DEI Strategic Action Plan

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan

(Adopted Fall 2021 Semester; Updated on November 16, 2021)

The Moody College of Communication is committed to a culture of inclusion and equity in which all of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors are welcome and respected. We believe that embracing diversity, within our faculty, staff, students, and curricula, creates a beneficial atmosphere for teaching, learning, and inquiry, and is a necessary condition for preparing our students to succeed in a diverse world and to change it for the better. (Read our full Diversity Statement at https://moody.utexas.edu/diversity/about)

Background 

To ensure we are living up to our core commitment of creating a more equitable, diverse, and just environment within the Moody College of Communication, this Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Action Plan was finalized in Summer 2021 and adopted with revisions in Fall 2021. This plan outlines actionable steps for Moody College to implement in accordance with the needs of our faculty, staff, and students.  The primary intention of this plan is to create a learning and working environment that is equitable, inclusive, and just; and where individual differences are valued and serve as a source of collective empowerment.  Individual units within Moody College are encouraged to develop their own DEI Action Plans, linked to this plan, to meet the unique needs and challenges of their units.

Mindful of the important diversity-related issues concerning college campuses across the country, the Moody College DEI Committee developed the following specific recommendations to bring greater focus to our current efforts and strengthen a spirit of inclusion across all our programs.  This plan outlines recommended and/or required guidelines and practices that support tangible goals and measurable outcomes designed to improve our community and culture.  These goals and actions provide Moody College with a plan of action and accountability to meet and exceed our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Objective 1: Establish and maintain an equitable and inclusive culture and climate in Moody College.

Actions:

  1. Conduct a biennial DEI Climate Survey, share the findings within the college, and use the results to establish and prioritize initiatives within the college that create and sustain a more equitable culture and climate.
  2. Conduct regular audits and analyses on college data related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic background, recruitment, hiring, promotion, pay, workloads, and/or retention to promote equity in the learning and work environment, and share the findings within the college.
  3. Offer mentoring and support as part of a comprehensive mentoring program that addresses the specific needs of our historically underrepresented faculty, staff, and students to help increase research, scholarship, and program funding.
  4. Host an annual DEI Town Hall to create a forum where the Moody community feels safe to speak on issues centered on equity, inclusion, access, and justice, and to assess overall progress toward our goals.
  5. Establish faculty, staff, and student recognitions and awards to recognize outstanding accomplishments of diversity, equity, and inclusion within Moody College.
  6. Provide training and learning opportunities on diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially for supervisors and managers, to assist with overall professional development.
  7. Require all members of Faculty Search Committees to complete Implicit Bias training offered by the university.*
  8. Require applicants in all faculty searches to submit a diversity statement describing their skills, experiences, past contributions, and future plans in promoting related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity work in teaching, research, and/or service as part of their application materials.*
  9. Explore future naming opportunities for our programs, initiatives, and physical spaces to honor alumni and friends of the College from underrepresented groups, including those who may not be able to provide significant financial donations.*

Objective 2: Provide strong support for a diverse and inclusive student experience.

Actions:

  1. Offer formal diversity training and learning opportunities for all incoming and returning Moody College students to increase cultural competency.
  2. Conduct targeted marketing and outreach efforts and develop pipeline initiatives toward the recruitment, retention, and graduation of a more diverse student body at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  3. Develop pipelines with local and state high schools and two-year colleges to support the recruitment of a more diverse undergraduate student body within Moody College.
  4. Assess demand to inform potential planning of a formal system of mentoring available for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds within Moody College.
  5. Provide guidance and support for students pursuing research and scholarship in underrepresented and innovative courses of study.
  6. Require that Minority Liaisons and/or Equity and Inclusion Officers in each unit serve on and/or actively advise graduate student admissions committees.
  7. Recommend that all admissions committees include an advanced graduate student as a member or advisor.
  8. Encourage all new faculty hires to participate in training centered on supporting diverse students during new employee orientation.
  9. Increase recruitment and representation of historically underrepresented students with support from a new undergraduate recruitment specialist position and through graduate applicant outreach.*
  10. Develop partnerships and/or articulation agreements with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and community colleges to establish pipelines for recruitment and/or transfers into the seven Moody undergraduate majors.*
  11. Work with our departments and schools to consider standardized-test optional application policies, consistent with university policies and guidelines, to maintain recent increases in underrepresented student graduate school application pools.*
  12. Provide annual financial support for activities developed by student organizations focused on DEI-related work in the College and the School, such as the Comm Council DEI committee and the Advertising & PR Student Equity Council.*

Objective 3: Support innovative and inclusive teaching, scholarship, and service.

Actions:

  1. Train (using facilitated discussions, online modules, and group workshops) and support our faculty on diversifying their pedagogical frameworks and course content to utilize anti-racist and anti-sexist methods and ensure engagement with a diverse student body. 
  2. Expand the portfolio of guest speakers and part-time lecturers to include more diverse and inclusive experts, experiences, and voices in the classroom. 
  3. Incorporate increased diversity and multicultural education into the undergraduate Moody College curricula through new and existing course modules and/or flagged courses.
  4. Develop and implement a formal system of mentoring for tenure-track faculty at the assistant and associate professor ranks, ensuring that URM faculty participate in this program and that their specific needs are assessed and addressed.
  5. Encourage and support innovative and collaborative teaching, scholarship, and service among all faculty.
  6. Strongly encourage faculty to include completed DEI training and DEI-related activities on annual FAR service reviews.
  7. Develop new speaker series on diverse perspectives and voices in all disciplines, focusing on underrepresented pioneers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners, including first-generation students and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.*
  8. Develop and offer “special topics” courses to focus offerings on diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond current classes already being offered in this domain in each area and discipline.*
  9. Expand DEI-related research and scholarship conducted by College and School faculty and students through grant-writing support and potential seed funding opportunities.*
  10. Establish and/or grow existing centers, institutes, or programs (CIPs) to support and expand DEI-related scholarship in our various disciplines.*

* Item added or amended in response to the October 2020 incident.

Download DEI Strategic Action Plan (PDF)