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DEI Maturity Index - 2022


CUPA-HR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Maturity Index
2022 Revision

What is a maturity index?

A maturity index is used to measure a complex idea, like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and break it down into measures of smaller, underlying factors. Scores indicate how close to or far away you are from the ideals or goals on a factor, and lower scores can help you focus your efforts on areas that will result in the most positive change. A maturity index can be repeated to track progress over time.

What is this maturity index, and why is it needed?

This maturity index helps you to assess DEI efforts at the institutional level. The degree to which institutions value and incorporate DEI best practices can impact their mission, their reputation, and their bottom line, and DEI is now an important part of risk management. To be successful, institutions must be proactive—rather than reactive—in taking steps to ensure they are:
  • Diverse, representing individuals who vary in terms of race/nationality/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical and mental ability, religious preference, veteran status, genetics, and citizenship
  • Equitable, in hiring, compensating, promoting, providing services and opportunities for, and otherwise treating similarly-situated people represented in the various categories above
  • Inclusive, providing a sustained welcoming and protected environment for all people, regardless of their representation in protected classes
This maturity index helps higher education institutions assess DEI efforts for their workforce, namely staff and faculty. It does not assess DEI efforts on the part of the student population.

How was this maturity index developed? How many questions are there? How long will it take?

We began by asking a simple question of HR and DEI leaders:

What does an institution need to have in place for us to consider it successful in its DEI efforts?

In the original index, qualitative analyses of these experts' answers revealed key factors that underlie an institution's progress in its DEI efforts. In the 2022 revision of this index, quantitative analyses of the scores of more than 1,200 responses on the original index identified four key factors that underlie DEI progress:
1. Scope of DEI Efforts
2. Investment
3. Equity and Representation
4. Recruitment and Retention

The revised index has honed the number of questions from 33 to 21, identifying those areas that are most important in distinguishing successful DEI efforts. It will take you approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.

There is an option to "save and continue" if you make progress on the index and find you need to pause. You'll be sent a link to the email address you provide so that you can continue it later. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't receive it.)

How should we use the maturity index at my institution? Who should complete it? When and how do we get results?

This index uses the broad term DEI to assess your institution's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. If your institution uses different terminology, does not use all three terms, or prioritizes these terms differently, answer these questions based on what your institution values in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion-related efforts.

This survey should be completed by individuals or teams of individuals who are familiar with DEI efforts on your campus. This usually includes individuals in HR or diversity offices or campus leaders who supervise staff. Some institutions have multiple employees take the assessment separately, and then they use any differences in their results as a starting point for a larger conversation on DEI. This is encouraged, as it will help you build consensus on DEI efforts. This is not a climate survey, in that the index is not designed to take the pulse of the entire workforce. Rather the index assesses systemic DEI efforts, so only the individuals identified above should be asked to complete the assessment.

Your results will appear at the end of the index, along with an option that allows you to download your scores and recommendations for improvement in a convenient PDF file.

Will this data be confidential?
The scores you obtain on this index, as well as your responses, are confidential. Neither your name nor your institution's name will be associated with your data in any reporting. We highly encourage you to provide your responses under your institution's name to let us know which institutions are using the index. This data will allow us to continue to refine the index to make it useful for assessing the evolution of DEI efforts in higher education over time.