General Contact Information
Office of the Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
One Bernard Baruch Way
New York, NY 10010-5585
135 East 22nd Street, 7th Floor
Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Faculty Diversity Strategic Plan 2013-2018
Baruch College’s student body is one of the most diverse in the nation, bringing an unparalleled breadth of cultural experience to the campus that enriches teaching, scholarship, and student life. Just as the College pledges to build on this foundation to provide undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students with the skills and knowledge, the perspectives and capacities, to pursue their aspirations in today’s global city and globalized world, so too it is committed to fostering diversity in its faculty. Diversity includes race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation as well as military veterans, Italian-Americans, and persons with disabilities. It also includes cultural and intellectual diversity. A vibrant and pluralistic community is fundamental to the exchange of ideas and production of knowledge. Ensuring such plurality and diversity in the faculty requires active efforts in recruitment and retention and in the sustaining of a climate of openness and participation throughout the life of the College.
Baruch College recognizes the importance that a diverse faculty plays in support of its mission of providing an excellent education to its students and strengthening its reputation as a research center. Recruitment is a key to strengthening diversity within our faculty. Since the success of any recruitment plan requires acceptance and support on the part of current faculty members, it is important that all levels of administration regularly demonstrate support for faculty efforts intended to increase faculty diversity. The provost, deans, and department chairs share the responsibility of seeing that search committees are informed of the strategic plan on faculty diversity, the best practices in advertising positions, and the associations and conferences most suited to recruiting a diverse faculty. The guiding principle of every search is to hire the best available candidate; to maintain that principle while strengthening diversity requires concerted efforts to reach as diverse a pool of candidates as possible. The strategies for doing so vary across the disciplines and can include outreach programs and associations, such as the Ph.D. Project in which the Zicklin School of Business participates which is designed to identify outstanding candidates, even before they have completed their graduate studies. It is paramount that deans, department chairs, and search committees shape recruitment according to each discipline’s best practices and most effective associations.
Strategies to pursue:
— The chief diversity officer will regularly compile data reports to assess the state of diversity in departments and schools and the College as a whole. A full report will be compiled in 2013-14, as a large number of new faculty begin their tenure at the College, to establish the baseline profile of current faculty diversity. The reports, provided to the appropriate administrators and faculty, should be used to determine where the strengthening of faculty diversity has and has not advanced and to develop recruitment plans accordingly.
— The provost and deans will work with academic departments in fields where diversity is limited and provide financial resources to increase the diversity of candidate pools and craft competitive offers.
— The deans and the College’s diversity officer will continue to develop and provide workshops on best practices at the beginning of the hiring cycle with the goal of having each discipline develop its own guidelines and strategies. The chairs of each search committee will be invited to attend these workshops and provide information on how they expect to implement the goals of the institution.
— To broaden applicant pools, faculty positions will be advertised in those venues most likely to reach under-represented groups.
— The business disciplines will continue to work with the Ph.D. Project to advertise positions and participate in networking activities with doctoral program nationally to identify promising candidates. The arts and sciences and public affairs disciplines will expand their involvement with similar discipline-based programs for identifying and establishing connections with doctoral candidates from under-represented groups.
— Each school and department will, under the auspices of the respective deans, strengthen its contacts with associations that mentor doctoral candidates from under-represented groups and aid in placement; and sponsor symposia where doctoral candidates can present their research-in-progress.
— The directors of graduate programs, especially the Ph.D. in Business, will explore developing graduate scholarships and doctoral fellowships for students from under-represented groups to help attract faculty interested in opportunities to work with and mentor a next generation of academics.
— The deans will encourage departments to consider the diversity of its adjunct faculty, particularly in fields where the diversity of the adjunct pool is greater than that of potential fulltime candidates.
While recruitment would seem to be the first step in expanding faculty diversity, the success of that stage is also dependent on past and present retention efforts. Retention involves, first and foremost, maximizing the likelihood of promotion and tenure. As faculty members succeed academically and attain national recognition, they are often sought after by other institutions; retention efforts then take the form of trying to match or better outside offers. Not all turnover represents a retention failure, and the optimal rate of voluntary turnover is not zero. An accomplished faculty member’s move to another university can enhance the College’s reputation and create opportunities for our students as they seek advanced degrees. At present, however, the College lacks an adequate database on the factors determining turnover and retention as related to faculty from under-represented groups. An essential, though less obvious and undocumented factor in retention lies in the nature of the faculty member’s attachment to the institution and the opportunities it affords to make his or her voice understood and to assume positions of academic leadership. It is the College’s responsibility to support as much as possible every junior faculty member’s pursuit of tenure and promotion and then to provide ample opportunities for involvement in decision-making roles. Diversity is enhanced the more universal and concerted such support actually is.
Strategies to pursue:
— The provost’s office and institutional research will create a quantitative and qualitative database in 2013-14 on turnover (including nonrenewal) and successful and failed retention efforts over the last five years in order to achieve a more reliable view of the factors bearing on faculty retention and turnover, especially for under-represented groups.
— Mentoring programs, like the one already in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences (WSAS), which assigns new faculty a mentor outside his or her department, should be maintained and strengthened and developed in the Zicklin School of Business as well. Beginning with the new cohort arriving in Fall 2013, all incoming faculty will be paired with mentors; the program will expand to all nontenured faculty by Fall 2014. As part of this effort, a more consistent preparation of mentors will be developed in all three schools in 2013-14 through a seminar for experienced faculty from various departments with the participation of the diversity officer and the provost’s office.
— As the College’s stated aim of substantially increasing the amount of sponsored research is implemented, chairs and deans should guide newer faculty to seek guidance from Sponsored Programs and Research (SPAR) and in conjunction with it identify potentially collaborative projects in which the faculty member can engage with colleagues, including those in other fields or departments.
— The provost’s office will continue to encourage faculty to apply, whether as participants or leaders, to CUNY’s Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, which is specifically designed to bring current research to fruition and publication.
— In light of the consortial nature of doctoral programs in CUNY, the opportunity to participate in doctoral education is often limited even though it contributes decisively faculty members’ satisfaction with their career path. Untenured and recently tenured faculty often do not see a path to appointment to the doctoral faculty. In light of that, deans and chairs will encourage College faculty who currently participate in doctoral programs at the Graduate Center to help colleagues network with doctoral faculty by participating in colloquia, attending lectures and seminars, applying for Mellon and other seminars at the Center for the Humanities, and so on.
— Beyond resources like the Higher Education Resource Consortium (HERC), the College will work through the provost with other CUNY campuses and with CUNY’s central administration to facilitate spousal hires and dual career opportunities. The deans will encourage chairs to be attentive to such situations when faculty receive outside offers.
— To extend diversity into the academic leadership of the College as well as to give faculty from under-represented groups the sorts of responsibilities and recognition that foster retention, the provost will charge the deans with more proactively and consistently encouraging those faculty to assume leadership positions within the College and University appropriate to career stage.
— The College, through its office of institutional research, needs to monitor the careers of under-represented faculty within the institution in the various areas addressed above: promotion and tenure, sponsored research, Graduate Center engagement, and advancement to leadership positions.
Faculty members thrive when the climate created in the institution and among colleagues recognizes their endeavors, respects their uniqueness and differences, and incorporates their talents into the common mission of the College. For that to happen in a richly diverse faculty requires a visible and felt commitment to diversity itself. Beyond being a theme, diversity needs to be a value enacted and manifested in the institution’s actions and habits in order to avoid tokenism and create an atmosphere of mutual recognition and respect. While many of the strategic steps outlined in the sections above address these issues, the more intangible and less visible sources of blockage, from hidden prejudices and subtle exclusions to skewed expectations and stereotypical assumptions, can weigh on a faculty member’s morale and undermine the sense of genuine intellectual community. Communication about such issues and experiences is often stilted or merely left in suspension for fear of consequences. The creation of an appropriate and supportive climate cannot be achieved by mandate or prescription, but concrete steps can be taken
Strategies to pursue in addition to those already delineated:
— The provost in consultation with a continuation of some form the working group that developed this faculty diversity strategic plan will explore the feasibility—and advisability—of an anonymous survey of faculty to understand the positive and negative aspects of climate, community, and morale in light of diversity issues.
— Effective unequivocal statements of the College’s commitment to diversity should regularly be articulated in its printed and Internet communications.
— Events that bring to the attention of the entire college community the achievements, research, innovations in teaching, and public service of the faculty in its diversity should be a part of the annual agenda of each of the three schools.
— Since the burden of diversifying committee membership frequently falls disproportionately on a few faculty members, and since the same faculty members are often also sought out by students as unofficial mentors, the College needs to recognize and award such work. The deans and the provost will explore with their respective personnel and budget committees the most appropriate ways to acknowledge and support these kinds of responsibilities.
— Informal gatherings of college administrators and diverse faculty members should be held periodically to foster frank discussions of avenues and obstacles that the College creates with regard to diversity and career.
— Deans and chairs should convey to all faculty the importance of, and create a mechanism for, bringing to their attention those situations or actions, intended or not, which compromise the values of openness, difference, and mutuality in their daily experience at the College.