Institutionalizing values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in faculty affairs is a top priority of our office. To us, this means making equity-minded decisions as well as creating and supporting policies and practices and faculty cultures of belonging and thriving for all faculty, including those who have been and continue to be underrepresented in the academy. In service of Provost Clark’s commitments to DEI and in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Faculty Senate, and the Office of Teaching and Learning, we are engaged in a range of initiatives to leverage, check, and structure faculty discretionary spaces (O’Meara 2020) and discretionary authority (Hicks 2019) to support equity-minded judgment, decisions, and actions for all faculty.
We are releasing a new page on our website to share these initiatives: VPFA DEI Initiative Page.
Broadly conceived, this work falls into the four areas of our office and also intentionally builds synergistic partnerships with key collaborators. Here is how we constellate this work:
Faculty Life Cycles
Aim: To support the faculty life cycle from hiring to retirement and promotion at all stages.
- Deliberative Decision making (DDM) Unit-Level Promotion and Tenure Training Committee Pilot
- Participation in COVID Senate Committee
- Promotion to Full Professor Scorecard Project
We are partnering with Institutional Research and IT to create a scorecard on advancement for tenure-track faculty from associate to full professor. National research reveals that women and faculty of color are less likely to see themselves as ready to go up for full, and our university-wide COACHE data illuminates that associate professors lack clarity on what is expected for promotion to full. This scorecard will provide a line of sight on how we are doing on promotion to full at DU, help inform our career advancement programming, and track progress over time.
- Review of Faculty Job Postings for Inclusive Hiring Best Practices
Our office reviews all faculty job postings in the hiring workflow and works with units and departments so that we can ensure that job ads are as inclusive as possible.
Faculty Development & Career Advancement
Aim: To support all faculty to chart an intentional career trajectory and build inclusive communities that help faculty thrive and grow as teachers, scholars, and leaders.
Activities: Our 2020 and 2021 events in this area include the following
- Rethinking Mentoring: How To Build Communities Of Inclusion, Support, and Accountability in conjunction with National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD)
- EAB Training for Department Chairs
- “Solo Success: How to Thrive in the Academy When You’re the Only ______ in Your Department”: NCFDD training
- Deliberative Decision Making Training for Chairs, Directors, and Associate Deans
- Mentoring and Onboarding Across all Ranks and Series (MOARS) Teaching and Professional Faculty
- Mentoring and Onboarding Across all Ranks and Series (MOARS) Tenure Track Faculty
- Inclusive Excellence Training, Advocacy, Committee, and Toolkits (IETACT)
Teaching and Learning
Aim: To support faculty pedagogical growth to catalyze student learning and belonging.
- Faculty Institute for Inclusive Teaching (FIIT)
- Faculty Learning Community: Anti-Racist Teaching & Reciprocal Empathy Update
How can our classrooms and pedagogies challenge systems of inequity to support anti-racist teaching and promote change? Is reciprocal empathy possible in our pedagogies? With the book Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary Frances Winters (2020) as an anchoring guide, we will explore how to reframe the “problem” by interrogating systems and classrooms versus “fixing” the student. We will explore teaching tools to examine our disciplines and praxis in ways that foster critical thinking and deep learning in our students. This Faculty Learning Community is a collaborative exploration guided by book chapters and shared facilitation between OTL Faculty Fellow of Equitable Professorial Experiences, Brian Gonzales, and OTL Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices, Dr. Valentina LaGrave.
Aim: To support individual faculty and enhance faculty voice
- DEI Faculty Affairs Committee
- Faculty Consultations in relation to faculty DEI concerns
With the addition of a second full-time staff member, Alison Staudinger, VPFA has increased its capacity to work with individual faculty members. We are here if you want to talk through a challenge or concern, or speak more expansively about your goals and how DU can help you reach them. We are happy to hold a working meeting to review your tenure, promotion, or review materials, or your strategic semester plan. The VPFA’s office is confidential, within the bounds of legality, but your experience could also anonymously inform our programming and policy advocacy if you choose.
Working in Partnership for Institutional Change
Aim: To build proactive, synergistic partnerships to support DEI in faculty affairs and increase coordination and collaboration across campus
- Partnership with DEI and Faculty Senate Leadership
Since June of last year, our office has partnered with Interim Vice Chancellor for DEI, Tom Romero, and Faculty Senate president, Sarah Pessin, to inform faculty of important DEI-related events that impact students and their classrooms. Correspondences have included: Planned Student Protest on Friday (September 2020), Planned Student Protest for October 26, Supporting Faculty Teaching In Times Of Insurrection (January 2021)
- Faculty Workload Equity Committee
- IChange Network
- NSF Advance Grant: We’ve also partnered with colleagues in STEM and ORSP, led by Associate Professor Anna Sher, to contribute to an application for the National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant program, which promotes “Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM.” The DU-MERISTEM proposal seeks to improve hiring, mentoring, and other support for historically underrepresented faculty members in STEM.