In continuing efforts to create a more inclusive environment, Dartmouth today released Toward Equity, a three-year strategic plan advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
“This plan reflects 15 months of engagement with faculty, students, staff, and alumni on how we can further the ideals of our mission to make this institution a place where every member of the community can realize their greatest potential,” says President Philip J. Hanlon ’77. “This is a truly institution-wide effort, and all of us must play a role.”
Senior Vice President and Senior Diversity Officer Shontay Delalue and her team in Institutional Diversity and Equity led the effort to develop the plan, which included a review of past initiatives; ideation sessions with DEIB practitioners; community engagement sessions with students, staff, faculty, and alumni; and planning meetings with senior leaders.
“The work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion doesn’t begin and end with one initiative—it’s about ongoing learning and progress to improve the lived experiences of people on campus,” Delalue says. “Toward Equity presents an opportunity for Dartmouth to be more intentional about improving the processes, systems, and structures that will create a positive environment for people from diverse backgrounds and cultivate spaces where the most innovative, academically excellent, and creative ideas can be realized.”
In early 2023, Delalue and her team will host an event to showcase the plan in depth and give the community the opportunity to ask questions and consider ways to get involved.
Toward Equity has four foundational elements: institutional definitions, development of an institutional climate survey, assessment and alignment of institutional resources dedicated to DEI, and a repositioning of the Division of Institutional Diversity and Equity to best support the entire campus. The plan also features 15 strategic actions organized under four priority areas: coordination, structure, accountability, and assessment. Each action has an accountable leader—a member of the Dartmouth Senior Leadership Group—and metrics for success that will be used to measure progress and outcomes of the actions.
“We want to infuse assessment and evaluation across the board,” says Chloe Poston, associate vice president for strategic initiatives in IDE. “This will create a space for evidence-based decision-making at an institutional scale. It will also help us to start tracking the experience of staff, faculty, and students over time, so we can see if this initiative is working and what specific actions might be making a difference.”
Incorporating aspects of the remaining work of the three previous campus climate initiatives of the past decade—outlined in this Strategic Initiatives Report (PDF)—the new plan’s action items address a wide range of issues, including training opportunities, improvements to recruitment and retention of diverse groups, and ongoing efforts to improve historical accountability and the ways Dartmouth grapples with injustices from its past.
Key to the plan’s overall success is its emphasis on accountability, Poston says. To that end, over the past year Institutional Diversity and Equity has been reorganized into a division, reporting to the president and working closely with the senior leadership. IDE will oversee the campus-wide initiative and provide guidance to campus leaders to help implement the actions. IDE will also report on progress of the plan.
“We’re going to meet with senior leaders on a scheduled basis. We’re going to provide an annual report outlining forward movement as well as a dashboard marking progress,” Poston says. “We are excited about where this work will take the Dartmouth community.”
To read the full plan, visit the Toward Equity website.