Item #12 August 20, 2002
STUDY ON FACULTY DIVERSITY: PLANS AND PROCESS
Submitted for: Information.
Summary: In coming months, the Illinois Board of Higher Education will conduct a study of faculty diversity in Illinois higher education. The study is prompted by a Governor’s Executive Order asking the Board and Illinois colleges and universities to examine ways to improve minority faculty representation, as well as a April 2002 Board decision to extend a study of student diversity to include faculty. This board item outlines the reasons for addressing this issue, anticipated avenues of inquiry, and the process envisioned for collecting information and opinion.
The study will center on faculty diversity with particular attention to minority faculty. It will also examine representation among female faculty and faculty with disabilities. At this time, staff has identified three issues about which further information and opinion will be sought: the “pools” of potential faculty and in-state placement of diverse graduate students, the hiring process and campus leadership, and retention of faculty and campus climate. The item presents questions on each topic on which information is sought. Hearings and small group meetings will seek to identify other study questions.
This study will gather information on best programs and practices at Illinois institutions, and solicit information and opinion from minority faculty in Illinois, as well as majority faculty and administrators. Public information will be obtained through formal hearings, a “web hearing,” and focus group meetings. After the completion of the report, the Board will hold a conference on faculty diversity to highlight issues and help campuses develop effective strategies to broaden faculty representation.
Action Requested: None.