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Diversifying the Faculty

This post was contributed by Sonja C.P. Armstrong of Emeritus Consulting Group, which has worked with CUPA-HR in the development of its position statement and implementation of its action plan for promoting excellence through diversity, equity and inclusion in the the higher education workplace.

Just a week ago the University of California at Riverside announced that it would be hiring 300 new faculty members over the next five years. The university’s chancellor, Kim A. Wilcox, sees the hiring expansion as an opportunity to shape the institution for years to come — in particular, to benefit from faculty that reflect the demographics of the nation, of the state and of the university’s enrolled students.

“I really see this as a chance for us to diversify our faculty. This is a chance for us to recruit people to an institution that has a critical mass of students and staff of color, and that has a reputation of academic excellence.”

UC-Riverside is a federally-designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), with 32.1 percent of the student body identifying itself as Chicano or Latino, 35.4 percent Asian/Asian American, 6.3 percent African American, and 0.5 percent Native American.

To hear more from Chancellor Wilcox about what’s at stake in overcoming faculty and student diversity challenges, check out his April 2014 interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education:

What do you see as the biggest challenges to diversifying the faculty in higher education? At your institution? As an higher ed HR professional, what resources would you need to hire faculty that better reflect the changing demographics of your institution and/or the global workforce?

California State University, Fullerton recently made sweeping changes to its faculty recruitment efforts. Read CUPA-HR’s The Higher Education Workplace article “Walking the Talk: Workforce Diversity at Cal State Fullerton.”

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