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IC² Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University Through Research

Oct 19, 2020: UT Austin’s Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity recently called for proposals for seed funding for faculty- or staff-led projects that promote increased diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the university

Actions that promote community transformation (ACT) is a new UT initiative related to the university’s need to support DEI and foster an environment inclusive of the perspectives of underrepresented groups among faculty, staff and students.

The IC² Institute was selected to receive one of the ACT seed grants, and will be working on a project to assess and refine tools to measure DEI—measurement tools that can be used in the near future as part of larger university data collection efforts. Full awardee list can be found on the UT Provost website.

The project will be led by Dr. Matt Kammer-Kerwick and Dr. Bruce Kellison of IC² Institute’s Bureau of Business Research, a unit of IC² with decades of experience creating and conducting survey research models and analyzing results.  The project will begin almost immediately and conclude by May of 2021.

“What we are doing right now is small but has the potential to have far-reaching and long-term results. By helping to improve our understanding of UT’s climate, we hope to establish, demonstrate, and test processes that could be used to measure diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in a variety of communities.”

Dr. Matt Kammer-Kerwick, lead research scientist for the team

The seed fund will enable the institute to devote time to measurement tool development and testing to deliver a report before mid-May.

“In order for DEI programs to succeed, they have to be embedded in a framework that allows the university to measure success. This is particularly important for inclusion, which can be harder to measure than diversity and equity. We are taking a comprehensive look at what the university has measured in the past as well as new ways to assess the effectiveness of our programs.”

IC² Executive Director, Art Markman