University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Commitment to Diversity

Why is diversity important?

The College of Arts and Sciences highly values the excellence that results when people from different backgrounds and perspectives work, interact, and learn together. In this way, commitment to diversity fosters our educational mission. For our students, it prepares them for life and work ahead: it recognizes that we are a culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse nation, one that is also situated in an increasingly global environment. For our faculty, scholarship and research are increasingly cooperative activities-often crossing national borders-requiring the abilities and skills to work with others often from very different backgrounds. For both our students and faculty, diversity enhances our curriculum, enriches the classroom experience, and fosters the exchange of ideas. As our society, economy, politics, and global interactions become increasingly diverse, so too must our intellectual community of students, faculty, and staff. These are the opportunities we must be prepared to engage.

"It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer. . . to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. . ." Civil Rights Act of 1964

"You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, 'you are free to compete with all the others,' and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All of our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result. . . To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough." President Lyndon B. Johnson, Howard University Commencement Address, June 4, 1965

What is the College's approach to diversity recruitment?

The College of Arts and Sciences embraces UVM's commitment to both Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action as defined by applicable federal and state laws. As an Equal Opportunity employer, UVM is committed to giving applicants with substantially similar credentials and experience an equal opportunity of being hired irrespective of characteristics that federal and state government have determined may not enter into employment decisions, e.g., race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, etc. We take the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent legislation seriously; law must inform us. As an Affirmative Action employer, UVM is committed to increasing the representation of women and minorities in its workplace in the interest of creating an enriched intellectual community and as a matter of equity. President Lyndon Johnson's words also resonate: equal opportunity is a foundation, but true equality calls for more affirmative steps.

Our approach to the recruitment of diverse faculty and staff adheres to legally mandated Equal Opportunity requirements while pursuing appropriate strategies for enhancing the pool of job applicants to reflect better representation among groups recognized by UVM as targets of Affirmative Action efforts. Our goal is to have a faculty and staff that reflect the composition of the available workforce, appropriately measured.

Central to this effort is collaboration with managers, department chairs, search committees, the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, the Chief Diversity Officer, and the Office of Human Resource Services to extend awareness and information about vacancies in the College to groups and communities where our representation is below workforce availability. It also involves the use of personal and professional networks to spread the word that UVM, Burlington, and Vermont are safe and congenial places for people to set down roots and thrive personally and professionally. Together, we look at the composition of our current workforce, identify gap areas, establish goals, design strategies, and monitor our effectiveness.

In addition, the College has provided financial and human resources to departments to implement effective recruitment plans that will insure diverse applicant pools and translate those into diverse interview pools and hiring outcomes. The job description for one of the CAS Associate Deans includes monitoring the College's effort in this regard. The Dean of the College accepts responsibility for implementing these efforts college-wide and is held accountable by the Provost and the President of UVM for achieving successful outcomes.

Faculty: How are we doing?

(What follows is a summary of the data we compiled. Detailed tables as well as a more extensive discussion of them can be found in our 2012 Report on Diversity.)

Starting with 2005 through academic year 2012-13, the College has made significant advances in the hiring of racially and ethnically-diverse minorities and women. With respect to gender, there have been slightly more women hired than men: 64 women, 63 men. Regarding race and ethnicity, minority faculty constituted 24% of all hires during this period.

The approximately 50/50 hiring of women and men is adequate in light of the breakdown of recent Ph.D.s by gender: 46.8% female and 53.2% male. The figure of 24% for minority hiring almost exactly matches the percent of doctoral degrees awarded to minority faculty in the most recently available National Science Foundation survey of all doctoral degrees annually awarded. This is also a positive achievement.

Where does CAS stand overall with respect to the racial and ethnic composition of our faculty? Our ultimate aim is to reach the percentages of women, and ethnic/racial minorities within the College that reflect "national workforce availability." The College has made progress toward this goal over the course of the last few years.

With respect to gender, CAS is doing very well indeed: 44.6% of our faculty members are women while 37.6% of persons with Ph.D.s in the United States are female. For race and ethnicity we have made progress, but more needs to be done: 18.8% of our faculty members are non-white while 24.5% of individuals with Ph.D.s in the country at large are minorities.\

Support/Administrative Staff: How are we doing?

Since fall 2008, the College of Arts and Sciences has worked closely with departments to insure that support/administrative staff hiring, retention, and promotion accord with the College's commitment to diversity. To this end, College administrators as well as the Chief Diversity Office, and the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity work with departments to insure that position announcements reach a thorough cross-section of Burlington and the surrounding communities. CAS staff largely resemble the population in the Burlington area in terms of ethnic, racial, and gender characteristics. This is not surprising since we recruit largely from the local labor market. The one caveat is that we have a much higher percentage of women (61%) than are present in the population of the Burlington/Chittenden County area, but this is due to our occupational structure: 45% of our staff are clerical workers while 55% are professional/technical. If the entire U.S. had this occupational distribution, about 62% of the workers nationwide would be female, a number not very different from our figure of 61%.

Last modified June 11 2015 06:07 PM