7.8 Lessons Learned

Last updated on 2021/08/08 by Michael Nolan

Lessons learned and promising practices have been presented throughout this chapter. Examples used are drawn from ERC experiences as documented in Annual Reports and/or shared within the DCI Community of Practice. Key lessons learned that rose to the top during chapter preparation include the following:

  • DCI goals and a culture of inclusion cannot be achieved without committed ERC leadership and faculty participation.

  • It is essential that the DCI Director and associated staff are dedicated DCI professionals with experience and commitment to DCI who are allocated sufficient time and resources to make meaningful contributions to the ERC.

  • A successful DCI Program cannot operate in isolation; it must be integrated within the research, education, workforce development, innovation ecosystem, and all other operations at all levels of the ERC and must be actively supported by ERC leadership and aligned with institutional DCI activities.

  • DCI programs must meaningfully engage and serve participants at all levels across all ERC partner institutions.

  • Design and implementation of DCI assessment and evaluation should be overseen by an evaluation expert, with adequate funding and support.

  • DCI work is ongoing and never complete; it is hard, emotionally demanding, often uncomfortable, and incredibly necessary work that challenges the individual, the institution, and the systems in which the ERC operates.

  • Positioning DCI programs for sustainability is a challenging endeavor that requires deep engagement and advocacy by ERC leaders.