Promising Practices Catalog

For each of theTask Force's Four Goals and Four Tools, we have gathered examples of promising practices from across the University.  Options to develop a user-friendly online database for the Promising Practices Catalog are currently being considered. In the meantime, an online read-only spreadsheet of promising practices can be found here.

The teaser of the promising practices catalog included in the online version of the Task Force report is recreated below.

CHAN Associate Dean for Diversity

The associate dean for diversity is formallyresponsible for all aspects of strategy relatedto diversity, inclusion, and belonging. In addition, the senior director of human resources, associate dean for faculty affairs,and associate dean for student services are responsible for specific aspects of diversityand inclusion strategy for staff, faculty,and students, respectively. These latterofficials have specific compliance obligations related to diversity — e.g., affirmativeaction reporting, annual student diversity reporting to the Association of Schoolsand Programs of Public Health (...

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FAS Tenure-Track Faculty Mentoring

The dean of FAS made mentoring oftenure-track faculty a central topic at his fall2015 retreat for the FAS academic deans. Together, the deans reviewed the principles underlying the FAS’s AY 2009‒10approach to mentoring and professional development, discussed fresh approaches,and formulated benchmarks to help themevaluate at the upcoming academic planning meetings how well departments/areas were doing.Throughout fall 2015, asthese academic planning discussions tookplace, the Office for Faculty Affairs (OFA)separately conducted focus groups withtenure-track and recently tenured faculty to...

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SEAS Funds for Staff Professional Development

SEAS encourages staff to utilize training sessions and professional developmentconference funds to develop and/orimprove skills used in their daily roles,or to develop a deeper knowledge in new areas of interest to their overall career paths. The FAS and the University have programs/offices/centers in place whichoffer professional development opportunities, research and funding applicationsupport, and teaching support to all faculty.There is a particular emphasis on providingmentoring support to tenure-track faculty.


This practice highlights the...

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RIAS Responsibility and Resources

Over the past several years Radcliffe hasworked proactively to ensure that all staffwith formal responsibility have the autonomy, staff, and fiscal resources to achievethe diversity and inclusion goals set in theirstrategic plans. While the positions listedabove have formal responsibility, the deanhas repeatedly emphasized that all Radcliffestaff members, regardless of department orgrade level, play an essential role in creatinga diverse and inclusive community.


This practice is about a School’s thinkingexplicitly about how to align authority...

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SEAS Blind Grading

A guide on implementing blind grading onvarious software platforms used at SEAS is being developed. Additionally,Women in Computer Science (WiCS) hosts avariety of community events to encouragecollaboration among all levels of studentspursuing a concentration in computerscience (CS). As a result of an area-wide diversity committee, CS also launched a freshman advising initiative to provide eachfemale student who indicates a primary interest in CS with a CS faculty member as a freshman adviser. This required collaboration with admissions and faculty.



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HDS Vital Conversations

The Divinity School introduced a daylongconversation and presentation series duringincoming student orientation titled Vital Conversations, which focused on addressing racism and sexual and gender-based violence, and offered a continued series of community conversations throughout theyear with the same title, but touching on other aspects of diversity and inclusion.There were many events and programsorganized within the community, particularly by the student group HDS Racial Justice and Healing Initiative:

  • A conference on Buddhism and race.
  • A three-part...
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HBS 5i

The governance model of HBS is much likethat of Harvard more broadly — a matrixwhere strategy, decisions, and activitiesbubble up or exist or are made at the locallevel (e.g., within a particular departmentor program), but then are hopefully woventogether in service of a School-wide strategy. One of the most significant factors incausing inclusion to be felt and experiencedas a shared responsibility at HBS was the dean early in his tenure naming “inclusion”as among his “5i” priorities (innovation, intellectual ambition, internationalization, inclusion, and integration) — specifically,“to...

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HLS Faculty Teaching Workshops

Each summer two or three of the faculty workshops focus on teaching, includingtopics such as gender and race in the classroom; experiential learning; and learning outcomes and assessments. These are workshops in which faculty share bestpractices for creating environments that foster inclusion and belonging in teachingand learning.


This practice provides an example ofhow to schedule formal time and spacefor faculty members to share how theycreate and foster inclusion and belonging through teaching and learning. Thebroader practice of sharing knowledge...

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CHAN Schoolwide Climate Survey

In 2016 the Chan School completed aSchoolwide climate survey that examinedinclusion and belonging for all constituents. The survey data were collected and analyzed by an outside agency (the Culturally Engaging Campus EnvironmentsProject) and are available to all, and the findings were also presented in a number of live forums. During the last threeyears, the School has included questions on diversity and inclusion in student and staff exit surveys and has also added thesequestions to course evaluations. Exit surveyand course evaluation D&I questions are used for quality-improvement...

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HKS Visual Design Consultant

HKS has hired a consultant to help developa visual design that will pull together the old and new buildings on its campus. Afterthat design has been set, the School will examine the use of spaces to enhancediversity, inclusion, and belonging.


This School is reviewing art and iconography to create appropriately inclusive spaces.

GSD Joint Faculty-Staff Meeting

A joint faculty-staff meeting at thestart of each academic year promotes asense of shared vision in which the dean, faculty, and administrative leadershiplay out selected accomplishments andgoals. Human Resources (HR) provides staff and faculty opportunities to connect outside of the regular daily routine. HR coordinates regular Druker Design Gallerytours of current exhibitions led by faculty curators. In collaboration with the GSD Joint Council, HR hosts an annual “DesignToday” lecture given by a GSD facultymember to provide an opportunity forstaff to learn about the intellectual...

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GSAS “Dual Citizens”

Because GSAS students may have “dual citizenship” in other Schools, there are alsocollaborative efforts with offices in these Schools. For example, GSAS has collaborated with colleagues in the Chan School of Public Health,Harvard Business School, and the Kennedy School of Government to develop GSAS-wide pipeline andretention programs. Collaborations exist with diversity and inclusion (D&I) officesacross Harvard on recruitment efforts. Finally, under the leadership of the Officeof the Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity and Equity, individualsinvolved in D&I...

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HMS Entrance Interviews

The School’s entrance interviews with all first-year underrepresented minority (URM) students and feedback from the Office of Recruitment & Multicultural Affairs (ORMA) Student Advisory Group (SAG) are essential to providing negativeand positive insights from the applicants’perspective on the interview experienceand the subsequent implementation ofchanges to enhance it the following year.In 2017, ORMA initiated post-interview (pre-decision) anonymous surveying ofURM applicants to identify best practicesand also challenges on the interview day from the applicants’ perspective.

... Read more about HMS Entrance Interviews

HKS Class Discussion Software

HKS is prototyping cloud-based softwarethat tracks how frequently — or infrequently — students join class discussions.The software can produce charts that showstudents’ gender and nationality, ranking them by those who have participated least.This system is just one tool faculty canadopt to create a classroom environment where more students feel welcome to chime in and professors can level the playingfield. Nine faculty members are using thisnew software in 13 classes with more than 300 students.


This School is developing systems to leverage data in order...

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The Center for Education Policy Research(CEPR) successfully created OneCEPR, aspace where information related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is shared,and began making more connectionsbetween DEI and CEPR’s work. This was prompted after CEPR’s leadership reflected on the following:

  • What are our core values?
  • Is diversity at the organizational level reflected here?
  • Does the Center value people’s individual diversity?
  • Are folks satisfied with CEPR’s culture?

Had the leadership not posed...

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