Making Strides on Diversity

Making Strides on Diversity

Steady gains in diverse hiring, admissions, and supports

When the university released its Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion in November 2016, it set forth a series of concrete actions to support meaningful, lasting progress toward increased diversity and inclusion while providing a framework through which progress would be subject to periodic evaluation and public accountability.

The first Roadmap progress report, released in spring 2018, captured the first year of related activities and accomplishments from across the institution. Among the highlights, the progress report notes that:

  • 15 percent of professorial-rank new faculty hired in 2016–17 were underrepresented minorities compared to 11 percent the previous year (note that these are updated figures from the report, as the university continues to take steps to enhance data integrity around faculty appointments)
  • Enhanced undergraduate admissions practices helped increase diversity among incoming classes of students—27.2 percent of first-year undergraduates identified as an underrepresented minority in 2017, up from 14.2 percent in 2010

Since the release of the Roadmap, the university has made several strides toward a more inclusive community. These include the promulgation of new policies for addressing discrimination and harassment, and renewed efforts to encourage reporting of related concerns. They also include the formation of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) Knowledge Share Group, which is made up of diversity and inclusion and HR practitioners as well as divisional diversity council co-chairs from across the university. The group serves as an advisory council to ODI, implementing the work outlined in the Roadmap under the theme of one university.

Another key accomplishment was the opening of a universitywide discussion in fall 2018 about how the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion should guide the institution. The conversation—led by Fenimore Fisher, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer—will culminate with approval of a new Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as an update to the university’s Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion. The process is expected to conclude in March 2019.

Photo: Rhonda Lingham, right, met her mentor, Julia Buick, director of tax accounting, through the Finance Diversity Mentorship Program, a 10-month program including team-building and educational events, networking with a diverse group of individuals from across the university, and the opportunity to connect with and learn from the department’s senior leaders.