School of Arts and Sciences

Anti-Racism Plan Framework

Dec. 2, 2021

School-Wide Plan

Staff Plan for Academic Administrators and Other Similar Roles

In response to Dean Hodgson's request to incorporate staff-oriented initiatives into the School of Arts and Sciences anti-racism plans, a group of academic administrators began to meet in September 2020 to discuss how the School of Arts and Sciences staff as a whole could best address DEI issues and encourage anti-racist behavior. While this committee is charged only with examining ways to address systemic racism at the School of Arts and Sciences staff level, we must first acknowledge that such systems are deeply ingrained in the university structure and it will take every facet of the institution to dismantle them. We recognize that Brandeis functions according to differential hierarchies of power, authority and responsibility. While acknowledging this organizational truth, we believe it is equally important to not only elevate the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff, but also proactively place them within the centers of these power structures. Moving forward, ensuring that the university structure works equitably for all people will require broad-based, sustained effort and placement of BIPOC members in decision-making positions at every organizational level.

This committee has focused its efforts on three broad areas: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) education, increased representation of the BIPOC community at the staff level, and retention of BIPOC staff. We address retention from three different angles. First, we recommend an education and training program for all staff at the School of Arts and Sciences. This includes required trainings and optional continuing education. These opportunities will be prioritized and embedded into our duties as staff members. Second, we must increase representation of BIPOC individuals at the staff level. Such representation will allow for BIPOC community members to move into positions of increasing authority and decision-making power within the Brandeis organization. Once hired, it is imperative that we retain BIPOC staff members. Retention will be addressed in three key ways, which are discussed in the sections that follow. First, we will empower staff through job training and tools for success. More specifically, we will ensure BIPOC staff have equal access to the information needed to perform their duties to the best of their ability without impediment. Staff must be empowered to make and/or propose changes within their sphere of influence in order to continually improve work efficiency and navigate business processes at the high levels expected of them. Second, fostering a sense of community will help BIPOC staff feel valued as members of the Brandeis community. Lastly, we recommend creating more defined career ladders. In Brandeis’ current state, few opportunities exist for advancement from the staff ranks, especially in terms of promotion, salary advancement and growth.