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University Equity and Inclusion
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Diversity Strategic Planning Process FAQs

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  • The University Equity Audit made clear the need for a strategic planning process that would move the university toward inclusive excellence. The diversity strategic planning process is a mechanism to institutionally embrace diversity, inclusion, and equity as a core value. Organizational units across Rutgers University will use the diversity strategic planning process to describe their current state, envision their ideal state and define measurable goals, identifying actionable steps to create a more inclusive future.

  • We have defined five priorities that encapsulate areas where the university needs to make progress. They are: 1) Recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community, 2) Promote inclusive scholarship and teaching, 3) Define sustainable and substantive community engagements, 4) Build the capacity of leaders to create inclusive climates, and 5) Develop an institutional infrastructure to drive change. These priorities reflect shared objectives that enable us to define benchmarks for achievement and structural mechanisms for accountability to be a beloved community.

  • The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity began mapping out the diversity strategic planning process with chancellor-led unit leads in December 2020. An estimated timeline, as well as process steps, are outlined below, for more information consult the Diversity Strategic Planning Toolkit:


    • February

    Map out planning process: Form a planning committee, organize and launch process in coordination with the diversity strategic planning team within your Chancellor's unit.


    • February/March

    Gather information and conduct self-assessments: Gather/analyze data to understand your current state. Identify strengths/gaps/needs relevant to the priorities.


    • April/May 

    Develop a Vision - Set goals, Identify Metrics: Articulate organizational unit goals and develop an Organizational Unit Diversity Action Plan. 


    • May-August 

    Chancellor-led units Adopt Diversity Strategic Plan:  Describes how organizational units will work together to achieve the Chancellor-led unit’s goals and advance the university priorities.


    • September 

    University Communicates Vision: A unified vision for expanding Rutgers’ commitment to diversity is shared, coupled with concrete strategic plans for each Chancellor-led unit that outlines how each of its parts advances the shared priorities.

    • October-December 

    Implement Plan: Launch internal workplan with benchmarks, timelines, and institutional support.


  • Planning is only the beginning. It is an essential step, but it is only the first one. The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity will provide ongoing monitoring of planned efforts. Chancellor-led units will be expected to provide an annual update on progress and stay in regular contact so we can stay abreast of needs and provide support. At the Chancellor-led unit level, each organizational unit is urged to designate a coordinator for implementation within their unit that will coordinate with the Chancellor-led unit planning/implementation lead. We plan to communicate often so our internal and external communities are aware of ongoing activities to support achievement of our goals. Check the diversity website often to track our progress.


  • New Brunswick, Newark, Camden,  and Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences (RBHS) are Chancellor-led units (CLUs). Schools, divisions, departments, centers and institutes, etc. within Chancellor-led units are organizational units (OU).

  • Within each Chancellor-led unit, there is a leader spearheading the planning process. Be in touch with them to ask clarifying questions, as they arise, and learn about adaptations to the process to serve local objectives.

    • New Brunswick: Enobong (Anna) Branch, Senior Vice President for Equity
    • Newark: Sherri-Ann Butterfield, Executive Vice Chancellor
    • Camden: Nyeema Watson, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Civic Engagement
    • RBHS: Sangeeta Lamba, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion

    The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity provides central support for the strategic planning process. We work closely with the Chancellor-led unit planning leads to support their progress.

  • Yes. The Diversity Strategic Planning Assessment Survey is a vehicle to enable input from all members of the university community. Please take advantage of this opportunity to reflect on where we are now and what needs to change. We need your voice to help shape the institutional path forward. The survey is confidential and participation is strongly encouraged.

  • No, it is not a climate survey. While there are elements of the survey that touch on experiences while at Rutgers, the purpose of the survey is to enable the university community to give feedback and share their perceptions of where we are now, in relation to each priority, to help the Chancellor-led units and the university set goals for where we should be. 

  • This survey is open to all students, postgraduate learners and trainees, staff, and faculty at Rutgers University.

  • The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity will compile the data and provide reports at the Chancellor-led unit level and by organizational units responsible for strategic planning within them (such as schools and administrative areas). Small administrative units, however, were grouped together to enable anonymity. There is one open ended question and responses will be shared in full. 

    The survey is confidential and will not be linked to any of your personal information within the Rutgers system. A limited set of demographic questions are asked, such as race, gender, as well as length of time as Rutgers to observe whether there are observable differences in experience and perceptions of what needs to change.


  • The survey will be available for about 3 weeks from Thursday, January 28 to Sunday, February 21, 2021.

  • Chancellor-led units will be coordinating outreach to their surrounding communities to ensure their voices are reflected in the conversation about our path forward. Leveraging our educational mission to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for historically underrepresented and underserved populations in the communities that surround our campuses and throughout New Jersey is one the university priorities. Defining how we go about that in partnership with existing community organizations and partners will be critical to our long-term success.

  • We are partnering with the Rutgers University Foundation to explore ways to engage alumni purposefully in shaping a more inclusive path forward for Rutgers. Stay tuned!