What does an institution need to have in place to create and sustain:
  • A diverse workforce?
  • Equitable hiring and compensation practices?
  • An inclusive work environment for all?
In higher education, attention to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts is often focused on the student population. CUPA-HR’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Maturity Index is designed to help higher ed institutions take meaningful steps to develop their DEI efforts around staff and faculty.

What is a maturity index?

A maturity index is used to measure a complex idea, like DEI, and break it down into measures of smaller, underlying factors. Scores indicate how close or far away you are from the ideal or goal in that area, and lower score can help you to focus your efforts on certain areas that will result in the most positive change. A maturity index can be repeat to track progress over time.

What is this maturity index, and why is it needed?

This maturity index helps your institution to assess diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). DEI is increasingly a strategic necessity in higher education, and in recent years more national attention has been paid to this topic in higher education. The degree to which institutions value DEI can impact their reputations, and DEI is now an important part of risk management. To be successful, institutions must be proactive—rather than reactive—in taking steps to ensure they are:
  • Diverse, representing individuals who vary in terms of race/nationality/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical and mental ability, religious preference, veteran status, genetics, and citizenship
  • Equitable, in hiring, compensating, promoting, providing services and opportunities for, and otherwise treating similarly-situated people represented in the various categories above
  • Inclusive, providing a sustained welcoming and protected environment for all people, regardless of their representation in protected classes
This maturity index helps higher education institutions assess DEI efforts for their employees, namely faculty and staff.

How was this maturity index developed?

We began by asking a simple question of CUPA-HR leaders and conference attendees: What does an institution need to have in place for us to consider it successful in its DEI efforts? By working with experts, CUPA-HR leaders, and higher ed HR professional, we identified five key factors:
  1. Communication and Education
  2. Assessment
  3. Culture
  4. Investment and Infrastructure
  5. Compensation, Recruitment, and Retention