New Thinking on Accountability for DEI Work


Increasingly, state systems and institutions are calling on higher education institutions to monitor and demonstrate progress for student success and ameliorate equity gaps. Due to the lack of progress after years of dedicated efforts to improve student success or campus climate, external groups (e.g., policymakers and accreditors) have grown concerned and are demanding results. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) announced a standard around DEI in the accreditation process; this step, which took effect on January 1, 2022, is among the many growing efforts to hold higher education institutions accountable for their DEI efforts. Additionally, national players—such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the National Association of System Heads—are starting to prioritize progress on DEI, whether through their funding formulas, programs, or frameworks. And while there are attacks happening to slow DEI progress, they have not altered the expectations and dedication of these higher education stakeholders to support DEI goals.

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