Diversity at Heller: Promoting Excellence, Driving Social Change
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management https://heller.brandeis.edu at Brandeis University is one of only three New England schools to place in the U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 graduate schools for public affairs and is also ranked in the top 10 schools for social policy in the country. Heller’s academic scope includes six master’s degrees and numerous dual and joint degrees in both domestic and international policy, with a common focus on addressing pressing social issues. The academic programs are closely connected to Heller’s 10 renowned research centers and institutes, which are focused on social issues including assets and inequality; children, youth and family; health; behavioral health; disability policy; and global development. Heller also provides vibrant co?curricular experiences and services that include speakers, events, and conferences, student support services, student government, various faculty, staff, and student work groups and learning communities and Heller?wide town halls.
Heller facts at a glance
Our incredibly diverse student body represents varied backgrounds and life experiences, yet each individual enters with a demonstrated commitment to social justice. Hailing from more than 65 countries, they share fascinating insights from a range of careers including physician, educator, public sector analyst and nonprofit manager. Students come to Heller from places as different as the Mississippi Delta region and Rwanda to learn strategies for transforming the lives of people deeply affected by poverty, disease, famine, war and other injustices.
- Total Heller Enrollment (Fall 2015): 533
- U.S. Students of Color: 37%
- International Students: 50%
- Number of Countries Represented: 45
- Average Age: 30
- Age Range: 22 – 50
- Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and City Year Alumni: 40% of U.S. Students
- There are more than 3,700 Heller alumni, with 81% living in the United States and 19% living abroad. Heller alumni hold positions in social policy and management all over the world, making a significant difference in their communities.
Faculty and Research Staff:
- 40 Faculty members
- 12 Lecturers and Senior Lecturers
- 22 Scientists, Senior Scientists, Distinguished Scientists
- 11 Affiliated faculty
- 8 Fellows and Visiting Professors
- 12 Professors emeriti
Research Centers and Institutes
- 175 active grants in the past year
- $19 million of sponsored research from corporations, foundations, and agencies such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Justice, the National Institutes of Health and the World Bank.
- Total revenues: $31.7 million
- Total expenses: $30 million
At the Heller School, we believe that diversity and inclusion play a critical role in helping us achieve excellence in our research initiatives, academic programs, policies and community relationships. As part of Heller's mission to drive positive social change, we seek to foster a safe and inclusive environment where multiple perspectives and contributions of community members are considered, respected and valued.
Heller's Diversity Mission
The Heller School is a vibrant academic learning community of scholars, students and staff dedicated to creating a welcoming environment that builds and supports respectful dialogue across group and individual differences in every aspect of our work and social interactions. We seek to ensure a safe and inclusive environment in which community members respect and value the perspective and contribution of all others. In the pursuit of the Heller mission, “Knowledge Advancing Social Justice”, we are committed to diversity, inclusion and equity in our research institutes, academic programs, policies and community relationships.
The Heller School endorses a broad definition of diversity reflective of differences that include but are not limited to: age, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, visa status, culture, economic status and background, gender and gender expression, sexual orientation and identity, religion, political views, academic background and interests, abilities, learning styles and pace, physical appearance, and individual personality. It is the responsibility of each and every member of the Heller community to acknowledge the meaningful differences that inform each individual's identity, and to uphold and defend our shared values as we strive to create a more equitable future for all. Our mission is buttressed through Heller's Diversity Pledge and the diversity and inclusion goals of Brandeis University.
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management is one of four academic units of Brandeis University. Brandeis is an innovative interdisciplinary community of scholars and students united by their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and their work on behalf of social justice. The three other major academic units comprise the University are Arts and Sciences, the International Business School, and the Rabb School of Continuing Studies. In 1985, Brandeis was elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), which represents the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Brandeis has been ranked among the top 35 national universities by U.S. News & World Report every year since the rankings’ inception.
The Brandeis University Diversity Statement:
Established in 1948 as a model of ethnic and religious pluralism, Brandeis University:
- Considers social justice central to its mission as a nonsectarian university founded by
- members of the American Jewish community.
- Aims to engage members of our community as active citizens in a multicultural world.
- Seeks to build an academic community whose members have diverse cultures, backgrounds and life experiences.
- Believes that diverse backgrounds and ideas are crucial to academic excellence.
- Recognizes the need to analyze and address the ways in which social, cultural and economic inequalities affect power and privilege in the larger society and at Brandeis itself.
- Honors freedom of expression and civility of discourse as fundamental educational cornerstones.
- Seeks to safeguard the safety, dignity and well?being of all its members.
- Endeavors to foster a just and inclusive campus culture that embraces the diversity of the larger society.
The Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
We strive to cultivate an environment that champions diversity, equity and inclusion in multiple dimensions, including pedagogy and curriculum, research, co?curriculum, faculty development and systems reviews of our policies and procedures. The Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion (ADDI) is a new position at the Heller School and is an outgrowth of a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. The ADDI is a full?time position that reports to the Dean of Heller. It is seen as central to guiding Heller through the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan while staying aware of current and future needs. Thus, the successful candidate will engage all Heller students, faculty, and staff in fostering a diverse and inclusive community by serving as the key leader for discussions on diversity at the School; in an advisory/mentoring/teaching capacity to students; and as a resource and educator to faculty and staff. More specifically, the Heller ADDI will be expected to:
Establish and Maintain a Vision for Diversity and Inclusion: ADDI is expected – in close consultation with the entire Heller community – to build on the current Action Plan and formulate and articulate a vision around diversity, equity and inclusion and to provide leadership, concrete steps, counsel, advocacy, and a point of connection and communication for all aspects of the Heller School in achieving that vision.
Coordinate and Enhance Current Diversity Efforts: The ADDI will have responsibility for coordinating and enhancing Heller’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and for aligning those efforts with those of the larger university. Thus the ADDI will serve as the Chair of the Heller Diversity Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the Dean’s office, centers and institutes, admissions, career services, academic programs, alumni affairs, communications, students, and staff. The ADDI will also develop strategic connections to other key University offices e.g., HR, Center for Teaching and Learning, international student and scholar office, Student Counseling Center and the like. The ADDI will be expected to review and evaluate current diversity and inclusion strategies, programs, and groups and make recommendations to share best practices and propose new programs where appropriate. This could include serving as the diversity representative in faculty searches, and as an advisor in curriculum review processes. Finally, the ADDI will be charged with Heller Communications to report on Heller diversity and inclusion strategies, programs, milestones and initiatives to key stakeholder groups.
Develop Training Programs: The ADDI will work to design, develop, and ideally deliver training, orientation, and professional development programs that assist faculty, staff, and students in achieving Heller’s diversity and inclusion goals. The ADDI will be responsible for ensuring that the effectiveness of this training is independently evaluated and, going forward, will drive training efforts based on need. Key areas for training include diversity pedagogy; and addressing diversity issues in the classroom, among others. While not required, the ADDI may have the opportunity if desired to teach foundational diversity courses.
Teach Two Courses Per Academic Year: The ADDI will be expected to teach two Heller graduate level courses per academic year. The courses’ foci will be determined in consultation with the Heller Dean, and informed by Heller needs and priorities and the ADDI’s discipline and Background.