College of Medicine:Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy
Applies to: Students, residents, fellows, faculty, administration and staff
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Medicine (COM) is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for all members of the academic community, including students, residents, fellows, faculty, administration, and staff. To meet this commitment, a strategic plan focused on increasing DEI will be developed, implemented, and monitored.
Adapted from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
Diversity: Individual differences, (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences), group and social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, indigeneity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, and (dis)ability), historically underrepresented populations, and cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations.
Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity — in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect — in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
Equity: The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion.
Inclusive Excellence: Designed to help colleges and universities integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations. It calls for higher education to address diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the well-being of democratic culture. It is an active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities.
Office of the Dean
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
The following actions and organizational structure will be implemented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center COM to further DEI goals, and to demonstrate its commitment to inclusive excellence through its leadership, policies and practices.
- The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will be led by an Associate Dean for DEI who reports directly to the Dean. Positions in support of the Associate Dean for DEI will initially include (with future additions or deletions based on programmatic need, as approved by the dean):
- Assistant Dean for DEI Student Programs
- Assistant Dean for DEI Education Programs
- Director of Medical Pathway Programs
- The Associate Dean for DEI, who is an ad-hoc member of the Faculty Council, works in close collaboration with the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Curriculum, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, Senior Associate Dean for Research, and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, who are also ad-hoc members of or invited guests to the Faculty Council, as well as assistant deans who report to these individuals.
- The College of Medicine DEI Committee will be a Special Committee of the faculty council per the Structure, Rules and Regulations of the Faculty and advise the Associate Dean of DEI on the development of a strategic plan for the COM to develop initiatives that foster an environment conducive to achieving inclusive excellence. Members of the committee include medical students, residents, faculty and staff.
- The Office of DEI is responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of a strategic plan to guide efforts to promote inclusive excellence.
- The Office of DEI regularly reviews the COM’s diversity categories related to the LCME-defined groups (students, faculty, and senior administrative staff) and makes recommendations to appropriate leaders/committees.
- Awareness – The Associate Dean for DEI will ensure that students, faculty and staff know about the COM’s mission to foster a diverse and inclusive environment during orientation for students, onboarding for faculty and staff, and periodically thereafter. Additional information on policies and procedures will be posted on the COM website for easy access. The COM will include in its internal newsletter and at town hall meetings with the Dean, additional information about campus climate and commitment to inclusive excellence.
- Evaluation. The COM will regularly assess and evaluate the climate of its campus and monitor the effectiveness of the diversity and inclusion initiatives. The COM will use these evaluations to continuously improve the quality of education, research and patient care.
- Commitment across departments. All departments in the COM will identify processes and programs to achieve the DEI goals of the college, particularly as they pertain to faculty, staff and trainees in each department. For example, this could include appointment of a diversity champion, a vice chair for diversity and/or a diversity committee. However, other approaches may be equally acceptable, depending upon the size and complexity of a specific department.
The COM Office of Admissions and the Office of DEI will convene a taskforce to develop recommendations for a holistic review process that will use metrics to categorize experiences and attributes to help recruit a diverse student body that reflects the community and the state.
Workforce recruitment priorities
- The Office of the Dean will determine priority groups for recruitment and revise them as needed annually to reflect the needs of the state of Nebraska.
- Recruitment initiatives and programs developed to meet these priorities will use metrics to monitor success and make improvement as needed.
The COM Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the Office of DEI will collaborate to integrate education on diversity and inclusion into the curriculum in order to better prepare students to address health disparities in their work and promote a work environment that fosters inclusivity. Curriculum will address:
- Social determinants of health, health disparities, health equity
- Cultural competency, conscious and unconscious bias
- Collaborative work in interprofessional teams
Retention of students, faculty and staff
The COM will implement, monitor, and evaluate all programs and initiatives to retain students, faculty and staff in order to achieve inclusive excellence. Responsibilities for these areas and programs will be in collaboration between the Office of DEI, the Office of Student Affairs (for students), the Office of Faculty Affairs (for faculty), and Human Resources (for staff).
Presented to Faculty Council: April, 9, 2021
Approved by Faculty Council: March 10, 2023
Modified by Faculty Council: June 9, 2023