College of Communication > About > Diversity, Equity & Inclusion > Action Steps

DE&I Action Steps

Progress on the College of Communication 3 Year DEI Action Plan will be reflected here. We will update this page regularly. If you have questions, comments or feedback, please reach to

On May 21, 2021, the college's 2020-21 DE&I student fellow, Jordan Dockery, presented a summary of her discussions with students and student groups from across the college to all faculty and staff. The findings of this report will inform our work as a college moving forward.

Some core themes in the report included:

  • Polarized responses from students about diversity in the college
  • A desire for greater accountability and transparency coming from the college
  • The immense difficulty of the past year and what actions helped students

Students said that “accountability” and “transparency” can mean several things, including:

  • More visible and vocal political commitments that take an active stance and include a plan to move forward
  • Increased communication about current DE&I work in the college
  • Clear information on how DE&I discussions are being turned into action-based initiatives
  • More discussions of social and university inequalities that include student perspectives and feedback

During a challenging year, students appreciated when faculty:

  • Prioritized students' well-being
  • Offered check-ins
  • Increased flexibility
  • Recognized the hardships of the year
  • Allowed for time to process
  • Created a sense of community
  • Promoted student involvement within the college
  • Shared resources with students

In Fall 2020, the college hosted Jacinta Yanders, PhD, for the workshop, "Decolonizing Your Syllabus." This workshop interrogated the ways white, straight, male, cis and Western perspectives and voices have been historically centralized in academic discussions.

In a follow-up microtraining, we challenged faculty to:

  • Carefully review their course syllabi and readings for Winter 2021.
  • Reflect on the diversity (or lack thereof) of scholars, case studies and examples that were presented in their course material.
  • Commit to making at least two meaningful changes in course materials this quarter (and then two additional changes every quarter moving forward).
  • The college provided resource support for faculty to take up the challenge.

In a follow-up assessment survey of faculty in Winter 2021:

  • The vast majority of reporting faculty took the challenge seriously (86%), engaged in significant reflection (83%) and sought out new and diverse voices (88%)
  • While faculty made changes to their course materials, only 43% felt satisfied with their results, marking a desire and an understood commitment to keep doing better.

The work of decolonizing our courses and dismantling systems of oppression in our institutions is ongoing, and we want to hear what you think.

  • Which class readings have a made an impact for you?
  • Where can we better represent a range of voices, identities and perspectives in your courses and areas of study?