Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, June 1, 2001
Hennessy, Etchemendy enumerate steps to diversify faculty

President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy on Thursday released the following statement on faculty diversity, which Hennessy read at a Faculty Senate meeting:

For many years Stanford University has had a commitment to enhancing the diversity of its faculty. This commitment is based, first and foremost, on the belief that a more diverse faculty enhances the breadth, depth, and quality of our research and teaching by increasing the variety of experiences, perspectives, and scholarly interests among the faculty. A diverse faculty also provides a variety of role models and mentors for our increasingly diverse student population, which helps us to attract, retain and graduate such populations more successfully.

The President and Provost wish to emphasize Stanford's continuing interest in and commitment to increasing the diversity of our faculty and to providing access to equal opportunities to all faculty independent of gender, race, or ethnicity. More specifically, we assert our commitment to the following steps, some of which reaffirm existing university policies, and others that extend those policies:

1. Faculty searches are obligated to make extra efforts to seek out qualified women and minority candidates and to evaluate such candidates. It is the obligation of the search committee to demonstrate that a search has made a determined effort to locate and consider women and minority candidates. This obligation must be taken especially seriously for senior appointments where active outreach to potential candidates is required as part of the search process. Department chairs and deans have the responsibility to make sure that these obligations have been fulfilled.

2. We will make use of incentive funds and incremental faculty billets to encourage the appointment of candidates who would diversify our faculty, such as women and minorities in fields where they continue to be underrepresented. Our goals are two-fold. First, we want to encourage the normal process of diversification, which should occur as a byproduct of outreach during searches. Second, we hope to accelerate this process by encouraging departments and schools to take advantage of opportunities to appoint additional equally qualified candidates from underrepresented groups who are identified during searches but who (for reasons such as their area of specialization) may not be the first choice of the search committee. This second mechanism is especially important in fields where the small pool of available candidates means that opportunistic approaches are important.

3. The Provost has established an Advisory Committee on the Status of Women Faculty and is in the process of forming an Advisory Committee on Faculty Diversity. These committees will work with the Provost and his staff to explore ways in which we can foster the goals of gender, racial and ethnic diversity and equal opportunity for our faculty.

4. We will continue to monitor and report on the representation of women and minorities on the faculty, as well as their tenure and promotion rates, on a yearly basis to the Faculty Senate. We hope that sharing the data will continue to keep this issue on the agenda of school deans, department chairs, faculty search committees, and the faculty as a whole.

5. We will support and mentor all junior faculty, and we will continue to use a review process for tenure and promotion that is based on a candidate's contributions to research and teaching and that is appropriate for the candidate's area of scholarly interest.

6. We will continue to evaluate faculty salaries, with special emphasis on women and minority faculty salaries, through an objective methodology (the so-called quintile analysis). Any inequities in salaries–whether for women or men, minorities or non-minorities–will be sought out and corrected.

7. We will also monitor the distribution of University resources that support individual faculty research programs, including both research funds and space, to ensure that the distribution of the University's resources is not based on improper factors (such as gender, race, or ethnicity). Any such inequities discovered will be corrected.

8. We seek to increase the representation of women and minority faculty in leadership positions in departments, schools, and the University administration. In addition, in the process of appointing faculty to leadership positions—such as department chair, associate dean, or dean—we will consider the efforts and effectiveness of the candidates in promoting and enhancing faculty diversity and equal opportunity. Such criteria will also form a part of the yearly review of all faculty leaders.

9. Attracting and retaining the best faculty members in an increasingly diverse society requires us to have a university that is supportive of faculty diversity, both in the composition of the faculty and in their scholarship. Stanford University seeks and promotes an academic environment for each faculty member that is collegial, intellectually stimulating, and respectful of his or her contributions and accomplishments. Such an environment should enable the highest quality scholarship and teaching, and provide every faculty member a voice in department decision-making.

10. Realizing that small pool sizes and pipeline problems continue to affect the availability of talented women and minority faculty candidates in many fields, Stanford will continue a strong effort to seek out and support graduate students who bring diversity to our university. As an institution, we will encourage women and minority students to pursue academic careers.

Finally, we acknowledge that no single policy is likely to be sufficient to achieve our goals. Instead, a concerted implementation of a variety of approaches is necessary to achieve an overall university culture that fosters effective diversity and that can serve as a national model for other universities. While we view this statement and these policies as an important first step, careful attention to practices and viewpoints throughout the faculty will be needed to make significant progress. We call upon all our colleagues to engage actively in this important effort.