Officials launch team to lead campuswide diversity review

Media Credit: File Photo by Sara Urtz

Interim Provost Chris Bracey reversed earlier plans to conduct the audit through an external firm, instead opting to leverage students, faculty and staff.

Officials have created a 26-member team to spearhead a University-wide diversity, equity and inclusion program review, interim Provost Chris Bracey announced Tuesday.

The Diversity Program Review Team, which is broken down into student and faculty subgroups and includes a four-person “central team” with representatives from GW’s provost and diversity offices, will conduct a campus climate survey later this spring and develop an action plan for administrators next spring. Former Provost Brian Blake had announced plans last January to commission an external firm to conduct the audit, but Bracey reversed those plans after he succeeded Blake in June.

“That review will also include a fresh look and analysis of the benefits of student diversity at GW and its contributions to the educational environment,” the review’s website states. “The review process will be a collaborative, University-wide and transparent initiative to determine progress made and areas of opportunity, and to propose long-term ways to address structural issues impacting members of our community.”

Officials said the team will serve as the main working group for the review, but its members will leverage several advisory councils that include deans, students, faculty and staff.

“It will include an assessment of current policies and practices, focus groups and interviews and an external review by a selected board of scholars leading this type of work nationally,” Bracey said in an email sent to the GW community. “The resulting diversity action plan will include goals, action items and regular assessments to track our progress.”

The team’s work is split into seven phases, according to the review website. The team will first collect data on diversity at GW and then launch a campus-wide diversity climate survey all during the spring semester, the website states.

The team will complete a draft report in the fall before conducting community forums next spring as they prepare their final recommendations.

“The DPRT’s work will be grounded in campus climate research and scholarship, and an anti-racist and intersectional framework that uplifts all voices and experiences, while critically examining our policies, practices and procedures,” the website states.

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