Despite decades of centrally-led and externally-funded initiatives designed to increase racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among college and university faculty members, most campuses have made little to no progress. Pressure from students and shifting demographics are driving a new urgency among academic leaders to prioritize both greater numerical representation of underrepresented groups among faculty and a more inclusive environment for faculty, students, and staff. Administrators can no longer simply point to a long-codified written commitment to diversity on campus.
The decisions, processes, and preferences that truly impact diversity and inclusion occur at the departmental level—chairs, program heads, and faculty leaders must identify and remedy sources of bias within traditional recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and promotion practices. This study will help academic leaders approach diversity and inclusion as the result of more equitable and intentional practices under their direct control. It is imperative that institutions analyze unit and department-level trends around hiring and advancement and agree on responsibilities centered on diversity and inclusion processes by role.
In addition, chairs, program heads, and faculty leaders should use the included diagnostics to evaluate existing practices and identify opportunities to improve recruitment and retention practices.
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