Unit Plans for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

February 18, 2021

In a coordinated effort across the university, each school and administrative division is developing a five-year action plan to support and enhance diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and belonging.  Plans will give specific attention to the experiences of staff, faculty, alumni, and students of color.  This “unit planning” process is one of a set of commitments announced by President Salovey in October 2020 as part of the second phase of Belonging at Yale, led by Kimberly Goff-Crews, secretary and vice president for university life.

Schools and administrative divisions will focus on six priority areas for action informed by the recent recommendations of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.  Among their actions for the first year of the plan, all units will address professional development, education, and training in areas relevant to DEI and belonging.

Unit plans will reflect a school or division’s culture and context, and will build upon existing efforts and a self-assessment of progress on DEI and belonging.  Planning across the university will provide opportunities to align and prioritize efforts.

Plans are due in September 2021.  Schools and administrative divisions will develop plans in an open and inclusive manner, involving Yale community members who have many backgrounds, perspectives, and roles at the university. 

The unit planning process is coordinated by the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life, in close collaboration with the Office of the Provost, the schools, and administrative divisions.  Gary Desir, vice provost for faculty development and diversity, will lead support for schools and academic units.


Which units will develop DEIB plans?

Each school, and administrative division headed by a vice president, will develop a unit plan, as will Yale Athletics, Collections and Scholarly Communications, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the President.

The work of constituent units of schools and administrative divisions, such as departments and offices, will be included in the school or division’s plan.

What are the six priority areas for action?

The university’s priority areas for action are: I. Scholarship, Research, Practice, and Teaching; II. Diversity of the Yale Community; III. Equitable Process, Procedure, and Response; IV. Professional and Personal Development of Inclusive Practices; V. Acknowledgment, Recognition, and Respect; and VI. Communications, Transparency, and Accountability.

Specific actions taken by units will address their own cultures and contexts.  Not all action areas are equally applicable to each unit.

What is included in a “unit plan”?

A unit plan identifies a school or administrative division’s actions in support of DEI and belonging across an initial five-year period.  For each action, the unit will detail: what will be done; on behalf of which university constituencies (staff, faculty, alumni, and students); how its effects will be measured; and its duration.

How will units develop their DEIB plans?

Deans, vice presidents, and other university leaders will determine the details of their units’ planning processes.  Each unit will have a staff or faculty member serving as the main coordinator.  Many units will also appoint planning teams to seek feedback from others in the unit and provide initial recommendations.  Support to units will be provided as needed by the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life and the Office of the Provost.

When are unit plans due?  How long do they last?  Are they revisable?

Unit plans are due in September 2021.  Unit plans will be developed for an initial five years.  Each year, units will consider the effectiveness of their chosen actions and, in response, may revise actions for future years. 

Are unit plans public?

Once unit plans are complete, summaries will be shared, likely in an infographic format.