IDEAL Initiatives: Strategic sessions for leaders and a learning journey for staff

Two upcoming strategic initiatives will move diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives forward this summer.

The Office of the Provost, in partnership with the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee, will launch two significant diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives this summer.

A series of strategic alignment sessions for hundreds of Stanford leaders will take place in August. In addition, The IDEAL Learning Journey, a comprehensive educational program for staff, will be piloted in late June. These initiatives are aligned with Provost Drell’s commitment to "continuing to evolve and become a better and more inclusive institution in our pursuit of the values we hold dear."

Aligning our DEI strategy to foster shared accountability

Beginning in late August, vice presidents, vice provosts, deans, senior associate deans and others in senior DEI roles, will be invited to attend one of a series of sessions that will focus on the university’s DEI vision, goals, strategic framework and expectations for change. The sessions are designed for those whose roles involve cultivating the culture of their teams, making personnel decisions and influencing the management practices of others, and are part of the university’s broader commitment to increase the diversity of leadership, develop exemplary DEI processes and practices with consistency and accountability, and provide the financial resources needed to fulfill our DEI vision.

Participants will hear from the president or provost, as well as the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee strategic advisors (Patrick Dunkley, vice provost for Institutional Equity, Access and Community, and executive director of IDEAL; Shirley Everett, Ed.D, senior associate vice provost for Residential & Dining Enterprises, and senior advisor to the provost on equity and inclusion; Elizabeth Zacharias, vice president for Human Resources), who will review the strategic framework, report recent workplace data and share progress on planned initiatives. In addition, participants will discuss how to make impactful change and receive a communications toolkit to foster local outreach.

Staff pilot: A unique learning journey to spark cultural change

Beginning in late June, a group of 225 staff will experience The IDEAL Learning Journey, a comprehensive program designed to educate all staff about racism, diversity, inclusivity and equity, and build the awareness and skills needed to affect transformational cultural change. The program combines self-assessments, videos, e-learning courses, interactive workshops, facilitated debriefs and personal journaling, and includes e-learning courses from the University of California system and workshops created for Stanford by an experienced DEI educational organization.

Staff within schools and units were selected to participate in the pilot program based on a specific number of spaces allotted to each area. Participants will be placed in cohorts that will experience approximately 12 hours of learning together. Supervisors and managers will participate in an additional five hours on topics focused on the managerial role.

Eric Abrams, chief inclusion officer at the Graduate School of Education, is a member of the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee and chairs the Learning & Development sub-committee.

"Being a part of this team has been a terrific experience. I’ve had diversity-related jobs at colleges and universities for 30+ years, and this project is unique," said Abrams. "We’ve looked at research saying that diversity training is ineffective, and we’ve addressed those issues by developing a learning journey that uses many different modalities of instruction and also honors the voices and perspectives of each participant. Working with brilliant and passionate colleagues on a project that will help university staff for decades … well, as an alum and a staff member, it’s hard to find the words to express how meaningful that is to me."

This fall, after the pilot has been completed and participant feedback has been used to make modifications and improvements to the program, a phased approach will be taken to offer the program to all staff. This advances President Tessier-Lavigne’s commitment to ensuring training and professional development is widely offered on critical diversity, equity and inclusion topics.

Visit The IDEAL Learning Journey webpage to learn more about the pilot program for staff.

View the strategic framework the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee has created to serve as a roadmap for transforming our culture so that our community and processes are diverse, equitable and inclusive.


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