University of Vermont

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College of Education and Social Services Diversity Recruitment and Retention Plan

One of the strategic goals of the College of Education and Social Services continues to be to increase the number of diverse faculty and staff in the college and to provide opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to increase their knowledge about and experience various types of diversity. The mission statement of the College speaks to our commitment to inclusion and the importance of just community climates:

The College of Education and Social Services educates and prepares outstanding professionals in education, social work, and human services; engages in scholarship of high quality; and provides exemplary professional service to Vermont, nationally, and globally. We do this to create a more humane and just society, free from oppression, in order to maximize human potential and the quality of life for all individuals, families and communities.

To that end, the College transformed its task force on diversity in 2006 into a recognized and formal standing committee on diversity. This committee regularly hosts activities such as talking/sharing circles, forums, and conferences designed to educate and increase awareness about diversity issues broadly. The committee now annually hosts, with funding from the dean, a mini-conference on English language learners. In addition, Dean Fayneese Miller, in 2006, began a collaboration with Brown University on infusing the teacher education curriculum with materials and experiences focusing on English language learners. This collaboration provides support for faculty to develop a more sustained, deliberate, and intellectually challenging curricula focusing on race, disability, sexuality and class diversity in the various courses offered in the College.

Members of the College are also active participants in Blackboard Jungle, Center for Cultural Pluralism events, and their association activities relating to diversity. In addition, many of the programs in the College must submit to national and, in some instances, state accreditation. Diversity is one of the areas in which we must provide data to show that our programs address diversity and that our students have the opportunity to gain field experience in schools or agencies with diverse students or clients.

Overall in the College, we are committed to increasing diversity among our faculty and staff in order to create a more enriching culturally diverse environment. To that end, additionally we have put several procedures in place to ensure a high quality, diverse pool of job candidates. As noted above, we have also developed strategies aimed at retaining and supporting the diverse members of our community.

Diversity Recruitment Practices and Procedures (All Searches)

  • A recruitment plan aimed at supporting a diverse pool of candidates and addressing bias is presented to each committee member when charged by the Dean. This plan includes a protocol for campus visits, post campus calls, offer, etc.
  • Each committee is expected to write the job description in a way that does not exclude particular groups of people or substantially narrows the available pool.
  • Each committee is expected to develop an ”advertisement” plan beyond the typical job placement outlets. For example, committee members are expected to send personal emails or letters to those who are known to graduate a significant number of diverse job candidates or to other professional or personal contacts.
  • Each committee is required to submit a pool report to the Dean prior to the selection of interview candidates. The pool review includes a breakdown of the applicants by gender, ALANA, and other categories when known. If there is a lack of diversity in the finalists selected by the committee, the pool may be reviewed by the Dean’s office to ensure high quality candidates were not overlooked due to cultural bias.
  • All search committee members are required to attend the opportunity recruitment educational sessions conducted by AA/EEO.
  • Each search committee in the College, when possible and relevant, has at least one faculty member from one of the University identified diverse categories.
  • The dean, associate/assistant Deans, department chairs, directors, and members of the faculty executive committee provide leadership and communicate the importance of diversity.
  • Faculty and staff have come to respect and appreciate the recruitment process in the College. Few searches result in pools that are not diverse. A diverse pool has come to be seen as the expected norm in the College.

Reinforced Recruitment Strategy and Accountability

  • Each department chairperson or search committee members has no contact with any faculty candidate after the authorization to hire has been received and during the negotiation process unless authorized by the Dean to do so.
  • No department chairperson can serve on a search committee.
  • Only the Dean is designated to handle negotiations with faculty candidates during the hiring process. This has proven effective for successful and timely recruitment of candidates.
  • The Dean’s office reviews all staff search processes to ensure a diverse pool free from bias.

Indicators of Success

Faculty Hires:

The College has hired 11 new ALANA faculty since 2005. The breakdown of the hires is as follows:

  • 2005: 2 ALANA faculty hires (1 Assistant Professor and 1 Professor)
  • 2006: 1 ALANA faculty hire ((Assistant Professor)
  • 2007: 1 ALANA faculty hire (Research Associate)
  • 2008: 3 ALANA faculty hires (3 Assistant Professors)
  • 2009: 1 ALANA faculty hire (Assistant Professor)
  • 2010: 1 ALANA faculty hire (Assistant Professor)
  • 2011: 1 ALANA faculty hire (Assistant Professor)
  • 2012: 1 ALANA faculty hire (Henderson Fellow)

In sum, out of a Total of 89 CESS full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty, 10% are ALANA (current N=9).

While 11 ALANA faculty members have been hired since 2005, 5 were recruited to other institutions situated in more diverse settings.

Staff Hires:

Before 2005, the College had only one ALANA staff member. Now we have a total of 4 ALANA staff members, which brings us to a total of 5% ALANA full-time staff members.

Visiting ALANA International Scholars:

In the past two years, we have begun to recruit international ALANA visiting scholars. We have hosted visiting scholars from both China and Thailand and will continue to pursue these opportunities to diversify the college.

Retention Plan

  • Each new faculty is paired with a mentor from within the College.
  • Each new faculty member is given course release time.
  • Each new faculty is provided a start-up package.
  • Each new faculty is guaranteed professional development funds beyond that provided by the University until they are promoted and tenured (This is sometimes part of the start-up package.).
  • The Dean hosts a luncheon for all new hires and a luncheon for ALANA faculty.
  • In 2005-2006, the College established a supportive array of activities designed to support tenure-line faculty. These have included one-on-one support meetings to discuss concerns and provide encouragement, formal meetings designed to support teaching and research, and informal luncheons and gatherings to foster community. This provides all tenure-track faculty the opportunity to discuss research, learn about the College and the University, identify potential research collaborators, and get a sense of how they are progressing toward tenure and promotion. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research leads these initiatives.
  • The staff council, established in the College in 2005-2006, continues to play a pivotal role in supporting and retaining staff.
  • Annual staff luncheons and a retreat serve as one mechanism by which we build bridges across departments and give staff a sense of connectedness to the College.
  • Special meetings are held each year that include both faculty and staff.
  • The Dean holds lunches in her office with staff in each unit to provide them with the opportunity to remain informed about activities in the College and give staff a voice as decisions are made that affect all members of the College.

We in the College of Education and Social Services are committed to making every effort possible to continue our efforts to diversify both our faculty and staff. Our efforts to date have yielded highly qualified, deep, and diverse candidate pools.

Last modified August 31 2012 01:04 PM