September 13 responses

Respondents zeroed in on various themes and tactics, from storytelling to training to expanding our conception of diversity itself. Comments included:

“To inculcate the notion that the contemporary university exists in a state, regional, national, and global context, and to emphasize that diversity and inclusion often precede mission success, we could employ regular editorials that showcase relevant recent events or mandatory participation in training.”

“I believe we need more age diversity among our most important committees (Talent@Iowa being an example). Campus committees heavily favor those with 20-plus years of experience at the UI, which on the surface seems fine, but can lead to doing things the same way and producing little change.”

“Explain what diversity and inclusion mean. Too often, it is taken to mean only hiring a minority candidate or filling a quota, not looking at diversity of experience or thought. People also need to see the benefits—maybe there is some best-practice literature that could be shared with HR professionals and broader community.”

“We need to require all employees and new hires to attend a diversity-related class each year. We need to demonstrate that, as an institution, we value diversity and are willing to take a stand.”

Personal interest stories in the UHR newsletter of Iowa Now seem to get the most hits. These stories can reach a larger group of people and increase understanding.”

“We should evaluate our online advertising venues to ensure we are not adversely impacting potential candidates in protected classifications. Are we utilizing venues that reach candidates of all races, ages, and abilities?”