Contact: Don Sevener, 217.557.7334
March 26, 2003
REPORT RECOMMENDS STEPS TO BOLSTER FACULTY DIVERSITY
SPRINGFIELD – Saying that colleges and universities are missing opportunities to diversify their faculties, a report to be presented to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) next week recommends measures that campuses and the state can take to broaden the diversity of teaching ranks.
The Board will meet at 9 a.m., April 1 in Room 302 of Vermilion Hall at Danville Area Community College.
“As the face of our nation and state has changed, our faculty has not changed along with it,” the study of faculty diversity concludes. “There is no area of higher education that is less diverse.”
The report also concludes that faculty diversity—including more minorities, more women in underrepresented disciplines, and more faculty with disabilities—will strengthen learning opportunities for all students. It recommends steps to better develop pools of available minority candidates for faculty positions, to ensure that diversity is a central component of campus job searches, to create a climate hospitable to diverse groups, and to engage higher education leadership in making diversity a part of the campus DNA.
The study, Opportunities for Leadership: Strategies for Improving Faculty Diversity in Illinois Higher Education, is the outgrowth of a report on access and diversity in student enrollment which the Board approved in August 2001. The faculty study involved public hearings, including a web-based hearing; focus groups on campus leadership and other issues; consultations with national and state experts; and analysis of research and information from Illinois colleges and universities.
Among its findings, the study cited national research and Illinois surveys demonstrating that students, parents, and citizens place a high premium on the role of college to help prepare them to live and work in a diverse world. It also noted that faculty play a pivotal role in helping students achieve that goal. But the study further concluded that faculty representation among
Printed on Recycled Paper