During AY17-18, the College of Natural Sciences engaged in several initiatives to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and learning climate. Some successes from those efforts include:
- Forming and supporting initial progress by Climate Advisory Committees, composed of faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral researchers, in each CNS unit and creating a forum to share ideas among the committees
- Launching a page on the CNS website (https://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion) to highlight our commitment to and activities in promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and learning climate
- Convening retreats for faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral researchers to discuss the opportunities, challenges and priorities for advancing our workplace and learning climate (https://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion), based on these discussions
- Establishing and awarding college-level awards for contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion for faculty, staff and students/postdoctoral researchers
- Creating and filling a college-level position of Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
- Providing training on implicit bias to four CNS units (with the remainder to participate during AY18-19)
- Incorporating assessments of contributions to workplace and learning climate into hiring decisions for faculty and staff positions within the college
During AY18-19, we will continue our progress, guided by college-level priorities and the self-identified goals of the unit-level Climate Advisory Committees. CNS will provide a pool of funds to support activities within units during AY18-19. In addition, we will select up to three units, who have demonstrated significant impact from their efforts to advance the workplace and learning climate, to recognize with substantial investment for renovation of common spaces and/or unit-wide professional development to promote awareness and implementation of best practices on inclusivity.
We encourage you to participate in these efforts to strengthen CNS and your own unit. The best ideas will emerge from the intersection of our perspectives, talents and passions – please share yours for this important effort.