TAMPA — There’s a new effort by the University of South Florida to fight racism and improve diversity and equity on campus.
USF is launching the DARE Dashboard, which stands for Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity.
The dashboard will allow the university to collect data to create a baseline overview to see where USF is at it relates to equity.
“Without having that concrete data there, all the conversations are really nebulous conversations or assumptions about what needs to be done,” said Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.
It’s designed to provide data related to students, faculty, and staff and allow them to track their progress and set goals.
“Faculty, students, and staff are really wanting to have a clear sense of what equity looks like on campus. Being able to clarify what’s happening as it relates to Black students, Latino students, for example, is really important is for us to do,” said Hordge-Freeman.
Project leaders say this dashboard is more than just seeing who’s at USF, but going beyond that to see how different people are experiencing their time at the school and if it’s fair and inclusive.
Hordge-Freeman says the information will be used to influence policies and practices at USF.
“Ideally what we want to be able to understand is what the current context is so we can develop policies that might focus on opportunities for growth,” said Hordge-Freeman.
That includes making sure students and faculty have support if they’re underrepresented in certain areas.
While leaders say the university has been focusing on diversity for the past decade, this year’s social justice movements have given them an extra push to find other ways to improve.
“This is certainly within the broader context of being concerned about racism, being concerned about understanding how USF can be responsive to concerns about systemic racism,” said Hordge-Freeman.
Phase 1 of the project will be launching at the end of this month.
The public will be able to view the dashboard to keep track of USF’s progress.