In 2015 the Executive Board began a new policy approach regarding Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). This process started with a comprehensive review of research so to identify challenges to address within EUR and also to identify best practices in the area of diversity and inclusion. This review resulted in identifying essential common elements for achieving sustainable D&I practices within EUR.
The programme created awareness, set agenda’s, established a Steering Committee, an Advisory Board, a working group on Education Interventions, and the appointment of Faculty Diversity Officers. This was under the vision statement:
"EUR delivers excellent education and research and distinguishes itself by using the available diversity of talent in the best way possible. We offer equal opportunities to everyone and have an inclusive organisational culture in which everyone feels at home and can excel.”
After a two year term, in June 2017 the Executive Board approved the continuation of the Diversity & Inclusion Programme.
In these two years, the D&I project expanded to several sub-goals/themes/projects based on the three pillars of Education & students, Faculty and Staff, and Research:
1) Education and Students: an inclusive educational experience
- Creating equal opportunities in study & career – ‘Be yourself and feel at home.’
- Creating inclusive classrooms
- Diversity in teaching approaches/curriculum
- Preparing students for a super-diverse society
2) Diversity & Personnel: attract, retain and develop a diverse workforce
- Integrating diversity in talent management and HR processes
- Implicit bias awareness
- Gender balance
3) Diversity & Research: integrate and embed diversity in research
- Incorporating diversity in research support services
- Connecting research to diversity policy measures (effect measures of D&I programme interventions)
- Diversity in research teams
- Gender perspective in research proposals
With a future expansion towards:
4) Culture Scan
- Development of an Erasmus University climate/culture scan for students/faculty/staff
5) D&I monitor
- Development of a structural D&I Monitor
- Implementing quality management based on the PDCA cycle
Under the new strategic period, approval for this programme was set for another 5 years, this included a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Office at the Erasmus Building which opened in May 2018.
The programme under this point was based on this vision statement:
"The EUR strives to be an inclusive university:
- that attracts and retains talented students, faculty and staff broadly representative of the diverse perspectives in society .
- that is active in eliminating implicit and explicit barriers that prevent the full participation of all members of the academic community.
- that is active in developing policies, procedures and practices that promote that inclusive culture."
As of October 2018, Prof. Semiha Denktaş has been appointed as Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), accompanied by a new programme manager Dr. Gwen de Bruin. In this period extensive collaboration has been made with Executive Board, Faculty Deans, the Faculty Diversity Officers, faculty, staff and students as well as and international experts such as Prof. Curt Rice, to get a better view on the current state of D&I policy implementation and its future requirements. The future strategy and the areas of the design labs were also reviewed. The CDO and the programme manager, together with the D&I team, have continued with the current D&I programme whilst making some necessary adjustments to better fit the needs of Erasmus. Consequently, several areas have come more to the forefront, which seek to reshape the culture and policies that will work towards true inclusion.
D&I Programme 2019-2020
The current vision for the programme is:
- Setting up early outreach activities, reducing barriers and familiarising all students with a diverse background, with academic education
- Appointing more female professors. EUR aspires to have 20% female EUR professors by 2020. Several actions to achieve this goal are already in place, and new activities will be initiated
- Initiating and supporting research aimed at monitoring and evaluating the use and effectiveness of D&I-related policies, interventions, and products. For instance, 'Academic leadership: mining the gap in diversity (PhD project).
- Improving the atmosphere at EUR relating to diversity, inclusion and social safety issues
Further focal points include:
- The expansion of our diversity policy; focusing on a broader range of diversity, inclusion and social safety dimensions.
- Integrating diversity themes into the education & research policy, support services and faculties of EUR
- Anchoring diversity policies within scientific research, and amongst academic and support staff by sharing knowledge (‘networked science’).
- Promoting EUR as a university that fully utilises the diversity of talent (students and employees) and views this as a significant added value to the university.
- An organisational structure, where D&I@EUR has visible position in Erasmus University, under the leadership of a Chief Diversity Officer, who fulfils an important facilitating role as a ‘change agent’.