Diversifying Faculty and Staff

Diversifying Faculty and Staff

recruiting and retaining faculty and staff of color, diversity, equity, student success
  • Diversity
  • Faculty Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Promotion and Tenure
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Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)
https://msudenver.edu/
http://alt.wiche.edu/?q=N/A

Metropolitan State University of Denver is an urban, public, comprehensive, regional institution of higher education. The student body hovers at 20K, with the majority being part time. 42% of our student body are students of color; ~1/3 are Pell Eligible, and ~1/2 are first generation students.

  • Institutions
  • Institutions

PURPOSE

National data indicates that the percentage of full-time faculty has not changed dramatically over the years except for Asian Americans. A snapshot of data from 1993, 2003, and 2015 demonstrates that Native American faculty have grown from 0% in 1993 to 1% in 2003 and 2015; Hispanic faculty have grown from 3% in 1993 to 4% in 2003 and 2015; African American faculty have grown from 5% in 1993 and 2003 to 6% in 2015; and Asian American faculty have grown from 5% in 1993 to 7% in 2003 and 10 % in 2015. We can – and must – do better.

  • To increase the number of faculty and staff of color who are hired and retained at MSU Denver.

  • To ensure faculty of color earn tenure and promotion.

  • To support student success by having role models of successful persons of color in the classroom and/or in key administrative/staff roles.

DESCRIPTION

The "tool" is actually a series of action steps designed to achieve an excellent and inclusive faculty: (1) recruitment, (2) preparing the search committee, (3) writing the right job ad, (4) supporting faculty through the tenure process, and (5) providing support for success throughout a person’s career.

Recruitment: Attend events like the Southern Regional Education Board’s Institute for Teaching and Mentoring (SREB) and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Build a network of partner schools. Have a rich resource list of venues for advertising for diverse faculty
Prepare the Search Committee: Annual training (https://msudenver.edu/eoo/faqsandresources/searchandscreeningcommitteefaq/) for anyone serving on any search committee: Includes training on implicit bias. Embed proper “Protocols for Searching/Hiring Faculty” – Section VI. (https://msudenver.edu/media/content/academicaffairs/ProtocolsforHiringFaculty--Spring2013(3).pdf) And, remember informal recruiting is GOOD – pick up the phone!

Write the Right Job Ad: Need to include language that represents the University’s commitment to diversity – e.g., in a Strategic Plan, Mission, or Vision Statement. Maybe include language re: recent successes in retaining and promoting diversity candidates. Make sure you have more that “The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.” Try, instead, something like these:
• The successful candidate must have the ability to work with and be sensitive and committed to the educational needs of a diverse urban population. OR
• Experience working with and sensitivity to the needs of a diverse urban student population including (but not limited to) students of color, LBGTQIA students, students from low-income backgrounds, first-generation students, students with disabilities, undocumented students, non-traditional students, student veterans, and English-language learners.

Pre-tenure Track Appointments: MSU Denver has three types of these: TOP (Target of Opportunity; see https://msudenver.edu/eoo/employmentprograms/targetofopportunityprogramtop/), FRIP (Faculty Recruitment Incentive Program; see https://msudenver.edu/eoo/employmentprograms/facultyrecruitmentincentive...), and the FSDCPTF (Faculty Senate Diversity Committee Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows).

Retention Strategy 1: Welcoming Orientation and Pre-Arrival information speaks to the type of support all faculty will get as a member of the campus community. MSU Denver has information on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website about life in Denver, the University’s commitment to diversity, our Center for Teaching, Learning and Design (CTLD; see https://msudenver.edu/ctld/), and a very cool portal for CV/résumé submission for future consideration regardless of existing open lines. Then, of course, the new faculty orientation/institute offers another opportunity to share the various support resources on campus.

Retention Strategy 2: Support Systems vary, but we try to identify both formal and informal mentors for new faculty. The CTLD offers Faculty Learning Communities, Writing Circles, information on publishing journal articles/books, and how to write grants. We also offer support for professional development: $1,500/faculty member for conferences, etc., Mini-grants – Provost/Dean/CDO levels, $500K set aside for sabbaticals. Finally, we have a “Tenure Track Supper Club” that is open to all, provides mentors, sponsors a book club, and brings in guest presenters that meets six times a year.

Retention Strategy 3: Fair and Objective RTP Processes: Some things that work well at MSU Denver include having University- and College/School- and Departmental expectations for performance at 3rd year, tenure/promotion to associate, promotion to full, and PTR clearly delineated. Training for candidates and each level of review. “Reconciliation” session where recommendations are not unanimous before Provost recommends to the President. Extenuating circumstances option to “stop the clock.” And an option to “go up for early tenure” without prejudice. For more on this see Chapter V of the HANDBOOK FOR PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL at https://msudenver.edu/hr/policies/handbooksmanualsrules/.

Retention Strategy 4: Institutional Inclusiveness Opportunities, e.g., Lunch with the Provost, Coffee with the President, Town Halls and Forums, Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness, Equal Opportunity Office, Access Center, and Campus Climate Survey through The Chronicle of Higher Education.

  • Measure the number of faculty and staff of color who are hired each year.

  • Measure the number of faculty of color earn tenure and/or promotion each year AND how many staff of color are retained.

  • Measure the % of successful employees of color vs. employees of the majority population on campus.

  • Measure the % of successful employees of color vs. employees of the majority population nationally.

Since 2005, MSU Denver has seen an increase of full-time faculty of color by 52% (83 in 2005 to 126 in 2015); Administrative staff of color by 207% (74 in 2005; 227 in 2015); and students of color by 48% (5,094 in 2005; 7,561 in 2015); overall, student population is 42%.

At Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) we are doing slightly better than the national average: hitting the average for African American faculty at 5.9%; just below average for Asian faculty at 8.2%; and exceeding Hispanic faculty averages with 7.7% vs. 4% nationally. Also, at MSU Denver from 2003-2007 White faculty earned tenure at 90% and African American faculty earned tenure at 60%. With the work I am about to describe, our data reflects that from 2007 - 2017 Whites earn Tenure at 95% and African Americans now earn tenure at 95% as well. Hispanic and Asian faculty are above 90% as well.

MSU Denver has successfully increased the number of faculty and staff of color who are employed by the institution AND who are retained, tenured, and promoted.

RESOURCES AND LESSONS LEARNED

(1) Travel to events like the Southern Regional Education Board’s Institute for Teaching and Mentoring (SREB) and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and to places to help build a network of partner schools.
(2) Providing a welcoming orientation both before and after employees arrive on campus.
(3) Professional Development Support for tenure line faculty
(4) Various meet and greet opportunities for networking among peers and spending time with senior leaders.

  • ~$5,000/year

  • ~$5,000/year

  • ~$750K/year for conference attendance

  • $500K set aside/year for sabbaticals

  • ~$3K/year

  • • It is important to be inclusive and sensitive to cultural differences across various groups of people of color.

  • • Helping all faculty and staff find their own path is critical – not everyone needs to engage in every opportunity to be successful.

  • • It is critical that faculty and staff are aware of the various professional development and networking opportunities that are available to them.

  • • Communication, communication, communication.

MSU Denver continually assesses what programs work and what don't to determine where to allocate our precious resources. This is how we have arrived at our current levels of success. We will continue to engage in this work.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Embedded in the sections above.

Vicki Golich
Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
Metropolitan State University of Denver
890 Auraria Parkway
Campus Box 48, P.O. Box 173362
Denver, Colorado 80217-3362
Phone: 3036151900

vgolich@msudenver.edu

Vicki Golich
Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
Metropolitan State University of Denver
890 Auraria Parkway
Campus Box 48, P.O. Box 173362
Denver, Colorado 80217-3362
Phone: 3036151900

vgolich@msudenver.edu