Strategic Action Plan
The PBS Department is committed to fostering a climate that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty.
PBS reconfigured and expanded its existing "Diversity and Community" faculty committee to include representation from the PBS graduate students and staff to form the current Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. In its first year, a major charge of the DEIC was to create a Strategic Action plan in the form of a 'living document' listing several areas of focus to guide DEI related efforts, as well as some specific objectives and 'key results' to serve as indicators of progress.
This section of the DEI website summarizes the 5 broad topics of DEIC focus and the specific objectives and key results nested under each one.
Topic A: Undergraduate Majors: Enrollment, curriculum, retention, graduation
- Objective #A1:Attract a diverse and representative undergraduate student body to the PBS and BIOPSYCH pre-majors
Key Result #A1:URM representation of pre-majors and majors in PBS will match (or exceed) the URM representation of UCSB by Fall 2024; with incremental progress each year.
- Action Item A1.1:Develop a GE course on PBS research on a diversity topic (e.g., health disparities, psychology of identity). Course should meet criteria for UCSBs GE requirement for ethnicity and count toward the premajor GPA calculation (but not required for the premajor).
- Action Item A1.2:Examine and remove barriers to timely progress through the major for both transfer and non-transfer students at critical points in the pre-major: Chem 1A/1B access; Math/P-STAT; PSYCH10A/10B.
Relevant Committee(s):Curriculum, DEIC
Resources: One quarter faculty teaching unit per year; Staff time to compile data for progress evaluation each quarter (2-4 hours per quarter)
- Objective #A2:Retain and graduate a diverse and representative undergraduate student body to the PBS and BIOPSYCH majors
Key Result #A2.1:URM progress to degree, retention in the major, and time to graduation will be equal to non URM students by 2024 with incremental progress each year.
Key Result #A2.2:URM students' participation in research, honors, distinction in the major will match non-URM students' participation in these programs by 2024 with incremental progress each year.
- Action Item A2.1:Include relevant upper division courses from other departments (e.g., Black Studies, Chicano Studies) as options for upper division electives in PBS and BIOPSYCH.
- Action Item A2.2:Remove time barriers to 197abc series such that each is offered every quarter including summer and remove the 196 prerequisite. Advertise 197 through undergraduate groups and major and encourage year-round enrollment. Lobby URCA for expanding grants deadlines to twice a year. Encourage and acknowledge faculty for supervising 197 projects.
Relevant Committee(s):Curriculum, Undergraduate Experience Committee
Resources:Staff time to compile data for progress evaluation each quarter (2-4 hours per quarter.
Topic B: Graduate Recruitment, Admission, and Retention
- Objective #B1:URM representation of domestic applications to PBS graduate programs will match (or exceed) the URM representation of the US population
Key Result #B1.1:The number of graduate applications from domestic URM students to PBS will increase by 5% each application year to Fall 2026.
- Action Item B1.1:Gather data on the URM breakdown of applications from last 5 years to determine target increase and monitor progress.
- Action Item B1.2: Increase departmental participation in Graduate Division outreach programs, e.g., Cal State graduate school fairs, partnerships with HBCUs, MARC programs).
- Action Item B1.3: Change graduate admission committee calendar to run from May 1stto April 30th. Expand charge of committee to include graduate outreach efforts prior to admission deadline and recruitment of candidates who receive offers. Graduate students representatives will be included on the committee from May to December to provide input on outreach and program advertising.
- Action Item B1.4: Develop a spring PBS recruitment (virtual or live) program aimed at preparing URM students to apply to PBS.
- Action Item B1.5: Prominently place link to Graduate Division graduate application fee waiver policy on PBS website.
- Action Item B1.6: Advocate for lowering the admission application fee (set by UC) to be in line with other major public universities.
Relevant Committee(s):Graduate admissions; faculty presenters/participants in programs;
Resources: Staff time to compile data; staff, faculty, current graduate student time to participate in outreach programs; Funds (identify source) for PBS event
- Objective #B2:Offers of admission to the graduate program will be representative of the US population by Fall 2025
Key Result #B2.1:Offers of admission to the graduate program will be representative of the diverse pool of applications by Fall 2025.
- Action Item B2.1:Gather data on the URM breakdown of admission offers from last 5 years to identify groups underrepresented.
- Action Item B2.2: Evaluate admission criteria; identify and eliminate or modify criteria that disproportionately disadvantage URM students.
- Action Item B2.2a: The GRE will be optional for admission.
- Action Item B2.3: Create a set of holistic admissions tips and strategies or PBS faculty. These strategies will be based on current empirically informed best practices and made publicly available.
- Action Item B2.4: Chair of the graduate admissions committee will review pool to ensure all applicants were evaluated by faculty using the current guidelines.
Relevant Committee(s):Graduate admissions; DEIC
Resources: Faculty and staff time to compile and evaluate data, create guidelines
- Objective #B3:The PBS graduate student population will contribute to the diversity and inclusion goals of PBS.
Key Result #B3.1:The rates of URM students who accept offers of admission to PBS will be equivalent to the rates of acceptance of non-URM students by Fall 2025.
Key Result #B3.2: URM students enrolled in PBS will have equivalent rates of progress to degree as non-URM students.
- Action Item B3.1:Gather data on the URM and non-URM progress to degree rates and monitor data.
- Action Item B3.2: Evaluate critical milestones to degree progress (e.g., 2ndyear paper; qualifying exams) to ensure no disproportionate disadvantages to groups of students (i.e., URM, gender groups) and recruitments are the same for all students within each area.
- Action Item B3.3: Each area will annually provide written feedback to each student regarding progress in the program. This annual feedback should include feedback on research progress, teaching/mentoring, professional/departmental engagement, and offer explicit guidance and support for any areas of need.
- Action Item B3.3: Evaluate equity of TA assignments in regards to progress toward degree. Special attention should be paid to first year students’ balance of demands.
Relevant Committee(s):Graduate affairs; area faculty
Resources: Faculty and staff time to compile and evaluate data, create guidelines; Key personnel: Graduate Advisor, Student Affairs Manager
- Objective #B4:Increase transparency of the departmental graduate program policies and procedures.
Key Result #B4.1:All graduate students will report in the annual State of PBS Survey that they know how to access information on the PBS graduate program and PBS policies and processes related to the graduate program.
Key Result #B4.2: All graduate students will report in the annual State of PBS Survey that they know how to raise a question or concern regarding the PBS graduate program and PBS policies and processes related to the graduate program.
- Action Item B4.1:Maintain a Graduate Executive Committee with each area responsible for providing one representative; first-year student chosen via TAAP.
- Action Item B4.2:Graduate Executive Committee solicits volunteers for departmental committees in need of graduate student representation.
- Action Item B4.3:Maintain PBS FERPA compliant admissions and enrollment demographic data from past five years on PBS website.
- Action Item B4.4:Maintain and update current PBS graduate student policies and processes on PBS website.
- Action Item B4.4: All pre-advancement to candidacy graduate students in the department will meet annually with their cohort (e.g., first year students) in spring with the Graduate Advisor, Student Affairs Manager, and the Chair of the Graduate Affairs committee to discuss upcoming milestones, policies, etc. Staff and faculty will answer questions and a panel of senior students will be available for informal conversations.
- Action Item B4.5: Department will conduct an annual panel forum to address graduate students’ questions about faculty administration, merit, promotion, tenure, evaluation and governance.
Relevant Committee(s):Graduate Affairs; DEIC; Graduate Affairs
Resources: Faculty, staff, and graduate student time for data compilation, web-site maintenance. Key personnel: Graduate Advisor, Student Affairs Manager
Topic C: Faculty Recruitment, Promotion, and Retention
- Objective #C1:Attract diverse applicant pools for faculty positions in PBS.
Key Result #C1.1:Each faculty search should produce an applicant pool representative of the demographics of the United States.
- Action Item C1.1:Analyze the URM breakdown of prior Assistant Professor searches to identify particular deficiencies and develop strategies to mitigate deficiencies.
- Action Item C1.2: Advertise faculty positions via societies and groups that focus on URM membership and minority networks.
- Action Item C1.3: Compile a list of Psychology and Neuroscience Ph.D. programs with high rates of URM Ph.D. students and postdoctoral students for advertising future PBS faculty positions. Action Item C1.4: Post data on the demographic make-up of applicant pools on the PBS website, to the extent allowed.
Relevant Committee(s):DEIC (AI C1.1); Ad hoc Search committees
Resources: Staff and faculty time to compile data; Advertising budget
- Objective #C2:Recruit and retain a vibrant ladder faculty who contribute to the diversity and inclusion goals of PBS.
Key Result #C2.1:URM faculty will be successfully recruited for faculty positions at rates equivalent to the recruitment of non-URM faculty by 2030.
Key Result #C2.2: URM faculty will be retained at rates equivalent to non-URM faculty.
- Action Item C2.1. PBS will require all FTE searches to include potential hires’ ability to contribute to the diversity and inclusion goals of PBS through research, teaching, mentorship, or service as a component of the search criteria. C2.2--template from DEIC
- Action Item C2.2:In addition to AIC2.1, prior to each search, ad hoc committees will create and make available a set of criteria for evaluating applicants in accordance with the particular FTE line. The criteria will be based on best practices to ensure equal advantages to all prospective applicants and the avoidance of implicit biases.
- Action Item C2.3:Each committee will be required to submit a report to the Executive Committee on how the short-list of candidates contributes to the diversity and inclusion goals of PBS.
- Action Item C2.4:Formalize the mentorship program for junior faculty by developing an onboarding "packet" with resources for teaching, research, mentoring, and promotion.
- Action Item C2.5. Each area should regularly promote all current faculty, particularly junior faculty, in their respective professional disciplines, including submitting nominations for awards and leadership positions in academic societies.
- Action Item C2.6:When faculty candidates decline an offer or when a faculty member is not successfully retained or promoted, the Chair will report any systemic DEI issues that they become aware of (in PBS or UCSB)that contributed to the negative decision to the MLPS Dean or the MLPS Associate Dean of DEI.
Relevant Committee(s):DEIC; Ad hoc Search committees; junior faculty mentoring teams;
Resources: Staff and faculty time to compile data, materials, mentor
- Objective #C3:All faculty will contribute to the PBS diversity and inclusion goals through their research, teaching, mentoring, or service efforts
Key Result #C3.1:Diversity and inclusion efforts will be recognized and rewarded in merit and promotion cases.
- Action Item C2.1. All faculty will include a statement of diversity and inclusion efforts in their merit and promotion personnel materials.
- Action Item C2.2:The Personnel Committee will include an evaluation of diversity and inclusion efforts for each merit and promotion case.
Relevant Committee(s):Personnel Committee
Topic D: Staff Recruitment, Promotion, and Retention
- Objective #D1:Attract diverse applicant pools for staff positions in PBS
Key Result #D1.1:Each staff search should produce an outside applicant pool representative of the demographics of Santa Barbara County and an internal pool representative of the demographics of current UCSB staff.
- Action Item D1.1:Analyze the URM breakdown of prior staff searches to identify particular deficiencies and develop strategies to mitigate deficiencies.
- Action Item D1.2: Advertise staff positions broadly and in accordance with UCSB regulations.
Relevant Personnel or Committee(s):MSO of PBS; Chair of PBS
Resources: Staff and faculty time to compile data
- Objective #D2: Support the professional development of all staff in PBS.
Key Result #D2.1: All staff will report that their professional development goals are being supported by PBS by 2025.
- Action Item D2.1:PBS will ensure equal access to training and development opportunities to all staff.
- Action Item D2.2. The department will actively nominate staff for appropriate UCSB service awards.
- Action Item D2.3. Questions regarding perceptions of support for professional development will be included in the annual PBS climate survey.
Relevant Personnel or Committee(s):DEIC; MSO of PBS, Chair of PBS
Resources: MSO and chair time devoted to consideration of staff development
Topic E: Climate of inclusivity in PBS
- Objective #E1:Provide a channel of information and communication for DEI issues for all PBS stakeholders.
Key Result #E1.1:Compile and maintain an accessible on-line repository with campus resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on the PBS webpage.
- Action Item E1.1:Compile an updatable campus resource list for reporting DEI concerns for the PBS DEI webpage by the end of the 2020/2021 AY. Update annually.
- Action Item E1.2: Compile an updatable campus list of DEI trainings and seminars for the PBS DEIC webpage by the end of the 2020/2021 AY. Update quarterly.
- Action Item E1.3: Publish the current DEI initiatives in PBS on the PBS DEIC webpage by the end of the 2020/2021 AY. Update annually.
- Action Item E1.4: Create a portal for providing anonymous or non-anonymous feedback and comments to the department’s DEI committee by summer 2021.
- Action Item E1.5: The DEIC will hold monthly drop in office hours. The monthly event will be hosted by rotating members of the committee and advertised on the departmental webpage. Office hours will be virtual until it is safe to hold them in-person.
- Action Item E1.6: Create a climate survey for undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty. Administer annually in winter quarter and publish findings on the PBS DEI webpage.
- Action Item E1.7: Create a paid position for a graduate student to maintain DEI webpage.
Resources: Staff and faculty time to compile data; salary for webpage administrator
- Objective #E2: PBS will consider representation when designing and implementing research, teaching, training, and professional development activities to foster a climate of inclusion, equity, and diversity.
Key Result #E2.1:A minimum of 95% of students, faculty, and staff will report a positive DEI climate on the annual survey by 2024.
- Action Item E2.1:Speakers for research seminars and professional development events will be from diverse backgrounds.
- Action Item E2.2:Training on how to make course materials and activities accessible to students from diverse backgrounds will be available to all faculty.
- Action Item E2.3:TAAP will include discussion of DEI issues relevant to TA responsibilities.
- Action Item E2.4:Review the compulsory research participation component of courses to ensure accessibility and inclusion are maintained.
- Action Item E2.5:Establish PBS undergraduate and graduate student awards for diversity and inclusion service to be given at the end of each academic year.
- Action Item E2.6:The DEIC will provide stakeholders with an annual “Simple tips and suggestions for creating a more welcoming climate in PBS”. This list will include suggestions such as “consider listing your preferred pronouns on class syllabi to increase the comfort level for others wishing to do the same”, “consider reviewing course materials to include research from diverse scholars so that a wide swath of students can see themselves represented”.
Relevant Committee(s):DEIC, Undergraduate Affairs, Graduate Affairs, Development Committee
Resources: Training materials, funds for awards
We recognize that this plan will evolve as we learn and that much of what is proposed here may seem like small steps as we face the multiple challenges of ensuring our department is diverse, equitable and inclusive. By continuing to expand diversity and inclusivity training, implementing curricular changes, and focusing efforts on recruiting diverse students, faculty and staff, we hope to consistently increase the diversity of our department and promote the success of everyone.