During the Fall 2020 semester, members of the WUEIC met both as a full Council and in four startup working groups: First Steps, Council Structure, Accountability and Measurement, and Reporting.
These working groups were the “startup engines” for the council, charged with establishing the foundation for the Council’s work by designing its basic structures for 2021-25 — in other words, what the Council will do and how it will do it.
Working groups were made up of both Council members and other university representatives as appropriate and necessary.
All four startup working groups were set to sunset by December 31, 2020.
In Spring 2021, the Standing Committees emerged: Executive, Governance, Accountability & Measurement, Communications, Storytelling and Reporting, and Student Liaisons.
Below are the scopes of work for the four startup working groups; descriptions of the standing committees can be found in the 2021-2026 Charter and Organizing Principles document.
2020 First Steps Working Group
This working group:
- Recommended a small number of specific, measurable, time-bound commitments the Council will make for 2021.
- Drafted a high-level work plan for the Council through the Spring 2022 semester.
- Assessed and made recommendations for how to amplify and leverage existing work (completed or in progress) that aligns with the Council’s objectives and commitment to using data to drive accountability and action, such as:
- Diversity and Inclusion Commission recommendations
- Supplier Diversity wins/baseline
- Assessment of common demands from students submitted in 2020
Agenda items for Fall 2020 meetings of the First Steps Working Group included:
- Establishing a roster of existing work related to diversity, equity, and inclusion known to Council members, and identification of ways to gather additional existing work from across the university.
- Discussion of Council priorities, and how to align those priorities with a work plan to recommend to the Council.
2020 Council Structure Working Group
This working group:
- Recommended to the full Council a structure for the standing committees of the council, including committee scope and member selection process.
- Recommended any ad hoc committees that may be needed in the first year.
- Suggested changes to the Council operating structure, Council member composition, and/or Council member selection process, if changes are deemed necessary.
- Recommended a meeting structure and frequency for the full Council, with committees to determine their own meeting frequency and structure.
As most of the Council’s work will be done through its committees, the Council Structure Working Group had a significant influence in defining how the Council will do its work.
- Beginning in January 2021, the Council will have standing and ad-hoc committees made up of staff, faculty, and students as appropriate, as well as appropriate representatives by University role.
- We anticipate that many initial committees will focus on coordination and knowledge sharing, in order to avoid duplication of existing university structures. Over time, it might make sense to move some existing university structures into the Council structure.
- Every five years the Council will assess its charge, its membership structure, its relationship to other university structures, and its deliverables through a multi-stakeholder process that reaches beyond Council and committee membership. As such, the Council Structure Working Group will be re-established as an ad hoc committee in the fifth year of each Council cycle, with 2025 being the first such year.
Agenda items for Fall 2020 meetings of the Council Structure Working Group included:
- Examining existing Council structure, and affirming or proposing changes
- Determining standing committees that would best activate the envisioned work of the Council
- Developing an organizational chart, considering how entities within the Council will interact and communicate with each other and with university entities outside the Council
- Discussing Council purpose and values, and how to ensure those are exhibited in Council actions
- Discussing language and naming, including what to call the entities in the new structure
2020 Accountability and Measurement Working Group and Standing Committee
This working group and the subsequent standing committee will:
- Determine the diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics the Council will measure and evaluate, using the Scorecard Report from the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion as its starting point.
- Propose a measurement structure for the Council, including who will gather data, how often data will be gathered, and how data will be analyzed and reported to the Council and the university community.
- In collaboration with the Reporting Working Group, recommend how often, and by what process the Council will report its measurement findings.
- Recommend how the Council will work with other university stakeholders to hold the institution accountable for its performance relative to the target metrics.
Agenda items for Fall 2020 meetings of the Measurement Working Group included:
- Discussion of the recommendations from the Scorecard Report.
- Developing recommendations for how to prioritize the recommendations, how to implement them, and an implementation timeline.
Note: Accountability and Measurement Working Group members will be expected to have read at least the six recommendations (p. 1-7) in the Scorecard Report before the first working group meeting.
2020 Reporting Working Group
This working group:
- Developed a reporting structure for the baseline report to be delivered to the university community and the Board of Trustees in December 2020 that will serve as a template for future annual reports.
- Collaborated with other working groups and university partners to gather content to be included in the baseline report.
The baseline report — housed here on the WUEIC website and titled “December 2020 Community Update” — included:
- The structure of the Council going forward, including its purpose, values, and how it will do its work, as developed by the Council Structure Working Group.
- A high-level work plan for the Council through the Spring 2022 semester, as identified by the First Steps Working Group.
- The diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics the Council will measure and evaluate, as identified by the Accountability and Measurement Working Group.
- The key questions and resources needed to advance the work forward from each working group.