Equity by Design

Quote by Bensimone, Malcom, Dowd, and Witham"Being equity-minded thus involves being conscious of the ways that higher education, through its practices, policies, expectations, and unspoken rules - places responsibility for student success on the very groups that have experiences marginalization, rather than on individuals and institutions whose responsibility it is to remedy that marginalization."

Equity by Design... What is it?

Equity by Design is a methodology to understand and address disparities and move towards meaningful institution (system) wide multifaceted equity-minded practices. The methodology is influenced by the research and literature of Dr. Estela Bensimon at the Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California. This work is:

  • Data-informed

  • Influences organizational development

  • Influences change management strategy

  • Prepares institutions to be student-ready

  • Prioritizes equity in academic outcomes.

Elements of Equity by Design

Leadership philosophy, localized content, institutional change, and accountability lead to student-ready institutions

Equity by Design Launch

On June 24th - 25th, 2020, the Office of Equity and Inclusion hosted a virtual launch for campuses interested in participating in Equity by Design. Materials from this training are accessible to Minnesota State employees and students on the Minnesota State Equity by Design Microsoft Teams Collaboration Site.  

Equity by Design: IR & Campus Diversity Officer Training

Date: August 12, 2020     
- Campus Diversity Officers
- Institutional Research / Institutional Effectiveness Personnel
Link to the Training Slides
Link to the Training Recording

Equity by Design Campus Coalition Training

The Office of Equity & Inclusion is hosting virtual training for campus coalitions throughout the evolution of Equity by Design. Upcoming training dates are listed below, in addition to links for accessing previously facilitated training.

If you would like to attend the training and have not yet received details from your campus team leader, please email OEI@minnstate.edu to obtain the training link and information.

Past Training 

October 2020 Training:

 November 2020 Training:

February 2021 Training:

Link to the Training Slides

April 2021 Training:
       Link to the Training Slides

 September 2021 Training:

       Link to the Training Slides

November 2021 Training:

       Link to the Training Slides

Other Training Opportunities

The Office of Equity and Inclusion hosts regular training sessions on a variety of topics, including Equity by Design. You can find recordings of professional development and training opportunities posted on our MediaSpace Page as well as on our website under the Professional Development Page. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our MediaSpace channel to find the latest recorded webinars and training opportunities!

Equity by Design Timeline

2017-2019: Equity by Design Pilot conducted across 13 Minnesota State Institutions

January 2020: Convened System-wide Equity by Design Workgroup

June 2020: Equity by Design Launch & Toolkit Publication

August 2020: Equity by Design Training for CDOs and IR Professionals

Fall 2020: Campuses begin implementing Equity by Design analysis at their institution

Spring 2021: Campuses prepared to conduct equity-minded analysis

Fall 2021: Equity-minded learning forming across Minnesota State colleges and universities.

Spring 2022: Equity by Design expands focus to larger institutional inequities.


This toolkit is a guide for Equity by Design Campus Teams to work and approach the content of addressing inequities in academic outcomes in a manner that is efficient, equity-minded, and moves the efforts forward. Campus leads (Campus Diversity Officers and Senior Academic Affairs Officers) should familiarize themselves with the toolkit, its contents, recommended activities, and supplemental readings as they guide the rest of the campus team in implementing the Equity by Design methodology on their campus.

In addition to the toolkit, the Office of Equity and Inclusion will make available additional trainings to build capacity in the areas of equity-minded data analysis, inquiry-based practices for faculty and staff, and developing equity-minded language. Recorded webinars and professional development training opportunities are available online at https://minnstate.edu/system/equity/prodev.html.

Equity by Design Toolkit

Additional Tools: 

Every month the Office of Equity & Inclusion hosts virtual open office hours twice a month for Campus Team Leads. These meetings are entirely voluntary and are a space for teams to ask questions, get assistance, and receive support as campuses move through conducting Equity by Design. While the office hours are geared toward campus team leaders, they are open to anyone who wishes to join.


Email tarrence.robertson@minnstate.edu to obtain the virtual meeting link.  



Equity by Design builds on the work of Dr. Estela Bensimon and the Center for Urban Education. For additional context, refer to her publication, "Reclaiming Racial Justice in Equity" (2018).