To make more progress in diversifying the faculty, Stanford must continue its concerted efforts to hire more female and minority faculty members, C. Matthew Snipp, senior associate vice provost for faculty development and diversity at Stanford, told the Faculty Senate on Thursday.

C. Matthew Snipp and Karen Cook standing before the senate.

Professors C. Matthew Snipp and Karen Cook presenting a report on faculty diversity to the senate on Thursday. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Speaking at the May 26 meeting, Snipp said two Stanford programs – the Faculty Development Initiative and the Faculty Incentive Fund – have significantly contributed to the growth of female and minority faculty at Stanford over the last decade.

Stanford launched the Faculty Development Initiative (FDI) to hire emerging and established scholars whose research focuses on the complex study of race and ethnicity.

Under the FDI, Stanford has created 15 new faculty positions in departments and schools, said Snipp, who is also a professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE). Fourteen faculty are currently working at Stanford.

He said Stanford recently hired its 15th scholar: Jackelyn Hwang, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and in sociology with honors at Stanford in 2007, followed by a PhD at Harvard University. Hwang will join the university as an assistant professor of sociology in September 2017.

“I’m happy to say that of the assistant professors that have been recruited under the FDI, two have come up for tenure review and both of them were successful tenure cases – so that’s very good news,” Snipp said.

He said Stanford anticipates hiring two additional faculty through the FDI program this year.

The FDI is jointly administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity and CCSRE.

Under the Faculty Incentive Fund, which was established to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, Stanford hired 84 faculty members between 2005 and 2015, including 67 women and 17 men, most of whom are still on the faculty. Among the 84 hires, 47 are minorities, including 30 people from underrepresented minority groups (Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Black/African American, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander).

Faculty size and gender distribution

Snipp’s report was part of a larger presentation by Karen Cook, vice provost for faculty development and diversity, who gave a high-level executive summary of the annual Report on the Faculty, an analysis of the Stanford professoriate – faculty composition; growth, hirings and departures; and promotions to tenure. The report focuses on the 2014-15 academic year, and the time period from 2005 to 2015.

Cook, who is also a professor of sociology, said Stanford’s professoriate has experienced steady growth over the last 10 years, rising to 2,153 people in 2015, compared with 1,771 people in 2005.

From 2006 to 2015, Stanford hired an average of 115 faculty members per year – an annual rate of 5 to 7 percent. On average, 76 faculty members departed each year, for a variety of reasons, resulting in an average net gain of 39 faculty members annually.

In 2015, the total professoriate included 1,559 men and 594 women. Ten years earlier the university’s professoriate of 1,771 people included 1,354 men and 417 women.

In 2015, women comprised 28 percent of the faculty, up from 24 percent in 2005.

Looking at the gender distribution by school in 2015, the School of Engineering had the lowest percentage of female faculty, with 15 percent, and the humanities arm of the School of Humanities & Sciences had the highest percentage, with 39 percent, followed closely by the Graduate School of Education, with 37 percent. In H&S, the social science faculty exceeded the university average, with 29 percent women. The natural science faculty fell below the average, with 19 percent women.

Stanford hired 121 faculty members in 2014-15, including 43 women. During that academic year, 25 female faculty members departed Stanford, for a net gain of 18.

In 2014-15, Stanford hired 78 men and 61 departed the university, for a net gain of 17.

Minority distribution

In 2015, the Stanford professoriate included 521 minorities: 356 were Asians, 147 were underrepresented minorities and 18 identified with two or more races.

Margot Gerritsen speaking to the senate

Associate Professor Margot Gerritsen gives an update from the Task Force on Women in Leadership to the Faculty Senate. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Looking at minority distribution by school in 2015, the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences had the lowest percentage of minority faculty members, with 8 percent, and the Medical Center Line of the School of Medicine had the highest percentage, with 31 percent, followed closely by the Graduate School of Education, with 28 percent, and the School of Engineering, with 27 percent.

Among the 121 faculty members hired in 2014-15, 40 were minorities, including 13 from underrepresented minority groups. During that academic year, 20 minority faculty members departed the university, including 8 underrepresented minorities. The net gain in minority faculty that year was 20.

In 2015, minorities comprised 24 percent of Stanford’s faculty, up from 18 percent in 2005.

In 2015, underrepresented minorities comprised 7 percent of Stanford’s faculty, compared with 6 percent in 2005.

Cook said 2014-15 was a “fairly good year with respect to increasing diversity” at Stanford, but the university would like to do better.

The Report on the Faculty: Professorial Gains, Losses, and Composition, 2014-2015 will be posted online on the website of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity.

Task Force on Women in Leadership

In other business, Margot Gerritsen, chair of Stanford’s Task Force on Women in Leadership, presented an update on the work of the 10-member task force, which will distribute its report to faculty this summer.

“My main task today is to get you to do your homework this summer and read two reports: one is the main report we wrote on women in leadership, and the other is the appendices,” she said. “Hopefully, by the end of these five minutes you’ll be interested in diving into that for your bedtime reading.”

Provost John Etchemendy established the task force in 2014, following an ad hoc study of the status of women in Stanford leadership. The task force is charged with developing recommendations to improve the leadership climate on campus and move Stanford toward fully inclusive leadership.

Since convening, the Task Force on Women in Leadership has conducted more than 50 interviews with current and former campus leaders and held five open workshops.

Gerritsen, who is an associate professor of energy resources engineering and director of the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering, said the task force will present its findings and recommendations to the Faculty Senate in the fall.

She said the task force has divided its recommendations into five broad goals:

  • Reduce barriers to attaining leadership
  • Nurture individuals with leadership potential, with particular attention to inclusiveness
  • Strengthen processes for inclusiveness in the selection of leaders
  • Promote the success of current leaders at all levels
  • Ensure institutional commitment to inclusive leadership through accountability and regular reporting

The full minutes of the May 26 senate meeting will be available soon on the Faculty Senate website. The minutes will include the question-and-answer session that followed the presentation.