Utilizing data to conduct DEI assessments, colleges and universities can measure institutional performance and identify strategic goals to address equity gaps and disparities across campus divisions and systems. HEED Award-winning schools use data they have collected to determine the effectiveness of their innovative programs, inform decision-making, and support accountability in their institution’s DEI efforts.

Agnes Scott College utilized information collected from its annual staff survey in 2022 to achieve greater pay equity. Feedback from the survey, which included a section on retention, led the college to conduct a salary analysis for all staff and faculty. Based on those findings, 30 percent of staff received a pay adjustment and 100 percent received a retention bonus. Farmingdale State College also recently analyzed salary data campuswide. As a result, below-market salaries were increased and wages for new positions were adjusted to be more competitive.

Like many HEED schools, Georgia Southern University strives for transparency with demographic data regarding students and employees, but this school has taken the sharing of that information a step further via an enhanced web presence. The Office of Institutional Research publishes a robust, interactive dashboard of trends on their website detailing retention rates, graduation rates, faculty and staff demographics, and student population information. 

In 2022, The University of Alabama at Birmingham hired a metrics analyst specifically to study its DEI-related endeavors. The position is shared equally by the Office for Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and allows the school to better tell the story of its DEI efforts through analysis and interpretation of relevant data that supports such efforts. 

At Kent State University, each institutional unit developed strategic planning goals for the academic year and was provided with data and feedback on their plan using newly established diversity metrics. A dynamic scorecard will show their progress at multiple benchmarking points throughout the year as they execute their programming.

This article was published in our November/December 2023 issue.

Top photo: A student at Farmingdale State College works with a professor in the biology lab.