Below is a summary of the thoughts shared in a panel discussion at Chapman University as part of the DRAW (Discover Research and Arts Week), titled “Building Inclusive Research.”
Panel participants were Arpita Lal, Erin Pullin, and Jana Remy.

Arpita states:
Diversity considerations are extremely important at each step of the research process. Intentionally blurring the line between the researcher and the researched by giving voice to the participants at all stages of the research process can really help with this. This can be done through the use of focus groups, participant action research and other participant driven strategies. In addition, greater use of mixed-method designs combining quantitative and qualitative approaches are likely to lead to a better understanding of ways in which diversity related elements impact the nature of the topic under study. It is important for researchers to report descriptive data for demographic categories even if there are insufficient numbers of minorities for statistical analysis. This can help with drawing comparisons with future studies. Beyond looking at differences between groups it is essential to pay increased attention to variation within groups too. On the whole, more inclusive research can lead to more ecologically valid findings which can significantly improve policy and practice.

Erin writes:
Mixed methods research is really vital to informing the practices, policies, and institutional changes that are vital for strengthening a diverse and inclusive campus community. It’s incredibly helpful to have robust campus climate data to ground discussions about strategic recommendations for change, but it’s also equally important to have collections of qualitative data and narratives. One narrative, or a few, from students experiencing significant challenges due to an outdated policy or an inadequate resource in relation to a marginalized identity is often powerful enough to encourage decision makers to make impactful changes in response. While we have student, staff and faculty satisfaction surveys that provide climate indicators – collecting narratives has helped us to identify answers to questions in the Campus Pride Index. The Campus Pride Index is just one example of a way to benchmark the institution, and this assessment focuses on identifying LGBTQIA+ friendly institutions. In 2017, the Advisory Group on the Status of LGBTQ Communities, a part of the Chapman Diversity Project, completed the Campus Pride Index for Chapman for the first time, and we have a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. That stated, we’re continuing to collect narratives, and some of them have let us know that the questions we answered last year may be inaccurate both in positive and negative ways, and we are utilizing this information to continue to update the assessment for Chapman.

Jana’s slides about the “hidden demographic,” faculty with disabilities