We are writing you with an important message relevant to next year’s faculty searches. As the Provost and deans begin their annual budget meetings to determine which lines we will be able to fill, we want to emphasize the importance of broadening the diversity of our faculty though our hiring process. We are therefore writing to set forth several new steps that we are asking departments and colleges to undertake as part of our faculty recruitment.
These are preliminary steps that will be soon supplemented by additional recommendations from the Committee on Full Participation, Diversity, and Engagement. This Committee, on which our offices and the president’s office participate with Faculty Senate representatives, continues to develop a comprehensive plan in response to the 2011 campus climate survey report.
Over the last couple of years the university has had the ability to conduct a large number of searches. While those searches did not come close to replacing the significant number of faculty we lost during the Great Recession, we were happy with both the quality of the hires we made and the diversity of that cohort. Of the over 75 hires we made last year, for example, over 80% were women, ethnic minorities, or both. We want to congratulate the campus for their evident commitment to faculty diversity evidenced in those numbers and we look forward to similar success this year.
The campus must be strategic and intentional in our hiring over the next two years, particularly paying attention to diversity in our faculty hires and executive leadership appointments. This is particularly important because we do not believe that our anticipated budget will enable us to make a comparably large number of hires during the coming biennium.
Naturally, we must emphasize academic accomplishment and educational preparation in selecting faculty. We believe that the steps outlined below will permit departments to focus on the campus’ commitment to diversity without supplanting our commitment to quality.
We therefore ask that by September 15, 2013, deans submit a report to our offices certifying that the following steps have been taken. The report shall include final versions of all reports required below in that college.
- Colleges with authorized searches shall draft and circulate a message on the value of diversity at the University. This message should be circulated to the college faculty and staff and at the same time departments are informed of approved searches.
- Each department with an authorized search shall draft a department diversity plan. The plan shall include four parts:
- A section reflective on the history of diversity in that department.
- A section setting out reasons for success or failure in the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty hires over the past 10 years.
- A section summarizing the success or failure of making diverse hires in the previous hiring cycle.
- A section outlining diversity goals in the current hiring cycle and a plan for realizing stated goals.
- Departments with authorized searches shall present their diversity plan at a college-wide faculty meeting and solicit college peer feedback and input.
John Valery White
Executive Vice President and Provost
Vice President for Government Relations and Diversity Initiatives