Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
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 policies and practices, and supporting faculty cultures of belonging and thriving for all faculty, including those who have been 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 judgement, decisions, and actions for all faculty.
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
- Faculty Development & Career Advancement
- Teaching and Learning
- Faculty Relations
- Working in Partnership for Institutional Change
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.
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)
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.
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.
For further reading:
It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since DU joined the ASPIRE IChange Network in pursuit of greater equity and justice for historically marginalized faculty in STEM. In the first year of a three-year cycle, the DU IChange leadership team focused on...
What happens when you approach representations of space by centering the stories, landscapes, art, and oral traditions of Native peoples—instead of colonized images which erase the historical and continued presence of Indigenous people? DU’s Museum of Anthropology is...
It’s faculty hiring season again, so we’re sharing some resources for taking an equity-minded approach to faculty hiring. Check out some best-practices from CAHSS & ODEI on inclusive hiring, including sample documents. Learn about how GSSP has approached changing...
Tom Romero, Associate Professor, Sturm College of Law; Assistant Provost of IE Research and Curriculum Initiatives for University of Denver, Committee Co-Chair The Faculty Affairs and Development Working Group of the DEI Steering Committee met once in the Winter...
By Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave, Ph.D., Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices The University of Denver's Faculty Institute for Inclusive Teaching, known as FIIT, launched in 2020 through the Canvas LMS; the program has been redesigned and integrated into the...
By Jared Del Rosso, PhD., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Criminology; Leslie Cramblet Alvarez, PhD., Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning The Teaching Excellence Task Force had a busy and exciting end to the academic year, learning with...
By Alison Staudinger, Director of Faculty Development & Career Advancement, Office of the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs While mentoring is often thought of as a one-on-one relationship between a senior and junior partner, contemporary research on mentoring...
Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels By Ingrid Tague, Associate Dean, CAHSS; and Keith Ward, Director, Lamont School of Music For an institution to move forward, its members need to step beyond a transactional relationship to the university. There is a unique balance...
Photo by Luke Webb from Pexels By Hava Rachel Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, ODEI Fellow for CAHSS The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has prioritized...
My first few weeks at DU have certainly been a pleasure, and I look forward to continuing to get to know the DU community while remaining intentionally accessible. I want folks to get to know me and my approach to collaboratively lead DU’s diversity, equity, and...