Rubric for Assessing Candidate Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The sample rubric, below, is a template for search committees to use for assessing candidate contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). It is a guide, and can be adapted to specific searches as appropriate. 

Prior to using the rubric we recommend that you consider the following questions.

What does the DEI rubric assess?

The sample rubric envisions the evaluation of DEI as encompassing three main areas: knowledge and understanding (section 1), track record of activities to date (section 2), and plans for contributing at Berkeley (section 3). Committees may wish to adjust this categorization to reflect their particular needs and goals, either by altering the categories, adjusting the scores to be awarded among the categories,  or adding additional categories. 

  • We recommend that you consult with OFEW if you wish to add additional categories, to ensure that the assessment follows best practices and falls within permissible legal parameters.

How is the DEI rubric scored?

Search committees have found it very useful to assign numerical scores to each section of the DEI rubric. This is helpful in identifying and analyzing specific areas of agreement or disagreement as the committee discusses each candidate. The current template suggests assigning an equal points value to each of the three sections (with a score from 1 to 5 for each section). Some committees may, however, decide that one section or another should be weighted more heavily. Or, committees may decide that a different scoring system for each section more accurately reflects their needs. 

  • If a scoring range becomes too wide or a scoring system too complicated, it is difficult to achieve reliability in assessment. The system recommended for this rubric has worked well for past searches.

How should I interpret the examples in each section of the rubric?

The rubric assists committees in scoring each of the three areas by providing examples of what is commonly seen in DEI statements submitted by  applicants to faculty searches at Berkeley. 

  • These examples are offered as illustrative suggestions; they are neither exhaustive nor ironclad. They can be modified to fit the academic and disciplinary backgrounds of applicants in a particular search.

How can search committees make sure they are using the rubric properly?

To best make use of the DEI evaluation rubric, we strongly suggest conducting a calibration exercise in advance of reviewing the entire candidate pool. 

  • The purpose of the calibration exercise is to be able to apply the tool equitably, consistently, and reliably across all applicants. (A similar exercise is also recommended for teaching and research statements.)

How can search committees calibrate their scoring?

We recommend the following calibration exercise, which past search committees have found useful:

  1. Discuss, as a committee, the importance and evaluation of contributions to DEI as one aspect of excellence across research, teaching, and service. As a reminder, candidates do not need to belong to a particular group or demographic, or to hold particular viewpoints, to be successful in this regard. DEI efforts described by candidates from international institutions may look different from DEI work conducted in the U.S. but can be equally compelling.

  2. Adapt the rubric for use in the particular search, including categories, examples, scores, etc. Please consult with OFEW for advice if major changes to the rubric are contemplated. OFEW will be able to help you avoid common pitfalls.

  3. Discuss ahead of time the kinds of evidence that could motivate low, medium, or high scores.

  4. Select a random sample of 8-10 statements from the applicant pool, redacted for candidate name.

  5. Apply the rubric to the statements, with each committee member scoring the statements separately.

  6. Analyze the scores assigned to each statement across all categories and by all committee members.

  7. Discuss interpretations and discrepancies between reviewer scores.

  8. Recalibrate the scoring/assessment system as needed.

  9. Apply the agreed upon rubric to the entire applicant pool.

 

After you have finished the calibration and scoring processes, it is very useful for the search committee to share with the rest of the faculty what was learned during this process of assessing DEI contributions. OFEW also welcomes hearing from search committees about how the calibration and assessment process went.

 

We welcome your feedback on the structure and use of the DEI rubric. Please send comments to ofew@berkeley.edu.

 

Sample Rubric to Assess Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Knowledge about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [5 points max]

Score

Examples

1 - 2

Little to no evidence of awareness of DEI issues in higher education or their field
  • Little expressed knowledge of, or experience with, dimensions of diversity that result from different identities. Defines diversity only in terms of different areas of study or different nationalities, but doesn't discuss gender or ethnicity/race. Discusses diversity in vague terms, such as "diversity is important for science." May state having had little experience with these issues because of lack of exposure, but then not provide any evidence of having informed themselves. Or may discount the importance of diversity.

  • Little demonstrated awareness of underrepresentation, or of differential experiences, of particular groups in higher education or in their discipline. May use vague statements such as "the field of History definitely needs more women" without offering further examples or specifics.

  • Seems not to be aware of, or understand the personal challenges that underrepresented individuals face in academia, or feel any personal responsibility for helping to create an equitable and inclusive environment for all. For example, may state that it's better not to have outreach or affinity groups aimed at particular individuals because it keeps them separate from everyone else, or will make them feel less valued.

3

Some evidence of awareness, but falls short of significant knowledge base or deep interest

  • Has some knowledge of demographic data related to diversity and awareness of its importance.

  • Shows some understanding of challenges faced by individuals who are underrepresented and the need for everyone to work to create an equitable and inclusive environment for all.

  • Comfort discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion related issues

4 - 5

Clear and deep understanding of dimensions of DEI in higher education

  • Clear knowledge of, experience with, and interest in dimensions of diversity that result from different identities, such as ethnic, socioeconomic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural differences. This understanding can result from personal experiences as well as an investment in learning about the experiences of those with identities different from their own. 

  • Is aware of demographic data related to diversity in higher education. Discusses the underrepresentation of particular groups and the consequences for higher education or for the discipline.

  • Comfort discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion related issues (including distinctions and connections between diversity, equity, and inclusion). 

  • Understands the challenges faced by underrepresented individuals, and the need for all students and faculty to work to create an equitable and inclusive environment for all.

  • Discusses diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values that every faculty member should actively contribute to.

 

Track Record in Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [5 points max]

Score

Examples

1 - 2

Describes few or no past efforts in any detail
  • Participated in no specific activities, or only one or two limited activities (limited in terms of time, investment, or role).

  • Only mentions activities that are already the expectation of faculty as evidence of commitment and involvement (for example, "I always invite and welcome students from all backgrounds to participate in my research lab, and in fact have mentored several women." Mentoring women scientists may be an important part of an established track record but it would be less significant if it were one of the only activities undertaken and it wasn't clear that the candidate actively conducted outreach to encourage women to join the lab). 

  • Descriptions of activities are brief, vague, nominal, or peripheral (“I was on a committee on diversity for a year”).

3

Some evidence of past efforts, but not extensive enough to merit a high score

  • Evidence of active participation in a single activity, but less clear that there is an established track record.

  • Limited participation at the periphery in numerous activities, or participation in only one area, such as their research to the exclusion of teaching and service.

  • In describing mentoring of underrepresented students, gives some detail about  specific strategies for effective mentoring, or awareness of the barriers underrepresented students face and how to incorporate the ideas into their mentoring.

4 - 5

Sustained track record of varied efforts to promote DEI in teaching, research, or service

  • Describes multiple activities in depth, with detailed information about both their role in the activities and the outcomes. Activities may span research, teaching and service, and could include applying their research skills or expertise to investigating diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Consistent track record that spans multiple years (for example, applicants for assistant professor positions might describe activities undertaken or participated in as an undergraduate, graduate student and postdoctoral scholar)

  • Roles taken were significant and appropriate for career stage (e.g., a candidate who is already an assistant professor may have developed and tested pedagogy for an inclusive classroom and learning environment, while a current graduate student may have volunteered for an extended period of time for an organization or group that seeks to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in science). 

  • Organized or spoken at workshops or other events (depending on career stage) aimed at increasing others' understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as one aspect of their track record.

  

Plans for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [5 points max]

Score

Examples

1 - 2

No personal plans to advance DEI
  • Vague or no statements about what they would do at Berkeley if hired. May even feel doing so would be the responsibility of someone else.

  • Describes only activities that are already the minimum expectation of Berkeley faculty (e.g., being willing to supervise students of any gender or ethnic identity).

  • Explicitly states the intention to ignore the varying backgrounds of their students and “treat everyone the same.”

3

Some ideas about advancing DEI, but not much detail

  • Mentions plans or ideas but more is expected for their career stage.  Plans or ideas lacking in detail or clear purpose (for example, if "outreach" is proposed, who is the specific target, what is the type of engagement, and what are the expected outcomes? What are the specific roles and responsibilities of the faculty member?)

4 - 5

Clear and detailed plans for advancing DEI

  • Identifies existing programs they would get involved with, with a level of proposed involvement commensurate with career stage (a tenured faculty member would be expected to commit to more involvement than a new assistant professor would).

  • Clearly formulates new ideas for advancing equity and inclusion at Berkeley and within their field, through their research, teaching, and/or service. Level of proposed involvement commensurate with career level (for example, a new assistant professor may plan to undertake one major activity within the department over the first couple of years, conduct outreach to hire a diverse group of students to work in their lab, seek to mentor several underrepresented students, and co-chair a subcommittee or lead a workshop for a national conference. A new tenured faculty member would be expected to have more department, campus-wide, and national impact, and show more leadership).

  • Convincingly expresses intent, with examples, to be a strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion within the department/school/college and also their field.