Equity Lens

About Equity Lens

The University’s administrative policy review, development, and approval process is very robust. Before a policy is ever published, policy owners take a significant amount of time to research governing rules and regulations, consider the policy requirements, consult with key audiences, and plan for implementation. The owner then moves the policy along to through the two-tier formal review and approval structure which includes the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and President’s Policy Committee (PPC).

The PPC discussed the potential for adding an equity lens review to our current process and tasked the PAC with exploring this possibility. PAC considered the impact to ongoing effort, the resources that could need to be in place to support this initiative, as well as the changes to enhance our current forms and procedures. PAC then recommended moving forward with this addition and the final decision was made by the PPC. The implementation date for applying the equity lens was 5/1/18.

What is an Equity Lens?

An equity lens is a process for analyzing or diagnosing the impact of the design and implementation of policies on under-served and marginalized individuals and groups, and to identify and potentially eliminate barriers.

The equity lens review will be in addition to elements of the current policy review process, which includes:

  • clarity;
  • accuracy;
  • alignment with related policies and University mission;
  • completeness;
  • consistency; and
  • an evaluation of risk being addressed and burden.

The following underrepresented individuals or groups are included in the scope of our equity lens review.

  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Religious expression
  • People who identify as women
  • People with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities
  • People of various gender and sexual identities and expressions
  • Age
  • Socio-economic
  • Veteran Status
  • People of color
  • American Indians and other indigenous populations

Each administrative policy undergoing comprehensive review or being considered for the first time (new) will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP). DCoP meets monthly to review proposed drafts and identify any potential for disparate impact on one or more individuals or audiences listed above. (See tab for the DCoP meeting schedule.) All materials should be sent to Katie Stuckert (stuck002@umn.edu) a minimum of 5 days prior to the stated meeting date/time.

Policy Owners are welcome to invite other individuals with whom they’re consulting to consider the equity impact of the proposed documents as well.

Outcomes from the DCoP reviews are summarized in one of two companion forms to administrative policies (see tab):

  • Administrative Policy Plan (new)
  • Comprehensive Review or Change Request (revisions)

Owners will specify whether or not the draft was modified based on the feedback.

The potential for disparate impact and actions taken by the Policy Owners will be included in a summary report for the PPC every 6-12 months.

The DCoP Review Schedule is included with the PAC Meeting Schedule on the PAC/PPC page for easy reference.

Applying an equity lens to policy development is a process for analyzing or diagnosing the impact of the design and implementation of policies on under-served and marginalized individuals and groups, and to identify and potentially eliminate barriers.

The new Guide to Writing Policy and Procedure incorporates equity lens tips for each policy section when drafting or revising your policy and procedural drafts. Those tips are identified with the Equity Lens icon:

Equity lens icon

Please use the current sign up sheet on Google Sheets to register.