Evaluating Faculty Contributions to Inclusive Work Environments

Every person and every interaction matters underlies all 6 aims of the N2025 Strategic Plan; it is central to the success of the university and to each faculty member. IANR expects all faculty members to contribute to this ideal, recognizing that what each faculty member does will be dependent on their job responsibilities, apportionment, and intercultural development.

Annual Evaluation

For annual evaluation, IANR faculty members are asked to report what they have done during the reporting year to a) increase awareness and appreciation of diversity, b) eliminate inequities, c) promote inclusion and/or d) facilitate belonging. The specific prompt in Activity Insight is:

Describe activities and accomplishments during the current reporting year that you have done or achieved to create a more inclusive learning, research, extension, and/or engagement/outreach environment, and/or how your activities and accomplishments have contributed to an environment within your academic unit, division, center, lab or workplace that is inclusive of all people and all interactions. Please identify the specific activities or accomplishments (or provide examples), and briefly describe the contribution they have made (why they are relevant and important—including broader impact if relevant).

The expectation is that each faculty member will demonstrate a) an awareness of the university’s commitment to achieving environments where every person and every interaction matters, and b) how they are acting on this awareness in a way that falls within what is expected of their job responsibilities.

The activities and contributions documented by faculty will be evaluated using the following criteria.

  • The faculty member describes what they did during the reporting year, why they did it, and what the outcomes/impacts were, are, or are anticipated to be.
  • The activity/contribution is relevant to the faculty member’s apportionment and what they are expected to be doing as described in their position description.
  • The activity/contribution is appropriate given their career stage and development in the DEIB space.

Promotion and Tenure Evaluation

As part of their candidate statement, faculty members are invited to document their accomplishments related to DEIB. The prompt in the IANR Documentation Request is the following:

IANR places a high priority on creating and nurturing environments (e.g., educational, extension, research, scholarship, disciplinary) in which each person and every interaction matters (see https://ianr.unl.edu/diversity). We recognize that when we value diversity and equity through inclusive practices all are elevated through creativity, innovation, and a sense of belonging. Achieving a welcoming and inclusive environment is everyone’s responsibility. We expect all our faculty members, regardless of job responsibility and apportionment, to contribute to achieving a welcoming atmosphere and inclusive environment. Faculty members who have made significant contributions in this regard should feel free to document those contributions through their candidate statements and appendices. Documenting these contributions does not take the place of, nor should it distract from documenting expected achievements in other areas of job responsibility. However, they are accomplishments that can and should be acknowledged. That said, not documenting contributions in these areas will not negatively impact the recommendation for tenure and/or promotion. For those who chose to document their contributions to a welcoming and inclusive environment, they may do so by integrating these descriptions within the discussion of accomplishments related to teaching, research/creative activity, extension, and service, and/or under a separate heading. If the latter is chosen, it should be kept to a brief statement of no more than a paragraph or two occupying a page or less of the overall candidate statement. This could include a description of the candidate’s philosophy/approach, efforts, contributions, and/or accomplishments related to diversity and inclusive excellence.

Candidates do not need to include a description of their contributions to DEIB. Not including such a statement cannot negatively impact the evaluation. However, documenting relevant and impactful contributions can positively impact the evaluation.

In evaluating contributions to DEIB, peer review committee and administrators may look for the following:

  • Awareness of the university’s commitment to the vision reflected in the statement “every person and every interaction matters”.
  • The activity/contribution is relevant to the faculty member’s apportionment and what they are expected to be doing as described in their position description.
  • The faculty member demonstrates that their activities and contributions are intentional and that they have been reflective in their approach (what they did, why they did it, and the impact that is has had).
  • There is a track record of a pattern of activities and accomplishments logically connected in a way that the faculty member demonstrates contributions over time.
  • The description of contributions shows leadership, collaboration, creativity and/or innovation.
  • Demonstrates how what they did contributes to DEIB work broadly, and how it serves the university community.