Diversity and Equality Opportunities Committee
The Role of the Diversity and Equal Opportunities Committee (DEOC)
Manchester Metropolitan University has a strong commitment to equality and diversity. The Diversity and Equal Opportunities Committee (DEOC) was established in 2007 as the University’s Committee responsible for ensuring that our aims regarding equality and diversity are met and to foster a working and learning environment in which all staff and students can fulfil their potential.
Specifically the DEOC will:
- Discuss important issues relating to equality and diversity, including those raised by staff and students in order to determine an appropriate course of action to deal with the issue.
- Monitor the University's progress against the Equality and Diversity Strategy Action Plan.
- Consider policies and guidelines that are drafted to support the University in meeting legal requirements and make recommendations where appropriate.
Terms of Reference:
- To advise University Executive Group on all aspects of diversity and equal opportunities;
- To monitor and report progress to University Executive Group and the Board of Governors on the development and implementation of equality and diversity policy and practice;
- To influence internal policies and practices;
- To organise and co-ordinate consultation on diversity and equal opportunities through the Equality Fora and through external consultation;
- To ensure effective consultation with other groups not represented on named groups;
- To establish a programme of communication and activities to celebrate and encourage wellbeing, dignity and respect for diversity within our staff and students.
The structure of the DEOC is designed to:
- Be consultative in nature.
- Engage with academic and related issues as well as employment issues.
- Have clear links to Academic Board, Governors and the University Executive Group.
- Have clearly defined functions, which include monitoring and evaluation.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (or his nominee) will Chair the Committee.
Director of Marketing, Communications and Development; Director of Human Resources; Associate Director of HR: Valuing and Engaging People; Equality and Diversity Manager; a named and nominated representative from each faculty; Co-Chairs of the Staff Equality Fora; the President of the Students Union or their nominated representative; Head of Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; Director of Student Support Services; Each of the recognised trade unions also have membership.
Mode of Operation (DEOC):
The Committee will meet at least once per term. It will also operate using appropriate electronic media to ensure that progress is made between meetings. The work of the DEOC is serviced by the Governance & Secretariat Team.
The work of DEOC is supported by a number of staff equality fora:
- Disabled Staff Forum (DSF)
- Gender Staff Forum (GSF)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Staff Forum (LGBT)
- Race Staff Forum (RSF)
Membership of Equality Fora:
Membership of the fora is drawn from University staff who, by virtue of life experience, have direct understanding and awareness of the issues under consideration.
Role of Equality Fora
These equality fora will strengthen consultation on equality and issues and make the committee more effective. The fora will have an opportunity to put forward their views, at a time and in a way that influences the process of making decisions.
Implicit in this approach is an understanding that some staff may have views of working at the University and needs that differ from those of the majority of colleagues.
It is important for the equality fora to promote an inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity. In practical terms this will involve the fora working with the relevant teams within the University to establish ways in which staff and students can become aware of the cultures and faiths represented in the University and to find practicable ways to enable staff and students to integrate the requirements of their culture or faith with the demands of their work or studies.
Each Forum will:
- Promote equality, diversity and inclusivity;
- Work with the DEOC to establish topics for consultation and discussion;
- Act as a focal point for consultation within its constituent group and work with Valuing and Engaging People to facilitate the consultation process;
- Work in partnership with Valuing and Engaging People to take forward the University’s equality agenda and initiatives;
- Support the DEOC in its monitoring and reporting function;
- Contribute to the Equality Impact Assessment process; and
- Provide regular reports to the DEOC on the work of the Forum and inform the committee of issues raised by their members
The fora will also be responsible for working with Valuing and Engaging People to organise celebratory and educative diversity events that may involve conference activity and engagement with local communities and groups.
Mode of Operation (Equality Fora)
The Director of Human Resources (HR) has University responsibility for Equality and Diversity. This responsibility is delegated to the Associate Director of HR: Valuing and Engaging People, and is supported on a day-to-day basis by the Equality & Diversity team. Valuing and Engaging People have responsibility for working with and supporting the DEOC and its subgroups. This responsibility involves providing support to and servicing each of the equality fora. Additionally, servicing the fora is a specified responsibility of the Equality & Diversity Co-ordinator and is included in the job description for that post.
Disability Network Group
It is important that issues pertaining to disabled students (and those who work with and in support of them) should be considered alongside those of disabled staff and therefore the Disability Network Group, which has a formal reporting structure, was set up.
Membership of Disability Network Group
Membership of the Network is made up of academic staff, who fulfil the role of 'Departmental Disability Reps’; Faculty admin staff who have responsibility for the circulation of personal learning plans (PLPs) and arranging exam concessions for disabled students; Learning Support Advisers; and the Students' Union (Welfare Rep). In addition, there are also representatives from the Library, Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), Centre for Academic Standards & Quality Enhancement (CASQE), Faculty Student Support Officers (FSSOs) and Information Technology Services (IT).
Role of the Disability Network Group
The main function of the Network is to identify, support and disseminate good practice in relation to the learning and teaching of disabled students with the aim of developing an inclusive learning environment. Each Faculty should also support their own Faculty Disability Group, which can feed into and from the University-wide group. Issues which need to be clarified at University level, or for which senior management views/ advice are required, will be brought to DEOC.
What this means for you…
As a member of staff at Manchester Met, you can find out what the DEOC has discussed at its meetings by accessing the minutes of the meetings here.
If you are a member of any of the University’s equality fora you will receive feedback and information from DEOC meetings from the Co-Chair of the forum, and you will be able to contribute to identifying issues for discussion at future meetings of the Committee. If you are not a member of any of the equality fora but would like to raise an E&D-related issue with DEOC, suggest a topic for consideration by the committee, or make them aware of and promote any activities you or your team are involved in which promote equality and diversity, you can do this by speaking to the Equality and Diversity Manager, your faculty representative, E&D Champion or by contacting the E&D team.
As a student at MMU you will be able to receive feedback and raise issues through your student representative who feedback to the Student Union. The Union keeps in regular contact with all the course reps so that any feedback that they have can be given to the appropriate department/committee in the University.
The proposed structure may be depicted as: