Improving the Culture for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

VISIBLE staff, in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) and the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership, will focus on improving the climate at Villanova with respect to intersectional areas of gender equity. The goal is improving scholarly productivity as cultural barriers are removed, which will have a direct impact on promotion pathways. 

Key Initiatives

1. Partnering with the Provost's office, ODEI and the McNulty Institute to offer diversity and inclusion workshops for university leaders and for faculty

Dr. Terri Boyer, Director of the McNulty Institute, will partner with ODEI and VISIBLE to develop a "Leading in a Diverse, Inclusive and Equitable Manner" workshop and will train the VISIBLE staff to offer the "Faculty Roles in Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Culture" workshops in small groups for faculty. The "Leading in a Diverse, Inclusive and Equitable Manner" workshop will be run through the Provost's Office as part of the yearly professional development retreat for department chairs, and will be opened up to those in the Provost's office and to deans as well. The "Faculty Roles in Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Culture" workshops will be offered in small groups, such as department meetings or faculty retreats by chair invitation.

Timeline: Develop "Leading in a Diverse, Inclusive and Equitable Manner" in year two; train staff for "Faculty Roles in Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Culture" in year three


2. Partnering with ODEI and the McNulty Institute to offer “advanced” workshops with a focus on diversity and inclusion in the classroom, on microaggressions, and on the importance of being an ally

Villanova will develop workshops for university leaders and faculty by drawing on Dr. Terri Boyer’s expertise, using VISIBLE staff to develop and present the workshops. ODI has workshop content already developed on diversity and inclusion in the classroom and on microaggressions, but a lack of available staff has limited their ability to implement these opportunities. The ODEI and McNulty staff will train the VISIBLE staff to implement these workshops, and the workshops will be offered at the Provost’s annual department chair retreat and as voluntary workshops for faculty wishing to learn more about diversity and inclusion issues.  

Timeline: Implementation in year three of the grant

3. Partnering with ODEI to expand the successful Intergroup Relations (IGR) program to offer faculty/staff more opportunities to interact through intersectional conversations.

IGR is an educational experience focusing on issues of social justice. IGR brings small groups together from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups to discuss how intersectional identity impacts our shared experiences. A partnership between ODEI and VISIBLE will allow the development of IGR experiences for faculty over the spring and fall break periods. This can potentially expand the program to an additional 40 faculty members each year (200 over the course of the grant period). Participating faculty members will also have the opportunity to become facilitators for undergraduate discussions. 

4. Partnering with the McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership to develop panels focusing on female leadership and challenging gender norms.

Increasing the visibility of female leaders and providing leadership training for women is essential to changing the model of leadership at Villanova. As one method of doing this, VISIBLE will partner with the McNulty Institute to offer a series of panels, workshops and seminars addressing issues of women’s leadership and providing leadership training. These programs will be widely advertised and open to the entire Villanova community.

5. Developing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for female faculty and faculty of color and allies.

To directly address the issues of mentoring and community that are lacking at Villanova, ODEI will assist in the development of employee resource groups (ERGs) starting in the first year of the grant for female STEM faculty and for female faculty of color. Additional ERGs will be added in the following years and may include ones focused on religious diversity and for LGBTQ faculty and staff.

6. Appoint and train a diverse cohort of faculty allies who will serve as points of contact across the University to promote diversity and gender equity issues as well as to build a network of allies and identify ongoing areas of concern.

Villanova will recruit faculty allies from a broad subset of university faculty, including women, people of color and white male allies. VISIBLE and ODEI staff will train these faculty allies to be “first responders” for faculty in various areas of the campus, beginning in the STEM fields. Allies will be charged with promoting VISIBLE initiatives within their units, serving as resources and advocates for faculty and staff in their areas who are struggling with diversity, inclusion and equity issues and in developing possible new areas for VISIBLE initiatives that are responsive to the needs of their “constituents.”  Quickly resolving these issues will prevent significant impact on faculty productivity.