Recognizing and Rewarding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Efforts in Faculty Research, Teaching and Service at UMBC

This website is designed to acknowledge and support the DEIA work that our faculty at UMBC are already doing, and to help individual faculty and departments think through and augment their own DEIA efforts now and in the years ahead. UMBC’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility is an essential component of our shared values, our identity, and our culture as a university. This commitment is reflected in our mission and our vision statements, UMBC’s strategic plan, our designation as a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), and the efforts of many of our faculty members to advance DEIA in their research, teaching and service, and community engagement activities. This commitment also builds upon a well-established body of research that demonstrates the crucial role that diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility play in fostering excellence in scholarship and teaching. Research shows that this commitment is vital to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of a diverse faculty.

This commitment is further reflected in the recent changes to the promotion and tenure section of UMBC’s Faculty Handbook that require departments to recognize and reward the DEIA efforts of their faculty:

“UMBC’s abiding commitment to inclusive excellence requires that faculty contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility receive recognition and reward in the academic review process. When present in the dossier, contributions in all areas of faculty achievement that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, or accessibility should be given due recognition in academic review processes, and should be evaluated and credited in the same way as other faculty achievements. UMBC also recognizes that many faculty members engage in mentorship activities or other forms of labor which deserve to be recognized and rewarded in all levels of faculty review” (UMBC Faculty Handbook, Preamble to 6.2, “UMBC Criteria for Faculty Appointment and Promotion”)

UMBC’s pledge to recognize and reward the DEIA efforts of our faculty is aligned with the transformative goals in the 2022 USM Strategic Plan:  

“By 2030, the University System of Maryland will be . . .  reflective of the State it serves, in the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff” and “recognized as a national ‘thought leader’ on the topic of civic education, race, identity, and systemic racism.”

The 2022 USM Strategic Plan outlines how the promotion of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility will be prioritized in the years ahead in “a special initiative on DEI topics” and the objective for USM to “be recognized for the quality and impact of its research & scholarship on topics related to race, identity, and systemic racism.”

Our commitment to recognize and reward DEIA efforts in UMBC’s promotion and tenure process reflects a growing awareness amongst universities and colleges of the critical importance of foregrounding the work that faculty do to promote social justice and inclusive excellence. According to the 2022 AAUP Survey of Tenure Practices, 29.2% of all Doctoral-granting institutions across the nation include DEI criteria in their tenure standards, and an additional 41.4% of all Doctoral-granting institutions are currently considering including DEI criteria in their P&T processes.


This website is an evolving resource, and the work of our community. We warmly invite faculty to continue to share with us any additional resources and/or questions or concerns. Please contact Orianne Smith (osmith@umbc.edu) or Carole McCann (mccann@umbc.edu).




[Graphic inspired by Dr. Mary Lomax-Ghirarduzzi’s provocation at the 2022 Georgetown Summer Equity Institute, “How Do We Institutionalize Love? A Humanizing Framework for Belonging and Justice in American Higher Education.” Used with the author’s permission.]