Operationalizing Our Promise

2025 Comprehensive Plan for Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion

Since August 2018, GSE has been developing a college-wide comprehensive plan and concomitant statements, activities and action steps to address the issues of equity, diversity, justice and inclusion. We have relied on SUNY’s commitment, UB’s Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Plan, GSE’s Mission and Vision, and our 2020-2025 document Realizing Our Collective Promise: Strategic Goals, Objectives and Actions,d88尊龙|首页 as well as best practices from across the nation to model, inform and create this proposed GSE plan. Specifically, this focused plan excavates and explicates Goal #1 of the GSE strategic vision in order to create lasting and meaningful institutional change.


d88尊龙|首页The primary purpose of this comprehensive plan is to create a more equitable, diverse, just and inclusive GSE community, where all feel welcomed, included, supported and have equal access to networks for advancement, mentoring and research. This plan also provides a framework for faculty, staff, students and our community partners that allows us to prioritize, create, engage and implement actions that are essential to reaching our goals and honoring our commitments. The plan will assist GSE in moving towards the goals of building and retaining a more diverse faculty, whose composition reflects the pool of applicants nationally. Moreover, the plan will also assist GSE in recruiting, supporting and retaining a diverse student body. Finally, the plan will ensure that the institutional structures as represented by policies, practices and curriculum are evaluated and updated to center issues of equity, diversity, justice and inclusion.

This work will not always be easy nor will it be accomplished overnight, but it is absolutely essential. With this comprehensive plan for diversity, we commit ourselves to the sustained effort, unrelenting focus and dedication necessary to combat inequity and injustice within our school, the work that we produce, the students that we teach and the communities in which we engage. We view this plan as a living document that will be housed on the GSE website and will be reviewed and updated annually, by the Dean, the Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, and the EDJI Committee. Moreover, ongoing evaluations of goals, strategies and timelines will be designed to create accountability for our efforts.

The goals and strategies below operationalize the ‘what needs to be done’ and ‘how we will do it’ components of the GSE comprehensive plan.

Strategic Goals and Strategies


Strategic Goal One Ensure that the GSE commitment to equity, diversity, justice and inclusion is visible and embedded at all levels of GSE


  1. Increase prominence of the equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion mission and vision and its relation to the GSE overall mission and values.
  2. Develop, with the Assistant Dean for Communication and Marketing, a communication strategy to ensure that the centrality of equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion to GSE’s mission is clear and messaged effectively. Expand our EDJI web presence (GSE-wide and individual departments and units) to highlight EDJI work by our faculty, student, staff, and alumni. 
  3. Dean’s Leadership Team prominently and actively infuses equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion into the work of their respective units.
  4. Ensure the role of the Department Chair is viewed as a primary leader in the process to create and sustain equitable, diverse, just, and inclusive departments.
  5. Create and maintain a GSE committee on Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion with faculty and student representation.
  6. Create, with the GSE Assistant Director of Advancement, a fund to support GSE initiatives (e.g., programs, guest speakers, consultants), related to strengthening our equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion work.
  7. Expand the GSE Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Awards by also creating an award for students and units (e.g., departments, programs, offices, committees) making extraordinary contributions in these areas in GSE.
  8. Review all GSE policies and practices (e.g. accessibility, accommodation, work-life balance, health, and wellness, universal design, family leave, purchasing and budget allocation) and infuse equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion language and perspective when necessary. Advocate for University policy or practices updates or revisions when appropriate.

Strategic Goal Two Identify, recruit, attract, hire, mentor/coach and retain a highly-talented and diverse and culturally competent faculty and staff with a particular focus on recruiting those from underrepresented minoritized groups


  1. Design a comprehensive GSE Strategy for significantly increasing URM faculty. The comprehensive strategy will include a GSE Search Handbook, required pre-search-approved Inclusive Excellence Search Proposal, training for each member of search committee to advance equity and reduce bias, position advertisements designed to attract URM candidates, and detailed plans to create a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive department environment.
  2. Train all search committee members in reducing barriers and enhancing opportunities for diversity and inclusion in faculty searches, including combatting implicit bias and using best practices.
  3. Allocate resources to faculty hiring initiatives specifically targeting those educational areas with significant available populations (see NSF HERD or SREB data) and/or those GSE departments or programs that have already demonstrated success mentoring significant numbers URM faculty.
  4. Develop and implement inducements (e.g., additional hires, increased professional development budget) for those academic departments that meet and/or exceed hiring targets of URM faculty.
  5. Develop GSE-wide and department/program-specific mentoring efforts and programming that are oriented toward preparing mentors and supporting mentees and that create a GSE culture of mentoring and support.
  6. Create ongoing opportunities for faculty development, particularly for URM faculty, through UB, GSE, programs and activities and through professional associations such as the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.
  7. Embed contributions to EDJI efforts as a significant component of position descriptions, performance appraisals, and tenure, and promotion expectations.
  8. Create and host an Institute for Aspiring Professors (designed primarily but not exclusively for URM and first-gen PhD students and Post-Docs).
  9. Develop tools such as exit surveys, quality of life surveys, and turnover metrics to understand and respond, as appropriate, to the reasons behind faculty turnover, particularly for URM faculty.  

Strategic Goal Three Attract, enroll, retain, mentor, and graduate a highly-talented and diverse student body with particular focus on URMs


  1. Each Department will develop its own action plan for increasing student diversity, particularly for URM students. These diversity action plans will specifically outline professional organizations and related field-specific groups to share with GSE Admissions to help identify and recruit students. Additionally, these action plans should describe innovative department efforts to provide effective and culturally responsive advising and an inclusive and supportive climate, and detail department plans for student retention. Additionally, each plan will include metrics for the assessment of yearly progress in each of these areas.
  2. Identify, strengthen, and/or create new local pathway programs to provide access to GSE degree programs for URM students (e.g., minors, partnering with UB Honors, McNair Scholars, Daniel Acker Scholars) with a goal of creating a nexus or network of URM students within GSE. Additionally, identify appropriate school districts that can enhance opportunity for applications to UB Teach and strengthen direct-entry programs such as UB Teacher Residency.
  3. Identify, utilize, and build or strengthen partnerships with national, state, regional, and local recruitment resources and entities to attract and enroll URM students (e.g., National Name Exchange, McNair Scholar Program National Directory, GEM Fellowship Directory, Ron Brown Fellowship, Jackie Robinson Foundation, Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs, HBCUs, HSI, and Tribal Colleges).
  4. Develop increasing four-year targets for under-represented minoritized (URM) graduate students to be revised annually:

    • 2021 -2021 increase total URMs to14%
    • 2021-2022 increase total URMs to 15%,
    • 2022-2023 increase total URMs to 17%,
    • 2023–2024 increase total URMs to 19%,
    • 2024-2025 increase total URMS to 20%

    This would raise the percentage of URM students from 12% in Fall 2019 to 20% by 2024-2025.

  5. Create introductory admission opportunities for prospective URM PhD applicants, including virtual engagement opportunities, research talks, and invited trips to meet with faculty and current students to enhance applicant pool and increase application completion percentages for URM students. 
  6. As part of a larger initiative related to enhance yield of PhD students, offer engagement events for prospective URM PhD students. This recruitment effort would be part of a larger multi-day PhD visitation program, with the goal of increasing our yield on admitted PhD students and URM students.
  7. Develop a current student ambassador program, specifically to connect current URM students with prospective URM students. Create an incentive program for current students who become ambassadors as a means of compensation for their time, effort, and support of prospective and recently admitted URM students.
  8. Create, enhance, encourage, and financially support opportunities (e.g., via regular budget and seed-grant opportunities) and programs within GSE that promote success and retention of URM graduate students.
  9. Develop inducements (e.g., greater access to GAs, Schomburg/Presidential Fellowships, Dean Fellows) for those academic programs that meet and/or exceed enrollment targets of URM graduate students.
  10. Develop a Peer Mentoring/Buddy program for first –year GSE URM students designed to help them become acclimated to GSE.
  11. Design specific programs and activities to welcome, engage, and support URM students (e.g., Dean’s reception for Presidential and Schomburg Fellows, Dean’s reception for students of color, Welcome or Welcome Back Cookout for students of color, speaker series, research outreach, Dean’s Panel at GSE Graduate Student Research Symposium)
  12. Develop and or partner with other UB units (e.g. Graduate School, VPIX) to provide programs and supports for all GSE students, particularly URMs, to create a Gateways to Success program to take them from orientation to navigating academia, to building skills, to individual goals and plans, preparing for a career.
  13. Ensure that all faculty assume responsibility for and actively engage in effective mentoring/coaching URM students. Inducements or supports for active involvement may include merit pay, increased travel funds, additional GA support; whereas failure to do so and/or lack of effective and culturally sensitive engagement or mentoring may result in consequences such as losing GA support.
  14. Identify best practices and disseminate to faculty for GSE graduate student mentoring/coaching focused on, but not exclusive to, URM graduate students.
  15. Meet and share resources twice a year that ALL faculty are expected to attend, so they are better equipped to provide culturally competent and affirming mentoring. 
  16. Develop tools such as exit surveys, quality of life surveys, and turnover metrics to understand the reasons behind student attrition especially URM students. Information from these metrics will be used to inform and evaluate current strategies as well as develop new ways of supporting URM students and increasing an inclusive and supportive climate.

Strategic Goal Four Expect and require all members of the community to engage in curricular, co-curricular, and research activities that improve diversity, equity, and multicultural competence within GSE and through our community engagements


  1. Communicate that EDJI is an expectation central to our disciplines and the work of GSE. All faculty are expected to communicate this to students and demonstrate it in their own work. Individual annual goals should identify how EDJI is integrated into faculty teaching, advising, research or service and individual annual performance reviews and merit consideration should evaluate progress in this area.
  2. Strengthen faculty awareness, knowledge, and pedagogical skills and ability to create culturally inclusive classrooms that effectively engage diverse perspectives and cultivate open and honest dialogue. Additionally, faculty are expected to cultivate and strengthen students’ ability to engage multiple perspectives and participate in honest and respectful dialogue.
  3. Review, evaluate, and explicitly infuse EDJI issues, with particular attention to race, racism, oppression, intersectionality, and underserved, underrepresented, and minoritized populations into the curriculum at the department, programmatic, and individual course level. Issues such as gender/gender expression/gender identity, sexual orientation, religious identity, social class, xenophobia, disability and other EDJI issues should also be a specific focus.
  4. Re-imagine, enhance, and require advising and mentoring practices that are inclusive and equitable. In addition, gather annual advising and mentoring evaluations that include EDJI issues and provide feedback on individual faculty and overall faculty efforts through surveys or focus groups. Faculty who receive negative feedback will meet with their department chair to develop a training and action plan to enhance their competence.
  5. Develop and/or partner with other UB units (when appropriate) to provide professional development opportunities specifically to enhance culturally inclusive and affirming advising and mentoring practices.
  6. Develop and/or partner with other UB units (when appropriate) to provide professional development opportunities, specifically to improve classroom experiences, support respectful dialogue, identify implicit biases, and decrease microaggressions among those with various perspectives and viewpoints.
  7. Imbed and increase EDJI education, training, programming, speakers, and conversations, and professional development into the activities of all academic and administrative units.
  8. Encourage and incentivize a focus on EDJI as a component of research.
  9. Engage, foster, and empower collaborative groups of faculty and students who conduct scholarship on EDJI-related issues, to work in innovative ways to leverage their expertise to inspire change and promote dialogue on diversity, equity, and inclusion within GSE and their professional communities.
  10. Work with the CDI to identify appropriate GSE candidates for the Distinguished Visiting Scholars of Color program. Nominate at least two candidates each year for the program.
  11. Partner with other UB and SUNY entities to develop a Post-doctoral Fellowship program for emerging Scholars of Color.
  12. Incentivize and reward participation in mentoring, training, and professional development and resultant contributions to EDJI during performance appraisal, promotion, tenure, GSE grants, awards and merit raise decisions.
  13. Create a fund to support inclusive pedagogy. curriculum development, and enhancement of faculty pedagogical skills and abilities (e.g., professional development workshops and skill building focused on developing faculty pedagogical expertise in cultivating inclusive classrooms; supporting individual instructors develop EDJI focus of their courses; sponsor collaborative retreats in which program chairs, instructors, students, and/or staff members voluntarily convene to advance some teaching and learning agenda central to realizing a sufficiently diverse curriculum and/or inclusive norms and practices) and reward and provide additional supports and resources to those departments and programs actively engaging in these efforts.
  14. Convene meeting near beginning of academic year with the Dean, associate and assistant deans, department and program chairs to outline and share program-specific curricular and instructional goals related to EDJI and to develop and share strategies for implementing these goals. Department Chairs will also provide, to appropriate associate deans, written end-of-year evaluation of EDJI curriculum goals.
  15. Redesign Faculty Annual Reports, in consultation with Executive Committee, that require faculty members to record their goals and progress as they pertain to teaching and advising/ mentoring activity related to EDJI.
  16. Conduct annual faculty reviews to illuminate, in part, areas of accomplishments and areas that warrant development on the part of faculty members in terms of advancing the GSE curricular and instructional agenda with respect to EDJI and identify/refine relevant benchmarks and/or goals for the upcoming academic year.

Strategic Goal Five Build and maintain a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable climate for all GSE faculty, students, staff, and administrators


  1. Conduct a biennial climate assessment for faculty, staff, and students, either through survey or focus groups, that gathers information about their perceptions and experiences with GSE’s ability to create a welcoming, affirming and equitable school that makes all members of the community feel recognized and supported.
  2. Create additional supports and opportunities for URM faculty and students above and beyond what has been developed, such as the creation of affinity groups to uniquely support students of color (e.g., group for Black graduate students)
  3. Create and encourage engagement in a visible feedback system where members of the GSE community are asked to give both affirming and critical feedback about GSE’s efforts and outcomes in creating an environment that is equitable, diverse, just, and inclusive.
  4. Conduct an environment audit that considers the accessibility and welcoming nature of GSE spaces. Ensure that all spaces are accessible to individuals with disabilities and that the artwork and other visible representations in the school are diverse, inclusive, and welcoming.

Strategic Goal Six Increase alumni engagement to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and multicultural competence within the GSE community


  1. Engage alumni to develop mentorship opportunities for students (e.g., URM, international)
  2. Highlight successful URM GSE alumni using GSE communication outlets (e.g., GSE Websites, alumni newsletters, Tuesday Tickers, social media) to increase overall visibility of GSE and careers of our alumni.
  3. Engage alumni to provide opportunities to meet with and present to student groups (e.g., GSA, CSJI) to provide mentorship/coaching and academic and career guidance.



Our Mission

With a focus on local-to-global impact, the Graduate School of Education is an inclusive community engaged in ground-breaking research and teaching across education, human development and information science that improves educational, social and economic opportunities for individuals and communities.

Our Vision

As an integral part of a premier, research-intensive public institution committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, the Graduate School of Education will be recognized worldwide for outstanding and transformative research and teaching linked to educational, social and economic opportunities and outcomes at the individual and collective levels.

2025 Strategic Plan