Opportunity and Equity Update: ODHR Policy and Practice Review and Redesign

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Opportunity and equity is the central focus of the 2030 Strategic Impact Plan and the lens through which the College will examine its success in all areas. In October 2020, Valencia College President Sandy Shugart commissioned equity initiatives in four key areas to evaluate our current processes and develop recommendations for equity-minded practices. In an effort to ensure you have the most updated information on the progress, findings and recommendations of the teams involved in this work, a new Opportunity and Equity series will be published in The Grove on a bi-weekly basis. This update highlights the Organizational Development and Human Resources: Policy and Practice Review and Redesign.

Developing and Integrating Equity Mindedness in the Employee Experience 

The work proposal for Developing and Integrating Equity Mindedness in the Employee Experience was approved by the Senior Team in October of 2020. The diverse design team, chaired by Amy Bosley, vice president, organizational development and human resources vice president, and Isis Artze Vegavice president, academic affairs, is comprised of 24 individuals from different areas of the College, including faculty, staff and administrators.

“The opportunity to take a deep dive into ODHR practices, to hear from both those with expertise in the various ODHR disciplines and from our colleagues who actually experience the systems, programs and policies, has yielded insights, uncovered issues and concerns, and will allow us to make meaningful changes as we explore redesigning our work from an equity-minded lens,” shared Amy.

The team has thoroughly reviewing Valencia College data and practices in each area to identify gaps/concerns and generate recommendations in the following areas: 

Talent Acquisition: Recruiting, Hiring and Promotion
The Talent Acquisition team was charged with reviewing and evaluating our current practices and processes in recruitment, selection and promotion and making recommendations to strengthen our equity-minded practices in this area. This team is comprised of staff, faculty, administrators and professional subject matter experts, and has reviewed the candidate experience through the various phases of the talent acquisition cycle: job analysis and job description; sourcing and recruitment; candidate evaluation process; interview/selection process; and offer process. The acquisition team continues to approach each phase of its charge by engaging in reflective conversations, sharing observations and insights, and identifying opportunities to integrate and sustain equity-mindedness into our talent acquisition practices. 

Talent Activation: Onboarding and Development
The Talent Activation team has been asked to explore the ways that Valencia College onboards and develops all employees in order to share reflections, propose design principles and make recommendations to improve equity mindedness. During the summer term, the team worked to find some additional members in order to reflect multiple perspectives across the College. The team, which now includes faculty, staff and administrators, is currently exploring Valencia College Compass, the Canvas onboarding tool for all employees and the New Faculty Institute (NFI).

Talent Retention: Annual Evaluation Process
The Talent Retention team is charged with reviewing and making recommendations on our annual evaluation processes and awards and recognition programs for employees. This team includes perspectives from staff members, full- and parttime faculty members and leaders in Faculty and Employee Development. During the spring term, the team examined our current practices and did some research to explore what other organizations, institutions and the literature says about equity as it relates to annual employee performance reviews and conversations. The team is currently compiling overall recommendations for our annual evaluation processes and exploring questions and data surrounding awards programs and recognition practices. 

“The work of this team has necessitated a deep dive into the operations of our ODHR division. I have been struck by our ODHR colleagues’ transparency, vulnerability and willingness to share their practices and tools — while staying open and indeed contributing to the critical analysis of their efforts. All work team members have shared not just their insights and equity-based knowledge, but also their personal experiences with recruiting, hiring and promotion; onboarding and development; and annual evaluation processes — adding a level of humanity and depth to this inquiry,” said Isis.

The Equity Mindedness in the Employee Experience team was also charged with developing a definition of equity mindedness. In addition to equity mindedness, the team decided to define several related terms, including equity, diversity, inclusion, and sense of belonging, and ask for feedback on the draft definitions from individuals working in the equity space at Valencia. Those groups included Team Equity, Equity Focused Inquiry Team, the Black Male Initiative Team, the Demographic Data Team, the Leadership in Equity and Opportunity Team, Valencia African Heritage Association membership, Peace and Justice Institute leadership, Learning Council, and SEED Facilitators. As a result of this collaborative work, definitions for each of the terms were generated and will be shared with Valencia’s Senior Team in July.

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