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Department Equity Action Planning Teams

What is a DEAP?

This three year pilot, launched by the Provost for Faculty Affairs in 2021, aims to:

Improve workload equity by implementing more department-wide routine practices.

Enhance conditions within the department known to positively enhance equity

Improve the action readiness of department faculty to ensure equity in division of labor

This project supports the work of the Workload Equity Committee and guides departments through a research-based change process where they interrogate their own practices and policies around how workload is distributed, taken-up, make visible, and rewarded. 

Department Equity Action Planning (DEAP) teams were developed as part of The Faculty Workload and Rewards Project, an NSFADVANCE funded project with PIs from the University of Maryland-College Park, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and North Carolina State University, with participating departments at 30 universities. DEAPs commit to a year-long process of learning about workload equity and best practices, building a system for transparency around workload in their own department or program, hosting broader conversations in their unit, and developing a Department Equity Action Plan that builds on the research and makes concrete improvements in their context. 

2024 Cohort 3 DEAP Timeline and Time Commitment  

1.5 day retreat in the Denver metro area

All-Cohort Workshops (4-6 hours total)

Working sessions (2-4 hours total)

Capstone Celebration ( 1 hour, January 2024)

As Needed

DEAP Team Meetings & Consultations

Participating teams engage in one retreat and four workshops over 12 months, checking in with the Faculty Fellow for Workload Equity and VPFA staff in between, and holding meetings as necessary within their team, Workload Equity Committee, and department/program in between to develop, share, and iterate their work. A final, capstone presentation of their work and next steps will occur at the end of the project. 

Campus-wide events including external facilitators and internal success stories will provide the opportunity for connection among DEAPs and periodic engagement with stakeholders. DEAPs will receive support, examples of successful strategies, training on how to hold difficult conversations about workload equity, and access to professional development resources to help individual faculties to align their use of time with their priorities. Each DEAP will receive $5000 which they can use to support their project or for team member professional development. 

DEAP Deliverables
  1. Administer a workload survey to their department or program and reflect on results as a team
  2. Create or improve a “dashboard” or other mechanism to transparently display workload activity by department/program members, allowing everyone to see balances of teaching, advising, service and research.
  3. Complete a two-three page Department Equity Action Plan with concrete steps for reform of current workload policies and/or creation of new practices and policies and bring these proposals back to their department, program, and/or unit for approval.
  4. Complete these steps using an equity-minded lens, informed by best practices for considering the role of intersectional identity, rank and series, and other hierarchies in understanding and improving workload equity, including considering invisible and emotional labor.
  5. Anyone can apply for their department. Only one submission is allowed per department, so team submissions are encouraged. Not a department? Programs, units, or other bodies where faculty workload is shared are also eligible; just check with vpfa@du.edu to learn more.

    Be prepared to answer a series of open- and closed-ended questions about potential team members, department readiness, departmental communication and culture, bandwidth and resources needed for change, and leadership support. 

    Review Criteria

    Successful applications will demonstrate: 

    • Readiness within the department for change and likelihood of sustainability.
    • That there are multiple participants (faculty—representing varying series and rank, staff, and/or students) willing to engage in the DEAP model: enacting department-level change and developing individual capacity as change agents. 
    • That there are adequate resources for the DEAP to be successful (e.g., support from the department chair and/or college administrators, mechanisms for good communication between the DEAP and the greater department). 

    What to expect after submitting a proposal: We expect that the application review process will take about a month and departments being considered may be contacted for additional information in December. Selected departments will be formally announced and begin work in January.   

    Applications are closed!

    Information on DEAP Cohort 4 coming soon