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Diversify the faculty and support targeted growth in both core scientific disciplines and fields that emerge at the interfaces of those disciplines.

 

LEAD: Dean Linda Hicke and Dr. Shelley Payne, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The College has developed a three-year faculty-hiring plan that supports targeted growth in core scientific disciplines and incorporates several new interdisciplinary faculty positions. Through a competitive, peer-reviewed process, we expanded interdisciplinary hiring in the College. Two proposals have been approved and are currently in the recruitment stage. Additional opportunities for joint faculty hiring with the Dell Medical School will be put into place next year.  The College has put flexible, multi-year hiring plans in place for most departments and has made additional resources available to departments that increase the diversity of their faculty. To support our diversity and interdisciplinary initiatives, we have revised and improved upon the College’s faculty hiring policies by incorporating proven best practices, such as avoiding bias during faculty review of applicants. These policies and practices are outlined in the new Department Chairs’ handbook, now available online. Departments have new opportunities to receive diversity training and resources for their recruiting committees.

In 2015-16, the College completed its first round of diversity training for department chairs through a collaborative workshop, led by Dr. Sherri Sanders, on best practices for advertising positions and increasing the diversity of applicant pools. Hiring results were disappointing, however. We will continue to examine what we are doing in this area and use data to examine the effectiveness of various approaches taken by our departments. Each department submitted a new or updated diversity hiring plan for 2016-17. The College did not make any interdisciplinary hires this year, but we are focusing on the importance of defining interdisciplinary positions and the necessary characteristics of a joint promotion and tenure process. Several departments worked on joint hires with Dell Medical School this year.


BENCHMARKS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

  • CNS Faculty Search Committees will practice inclusive hiring techniques and actively seek a diverse applicant pool.
  • The number of highly qualified underrepresented minority faculty applicants, interviewees and hires in the College will increase.
  • Productivity and national rankings of the College and its departments will continue to grow.
  • Research productivity in new interdisciplinary areas will result in well-funded, cross-disciplinary collaborations in the College.

 

OUR METRICS FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The College will:

  • track diversity in applicant pools, interviews and hires
  • assess the perceptions of chairs and faculty through our annual climate survey
  • monitor external review findings on the quality of departmental faculty and research
  • track interdisciplinary collaborations and research funding

 

NEXT STEPS FOR 2016–17 and BEYOND

  • We will expand our diversity training to full recruiting committees to provide guidance on how to avoid bias in the screening of applicants and the interview process.
  • We will develop a plan for supporting a successful P&T process for interdisciplinary hires.