behaviors related to inclusive environments
Engagement Index - measures the conditions of the work environment conducive to engagement
A fourth measure, the Performance Index, measures overall employee satisfaction and perceptions of unit productivity. However, the results of the Performance Index are only shared between IES and the MBU.

Because of the proprietary nature of both the survey questions and algorithm, we will not be able to disclose the exact framework for measuring and ranking MBUs. However, the following presentation by Dr. Nasim provides more detail on the process from administering the survey to creating the dashboard.
URL: https://www.airweb.org/resources/publications/eair-newsletter/special-features/2021/02/18/ensuring-diversity-drives-excellence-a-cross-departmental-collaboration

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of employees and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs, and initiatives:

IES drafts and offers recommendations to each MBU. Given this information, the MBUs can either make changes or updates to their policies, protocols and procedures to bolster their standing as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); to improve their standing for the next administration of the culture and climate survey. Or if a unit received high scores, maintain what they are doing well and consider expending time and resources on new and innovative ways to maintain their DEI standing.

Based on the aforementioned algorithm the top MBUs at VCU are as follows (* indicates a tie):
1. Development and Alumni Relations
2. School of Pharmacy
3. Office of Research and Innovation
4.* Office of the Vice President for Finance and Budget
4.* Office of the President

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

At the time of the completion of the assessment, results were shared via the Campus Culture and Climate Ratings dashboard, https://inclusive.vcu.edu/dashboard/. This report is publicly available online and was featured in VCU News articles and emails to give exposure of this dashboard to the wider community.

The culture and climate team consists of Aashir Nasim, Ph.D., Jan Altman, Ph.D. and a member from IRDS (yet to be named for this year). Individual and customized reports that include the aforementioned recommendations, data analysis by IES, definitions and a brief overview are compiled and presented to each MBU both in digital form and through presentations by the three members of the culture and climate team. The MBUs, in turn, have an opportunity to ask the team questions and follow up on the recommendations provided.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary (upload):

Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Some portions of this text are attributed to Manny Liban, Director of Communications and Information Management, Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success (IES)

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.