Associate Provost for Faculty
Kevin Kregel has served as the associate provost for faculty since September 2014. Dr. Kregel earned a bachelor’s degree and doctorate (in physiology & biophysics) from the University of Iowa, and subsequently held an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona. He joined the UI faculty in 1993. Prior to joining the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, he served as chair of the Department of Health & Human Physiology, where he holds the rank of full professor. We asked him to reflect on the importance of faculty diversity at the UI, and to highlight some of the efforts his office is undertaking.
Why is faculty diversity important at the University of Iowa?
Kregel: Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to excellence in all areas of our academic mission: teaching, research, and service. Studies have shown that building a diverse faculty is particularly important because where there is a diverse faculty, student diversity will follow. Having a diverse and inclusive faculty not only enhances our ability to develop the highest quality academic programs, it is essential to our mission as a public R1 university.
What do you see as the role of the office of the Associate Provost for Faculty in advancing faculty diversity on campus?
Kregel: It is the responsibility of our office to offer central leadership and resources in support of collegiate and departmental efforts. Sometimes that support involves funding, such as our Dual-Career Salary Support or the URM faculty recruitment and retention program; sometimes it is developmental, such as the DEO Leadership Development Program or faculty search committee trainings. It is also our job to monitor the overall progress being made toward DEI on campus.
How does your office plan to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the next academic year?
Kregel: Last spring, we were pleased to collaborate with the Chief Diversity Office and the UI Charter Committee on Diversity to design and implement the 2018 Faculty and Staff DEI survey and focus groups. The results will be published in Fall 2018, and we are committed to integrating the survey findings into a campus-wide Diversity Action Plan and using the results as a baseline to assess the impact of our collective efforts in future years. Our office will also continue to review faculty hiring and resignation data, and conduct a biennial Faculty Salary Equity study to assess climate and equity issues on campus. We recognize that data only tell part of the story – we need to hear from underrepresented faculty about what they perceive is working and what needs improvement. In the past year, we worked with the Chief Diversity Office to convene listening sessions for faculty of color and women faculty, and in the upcoming year we intend to strengthen our formal connections with the UI Constituency Councils.
Our office will also build upon our efforts to improve campus climate via various programs. Our DEO Leadership Development Series integrates DEI information for department chairs, who the literature shows play one of the most essential leadership roles on campus for diversifying the faculty and ensuring an inclusive climate. We will continue to offer workshops on unconscious bias and work with campus partners to expand those efforts. We plan to build on the Faculty Search Committee Practices to Advance Equity guide we developed last year, and provide additional resources for mitigating bias.
Our office will continue to support UI’s institutional memberships in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and the Central Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, which provide on-demand webinars and other resources on a wide range of faculty diversity issues. This past year we developed the Faculty Support and Safety Guide to assist the campus in supporting faculty who are targeted by groups outside of the university based on the content of their scholarship, teaching, or clinical care. Our campus is a national leader in developing this system-response model, and we look forward to integrating it more fully on campus and sharing the model with other campuses.
In the next year, we intend to focus efforts on faculty recruitment, but also increase our attention to issues related to faculty retention, which is a challenging issue on campus and nation-wide. We are committed to being innovative, collaborative, and persistent in leading the campus to engage in making real progress.
How are you ensuring that faculty diversity efforts remain a priority in your office and at the university?
Kregel: Each year our office develops a faculty DEI action plan. Diane Finnerty, assistant provost for faculty, is responsible for overseeing faculty diversity efforts. This year we intend to create formal communication channels with the UI Constituency Councils to heighten our accountability and connectedness. We will also continue to use data to monitor progress on campus, including working with the Chief Diversity Office, UI Charter Committee on Diversity, and University Human Resources to publish the findings of the 2018 Faculty & Staff DEI Survey and work with the campus to create a comprehensive Diversity Action Plan to guide future campus efforts.
Central Midwest HERC (Higher Education Recruitment Consortium) | Collaboration among higher education and community partners to assist dual-career couples, recruit diverse applicant pools, and build relationships across the state.
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) | UI institutional membership includes access to monthly tele-workshops and newsletter, weekly update on topic related to faculty productivity, access to private online networking forum, including matching option with writing accountability partner.
Faculty Search Committee Practices to Advance Equity | Resource tool for faculty search committees to discuss strategies in advance of beginning a search, provide evidence-based best practice strategies, and increase familiarity with relevant information. To be used in concert with Office of Equal Opportunity Recruitment Manual.
DEO Leadership Development Series | Designed for departmental executive officers (DEO) in their first two years of service, integrating DEI information for department chairs, one of the most essential leadership roles on campus for diversifying the faculty and ensuring an inclusive climate.
Build a Career | Build a Life | At the UI, we recognize the important relationship between productive careers and quality personal lives. Resources are provided to assist to successfully build a career and build a life.
Faculty Support and Safety | Guide designed to assist the campus community in responding to situations in which faculty members are targeted based on scholarship, teaching, clinical care, and/or service.