EDI Committee collaborates with IRRIS to provide meaningful EDI Learning Survey results

In September 2021, the FAS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee launched a survey of FAS staff to gather ideas for enhancing EDI awareness and education for the portfolio. The committee developed questions for the FAS EDI Learning Survey and sought advice on how to refine them from FAS Leadership, Institutional Reporting, Research, and Information Systems (IRRIS), and Learning and Development. While the results are still being analyzed, the EDI Committee and IRRIS continue to work together to produce an actionable report to inform future EDI efforts.

Binta Brown, director of Diversity and Talent Management for FAS and chair of the EDI Committee, explained the importance of seeking assistance from IRRIS. While the entire EDI Committee developed and promoted the survey, Brown and Mary Kemp, EDI Committee member and administrative manager for FAS Business Services, have been specifically engaged with IRRIS staff.

“We recognized that not all employee experiences are equal,” Brown said. “And because of that, it was critical to use an external team to maintain confidentiality of survey respondents and neutrality of the results. By doing so, we can begin to build trust with and amongst our colleagues, where they can freely provide critical and honest feedback without being personally identified.” 

Kemp noted that IRRIS staff are well respected experts on campus for survey production, evaluation and analysis.

“The EDI Committee determined that it was important to rely on a team who has extensive experience performing this type of work to provide a quality product,” Kemp said. “To enhance the validity and reliability of the EDI learning survey to ensure its integrity, the committee also sought input from IRRIS in refining the final draft.”

The survey period ended on Sept. 25, 2021. Currently, IRRIS is supporting the EDI Committee by analyzing, interpreting and creating data visualizations from the EDI Learning survey results. Gina Magharious, IRRIS assistant director, and Taylor Cox, institutional research survey analyst in IRRIS, are working on the analyses. They regularly conduct university evaluation surveys for the Executive Vice President and Provost portfolio and offer survey consultation for other projects.

“IRRIS’ expertise in survey analytics will help ensure the results are presented in an unbiased and user-friendly format for a diverse audience,” Kemp said.

According to Kemp, IRRIS expects to have products for the EDI Committee at the end of November. At that point the committee will work with FAS Communications to develop a plan for disseminating the results to the portfolio in an inclusive and approachable manner.

Brown explained the value of the EDI Learning Survey outcomes in developing EDI awareness and education tools.

“With more of our workplace conversations expanding around national news and, to some degree, incidents occurring on our campus, accessing resources to improve our knowledge, skills and abilities about equity, diversity and inclusion helps,” Brown said.

The EDI Committee anticipates being able to share high-level results with the portfolio in early 2022.