Strategies for Supporting a Diverse Faculty

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While the diversity of undergraduate student populations is steadily increasing, faculty diversity continues to lag, especially in fields such as engineering and science. To see what could be learned from institutions that have made real strides in this area, we reached out to Wanda Mitchell, vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence at the University of New Hampshire, and Myron Anderson, associate to the president for diversity and associate professor of education technology at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Anderson and Mitchell suggest that to really see gains in fostering a diverse faculty, you need to:

  • Clarify guidelines and expectations around key processes, especially the tenure process
  • Audit your tenure and promotion policies to remove unnecessary impediments
  • Clarify and articulate the unwritten culture of both the academic department and the institution
  • Break down any sense of isolation among faculty members
  • Make sure there is parity in access to resources, tools, and mentoring

"In removing the impediments that minority faculty face, at the end of the day you are creating better resources, tools, and policies for all of your faculty. When you are working toward "inclusive excellence," you create a situation where everyone wins."
Myron Anderson, Metropolitan State University of Denver

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