Recruit, retain, and advance a diverse campus community of faculty, staff, and students

FACULTY

STRATEGY Fac 2-A: Communicate a clear and convincing message that diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably linked to the academic mission

Critical Tasks

  • Develop a statement that articulates the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to academic excellence and the urgency of diversifying the faculty through enhanced recruitment and retention of faculty from underrepresented populations.
  • Integrate the institution’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in faculty orientation programs, including information about campus initiatives and professional development resources.
  • Engage faculty leadership and administration to identify ways in which diversity, equity, and inclusion-related contributions and activities can be recognized as valuable and valid in faculty annual and promotion reviews.
  • Develop programs and resources to enhance the awareness, knowledge, and skills of the DEO as a pivotal position in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion given that the majority of decisions regarding faculty appointments, curriculum, tenure and promotion, classroom instruction, student recruitment and outcomes are influenced or made by the department chair.

STRATEGY Fac 2-B: Implement research-informed programs to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in faculty search and selection processes.

Critical Tasks

  • Implement the Path to Distinction faculty recruitment pilot project with three to five academic departments to enhance the ability of faculty search committees to advance diversity and equity before, during, and after a search. 
  • Review and revise the existing Faculty Search Committee Practices to Advance Equity training program and resources.
  • Develop an online video that provides foundational information about the research on bias in academic and administrative processes and strategies for mitigating its effect.
  • Embed information about work/life and dual career resources in all faculty recruitment materials: Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), UI Family Services, UI Dual Career Services, and supportive policies and resources (e.g., work/life policies and resources, and Build a Career | Build a Life).
  • Convene campus leaders to explore innovative pipeline programs designed to prepare, recruit, and retain cohorts of promising potential faculty (e.g., visiting scholars, visiting faculty appointments, postdocs, etc.).
  • Develop guidelines for the access and use of job candidate demographic data at multiple decision points in the recruitment process to assess diversity of applicant pools, while maintaining essential confidentiality.
  • Continue to implement, publicize, and evaluate the three-year Distinction through Diversity fund designed to recruit and retain faculty members who will advance the UI’s academic mission through the recruitment and retention of underrepresented U.S. racial/ethnic minority (URM) faculty and students.
  • Continue to implement, publicize, and evaluate the Dual Academic Career Fund to support the recruitment of a tenured/tenure-track faculty member with support for hiring an academically qualified spouse/partner into a secondary faculty position.
  • Explore ways to use events that draw diverse groups of scholars to campus (e.g., Latinx Educational Excellence in the Midwest Conference) as opportunities to recruit talented prospective faculty, staff and students and provide a positive experience of the campus and community. STRATEGY Fac 2-C: Implement research-informed programs to assess and enhance the retention and advancement of underrepresented faculty.

Critical Tasks

  • Conduct “stay interviews” with underrepresented faculty to identify engagement influencers, stay factors, and exit triggers (Cookson, 2014). Use the findings in concert with the higher education literature to prioritize and address “push and pull” factors affecting retention.
  • Develop key metrics to assess faculty retention, turnover, and advancement across all regular faculty tracks; share metrics, profiles, and trends with colleges on an annual basis. 
  • Enhance retention of historically underrepresented tenured associate professors by conducting focus groups with associate professors and full professors to reflect on factors that enhance their experiences of inclusion and productivity, as well as those that hinder their achievements, and implement suggested strategies to enhance their departmental, campus, and community experience.

Staff

STRATEGY Staff 2-A: Communicate the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of staff and administration.

Critical Tasks

  • Establish a human resources-specific statement that communicates the unit’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Revise and implement the current Collaboration and Embracing Diversity Universal Competency that apply to all P&S, Merit, Merit Supervisory-Exempt, Confidential, and SEIU performance appraisals.
  • Embed diversity, equity, and inclusion in all talent/HR practices and training materials (e.g., onboarding, leadership development).
  • Communicate expectations and provide support and consultation to senior HR leaders related to their org-level diversity, equity, and inclusion action plans.

STRATEGY Staff 2-B: Embed diversity, equity, and inclusion in all talent acquisition practices and support departments in recruiting a diverse staff.

Critical Tasks

  • Implement the ADA Employment Accommodation Fund two-year pilot project to improve the consistency of practices regarding disability accommodation across the university by providing individual units with monetary relief when purchasing equipment, furniture, assistive technology, tools, and services for individuals with disabilities.
  • Develop guidelines for the access and use of job candidate demographic data at multiple decision points in the recruitment process to assess diversity of applicant pools, while maintaining essential confidentiality.
  • Communicate the role of the diversity talent recruiter and the ways the position can assist campus units in their diversity, equity, and inclusion-related hiring goals.
  • Provide hiring units with template materials and messaging to clearly communicate the UI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and make the case for “Why the UI?” “Why Iowa City?” and “Why Iowa?” to all local, regional, and national applicants.
  • Identify diversity, equity, and inclusion-related competencies (basic and advanced) for the newly developed staff recruiter position and hiring managers. Provide initial and ongoing training to support the recruiters in developing the knowledge, values, and skills needed to serve a key role in diversifying the staff.
  • Expand the reach of recruitment efforts by partnering with campus, local, regional and national organizations to enhance the ability to actively recruit underrepresented talent.

STRATEGY Staff 2-C: Support and implement programs and devote central resources to enhance retention of a diverse workforce and promote an inclusive culture.

Critical Tasks

  • Identify ways to provide diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development programs using varied communication channels and offer the programs/resources at various times of the day to ensure that all staff have equitable access.
  • Engage with the UI Diversity Councils to ensure that employee health and well-being programs are inclusive and respectful of multiple social identities.
  • Develop and promote inclusive health and well-being resources and communication materials; assess impact through feedback from participants.
  • Digitize the FY19 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Digest to allow for online searching and reporting on multiple fields (e.g., faculty, staff, students, and by population).

Undergraduate Students

STRATEGY Und 2-A: Clearly and boldly communicate the UI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion via university programs and services.

Critical Tasks

  • Assess and evaluate all messages and communications to students and ensure alignment with university diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement opportunities for the campus community to participate in respectful conversations and engage a wide variety of perspectives. Review and assess the Success at Iowa online course (CSI: 1600) diversity and inclusion module to determine participation and consider a more formalized approach to ensure 100% participation.
  • Increase partnerships between Admissions and various university departments to strengthen and expand undergraduate recruitment efforts.
  • Develop and institutionalize planning guidelines to ensure that all campus programs, presentations, activities, services, and events are inclusive and accessible.

STRATEGY Und 2-B: Build on existing campus and community resources to recruit and retain underrepresented students

Critical Tasks

  • Partner with the Center for Advancement to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion philanthropy efforts and create additional opportunities for outreach to different community populations (e.g., alumni, businesses/organizations/institutions) locally, within the state, regionally, nationally, internationally.  Identify new ways to leverage affinity networks to enhance, engage, and increase diverse alumni participation.
  • Develop, implement, and assess vigorous retention strategies for students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., advising, relationship-rich mentoring, on-campus employment, student engagement, career development). (DSL, Path Forward Student Success, Career Services, University College)
  • Create a Pipeline Task Force to conceptualize and coordinate the UI K-12 pipeline and college readiness programs to achieve broad scale impact and build on relationships with students, staff, families, and communities to aid undergraduate recruitment efforts (Sturm et al, 2011)
  • Continue discussions about ways to expand inclusivity on campus tours by providing an inclusive perspective of our campus community and history during one or more of the following: official campus tours, On Iowa! week, and/or Orientation.
  • Expand the translation of concise financial guides to include additional languages including, but not limited to: Spanish, French, Somali, Arabic, Vietnamese, Laotian, and Hmong.
  • Leverage existing partnerships with schools across the state to recruit students from underrepresented groups to align with the changing demographics of the state.
  • Enhance the retention and engagement of transfer students by integrating them into existing programs proven to enhance student engagement and retention (e.g., Success at Iowa and OnIowa!)
  • Continue support of University Housing Residence Education department’s goals for more inclusive conversations by providing diversity or implicit bias training with students and enhancing programming and education on hate speech, free speech, etc.

STRATEGY Und 2-C: Increase the persistence and four-year graduation rates for underrepresented students

Critical Tasks

STRATEGY Und 2-D: Strengthen initiatives that address students’ needs for food, clothing, safety, well-being, and financial security.

Critical Tasks

  • Work with student leaders to strengthen the student-run Clothing Closet and Food Pantry at Iowa by providing support to administer the program and evaluate its effectiveness. Explore the potential engagement of the broader campus community in strengthening the resources through donations and volunteer hours.
  • Evaluate and explore expanding the Hawkeye Completion Grant initiative to remove financial barriers to persistence.
  • Build on the UISG Demographic Survey to identify areas of underrepresentation compared to composition of the UI student body and implement strategies to address disparities (e.g., integrated collaborations).

STRATEGY Und 2-E: Enhance culturally inclusive spaces and programs as key assets for enhancing student recruitment, retention, and success.

Critical Tasks

  • Partner with students, faculty, staff, and alumni to finalize the plan to strengthen the investment in current and future spaces designed to facilitate cross-cultural activities, engagement, learning, and identity-sharing in support of advancing student success by fostering effective social, academic, and service opportunities
  • Assess and update campus aesthetics (e.g., artwork, signage) to be more inclusive of various identities and cultural backgrounds (e.g., include flags from tribal sovereign nations in a flag display in the Iowa Memorial Union, etc.).
  • Continue assessing facilities for ADA Compliance and Universal Design.

Graduate Students

STRATEGY Grad 2-A: Evaluate and enhance existing campus resources to increase the number of URM graduate students on campus.

Critical Tasks

  • Hire a full-time diversity, equity, and inclusion director in the Graduate College to support underrepresented graduate students and assist student recruitment through Grad College staff involvement in direct recruiting and financial aid provision.
  • Evaluate existing graduate student recruitment and retention programs, policies, and practices to determine if they are achieving their desired effects. Use data gathered from qualitative and quantitative formative, process, and outcome evaluations to provide continuous improvement.
  • Work with departments to encourage holistic reviews for admissions/fellowship submissions and increase the adoption of these practices at the program level.
  • Support pipeline efforts including continuation of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) designed for URM and first-generation undergraduates interested in graduate school.

STRATEGY Grad 2-B: Focus more broadly on retention, including access to financial support, affordable housing, flexible class scheduling to accommodate working students, and inclusive community.

Critical Tasks

  • Continue to provide support, community, and networking opportunities to underrepresented graduate students through the Office of Graduate Inclusion.
  • Design and provide additional programs for underrepresented populations with greater disparities in recruitment, retention, and completion.
  • Engage graduate programs/colleges, directors of graduate students, graduate coordinators, and others to expand financial support for graduate students beyond recruitment-only funds to retention funds in order to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and goals.

STRATEGY Grad 2-C: Implement research-informed programs to decrease intergroup disparities among doctoral candidates who complete degree within six years.

Critical Tasks