Required diversity statement, bias response team part of diversity strategic plan

Hastings College recently announced an upcoming equity audit as a part of its Diversity Strategic Plan, which has objectives including required diversity statements for university job applications.

A DEI statement for course syllabi will 'set the stage for a welcoming environment in the classroom,' and the plan says that HC will examine how to incorporate DEI into its academic degree programs.

Hastings College (HC) in Nebraska recently announced an upcoming equity audit as a part of its Diversity Strategic Plan

HC President Rich Lloyd spoke of the equity audit on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and invoked King to say “that his call to inclusion is not just a once-a-year event.”

“Rather, it is a day, after day, after day commitment,” Lloyd continued. He said that the audit will help remove systemic barriers that prevent HC from implementing its goals in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). 

presentation shows the timeline of the plan, which started in the summer of 2020. During the fall 2021 semester, a grant and hiring a consultant helped HC “identify institutional priorities in the DEIB area,” and a DEIB Committee formed.

[RELATED: UMich prepares to launch DEI 2.0]

The DEIB website lists desired outcomes and announces that HC will update the website when more information about the plan becomes available. 

HC’s plan has initiatives aimed at gender inclusivity, including addressing “the need for gender-inclusive housing.” “[A]ll residence halls and at least half of administrative and academic buildings” will have gender-inclusive bathrooms, which will be stocked with “free menstrual products.” 

Applicants for university job postings must submit diversity statements, and evaluations and position descriptions could include DEI service requirements. HC will offer training for unconscious bias and has already implemented a bias response team to handle reported incidents “related to DEIB issues."

[RELATED: University eliminates bias reporting system after receiving legal demand letter]

A DEI statement for course syllabi, the plan says, will “set the stage for a welcoming environment in the classroom.” HC’s Diversity Strategic Plan also says that it will examine how to incorporate DEI into its administrative departments and academic degree programs.

To implement and share its objectives, HC is developing DEIB infrastructure, according to the plan, which includes a DEI office, a process for making statements on DEI-related current events, a website, and a newsletter. 

HC suggests that strategic planning and evaluation is an ongoing process, as the university will “complete full DEI plan revision every three to five years based on reports, college climate assessments, internal focus groups, and external input.” 

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment, and this article will be updated accordingly.