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In the CXO Insights column, Burnette published a thought-leadership piece on "Employing Technology to Coordinate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Efforts Across Campus."
The article highlights Seton Hall's efforts to utilize technology to help create a sustained, trusting and collaborative community that educates and empowers all its members to advance equity, inclusion and social justice on campus and in the wider world.
The first goal was to redesign the existing DEI website and coordinate a campus-wide communication strategy. [In collaboration with our University Relations team], social media and video campaigns highlighted DEI efforts of student, faculty, staff, and alumni through dynamic and interactive video elements via social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. The existing DEI website was enhanced with an RSS feed to share DEI related news stories and upcoming University events. The website promoted internal and external resources, including University Library collections, book guides and LinkedIn Learning Paths.
The results for 2021 included DEI web pages accruing over 15,000 sessions, an increase of 567% year-over-year. More than 100,000 pageviews for DEI related pages resulted in an increase of 658% from the previous year. Videos promoting DEI initiatives were viewed more than 27,000 times, with more than 500,000 social media impressions.
Burnette provided details on a second goal to refine and promote all existing and new DEI efforts, programs, and experiences:
The Committee encouraged a collaborative approach for event organizers to track and plan events, creating best practice documents for event promotion through social media, weekly emails, and monthly newsletters. The University events calendar scheduling system added "tags", such as "diversity, equity, and inclusion" and various heritage months (e.g., Asian American Heritage Month). These tags provided a streamlined way to analyze data and create reports. Since January 2021, more than 100 DEI events, including anti-racism training, were held. The DEI Committee primarily used Microsoft Teams to facilitate training events to over 500 participants. "Channels" were used to host concurrent breakout sessions and facilitators encouraged the use of the "chat" and "raise hand" functions for participants to ask questions, enable comments, and enrich discussion.
Burnette stressed the importance of these DEI efforts and the role that technology can provide when strategically incorporated into the process.
Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus require institutions to align efforts with strategic goals through communication, collaboration, and coordination. Campus collaboration promotes a collegial culture that fosters a strong sense of belonging. Technology efforts can enhance a campus-wide communication strategy and automate channels to track outcomes and metrics. An inclusive, institutional-wide approach that involves all divisions, from senior leadership to the student body can serve as a model to enhance institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
For more about Seton Hall's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts incorporating technology, the article is available here.