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2022 Annual Report of Drexel's Anti-Racism Commitments

Executive Summary

Over the past two years, many members of the Drexel community have legitimately questioned both the University’s commitment to anti-racism and its perceived neglect of other marginalized groups. In this regard it is important to make the distinction between anti-racism and its connection to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).

Recognizing that various policies, systems, structures and processes have benefited one racial group of people (white) to the disadvantage of others (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color), anti-racism works to change these systems to make them more equitable for everyone. Anti-racism requires ongoing institutional and individual action towards racial equity. Simultaneously, anti-racism lays the foundation for addressing inequities that other historically underrepresented and marginalized groups experience within organizational systems and society at large. Simply put, the successful journey towards anti-racism benefits all of us — and requires all of us to participate.

The significance of Drexel’s anti-racism efforts is reflected in the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccreditation report, where it is highlighted as an exemplary or innovative practice.

Anti-Racism Commitments: Implementation and Success Monitoring Framework

Figure 1: ARTF Implementation and Success Monitoring Framework
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Figure 1: Anti-Racism Commitments Implementation and Success Monitoring Framework

Demographic Representation

Undergraduate Students

The demographic representation of Black/African American undergraduate students went up about 1 percentage point, from 9.9 percent in 2017 to 11.1 percent in 2021 as shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2 Undergraduate student representation by race/ethnicity
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Figure 2: Undergraduate student representation by race/ethnicity

Graduate Students

Figure 3 below shows that the representation of Black/African American graduate students went up about 3 percentage points from 12.2 percent to 15.1 percent between 2017 and 2021.

Figure 3 Graduate student representation by race/ethnicity
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Figure 3: Graduate student representation by race/ethnicity

Full-time Faulty

The representation of Black/African American full-time faculty at Drexel stayed around the same at 5.2 percent and 5.4 percent in 2017 and 2021, respectively, as shown in Figure 4 below.

Figure 4 Full-time faculty representation by race/ethnicity
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Figure 4: Full-time faculty representation by race/ethnicity

Benefits Eligible Staff

The representation of Black/African American benefits eligible professional staff decreased about a single percentage point from 23.4 percent in 2017 to 22.5 in 2021 as shown in Figure 5 below.

Figure 5 Benefits eligible professional staff by race/ethnicity
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Figure 5: Benefits eligible professional staff by race/ethnicity

Culture

We reached out to 43 academic and administrative unit leaders during the winter 2022 term to request information about commitments they were working on or planned to work on. Of the 43 units, 32 reported their activities, which are aggregated on the table below.

Figure 6: ARTF Commitments with Aggregated Unit Responses
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Figure 6: Anti-Racism Commitments with Aggregated Unit Responses

Climate

A survey was sent to 27,190 students, faculty and professional staff at Drexel, of whom 1,807, or about 6 percent, responded. Of the 1,807 respondents, 9 percent (N=161) identified as African American/Black.

Summary of findings highlighted in this report focus on respondents by race/ethnicity for overall campus climate and sense of belonging. A more comprehensive report of the climate survey results will be made available on the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture's website.

Overall Campus Climate

Figure 7 Overall Campus Climate by Race/Ethnicity
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Figure 7: Overall Campus Climate by Race/Ethnicity

Sense of Belonging

Figure 8 Sense of Belonging by Race/Ethnicity
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Figure 8: Sense of Belonging by Race/Ethnicity

Next Steps

We have identified several commitments that we will be implementing as pilots in four academic and administrative units next academic year. These are organized in two tiers outlined below.

Tier I: University-Wide Commitments

The commitments highlighted in this section are the two commitments that every unit should be working on, which are:

  1. Enhancing racial literacy by creating learning opportunities at the individual and organizational levels through dialogues, and assigned workshops, films, and articles; and
  2. Creating an inclusive employee experience that is supported by conditions that reflect and reinforce anti-racism efforts.

Tier II: Unit Specific Commitments

Tier II commitments discussed here include five that were deemed equally critical to advancing Drexel’s mission and strategy but did not directly apply to all units at the University. Specific people and units that will be responsible for advancing these commitments include leadership at all levels of the organization, Office of the Provost, Enrollment Management, and Human Resources.

Commitment Responsible
Impressing upon leaders the need to prioritize anti-racism and DEI learning, to model behaviors, and maintain accountability. Leaders at all levels of the University
University leadership making a public commitment, stating a goal and the need to prioritize the recruitment and retention of more Black/African American professors. Office of the Provost
Adding a Drexel Student Core Competency focused on diversity, equity and inclusion that includes anti-racism and cultural competence. To be explored in consideration with Drexel 2030 initiatives and Middle States Commission on Higher Education recommendations. Office of the Provost
Requiring DEI awareness, unconscious bias and cultural competency training for recruitment teams and student ambassadors. Enrollment Management
Creating a recruitment policy that: outlines best practices and strategies that center diversity, equity, and inclusion, contains a comprehensive process spanning the entire recruitment process, and is consistent with Drexel's core values. Office of Human Resources

Read the full report [PDF]