Ohio University

Including Social Justice in Job Descriptions

The Division of Student Affairs strives to include equity and social justice in all employees’ day-to-day work. As part of this commitment, the Equity and Social Justice Committee is excited to share our goal for embedding social justice language into all administrative, classified, and student job descriptions. The target date for completing this work is December 2020. 

How to Get Started

We encourage department leaders to involve employees in the planning and implementation of these job description changes. Here are tips for updating job description language and supporting social justice activities in your work area:

  • Communicate with employees in person about the purpose for the change, when it will occur, and what it will mean for them.
  • Identify what, if anything, will change about the employee’s job duties. Ask the employee for input about the change to their job description. The committee anticipates that most staff already do some work that relates to social justice without that being reflected in the job description.
  • Employees should spend time thinking about ideas for how to include social justice into their job descriptions.
  • Discuss whether a goal should be set for the 2020 performance management cycle related to social justice components intersecting with job duties.
  • Discuss how social justice relates to employee professional development plans with all staff. Take time in a staff meeting or supervision to discuss progress toward social justice professional development goals. Department leaders should share what work has been accomplished toward their own professional development and social justice goals, as well.

Examples of Customized Job Descriptions

Excerpt from the Director of Community Standards and Student Responsibility:  

  • Demonstrate effort to understand your individual and collective role in creating inclusive environments and use a perspective of Social Justice in Community Standards and Student Responsibility (CSSR) work 
  • Promote equity through the (1) identification and removal of barriers, (2) facilitation of learning, (3) cultivation of community, and (4) empowerment of people 
  • Address needs related to student development and well-being in order to increase retention, academic progress and graduation rates; including tracking the retention and persistence of marginalized identities through the conduct process. 
  • Advance cultural competency at Ohio University and the surrounding community through training staff and by infusing cultural competency into hearing offer training as well as hearing board training 

Excerpt from the Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life: 

  • Work interdepartmentally with campus partners to develop training for SFL staff and organizations.  These trainings could be in areas such as leadership development, fundraising, philanthropy, cultural competency, time management, philanthropy, all forms of power-based personal violence including hazing and sexual assault, alcohol and drug use/misuse, and other areas as deemed appropriate. 
  • Collaborate with all Councils to ensure the sustainability of sorority and fraternities through intentional inclusive recruitment practices, scholarship, active recruitment, fiscal management and service. 

Excerpt from an Administrative Specialist role: 

  • This individual must be able to work smoothly in a fast-paced office environment with frequent interruptions and have a high level of emotional intelligence to de-escalate crisis situations, as well as have a high level of cultural competency to make sure all people’s identities and perspectives are welcomed in the Dean of Students’ Office. 

Excerpt from an Assistant Dean of Students role: 

  • Everyone in the Division of Student Affairs is charged with ensuring a framework of equity and social justice is embedded into our day to day work. 
  • Specifically, this position should advance cultural competency of the behavioral intervention culture at OHIO by infusing cultural competency into trainings of staff and faculty. 
  • This position should also promote equity through the identification and removal of barriers for underserved students through the SRCC processes 

Excerpt from Graduate Assistant positions:

  • GA is expected to be inclusive, equity-oriented, and diversity-aware, which aligns with the institution’s expectations of diversity and inclusion. We seek a candidate committed to working with people holding similar or different world views while advocating for inclusion of all people.

Excerpt from a Student Employee Position in Campus Recreation:

  • Actively contributes as a staff member of a department and division that upholds the framework of equity and social justice. Encourage both employees and patrons to view themselves as having the potential to make meaningful contributions and to be engaged in their communities. Advocate for awareness, understanding and the diversity and inclusion of all people in Campus Recreation facilities, programs and communication while providing a commitment to work effectively with students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds. Advocate for the educational and cultural benefits of providing diversity and inclusion in all areas of your position and department.

Information About Job Postings

In addition to customized details about how social justice relates to specific job duties, we ask all hiring managers to add the DOSA definition of social justice at the end of the People Admin Job Posting and in job advertisements for all positions, including student employees:

  • In the Division of Student Affairs, we demonstrate effort for all to understand their individual and collective role in creating inclusive environments and use a perspective of Social Justice in their work. We define Social Justice as an active process and commitment to promoting equity through the (1) identification and removal of barriers, (2) facilitation of learning, (3) cultivation of community, and (4) empowerment of people. We work to address needs related to student development and well-being in order to increase retention, academic progress and graduation rates. We dedicate ourselves to advancing cultural competency at Ohio University, the surrounding community, and the world.

Thank you for working to create a more inclusive community at OHIO. This is important and requires time and support from our entire staff to implement. You are invited to attend any Equity and Social Justice Committee meeting to share feedback. Contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (740) 593-1800 to determine the time and location of the next meeting.