Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan
The Business and Financial Affairs (BFA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan is a representation of our division’s intention to continue building an environment premised on equity and equality in alignment with the university’s strategic plan and priorities. This plan is the collaborative product of our planning and development process, which required the necessary input of our colleagues. Accordingly, our plan thoughtfully and unequivocally considers the diverse backgrounds and perspectives within BFA and communicates our intention of supporting our collective values of diversity, equality, and inclusivity.
This plan will act as the framework for measuring our overall progress in meeting our target goals and implementing initiatives. BFA will reference this plan as a guide as we work toward our commitment to embracing diversity and inclusion within our division.
The Division of Business and Financial Affairs (BFA) celebrates diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We understand representation is essential to our success, which is why we strive to recruit and retain highly-skilled, compassionate leaders. By prioritizing listening and learning, engaging in critical conversations, and thoughtfully considering the needs of our different populations, we are creating a culture of belonging. As a division, we aim to offer opportunities for advancement and foster an inclusive environment so all are valued and empowered to thrive.
DEI Steering Committee Members
The DEI Steering Committee, previously referred to as the DEI Planning Committee, was formed after a University Senate resolution was approved in February 2018, requiring all units to engage in diversity planning. This group and its past members were tasked with creating an individual DEI plan for BFA congruent with the university’s plan. The committee members work in different areas within the division and are committed to DEI work. They coordinate with BFA’s interim vice president and chief financial officer, the BFA DEI Council, BFA employees, and colleagues across campus to set priorities and implement initiatives.
Casie Martinez is the assistant director of employment services for Human Resources (HR). In her role, Martinez oversees the talent acquisition and classification, and compensation teams. She is a San Diego native who grew up in Chula Vista and earned her bachelor's degree from SDSU. As an alumna, Martinez serves as a mentor and speaker at the SDSU chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) student events. Martinez is grateful to have the opportunity to work at SDSU and enjoys being a small part of candidates achieving their career goals. She believes prioritizing DEI initiatives within BFA is extremely important, especially for the HR team, as the impact of these initiatives will be the collective experiences of everyone that applies or works for the university.
DEI Council Members
The DEI Council is composed of staff members within BFA who were selected to represent the various units within the division. The council members were nominated by departmental leaders because of past participation in DEI discussions, expressed interest during BFA’s DEI forums, a strong understanding of the importance and benefits of DEI, and/or are tenured at the university and have cultivated inclusive workplace relationships across campus. Each council member accepted their nomination and is committed to collaboratively working with the BFA DEI Steering Committee to implement the division's objectives and initiatives. The council will regularly assess the effectiveness of initiatives and make related recommendations to the steering committee.
Yesenia Acosta is a senior budget analyst for Budget & Finance. Acosta grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, and returned to California as a teenager. While learning English, she found reading and writing in a foreign language was easier than speaking but eventually adjusted well. In her position, Acosta appreciates being able to share the high-level perspective of the university's budget and operations. She believes prioritizing DEI within BFA is important for personal and professional growth because we learn more from sharing our different perspectives.
Jena Colvin is a lead groundsworker in the Landscape Services Department. Colvin is from the Central Valley and has a background in natural resources and agricultural studies. She is currently in a communication studies program at San Diego City College and intends to transfer to SDSU to continue her studies. In her position, Colvin assists in maintaining the university's plant species, pruning trees, and installing new plant material throughout campus. She is passionate about her role on campus because there is an art to creating inviting living spaces to a structural human-made site. As a member of the DEI council, Colvin looks forward to participating, bringing forward knowledge, and encouraging BFA staff members to share different experiences and perspectives.
Deborah is a San Diego native. Up to this point in her life, she has not been able to see herself calling any other place home. The weather here is amazing and there is a diverse community with the border and military community influences and this is where the majority of her immediate family roots have been. Her background is in Business Management, Computer Information systems. Her previous career was in the telecommunications industry in data analytics. She enjoys working with data and learning software. Her passion is learning new things, problem-solving, figuring out new ways of looking at things and working with and understanding and transforming, and applying data.
In her current position, she works as a data analyst in the card office. She creates and runs various reports using tools such as SQL, Power BI, SQL. She likes data, numbers, the ability to transform what seems like meaningless numbers into meaningful insights, seeing its impact, and its ability to become actionable to really make a difference. It can be powerful.
DEI is important to her because it allows us to fully tap into and appreciate the wide spectrum of what so many different humans offer. With varied backgrounds and perspectives, as individuals we can offer each other the gift of creating a complete insightful picture of the experience, capturing it from different angles and lenses with all of its complexities. If we limit ourselves by limiting our diversity, we limit our own potential.
Divisional Outreach Efforts
In order to best engage BFA staff, our division’s DEI Steering Committee implemented a participatory process through various outreach efforts:
- BFA DEI Webinar - Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020
- BFA DEI Forum #1 - Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020
- BFA Survey #1 - Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
- BFA Survey #1 - Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
- BFA DEI Forum #2 - Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
- BFA Survey #2 - Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020
This interactive approach allowed our staff members to collectively identify strategic objectives, provide feedback regarding drafted goals and initiatives, and then prioritize the strategic objectives. During this process, it was imperative to include input and perspectives from BFA personnel while listening and learning from diverse experiences, engaging in difficult conversations, and thoughtfully considering the different needs of populations within our division.
Divisional DEI Objectives and Initiatives
BFA's DEI objectives and initiatives were determined and established from the webinars
and forums held to generate conversation and input from our staff members and surveys
soliciting feedback. As outlined in the DEI Plan, each objective includes a problem
statement, and each initiative covers assessment/measures of success, timeline, responsible
parties, and resources needed. Below are the objectives and initiatives in our DEI
OBJECTIVE 1: Foster an environment of inclusion for all BFA staff where different
experiences and perspectives are valued.
Initiative 1: Enhanced training for divisional staff and administrators on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
Initiative 2: Develop and enhance programs to build cross-departmental relationships with the goal of building trust, respect, and understanding. Programs will include, but are not limited to: conversation circles (e.g., Paul Axtell program), BFA DEI Book Club, promoting and encouraging participation in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and intentional relationship building activities (e.g., BFA-wide meetings, BFA bowling events, etc.).
Initiative 3: Articulate and promote BFA’s shared values within and outside the division.
OBJECTIVE 2: Enhance the career pathways of BFA staff to create a diverse and inclusive division.
Initiative 1: Create and offer a training program to managers to educate, train and support managers
on how to effectively mentor staff.
Initiative 2: Develop and provide workshops and programs to support career development and career pathing for divisional staff and administrators. Workshops may include, but are not limited to: how to create a career pathing plan, resume building, fee waiver informational sessions, panel discussion with staff/administrators who obtained degrees while working full-time, etc.
Initiative 3: Provide networking opportunities for our divisional staff to build
relationships across campus to support career growth across divisions.
OBJECTIVE 3: Recruit divisional staff and administrators who are reflective of the
and communities served by SDSU.
Initiative 1: Rethink divisional standards for position descriptions and advertisements, including the use of intentional language in position ads and position descriptions regarding values specifically related to DEI and drafting job requirements to cast a wider net and broaden the applicant pool.
Initiative 2: Rethink the role of the search committee by providing clearly defined roles and processes for divisional search committees, including: responsibilities of committee members playing an active role in soliciting diverse applicant pools, providing a required search 101 training for search committee members, and utilizing inclusion representatives for BFA searches when available.
Initiative 3: Creating pathways for student employees to become full-time university employees after degree completion.
OBJECTIVE 4: Cultivate relationships with the local community that advance the well-being
of diverse individuals and communities.
Initiative 1: Engage and encourage minority- and women-owned businesses to partner with the university by hosting workshops to provide information and guidance on the university procurement process and develop evaluation criteria, consistent with state and California State University (CSU) policies, to ensure fairness and equity in university procurement processes.
Initiative 2: Providing divisional and departmental volunteer opportunities (e.g., a department can volunteer as a team for a shift at the San Diego Food Bank).
Initiative 3: Providing opportunities for divisional staff to participate as a team in community events (e.g., BFA team for the MS Walk).
Initiative 4: Providing opportunities for divisional staff to share information about their current involvement in the local community (e.g., spotlighting a divisional staff member in our weekly newsletter and providing information about their leadership efforts in the local community).