Rubric for Evaluating Diversity Statements
The rubric below was designed by the University of California system to support efforts to assess diversity statements in a faculty search process. Faculty search committees increasingly have asked for diversity statements (or teaching statements that specifically solicit DEI information) indicating where a faculty candidate could further the campus or departmental DEI goals, including improving classroom pedagogies or climate, advising, or other departmental DEI needs.
You might also reference our Writing an Effective Diversity Statement and Example DEI Interview Questions webpages for additional insights.
Knowledge about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Little expressed knowledge of, or experience with, dimensions of diversity that result from different identities. Defines diversity only in terms of different areas of study or different nationalities, but doesn't discuss gender or ethnicity/race. Discusses diversity in vague terms, such as "diversity is important for STEM." May state having had little experience with these issues because of lack of exposure, but then does not provide any evidence of having informed themselves, or may discount the importance of diversity.
- Little demonstrated understanding of demographic data related to diversity in higher education or in their discipline. May use vague statements such as "the field of Chemistry definitely needs more women."
- Seems uncomfortable discussing diversity-related issues. May state that they "just haven’t had much of an opportunity to think about these issues yet."
- Seems not to understand or be aware of the personal challenges that underrepresented individuals face in academia or feel any personal responsibility for helping to eliminate barriers. For example, may state that it's better not to have outreach or affinity groups aimed at underrepresented individuals because it keeps them separate from everyone else, or will make them feel less valued.
Individuals receiving a rating of "3" in the "Knowledge" dimension could show aspects of both "1-2" and "4-5" ratings. For example, they may express little understanding of demographic data related to diversity, and have less experience and interest in dimensions of diversity, but show a strong understanding of challenges faced by individuals who are underrepresented and the need to eliminate barriers, and be comfortable discussing diversity-related issues.
- Clear interest in, knowledge of, and experience with dimensions of diversity that result from different identities, such as ethnic, socioeconomic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural differences. This understanding can result from personal experiences as well as an investment in learning about the experiences of those with identities different from their own.
- Comfort discussing diversity-related issues including distinctions and connections between diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Understands the challenges faced by underrepresented individuals, and the need for all students and faculty to work to identify and eliminate barriers to their full and equitable participation and advancement.
- Discusses diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values that every faculty member should actively contribute to advancing.
Experience Working to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Participated in none, only one or two limited activities (limited in terms of time, investment, or role).
Only mentions activities that are already the expectation of faculty as evidence of commitment and involvement. For example, "I always invite and welcome students from all backgrounds to participate in my research lab, and in fact have mentored several women." Mentoring women scientists may be an important part of an established track record but it would be less significant if it were one of the only activities undertaken and it wasn't clear that the candidate actively conducted outreach to encourage women to join the lab.
May have participated extensively in a single activity. Less clear that there is an established track record.
Participation in only one area such as their research to the exclusion of teaching and service.
In describing mentoring of underrepresented students, mentions specific strategies used for effective mentoring, or awareness of the barriers underrepresented students face and how to incorporate the ideas into their mentoring.
Membership in a student or professional organization that supports underrepresented individuals.
- Describes multiple activities in depth, with detailed information about both their role in the activities and the outcomes. Activities may span research, teaching and service, and could include applying their research skills or expertise to investigating diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Consistent track record that spans multiple years. For example, applicants for assistant professor positions can describe activities undertaken or participated in as an undergraduate, graduate student and postdoctoral scholar.
- Roles taken were significant and appropriate for career stage. For example a candidate who is already an assistant professor may have developed and tested pedagogy for an inclusive classroom and learning environment. Another example may be a current graduate student may have volunteered for an extended period of time for an organization or group that seeks to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in science.
- Organized or spoken at workshops or other events (depending on career stage) aimed at increasing others' understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as one aspect of their track.
- Served as a leader in a student or professional organization that supports underrepresented individuals.
Plans for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Vague or no statements about what they would do at Brandeis if hired. May even feel doing so would be the responsibility of someone else.
Describes only activities that are already the expectation of our faculty such as mentoring, treating all students the same regardless of background, etc.
States they would be happy to "help out" but seems to expect the University or department to invite or assign them activities.
Mentions plans or ideas but more is expected for their career stage.
Plans or ideas lacking in detail or clear purpose. For example, if outreach is proposed, who is the specific target, what is the type of engagement, and what are the expected outcomes? What are the specific roles and responsibilities of the faculty member?
Clear and detailed ideas for what existing programs they would get involved with and what new ideas they have for advancing equity and inclusion at Brandeis and within their field, through their research, teaching, and/or service.
Level of proposed involvement commensurate with career level:
A new assistant professor may plan to undertake one major activity within the department over the first couple of years, conduct outreach to hire a diverse group of students to work in their lab, seek to mentor several underrepresented students, and co-chair a subcommittee or lead a workshop for a national conference.
A new tenured faculty member would be expected to have more department, campus-wide, and national impact, including leadership.
Intends to be a strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion within the department/school/college and also their field.
References activities already taking place at Brandeis and in the field, and how additional or new activities would advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
Addresses multiple areas of need such as the classroom climate, the laboratory, conferences, etc.
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