The University of California has expanded its efforts to create welcoming and inclusive academic and professional work environments where individuals from traditionally disadvantaged groups, including underrepresented minorities (URM) and women faculty, can thrive. In line with these efforts, UC Davis’ Office of Academic Affairs is committed to identifying potential faculty with a clearly articulated vision of how their work at UC Davis will contribute to the University’s mission of serving the needs of our diverse state and student population and an understanding of the barriers preventing full participation of underrepresented minorities in higher education.
In partnership with the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), UC Davis received funding from UCOP to initiate several pilot studies to examine how to better recruit and retain faculty who support the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion mission. These studies are described below:
This program centered on taking proven successful practices for a diverse and inclusive recruitment process and applying them to “open searches” by directly coordinating them with the Office of Academic Affairs, in collaboration with the Deans’ offices of participating schools and colleges. Open searches were college or school-wide, without specification of a specific discipline or department, provided that an applicant’s area of expertise fell within a discipline embodied in the academic unit. The interventions strategically utilized college-level or school-level open searches to obtain highly diverse pools of applicants by leveraging hiring incentives and investment through the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program/Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS), Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Social Science, Arts, and Humanities (CAMPSSAH), and the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program; successful candidates demonstrated significant commitments to diversity, equity, and/or inclusion. Other interventions included search committee training; broad advertising; utilization of data-driven recommendations; targeted outreach; a new faculty support program to provide dual career support and family integration resources; a mentoring committee; enrollment in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity; assignment of a faculty worklife peer; and graduate student support. Senior leadership and deans expressed strong support for the program.
This proposal builds on UC Davis’s 2018-19 grant, which demonstrated that a structured and deliberative approach to using contributions to diversity statements together with conventional selection criteria leads to a pool of candidates, and ultimately faculty hires, that will have the largest impact on equity and inclusion for the campus’s diverse student body. Having demonstrated this through their 2018-19 pilot study of eight new faculty searches, the 2019-21 (two-year) project will test and institutionalize their findings through approved searches planned for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years.
UC Davis will implement two interventions that have the potential to positively influence the experience of faculty who are committed to making significant contributions to welcoming and inclusive academic and professional work environments at the University of California. The first intervention will pilot an online training module aimed at improving how contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion are utilized in the merit and promotion process, and the second will enroll a cohort of faculty at UC Davis and UC Merced in Faculty Learning Communities, using Undergraduate Education’s (UE) current model. Academic Affairs is partnering with UE on the Faculty Learning Communities portion of the project.