USF launches diversity, equity, and inclusion reporting website

The University of South Florida has launched a new effort to push back against racism and make campuses more inclusive. The first phase of new online performance dashboards are now live and intended to help flag and eliminate racial inequities.

For the last decade, USF has been on a journey to institutional transformation. A new data project is taking the university’s commitment to dismantling systemic racism even further. They are Diversity, Anti-Racism & Equity (DARE) Dashboards.

"Our goal really as an institution is to institutionalize anti-racism, to really embed that in everything that we do," explained Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman. "And so the DARE Dashboard gives us a pretty strong foundation for understanding how we can start to do that work."

USF DARE Dashboards:

Phase I examines the students at USF, compiling data to understand what areas need improvement and what policies and practices can be done differently.

"It allows us to ask new questions that we haven’t asked before; it allows us to take seriously the fact systemic racism is multi-dimensional, so the data that we collect has to go beyond just the composition of our student body, the composition of our faculty," Hordge-Freeman said.

USF Diversity, Anti-Racism & Equity Dashboard

The dashboards break down details about enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and even student experience, to see if it’s fair and inclusive, track changes over time, and drive growth.

For example, the data shows since 2017 enrollment of black students has been dropping. So now the university is working to figure out why.

"USF just received a grant, A Helios Education Foundation grant to study this phenomenon, to study why it is that black student recruitment and enrollment has decreased in a way that hasn’t happened for other groups," said Hordge-Freeman.

Another trend to explore is why the proportion of Hispanic graduate students is significantly less than the proportion in undergraduate school.

"Those numbers suggest that there might be a disconnect somewhere that we need to fill," Hordge-Freeman said.

USF Diversity, Anti-Racism & Equity Dashboard

The Phase II dashboards are in the works now and will look at faculty and staff trends. While phase three will deal with academic and institutional support data.

"Since this is such a comprehensive approach to diversity, anti-racism and equity, the reality is that I don’t see an end to any of these phases," said Hordge-Freeman.

A project continually updating and shaping where USF can improve.