Our Commitment

The Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (EID) is committed to helping Heller achieve its motto of “knowledge advancing social justice” by building a strong community culture of belongingness for all. This is difficult work, and it requires participation from every corner of our institution to succeed. Our approach to EID work at Heller is grounded in a philosophy of continuous improvement, evidence-based practices and targeted interventions.

Annual Program Reviews

We conduct annual reviews with every academic program to track progress on key performance metrics. These metrics are informed by biennial climate surveys, student surveys and university demographic data as well as qualitative data gleaned from the community.

Program reviews are based on four EID pillars:

  • Demographics (faculty, staff and students)
  • Vulnerabilities (e.g. health, safety, wellness, employment, housing, food security)
  • Belonging and Inclusion (e.g. perceptions of discrimination and meaningful inclusion)
  • Satisfaction and Recommendation (satisfaction with one's program and willingness to recommend to others)

Tracking our Progress Using HEED Metrics

To measure our progress on these goals, we follow the metrics outlined by the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The HEED Award considers a school’s progress on 165 benchmarks. The Heller EID Office began using the HEED metrics as an internal dashboard in 2017 with the goal of applying for the HEED award within five years. 

May 2019 HEED Progress Report

(Last updated May 2019)

Category Criteria Underway or Completed Criteria Total Percent Underway or Complete
Section 1: Methods to recruit underrepresented minority and first generation students 22 29 76%
Section 2: Methods to diversify faculty 13 30 43%
Section 3: Methods to diversify staff and administration 11 30 37%
Section 4: Role of dean in Heller diversity policies 24 37 65%
Section 5: Multicultural branding and communication techniques used 7 9 78%
Section 6: How the associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity is situated for success 26 30 87%
Total 103 165 62%

Dig Deeper: Full HEED Checklist 

(Last updated May 2019)

Section 1: Methods to recruit and retain underrepresented and first-generation students

1 Community outreach Yes
2 Admissions officers with a diversity focus Yes
3 On-campus diversity recruitment efforts Yes
4 Community college bridge programs Yes
5 Pre-college programs for K-12 students Yes
6 Social media outreach Yes
7 National strategic partnerships Yes
8 Race-conscious scholarships Yes
9 Economic-conscious scholarships Yes
10 Holistic admissions process Yes
11 Recruiter attendance at underrepresented student conferences Yes
12 Other
13 Comments: "Admissions hired new staff to enhance these efforts in 2019." Yes
14 Methods to improve retention and graduation rates for underrepresented and first-generation students In discussion
15 Heller strategic plan Yes, via annual program reviews
16 Institutional research on student success patterns Yes, via annual program reviews
17 Cohort-based academic success and leadership programs (mentoring/buddies) In discussion
18 Academically-themed diverse student organizations Yes
19 Supplemental instruction
20 Free tutoring support Yes
21 Culturally-relevant advising (Note: piloting best practices)
22 Early warning systems Yes
23 First year experience programs Yes
24 Summer bridge programs Yes
25 Mentorship programs
26  Other (Anti-bias training).  Yes
27 Comments: Orientation to include difficult dialogues, multicultural and self-care training. Yes
28 Describe new programs targeting underrepresented students in the last 12 months. (Note: Community Health Network Area 17: Mental Health and Race Equity Grant, Waltham) Yes, see note.
29

What is the time to degree for doctoral-level students in he following groups?

  • African-American/Black
  • Asian-American
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • International
  • Multiracial
  • Native American
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • Unknown/other
  • White/Caucasian
TBD

Section 2: Methods to diversify faculty

1 Heller strategic plan Yes
2 Dedicated faculty diversity recruitment specialist Yes
3 National partnership efforts
4 Advertisements in diversity publication and/or job boards Yes
5 Participation in diversity recruitment events Yes
6 Strategic funds used to increase financial offers to diverse job candidates Yes
7 Grant-funded initiatives to increase retention (NSF advance program, etc.) Yes
Strategic funds being used to hire diverse candidates Yes
9 Host future faculty diversity symposia on campus
10 Diversity-themed postdoctoral fellowships
11 Diversity faculty exchange programs with HBCUs, MSIs, etc.
12 Pipeline programs for future faculty Yes, ad hoc
13 We require diversity accomplishments from job candidates to consider in the hiring process Yes
14 We require search firms we use to include diverse candidates as part of the pool of job candidates N/A
15 We require diverse job candidates as part of the pool of job candidates Yes
16 Other
17 Comments
18 Describe any pipeline programs Heller has with other institutions of higher education that assist in recruiting diverse faculty
19 Which diversity publications and/or job boards does Heller use to attract diverse candidates? List max of 10. (Yes. Heller examples: Glassdoor, Asian Career Web, Blacks in Higher Education, National Urban League, Black Career Women, LGBT Career Link, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Military Hire, Equal Opportunity Publications, Career Women) Yes
20 List retention strategies to keep diverse faculty.
21 Family flexible tenure timelines
22 Mentor programs
23 Cohort-driven leadership programs for junior diverse faculty
24 Graduate research support for new diverse faculty
25 Start-up research funds for new diverse faculty
26 Affinity or employee resource groups
27 Participation in diversity-related programming is considered in tenure and promotion process  TBD
28 Other
29 Comments
30 Describe any new programs and/or initiatives begun in the last 12 months to assist in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty (Anti-bias training) Yes

Section 3: Methods to diversify staff and administration

1 Heller strategic plan (Pilot) Yes
2 Dedicated staff diversity recruitment specialist Yes
3 National partnership efforts
4 Advertisements in diversity publications and/or job boards Yes
5 Participation in diversity recruitment events Yes
6 Strategic funds used to increase financial offers to diverse job candidates
7 Grant-funded initiatives to increase retention (NSF advance program, etc.)
8 Strategic funds being used to hire diverse candidates
9 Host future staff diversity symposia on campus
10 Diversity-themed postdoctoral fellowships
11 Diversity staff exchange programs with HBCUs, MSIs, etc.
12 Pipeline programs for future staff Yes, ad hoc
13 We require diversity accomplishments from job candidates to consider in the hiring process Yes
14 We require search firms we use to include diverse candidates as part of the pool of job candidates N/A
15 We require diverse job candidates as part of the pool of job candidates Yes
16 Other
17 Comments
18 Describe any pipeline programs Heller has with other institutions of hire education that assist in recruiting diverse staff
19 Which diversity publications and/or job boards does Heller use to attract diverse candidates? List max of 10. (Yes. Heller examples: Glassdoor, Asian Career Web, Blacks in Higher Education, National Urban League, Black Career Women, LGBT Career Link, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Military Hire, Equal Opportunity Publications, Career Women) Yes
20 List retention strategies used to keep diverse staff
21 Family flexible tenure timelines
22 Mentor programs
23 Cohort-driven leadership programs for junior diverse staff
24 Graduate research support for new diverse staff Yes
25 Start-up research funds for new diverse staff
26 Affinity or employee resource groups
27 Participation in diversity-related programming is considered in tenure and promotion process TBD
28 Other
29 Comments
30 Describe any new programs and/or initiatives begun in the last 12 months to assist in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented employees (Anti-bias training and two staff/admin retreats) Yes

Section 4: Role of dean in Heller diversity policies

1 Ensures resources are available to drive diversity initiatives Yes
2 Charges the Heller Diversity Committee (Programs are held accountable through Educational Steering Committee and Research Steering Committee) Yes
3 Creates a culture of accountability Yes, in progress
4 Shows a visible commitment to diversity in speeches, written correspondence, and public appearances Yes
5 Ensures that senior leadership is engaged in Heller diversity strategies Yes
6 Comment
7 Describe strategies that Heller has in place to ensure diversity planning and accountability Yes
8 Heller's mission statement includes diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value Yes
9 Heller's EID goals and plans are embedded in the strategic plan Yes
10 Heller requires an EID plan from each program TBD
11 Heller has a diversity plan Yes, in progress
12 Heller has an EID task force
13 Heller uses a diversity scorecard to measure/track progress (HEED metrics) Yes
14 Heller associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity has the opportunity to formally report on EID plans, successes, challenges and opportunities at meetings of governing board Yes
15 Heller associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity submits and makes public an annual EID report/slides per audience Yes
16 Comments
17 Describe level of activation of EID Plan Year 1 of 5
18 Senior leadership ensures that diversity is prioritized in their respective schools, colleges and divisional units Yes
19 Our associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity provides point leadership in the school-wide implementation process Yes
20 Our EID council ensures that many different people are involved in shaping the diversity plan (Heller Students Association, Student Working Groups, Educational Steering Committee and Research Steering Committee) Yes
21 Student opinions play a key role in leading diversity-related change efforts at Heller (Heller Student Climate Survey and Course Evaluations)  Yes
22 Campus diversity efforts are data-driven and evidence-based
23 Adequate financial resources exist to drive campus diversity efforts
24 Diversity focused financial strategies
25 Diversity goals are embedded in the overall budget process Yes
26 Annual diversity fundraising campaign
27 School diversity incentive grants
28 Apply for federal diversity grants (NSF, NIH, DoE, etc.)
29 Development officer focused on diversity  Yes
30 Diversity endowment fund
31 Diversity-themed alumni fundraising campaign
32 Financial resources set aside for internal diversity and inclusion awards Yes
33 Other
34

Diversity training programs for the following groups:

  • Adjunct faculty
  • Full-time non-tenured faculty
  • Full-time staff
  • Governing board members
  • Search committee heads
  • Search committee members
  • Full-time students
  • LGBTQ training for athletic department
  • Senior leadership
  • Campus police force (Yes)
In progress (1/10)
35

When does diversity training take place for the following groups:

  • Adjunct faculty
  • Full-time non-tenured faculty
  • Full-time staff
  • Governing board members
  • Search committee heads
  • Search committee members
  • Full-time students
  • LGBTQ training for athletic department
  • Senior leadership
  • Campus police force 
Pilot underway
36

Is unconscious bias training offered for the following groups:

  • Adjunct faculty
  • Full-time non-tenured faculty
  • Full-time staff
  • Governing board members
  • Search committee heads
  • Search committee members
  • Full-time students
  • LGBTQ training for athletic department
  • Senior leadership
  • Campus police force
Pilot underway
37

Which of the following are used to understand issues of climate, inclusion and satisfaction?

  • Student climate survey (Yes)
  • Administration climate survey (Yes)
  • Faculty climate survey (Yes)
  • Staff climate survey (Yes)
  • Exit interviews for students
  • Exit interviews for employees
  • Diversity mapping of institutional capabilities
  • Diversity benchmarking efforts (Yes)
  • Follow-up with job candidates who decline offers of employment
In progress (5/9)

Section 5: Multicultural branding and communications techniques used

1 Social media Yes
2 Multicultural communications specialist Yes
3 Diversity-focused admissions material and brochures
4 Marketing/advertising in diversity publications on websites Yes
5 Student ambassadors communicate campus diversity to prospective students and parents
6 Display diversity awards on website Yes
7 Link to diversity office or programming on website homepage Yes
8

Which of the following offices are at Heller?

  • Diversity office (Yes)
  • LGBTQ office
  • Veterans' office
  • Disability office
  • International office
  • Study abroad office
  • Supplier diversity office
  • Religious services office
  • Multicultural affairs office
In progress (1/9)
9

Which of the following diversity-related information appears on our website?

  • Procurement/supplier diversity office page lists opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses
  • Study abroad page includes specific opportunities for underrepresented minority groups
  • Disability services office page links to career services page
  • International office page includes information about groups, clubs, etc. for international students
  • Human resources page includes information about diversity training
  • Every open job posting listed on our human resources page includes an AA/EEO statement (Yes)
  • Describe any diversity-related awards/recognitions your institution has received over the past year
In progress (1/7)

Section 6: How is the associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity's role situated for success?

1 We have an associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity (AD EID) Yes
2 AD EID reports to the Dean Yes
3 AD EID is an executive-level position Yes
4 AD EID has his/her own budget Yes
5 AD EID has a deciding vote on the diversity council (Note: educational steering committee) Yes
6 AD EID can attend governing board meetings and present the case for school diversity Yes
7 AD EID has input in the budget allocated to his/her office Yes
8 How does Heller help students develop cultural competence? (Note: workshops, classes, seminars, etc.) Yes
9 We have a general education diversity requirement
10 Faculty are requested, where applicable, to incorporate diversity into their curriculum  Pilot in progress
11 We have diversity courses for students Yes
12 We have multicultural events on campus Yes
13 We have multicultural student clubs and organizations Yes
14 Issues of diversity are woven into the first-year experience and curriculum  In progress
15 We offer opportunities for Pell Grant students to study abroad N/A
16

Does Heller celebrate the following?

  • African American History Month (Yes)
  • Women's History Month (Yes)
  • Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (Yes)
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • National Disability [Employment] Awareness Month
  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Yes)
  • LGBTQ Pride Month (Yes)
In progress (5/8)
17

Which of the following affinity/employee resource groups do we have at Heller?

  • African American (Yes)
  • Hispanic/Latinx (Yes)
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • Native American
  • Disability (Yes)
  • Veterans
  • LGBTQ Pride Month (Yes)
  • Women's History Month (Yes)
  • Religious
  • Multiracial
  • Other
In progress (5/11)
18

Please respond to the following statements:

  • We don't have a diversity council
  • Our diversity council reports to the dean
  • Our diversity council meets at least quarterly
  • Our diversity council members include administrators
  • Our diversity council members include faculty
  • Our diversity council members include students
  • Our diversity council members include staff
Note: In lieu of a diversity council, Heller relies on the concept of 'diffusion innovation,' in which we provide evidence-based metrics to program directors and leaders throughout the institution. These leaders track and report on their progress through annual reviews with the dean. This process relies on mutually agreed-upon goals.
Yes (see note)
19

Does Heller offer the following?

  • Gender neutral bathrooms (Yes)
  • Same-sex partner healthcare benefits for employees (Yes)
  • Trans-inclusive health benefits (Yes)
Yes (3/3)
20

Which does Heller offer for students with disabilities?

  • Sign language translators in the classroom
  • Textbooks in braille
  • Section 508 website compliance (Yes)
  • Computer-assisted real-time captioning (by request) (Yes)
  • Instructional materials in accessible formats (Yes)
  • Online learning systems accessible to all students
  • Wheelchair accessible curbs and building ramps (Yes)
  • Elevators in Heller (Yes)
  • Wheelchair accessible building in Heller (Yes)
  • Accessible online employment application 
In progress (6/10)
21

Has Heller experienced any of the following incidents on campus?

  • Student protests (Yes)
  • List of demands from student groups for changes to be made at Heller (Yes)
  • Hate speech and/or discriminatory language in public areas at Heller (Yes)
  • Vandalism of any buildings on campus
  • Had an invited speaker on campus that was not well-received (Yes)
  • Political protests on campus before or after the 2016 election 
Yes (4/6)
22

To what extent has Heller met strategic diversity goals for the following (items 23-30):

In progress (5/8)
23

We have increased the number of female full-time non-tenured faculty over the past five years.

Yes
24

We have increased the number of female full-time tenured faculty over the past five years.

25

We have increased the racial and ethnic diversity of full-time non-tenured faculty over the past five years.

Yes
26

We have increased the racial and ethnic diversity of full-time tenured faculty over the past five years.

27

We have increased the racial and ethnic diversity of our leadership over the past five years.

Yes
28

We have increased the number of women in leadership positions over the past five years.

Yes
29

We have increased the number of female STEM faculty members over the past five years.

Yes
30

We have increased the number of full-time underrepresented students over the past five years.

Comments or feedback? Please email Maria Madison, associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion: mtm@brandeis.edu

Tyra Westbrook interviews Dean Weil in his officeTyra Westbrook, Howard University student and 2018 summer intern, interviews Dean David Weil.

Year One Check-In with Dean Weil

Dean Weil joined Heller in August 2017, and in his first year he prioritized efforts to improve equity, inclusion and diversity (EID). One of his first hires was Maria Madison, Heller’s first associate dean for EID, who implemented a system school-wide metrics based on the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. After one year, EID Intern Tyra Westbrook sat down with Dean Weil to discuss the HEED metrics that focus on leadership.

Read an edited excerpt from their conversation.