During the comment period for the initial working draft of Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University (shared with the Brown community on November 19, 2015), there were 62 submissions, edits, comments, etc. in the category of inclusion (see the Proposals Received section below listing the input). Appendix D of the final DIAP summarizes how the University addressed this input in the final revisions to the DIAP.

Comments in this section primarily focus on questions of implementation, timeline, staff support, participation and transparency, accountability, and clear guidelines for producing these documents. There was palpable concern over whether departments have the capacity, expertise, and willingness to complete these plans effectively. As a result, there were multiple suggestions to increase central resources to assist in the creation of these documents, including increased staffing in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) and Provost’s office, the creation of guides and templates, and increased accountability measures to ensure successful completion.

There was general support for the need for these department-level plans, and subsequent calls for greater transparency (making the plans public to all), and for requiring non-traditional departments like Athletics, the Swearer Center, the Watson Institute, the Pembroke Center, etc., to complete DDIAPs.

Proposals Received: Departmental DIAPs (DDIAPs)

  • Require that departmental diversity action plans be made public and accessible on each department website immediately following their approval.
  • Create a system for approval through the OIDI for departmental diversity action plans.
  • Require Centers like Swearer, Pembroke, and Watson to produce Departmental DIAPs.
  • Require athletics department to complete a departmental diversity action plan.
  • Develop a competitive funding pool for departments to creatively address issues of diversity and inclusion in their departments and to develop new shareable models.
  • Identify existing or hire new OIDI staff member to assist with the development of departmental diversity action plans.
  • Clarify the timeline for the department diversity action plans.
  • Identify the tools, resources, and funding available to achieve departmental level diversity action plans.
  • Outline the process of departmental procedures to create the DDIAPs. Include the active participation of undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Guarantee of compensation for students who have been tapped to help develop the DDIAPs, preferably in the form of releasing them from their teaching assistant (TA) or residential assistant (RA) obligations for the Spring 2016 semester, or by providing additional funding for the summer.