Pursuing Excellence Through Equity
Rutgers School of Nursing is committed to creating and cultivating an environment that is not only diverse and equitable, but that is actively working against racism and bias in our institutional practices, classrooms, curriculum, and daily interactions. In other words, we want diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to be valued principles that manifest themselves from the inside out, from the top down. In this pursuit, we don’t just want to look excellent; we want to be excellent—through putting intent to action.
The Road to Creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan
Staying true to our motto of embodying Excellence in Action, Rutgers School of Nursing was among the first Rutgers’ schools to take several initial steps to actively work against racism and bias, while intentionally cultivating a community of diversity and inclusion at the school.
In July 2020, Rutgers School of Nursing Dean Linda Flynn launched a three-part approach to actively combatting racism and bias at School of Nursing. This initial tripartite initiative included:
- The formation of the Dean’s Committee on Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias
- The implementation of “Impact Dialogue Circles”—a series of listening sessions with faculty, staff, and students designed to listen to the community and implement action based on feedback
- The development of an anonymous digital hotline to report incidences of racism and bias directly to the dean.
In January 2021, President Jonathan Holloway announced five priorities that encapsulated areas where Rutgers University needed to make progress to further the University’s institutional commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Those priorities include:
- Recruit, Retain and Develop a Diverse Community
- Promote Inclusive Scholarship and Teaching
- Define Sustainable and Substantive Community Engagement
- Build the Capacity of Leaders to Create Inclusive Climates
- Develop an Institutional Infrastructure to Drive Change
Following President Holloway’s announcement of these five strategic priorities, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) created the RBHS University-Wide Diversity Strategic Planning Committee to develop a plan for achieving the President’s goals. Rutgers School of Nursing Dean Linda Flynn is honored to chair this Committee with Dr. Sangeeta Lamba, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion.
In Summer, 2021, each of the eight healthcare professional schools comprising RBHS submitted a 5-year plan for achieving the President’s vision. The School of Nursing’s DEI goals for 2021-2022 are finalized and the following plans are underway to achieve these goals:
|University Strategic Priority||SON 2021-2022 Goal||Metrics|
|Recruit, Retain & Develop a Diverse Community||1) Analyze faculty appointment and promotion patterns by race and other demographics; analyzed yearly.||Reappointment and promotion data retrieval and analyses. Then goal will be refined.|
|Recruit, Retain & Develop a Diverse Community||2) Student retention & graduation rates by race; analyzed yearly.||Student data retrieval & analyses is completed. Then, goal will be refined.|
|Recruit, Retain & Develop a Diverse Community||3) Data and benchmarks for staff retention; analyzed yearly.||Staff retention and separation data is retrieved and analyzed to create baseline. Then goal will be refined.|
|Recruit, Retain & Develop a Diverse Community||4) Explore feasibility of holistic admission process.||Holistic review workshop is scheduled. # of attendees. Attendee evaluations of workshop. Following workshops, a task force is created this AY year to assess feasibility and provide recommendations.|
|Promote Inclusive Scholarship & Teaching||5) Faculty will adopt a range of approaches to teaching that deliberately considers diverse needs and backgrounds of students – students have equal access to learn.||Workshops are scheduled that focus on inclusive and culturally competent teaching strategies. Add item(s) to student course and faculty evaluations to track improvements.|
|Define Sustainable & Substantive Community Engagement||6) Create communities of color engagement advisory board to empower and sustain community-SON partnerships with communities of color.||Communities of Color Advisory Board is created. First meeting is held during AY 2021 – 2022.|
|Develop an Institutional Infrastructure to Drive Change||7) Include DEI activities as a component of senior leaders’ annual performance evaluation.||DEI goal and activities added to each senior leaders’ performance review.|
|Build the Capacity of Leaders to Create Inclusive Climates||8) SON leadership is empowered to create inclusive climate for faculty, staff, and students.||Ongoing leadership training programs for skills to support DEI policies will be held|
|Build the Capacity of Leaders to Create Inclusive Climates||9) Foster and enhance an equitable and inclusive climate where all faculty, staff, and students feel valued and respected by each other.||The Eatman brothers (inclusive climate experts) will reinstate dialogue sessions with faculty, staff and students. Annual Climate Survey will quantify progress toward goal.|
DEI Efforts Across Rutgers and RBHS
Embracing a culture of inclusive excellence means an institution commits to adopting a means for the cohesive, coherent, and collaborative integration of diversity and inclusion into the institutional pursuit of excellence.
This is part of Rutgers School of Nursing’s own commitment, as well as the commitment of the greater Rutgers University and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) division, of which Rutgers Nursing is both a part and a partner.
Learn more about the Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway’s priorities, as well as the RBHS Diversity Strategic Planning Committee and School of Nursing’s involvement in this effort.
Rutgers University Diversity Priorities
Rutgers President Dr. Jonathan Holloway has established five institutional diversity priorities to govern and be the foundation of DEI efforts across the university, including Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) and, by extension, School of Nursing.
1. Recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community
2. Promote inclusive scholarship and teaching
3. Define substantial and substantive community engagement
4. Build capacity for leaders to create inclusive climates
5. Develop and institutional infrastructure to drive change
Racism and Bias Reporting Electronic Hotline
As part of our commitment to be actively anti-racist and anti-bias as an organization, School of Nursing leadership openly invites members of the community to discuss concerns without fear of retribution.
We also understand that racist and bias incidences can be difficult to report when they do occur, and some may prefer anonymous means. To that end, we invite members of our community to anonymously submit concerns through a digital form. These submissions are sent directly to School of Nursing Dean Linda Flynn.