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Steps to Establishing & Maintaining an ERG

ERGs are started and recognized at the request of at least two employees willing to serve as ERG organizers for a period of one year (or more).

  1. To get the technical and resource assistance from Office of Diversity & Community Engagement (ODCE), the ERG organizers should inform ODCE of their interest in forming an ERG.

  2. Initially, the ERG organizers should work with the OIEC ERG Coordinator/s to do the following:

    • Create a mission statement and charter.

    • Set goals for the 1st 12-18 months of the ERG.

    • Define expectations/role for ERG organizers and (if applicable) leadership team.

    • Define membership criteria in the ERG (e.g., attend X meetings, participate in Y manner, etc.).

    • Define decision-making process (if voting, who has a vote etc.).

    • Create a communications plan & materials for publicizing the new ERG and its events.

    • Discuss ideas to identify/recruit an appropriate Executive Sponsor (who, how recruited, etc.).

    • Identify membership requirement (e.g., formal sign-up process, attend a minimum number of meetings/year, actively participate in maintenance/development activities to grow the ERG, etc.).

    • Identify preliminary measures of success (e.g., X group activities/year, increase the number of employees at meetings over a time period, etc.).

    • Begin to develop a preliminary budget for the 1st 6-12 months of the ERGs activities.

    • Obtain approval of mission statement and charter from the VP of ODCE.

  3. Prior to the 1st meeting, the ERG organizers should:

    • Connect with existing ERGs (at UTD or other similar groups from around the System) to learn from their experience and create the possibility for on-going partnerships.

    • Implement the communications plan to create widespread awareness of the new ERG. This might include e-mail blasts, fliers, notices on the Diversity and Community Engagement website, networking among faculty & staff, inclusion in HR’s New Employee Orientation sessions, etc.

    • Create basic materials (paper and/or web) to introduce the ERG to UTD employees.

  4. For the first meeting with other employees, the ERG organizers should:

    • Draft preliminary ideas for program/events for the 1st six months for discussion at the meeting.

    • Solicit names for the group and communicate the process for name selection.

    • Solicit ideas for the group’s mission and/or solicit feedback on the previously drafted mission statement.

    • Solicit ideas for the ERG’s initial goals and/or solicit feedback on the previously drafted goals.

  5. After the 1st meeting, the ERG organizers should communicate the ERG's name and use it to create print/web publicity materials.

  6. Within the first few meetings with other employees, the ERG organizers should:

    • Get input on day, time, frequency, location of meetings.

    • Identify communications practices for the ERG.

    • Set roles for members as needed (publicizing meetings, developing program ideas, liaison with other ERGs or diversity groups, etc.).

    • Finalize the ERG’s mission and goals, including identifying short-medium-long term priorities and submit to the VP ODCE for final approval.

    • Finalize upcoming program ideas for the ERG.

Roles & Responsibilities in ERGs

ERGs are coordinated by volunteer co-leaders who are supported by the ODCE ERG Coordinator and ODCE.

ERG Organizers