The OEB DIB Committee is committed to transparency. To facilitate this, a departmental webpage will be maintained that includes our mission statement, membership policy, information on becoming a member, list of current and past members, meeting frequencies, history of activities, current projects in development, and governance policies. An anonymous suggestion form will also be maintained. Information related to DIB resources from the department, university, and external sources will further be included on the DIB Committee webpage.
Minutes from all meetings will be prepared and archived, without names assigned to specific conversations to maintain safe conversation spaces. Virtual meetings will not be recorded to maintain safe conversation spaces. Members will use Slack to promote communication and transparency within the committee and supplement with email as necessary.
The Committee has developed a collective statement that outlines why we exist, our goals, and our permanent nature. The Mission Statement should be reviewed by the Core DIB Committee (defined in the next section) annually, and any changes should be ratified at a full Committee meeting via a Round (see Structure Overview below).
Primary subcommittee focal areas are included in the Mission Statement. Additionally, each subcommittee will have one to two sentences to describe each subcommittee’s mission/focus.
The OEB DIB Committee’s general structure is based on the Sociocracy model. The implementation of this model is via a Core Committee comprised of at least two representatives from each subcommittee, who will ideally rotate every year. Each subcommittee will have a high degree of autonomy and bring its recommendations for implementation to the Core Committee or a full meeting. The use of Rounds is strongly encouraged to help maintain equal voices at key decision points. A Round is simply a process in which we go around and ask each member to share their thoughts on a decision. While every decision cannot always incorporate every voice, each voice will be heard and acknowledged. Slack will also be used to help maintain transparency and make voices heard.
The goal of this structure is to allow for supportive and engaged discourse to develop proposals related to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging within the department. At the beginning of each year, the committee will participate in a retreat to review the principles of Sociocracy, best practices surrounding anonymized minutes, and discuss an array of topics including power dynamics, respectful discourse, and consensus building.
Committee membership is on a volunteer basis and welcomes all members of the OEB community. Membership should ideally represent all constituencies in the department, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and fellows, exempt and non-exempt staff, and faculty.
Membership is a time commitment. If the level of commitment is too much for an individual, then they are welcome to instead choose to serve on the committee at another time, work on implementing DIB efforts externally to the committee, and/or partake in other efforts related to DIB in the department. Non-exempt employees are welcome to participate in the committee. Committee activities up to three hours per week will be considered work time. If your supervisor or manager has any concerns about this time commitment, they should talk directly to the Executive Director, Associate Director of Administration, and/or Megan McHugh (OEB HR).
Committee members volunteer for one year at a time at which point they will be asked if they wish to re-enroll. The intent of this structure is to encourage members to take time off from the committee as needed.
Members are expected to attend at least 75% of their subcommittee meetings per semester. If a member believes this is possible, but then does not attend sufficient meetings, they will be asked to rotate off the DIB Committee for that semester (see Subcommittees below).
Any concerns about attendance can be brought to the OEB administrative support person
Each fall, OEB administration and the OEB chair will spearhead efforts to recruit new members to the OEB DIB Committee. Recruitment messaging will be coordinated by the Associate Director of Administration. The constituency makeup of the current Committee will be assessed to see if specific groups (e.g., postdocs, staff, faculty, students) are lacking and should be targeted with encouragement to participate. If specific constituencies are lacking, the Chair of the Department will coordinate efforts to recruit those constituencies.
All members are expected to foster an inclusive and safe space within the entire committee as well as all subcommittees. Active listening, self-reflection, and constructive discussions are critical skills for all members. Members of the committee should abide by a code of conduct according to the guidelines listed below:
We will actively listen when others speak and notice feelings of defensiveness and denial.
We will keep an open mind and consider different points of view (i.e., assume you can learn from everyone in the room).
We will use “I” language (i.e., we can only speak for ourselves, not for the group).
We will honor people’s privacy – Stories stay in, ideas go out.
We will be respectful of other’s experiences and not use offensive language toward one another (i.e., no profanity, slurs, or accusatory language).
We will practice accepting growth and change – we are all at different stages of learning.
All members, past and present, will be listed on the OEB DIB website.
Subcommittees are named and structured around the active areas of focus in the OEB DIB Committee Mission Statement. In addition to these themed subcommittees, the Core Committee includes representatives of each subcommittee, as well as members of the administrative team.
Community Education – Generating programs and initiatives aimed towards creating an inclusive space in our department as well as educational tools on tackling internal biases for members of our community Quantifying Diversity - Researching and documenting areas of discrimination and inequity within our community.
Inclusion & Belonging - Cultivating and actively fostering a more inclusive environment
Anyone volunteering to serve on the OEB DIB Committee can choose to join one or more subcommittees. All OEB DIB Committee members must serve on at least one subcommittee. Anyone can switch subcommittees at any time, for any reason.
At each meeting, a member should be designated to take anonymized minutes, which will be deposited on SharePoint
Participate in the development of 1-2 main projects per semester
Foster a safe space in meetings and slack channels for members to work on DIB issues
Develop proposals within framework outlined in the Proposal Development document
Provide a short, written report at end of each semester (November, April) on what has been achieved (e.g., events, proposals enacted, proposals in development) to be made public on the OEB DIB website and highlighted by email
The Core Committee is made up of at least one but ideally two representatives from each subcommittee as well as the ex officio OEB administrative staff, including the Executive Director, Associate Director of Administration, and the faculty Chair of the Department.
Each subcommittee selects one or two of its members to serve on a rotating basis on the Core Committee. Representatives will be swapped out every 12 months in a non-synchronous manner such that only a portion of the Core Committee rotates at any one time.
Attend Core Committee meetings
At each meeting, a member should be designated to take anonymized minutes, which will be deposited on SharePoint
Conduct annual review of Governance framework
Provide general oversight of proposal progress and implementation
Coordinate activities among subcommittees to avoid overlapping efforts, and communicate information back to each subcommittee via meeting, email, and/or Slack
Report to the entire department on progress at the end of each representative cycle (fall, spring, summer), sent by email and posted to websites
In general, meetings should be held in person or via zoom, however, if only a quick check-in is required, Slack can be used when appropriate. Please provide necessary materials to relevant committee members at least 48 hours before the meeting whenever possible.
Each subcommittee meets at least every two weeks and must have a quorum to make decisions. For this purpose, a quorum is 75% of subcommittee membership or a minimum of four people. It is expected that committee members will be able to make 75% of meetings. A group will strive to integrate each objection until all members consent. The idea behind that is that minority opinions matter and that majority vote tends to polarize instead of bringing people together.
The Core Committee meets monthly and requires 75% attendance. Anyone from the OEB DIB Committee is welcome to attend these meetings, but the designated representatives are expected to attend. Core Committee Agenda items will be scheduled based on the availability of relevant materials and having sufficient time to review proposals.
At the beginning and end of each semester, the Core Committee meeting will explicitly invite the whole committee to discuss overall priorities and accomplishments.
Proposals will vary in scope and time to implement. These are guidelines on the proposal development cycle to be used by the Committee. Please also see the proposal workflow diagram for this information in an infographic form. At the end of each step before moving forward, a Round should be done as a minimum check-in with all relevant subcommittee members.
- Brainstorming proposal ideas.
- Categorize ideas - What is the scale of this idea – department-wide? Division? FAS? How much feedback from outside the committee is necessary before moving forward? How does the idea fit into the goals of the subcommittee? Would they fit better in another subcommittee?
Identify questions, goals, action items arising from each idea.
- Check in with administration representatives for any data, information, or other research needs.
- Review and prioritize all the ideas.
- Create short description (“elevator pitch”) for each top priority identified by the subcommittee.
- Post short description documents to SharePoint. Ask for feedback from Core Committee and administrative representatives via Slack to maximize transparency and efficiency.
For projects that have no issues from the Core Committee review, create a one-page summary per proposal with suggested impact factor and next steps.
- Check with administration representatives if questions, data needs, information about university processes, or other concerns come up.
- Share one-page proposals with full committee & administration representatives. Receive input on feasibility, cost, broader university policies, etc.
- Refine into concrete proposals and incorporate input on feasibility, cost, broader university policies.
Next steps (may include one or more).
- Directly enact.
- Ask constituencies for feedback and analyze it; feedback may be incorporated as determined by the committee.
- Go to faculty or university for approval.
- Identify funding
- Enactment – Timeframe, Deliverables, and Assessment of outcomes.
Modified January 2022