Letter of Support from Provost Christopher Alan Bracey
The George Washington University is home to a vibrant community of scholars and employees hailing from all around the world – we are a truly global university. In our classrooms, research spaces, and offices, we are challenged and strengthened by a diversity of thought, experience, and perspective, enabling us to gain a deeper understanding of the world and our own community.
We have a shared responsibility to ensure that our university is nondiscriminatory and harassment-free, and that all members of our community feel welcome to learn, teach, and work to their fullest potential in an inclusive and equitable environment. GW has at times fallen short of this goal, and we have more work to do. As we witness continued bias, discrimination, racism, and other forms of oppression across the country and around the world, we must do everything we can to identify, acknowledge, and work to end, through informed action, any such inequities affecting members of our community.
With the Diversity Program Review Team, we are now taking another significant step toward positive change and building a more inclusive environment, amplifying the voices and experiences of all members of our community. The engagement of the entire community will be critical as we undertake this collaborative, university-wide, and transparent initiative.
In January 2021, the university embarked on a process to review, understand, and take action towards becoming the most inclusive campus possible for all members of the GW community. The Office of the Provost announced that it would conduct a diversity audit and invited organizations to submit proposals to support and guide us through the audit process. After reviewing the submissions, Provost Bracey determined that a better approach would be to utilize GW community members to conduct a comprehensive review of our efforts to impact diversity, equity, and inclusion among our student, staff, and faculty cohorts.
In partnership with the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE), led by Caroline Laguerre-Brown, we developed a diversity program review proposal and timeline that prioritizes the voices and experiences of all members in our community. In addition to significant involvement from students, staff, faculty, and the Board of Trustees, the draft proposal includes a thorough review of current policies and practices, focus groups and interviews, and an external review by a selected board of scholars leading this type of work nationally. This independent evaluation will be critical in informing our efforts moving forward. The university intends to review the findings and recommendations advanced by the review process, and develop a diversity action plan that includes goals, action items, and regular assessments to track our progress.
The GW Diversity Program Review Team (DPRT) will be appointed by the Provost and will be tasked with conducting a campus diversity, equity, and inclusion program review and producing a final report rooted in data and scholarship. That review will also include a fresh look and analysis of the benefits of student diversity at GW and its contributions to the educational environment. The review process will be a collaborative, university-wide, and transparent initiative to determine progress made and areas of opportunity, and to propose long-term ways to address structural issues impacting members of our community. The DPRT’s work will be grounded in campus climate research and scholarship, and an anti-racist and intersectional framework that uplifts all voices and experiences, while critically examining our policies, practices, and procedures.
The phases of the review process will include the following:
Phase I: Establish the Diversity Program Review Team, chaired by the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement and reporting to Interim Provost Bracey
Phase II: Collaboratively determine areas of focus and collect appropriate data
Phase III: Launch a campus-wide diversity climate survey
Phase IV: Create reports and executive summaries describing areas of focus, including themes, areas of opportunity, and recommendations informed by quantitative & qualitative data
Phase V: Engage a nominated external review team to review and assess the DPRT's work and make recommendations
Phase VI: Host GW community-wide forums
Phase VII: Submit concrete action plan forward for university leadership, including specific deliverables, timeline, and resources needed
The DPRT will be the main working group for the diversity program review. We will also engage a broader group of constituents through the use of several advisory councils that include deans, students, faculty, and staff.
- Presentations and sessions for DPRT
- Sub-groups meet to determine and finalize plan
- Campus climate survey administered
- Fall data collection planning
- Report development and writing
- Data collection and review
- Draft reports completed
- Final reports completed
- External review of reports
- Community forums
- Recommended diversity action plan submitted to leadership
GW Climate Survey
As a critical step in its fact-finding process, the Diversity Program Review Team, in collaboration with the Office of Survey Research and Analysis, created a campus climate survey to gather information about the current university climate related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. The survey closed on Friday, May 27. It collected anonymous responses, which will be reported in aggregate form.
Friday, May 27, 2022: GW Climate Survey Closed
Tuesday, April 19, 2022: GW Climate Survey Now Open
Monday, April 18, 2022: Diversity Program Review Climate Survey Opens Tuesday, April 19
Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Announcing the Diversity Program Review Team
We define climate as “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential” (Hurtado, 1992; Rankin, 2001).
Rankin’s research maintains that positive personal experiences with campus climate and positive perceptions of campus climate generally equate to successful outcomes. Examples of successful outcomes include positive educational experiences and healthy identity development for students, productivity and sense of value for faculty and staff, and overall well-being for all.
This survey is designed to assist GW with gathering information about the current university climate related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. Though the climate in a community is ever-changing, the survey will enable the Diversity Program Review Team to understand in real time the experiences of members of our community. Community participation in this process is critical and will inform the recommendations and actions GW takes going forward to improve the university climate.
The Diversity Program Review Team partnered with the Office of Survey Research and Analysis to develop the survey internally. It is rooted in scholarship and research and uses questions based on vetted questions from national climate surveys.
Students, faculty, and staff who attend or are employed at The George Washington University are eligible to take the survey.
All individual responses are anonymous and no identifiers are used to track respondents. Data will be aggregated and analyzed, and results will be shared publicly with the GW community only for groups large enough to preclude individual identification. You can skip any questions that you prefer not to answer, except the first question about your primary role. To uphold the anonymity of respondents, there is no way to save the survey and return.
It is important to create opportunities to maximize participation and inclusivity and to reach historically underrepresented populations in the community. Random sampling may cause us to “miss” certain populations, particularly those with small numbers
The Office of Survey Research will aggregate and analyze the data from the results and create a report for the Diversity Program Review Team, the provost, the president, and the Board of Trustees. The results of the survey, supplemented with other information-gathering that includes focus groups, individual interviews, and more, will be used to inform the diversity action plan for leadership.
Results will be shared publicly with the GW community only for groups large enough to preclude individual identification.
Caroline Laguerre-Brown, Vice Provost, Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (Chair)
Jordan West, Associate Vice Provost, Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement
Jennifer James, Co-Chair; Director, Africana Studies Program and Associate Professor of English, CCAS
Forrest Maltzman, Co-Chair; Professor of Political Science, CCAS
Lorena A. Barba, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, SEAS
Cheryl Beil, Associate Provost, Academic Planning and Assessment
Don Braman, Associate Professor of Law, GW Law
Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff, Professor of International Affairs, International Business, and Public Policy & Public Administration, ESIA
Candice Chen, Associate Professor in Health Policy and Management, GWSPH
Wendy Ellis, Assistant Professor in Global Health and Director of the Center for Community Resilience, GWSPH
Kathleen Griffith, Assistant Dean, PhD Program in Nursing; Associate Professor, Department of Acute and Chronic Care, SON
Shaista Khilji, Professor of Human and Organizational Learning & International Affairs, GSEHD
Irene Oh, Chair, Religion Department and Associate Professor of Religion, CCAS
Howard Straker, Director, Physician Assistant/MPH Program and Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, SMHS
Sarah Wagner, Professor of Anthropology, CCAS
Mike Williams, Chair; Assistant Dean, Student Affairs, SON
Kate Carpenter, SMPA '23
Imani Cheers, Interim Senior Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, CCAS
Colette Coleman, Vice Provost for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Stephen Forssell, Director, LGBT Health Policy & Practice, CCAS
Abigail Francis, Executive Secretary of Academic Affairs, Student Association, CCAS/ESIA
Jay Goff, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Success
Emily A. Lou, GW Presidential Fellow, MPH Candidate, GWSPH '23
Jendi Samai, J.D. Candidate, GW Law '23
Tanya Vogel, Director, Athletics
Yan Xu, Vice President, Student Association, ESIA '24
Christian Zidouemba, President, Student Association, ESIA
Natasha Kazeem, Co-Chair; Executive Associate Dean, Operations & Chief Operating Officer, GWSPH
Jonathan Walker, Co-Chair; Senior Assistant Dean, Student Services, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, ESIA
Amy Cohen, Executive Director, Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service
S'Monita Jackson, Associate Vice President, Financial Management Divisions
Sabrina Minor, Interim Vice President & Chief People Officer
Pilar Segura Little, Graduate Career Consultant, GWSB
Mafona Shea, Human Resource Management and Development, CCAS and LAI
Jessica Tischler, Interim Assistant Vice President, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Access
- Administrator Council
- Deans Advisory Council
- Faculty Advisory Council
- Student Advisory Council
- Staff Advisory Council
- Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement Leadership Team
- Collaborative for Inclusive Excellence
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