Providence College

Faculty Diversity Initiative

Challenge

We recognized the importance of a diverse faculty in supporting the excellence of our academic program. To address this challenge, we needed to take decisive steps to ensure stellar and diverse applicant pools in our tenure-track faculty searches.

Actions

Building broad-based diversity among the faculty, while ensuring fairness for all involved in the hiring and promotion process, is a challenge affecting all of higher education. In order to overcome them, we went beyond standard practices and adapted our search processes to seek out stellar candidates from underrepresented groups. Faculty departments and search committees, with the support of the Office of Institutional Diversity, develop detailed plans outlining specific steps to ensure an exceptional pool of diverse candidates. These include a number of proactive measures that go beyond passive placement of advertisements in the typical outlets: building strong collaborative partnerships with other liberal arts colleges committed to faculty diversity; writing advertisements in ways that unequivocally signal the College's commitment to diversity and inclusion; developing relationships with scholarly organizations of color and/or women; outreach out to alumni; outreach to graduate chairs at doctoral granting institutions; attending conferences to scout talent; and ensuring that advertisements are placed in publications that target diverse populations.

Outcomes

Diversity among tenure-track faculty increased from 11% in 2012 when the new policy was implemented, to over 15% entering the 2017-2018 academic year.

Contact 

Rafael Zapata: [email protected]

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