Diversity Data | Research Questions

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Diversity Analytics Framework: Strategic Questions

With an outline of the strategic vision plan in hand, we have started to create a dynamic list of general questions to ask of the data.

Defining Diversity for Measurement 

Wherever differences are disproportionally represented or underrepresented, it is important to understand whether structural barriers are preventing proportional representation. No system of sorting or categorization is without controversy; neither is it acceptable to assume that a blindness to all categories is equivalent to correcting for biases.

For students, we reflect on the categories of ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, income, postal code (rural or urban), educational attainment of parents (“first-generation college students”) and residency status. For our workforce, we also reflect on the categories of ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, education level, rank, salary, duration of employment, citizenship, nation of bachelor’s degree, and postal code (urban or rural).

For undergraduate students, underrepresented status requires a comparison with California and national demographics and an understanding of the pipeline of students from early in the K–14 pipeline. For graduate students, we must understand how our graduate student population compares to the undergraduate student population, as well as the demographics of national M.A., M.S., Ph.D., and professional students. Faculty can also be benchmarked against the national pool of graduate and professional students, composition of their undergraduate population, and hiring at peer institutions. For staff, the campus looks at designated availability pools depending on the position and title—some positions pull candidates from the local area, while others are part of recruitments from a larger—even national—pool of candidates. We also look internally, across our own structures of schools, colleges, departments, divisions, and administrative units, to understand where we can learn from each other on the challenges and benefits of enabling a diverse composition of people and ideas.

Students
  • Is enrollment growth reflected equally/proportionally across all groups?
  • Are certain schools/colleges/majors more diverse than others?
  • What schools, colleges, and departments are growing, and is that growth making an impact on demographics?
  • Where are Rising Scholars falling out of the pipeline to graduation? Where are graduate and professional students falling out of the pipeline to completion of their degree?
  • Where are undergraduate and graduate/professional Rising Scholars coming from?
  • What is the success and progress gap for Rising Scholars, and where on campus is the difference statistically significant?
  • Is the social and academic environment of UC Davis conducive or detrimental to emotionally and physically healthy, successful students?
  • How is student financial support distributed for Rising Scholars?
Workforce
  • Are workforce increases reflected equally across all job groups?
  • Are certain types of positions more diverse than others?
  • Are colleges and schools growing, and is that growth/hiring enough to make an impact on demographics?
  • What can retention rates, turnover rates, duration of hire, vacancy rates and turnover quotients tell us about who is leaving and when? Where are there opportunities for providing greater stability in the workforce, particularly among underrepresented or historically marginalized groups?
  • Who is advancing, how quickly, and in what positions? How equitable are financial resources distributed?
  • Might UC Davis be able to create an algorithm to identify and intervene in climate hotspots?
Peer Benchmarking
  • How does UC Davis compare to UCs systemwide, the Comparison 8 and with the graduate student pool?