Second Place: University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA


The COVID pandemic has had differential impacts on faculty members, reflecting race, gender, and caregiving responsibilities, which might lead to lower retention rates for faculty who were more deeply impacted by the pandemic. Our goal was to address and mitigate the pandemic’s impact, so that the university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion remains centered. We instituted the UMass "5-R” Institutional COVID-19 Action Plan, a model that centers equity in the institution’s pandemic response by (1) Reworking timelines; (2) Realizing care responsibilities; (3) Recognizing faculty work holistically; (4) Recalibrating evaluations based on faculty work contexts and workloads; and (5) Retraining evaluators. The “5-R” approach is deeply embedded into the policies and practices that have been adopted by the university, creating a more inclusive environment, and helping faculty who were experiencing pandemic impacts. We have also disseminated the model broadly, and helped many other universities revise their policies and practices in ways that center diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learn more about UMass' COVID-19 Resources and Tools here.  

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