Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)



  • Description: Planning designed to advance diversity efforts.
  • Examples: official definition, mission statement, diversity plan.


  • SHP DEI Committee
  • SHP DEI Survey
  • Town Halls focused on DEI

Recommendations (When)

Consider sub-committees for newly expanded SHP DEI Committee (Spring 2020)
Coordinate with efforts of UAB Equity Concil and ODEI (Ongoing)



  • Description: Intentional systems to drive diversity.
  • Examples: formal diversity leader, goals and achievements reported, part of merit reviews.


  • Town Hall with DEI Survey presentation
  • DEI Website Implemented

Recommendations (When)

Recommend SHP appoint Senior DEI Officer (Spring 2020)
Add "To Do" list on SHP DEI web, check off when complete, notify School (Spring 2020)
Develop SHP DEI Committee imaging for materials (Spring 2020)


Research & Assessment

  • Description: Capacity to assess diversity progress.
  • Examples: institutional implications and benefits, scorecard system, assess climate.


  • SHP DEI Survey (faculty/staff/students)
  • Modern Think Surveys (2017 & 2019)

Recommendations (When)

Summarize and distribute SHP DEI Survey Results (Spring 2020)
Repeat SHP DEI Survey at appropriate intervals (Ongoing)
Develop metrics and put scorecard on SHP DEI web (Ongoing)


Training & Education Initiatives

  • Description: Prepare campus community to engage with issues of difference, enhancing abilities to thrive in a diverse world.
  • Examples: diversity training for students, staff, faculty and administration, course requirements for students for graduation.


  • NIXLA I Team: focused on SHP DEI Committee
  • NIXLA II Team: focused on students and awards

Recommendations (When)

Diversity Recruitment Training (Spring 2020)
Culture Flags Display Project (Spring 2020)
SHP DEI discussion sessions (Spring/Summer 2020)
Cultural holidays on monitors (Spring 2020)
Student-focused activities (TBD)
SHP DEI awards for faculty/staff (TBD)


Faculty, Staff, Student Diversification Efforts

  • Description: Intentional capacity to advance faculty, staff and student diversity.
  • Examples: formal diverse faculty, staff and student recruitment initiatives, diverse faculty on search committees, financial resources available for recruits and hires.


  • Equity analysis and adjustments

Recommendations (When)

Diversity Recruitment Training (Spring 2020)

Shared Governance

Shared Governance


In the 2019 ModernThink survey, the School of Health Professions’ Shared Governance score improved seven points to 66 percent from the 2017 survey. Even so, there is clearly room for improvement so we hosted two town hall meetings in December 2019, to better understand faculty and staff perceptions.

Jim Hill, Ph.D., chair, Department of Nutrition Sciences, moderated the sessions. Jim Rimmer, Ph.D., director, UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative, took notes.

Faculty and staff feedback reinforced that this is an extremely important issue within SHP. It also revealed there is some skepticism that “nothing is likely to change” but this can be overcome with strong support from Dean Andrew Butler.


  • Lack of Knowledge: Unclear how Shared Governance works in SHP and what processes are in place for its promotion.
  • Lack of Communication: Needs to improve. Passive messages (posting online or in handbooks) are ineffective. Use multiple media sources for delivery.
  • Lack of Oversight: Assigning a Shared Governance leader/chair would strengthen faculty and staff confidence that something will be done.

Theme One: General Lack of Awareness/Understanding

There were several comments related to School of Health Professions faculty and staff being unaware of a Shared Governance policy nor being able to find information about Shared Governance. Many attendees were unclear of the term “Shared Governance” with respect to their roles and responsibilities within their department and the school.

Faculty and staff comments were aggregated across both town hall meetings, organized by theme and summarized below.



Theme Two: Passive Communication Is No Longer Effective

Passive forms of communication (posting online or in a handbook) are ineffective for facilitating and growing Shared Governance. While there are occasional emails requesting faculty to vote for Senate candidates, there isn’t a regular communication ‘channel’ that provides faculty/staff with opportunities to participate in Shared Governance issues. Also, the volume of emails that faculty and staff receive, limits opportunity to provide input.

Again, faculty and staff comments were aggregated across both town hall meetings, organized by theme and summarized below.




  • Identify a process for addressing shared governance in 2020.
      • Designate a leader for the process within the Dean’s Office. Possibilities include – Tracee Synco, Ph.D., assistant dean, Student Recruitment, Engagement and Success, and Sue Feldman, Ph.D., director, Graduate Programs in Health Informatics.
      • Consider how to get widespread representation throughout the school. Could include asking for or choosing volunteers.
      • Decide structure moving forward. One committee or multiple committees. Plus, clarify the role of technology in getting people involved.
      • Consider hiring or designating a person to manage the process. It might be worth hiring someone who could provide administrative support.
      • Clearly communicate how things can change. Use technology to allow people to have input throughout the process.
      • Ensure that department chairs are enthusiastically on board and provide support.
  • Consider multiple ways to make people aware of how Shared Governance works.
  • Consider “success models” – where shared governance is done well – inside or outside of UAB.
  • Focus on communication.
  • Link closely with other committees/groups – eg. Office for Academic and Faculty Affairs.

Onboarding and Development

Onboarding and Development


Develop SHP onboarding and development taskforce.

A comprehensive proposal created by the 2018-2019 SHP Taskforce included recommendations for a improvements along with proposed checklists and an Onboarding Packet for our new employees. Our goal is to have tailored onboarding plans for all incoming faculty and staff including new, rehire and internal transfer employees.


Develop plan for SHP onboarding experience for faculty and staff.

SHP began implementation of the taskforce proposal in November 2019. We agree that any modifications needed will become evident as we begin working with the plan. The university provides useful on-boarding tools and checklists for faculty and staff. Our goal is to create a consistently exceptional experience for our School of Health Professions employees once they accept their offer of employment. Our onboarding packet is an important element of that goal. It provides critical information about the school and departments to perspective employees while in their pre-hire phase. Checklists in this document walk new hires systematically through their on-boarding process relative to SHP. The intent is for the new SHP employee to feel welcome well informed and on track from the beginning of their experience in order to some of the anxiety, any new job can create. School of Health Professions Human Resources will own the process but the whole community that is SHP will participate in creating the consistently exceptional onboarding experience for new employees of our school.


Resume Dean’s Leadership Book Series (every semester).

SHP stands behind the axiom that in order to lead others, you must first lead yourself. There are discussions in progress to bring back the School’s Leadership Book Series tradition. It will be open to all faculty and staff. The goal is to assign a book each semester that will foster continued growth, self-discovery and awareness. The ultimate benefit is for faculty and staff to apply the leadership lessons learned in these sessions to their work and life.


Create mentoring experience for faculty and staff outside of normal reporting lines.

Each of our new faculty and staff deserves a welcoming onboarding experience that instills confidence and trust in their decision to join us in the School of Health Professions. One key to delivering the best possible experience is informal and formal mentoring support from colleagues who will provide information about our background, history and culture, as well as answer questions about the work we do. Having a mentor or colleague to go can provide support and ease the anxiety of being a new employee.

Click here for SHP Progress Reports

Survey Overview

UAB Process


Modern Think LLC web


Survey Results





Survey Progress

Focus Areas web


Progress Reports web