Latina/o Faculty Task Force

Latina/o Faculty Recruitment and Retention Task Force

The Problem

Given the charge to develop a set of recommendations to increase the presence, retention and promotion of Latinas/os at IUPUI, the committee discussed multiple initiatives, reports and programs from other campuses as well as data provided by the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support. This report begins with the data which paints a stark picture of the current situation at IUPUI where underrepresented faculty and administrators are concerned, especially Latinas/os.
Just over 2% of all faculty at IUPUI are Latina/o (compared to an expected 4% per Affirmative Action availability data). Less than 2% of senior leadership (executive leadership, deans, and associate deans) identify as Latina/o and almost 5% of IUPUI academic program chairs identify as Latina/o.


While the paucity of Latina/o faculty is disconcerting, their complete absence at both the Dean level and above is alarming. Affirmative Action data demonstrate the argument that “there simply are not any out there” is a myth long disproved. The committee notes the decline in the number of underrepresented minorities between 2011 and 2016 in both Executive Leadership and the Dean level from 29.4% to 15.8% and 9.5% to 4.8%, respectively. Clearly, careful attention must be given this dramatic shift which can only negatively impact the presence of Latina/o administrators.
At the same time, there is some hope with modest increases in the number of Latina/o Associate Deans and Chairs in the same time period with growth from 0% to 4.9% and 3% to 4.9%, respectively.


Latina/o Faculty Satisfaction and Climate Perceptions

The 2015 IUPUI Faculty Survey showed that the majority of Latina/o faculty (n=19) were satisfied with their job overall (68%) and opportunities for community engagement (78%). Less than half of Latina/o faculty were satisfied with mentoring opportunities (42%). Just over half of Latina/o faculty were satisfied with faculty development opportunities concerning teaching, research, and community engagement. The 2014 IUPUI Climate Survey suggests that the vast majority of Latina/o faculty feel free to be themselves (88%) and agree that IUPUI has a commitment to diversity (86%). Less than two-thirds (62%) of Latina/o faculty agreed that there were a lot of people like them on campus and one-third (33%) said IUPUI had a lot of tension around diversity – more than other faculty of color and white faculty. Furthermore, exit survey data (through the Office of Equal Opportunity) shows that some Latina/o faculty who leave do report experiencing bias related to their ethnicity. The numbers of Latina/o faculty respondents on survey data are low and difficult and thus, it is difficult to assess differences across groups.



  • Recommendations

    Members of the Latina/o Faculty Recruitment and Retention Task Force understand that there are many reasons individuals from diverse backgrounds decide to apply, join and remain in academic units. The suggestions below are intended to complement welcoming departmental climates, supportive colleagues and administrative leaders (chairs and deans) as well as university policies and practices that both recognize and reward faculty of Color when they are over-taxed with multiple service expectations.
    Additionally, committee members acknowledge that some recommendations require additional funds and may require staggered implementation over a number of consecutive years. Although the RCM budgetary model has been cited as a flexible and fair model offering School leaders more responsibility, RCM has also been offered as an excuse for inaction. Rather than engage in a discussion on where the funds can be found, the members of the Latina/o Faculty Recruitment and Retention Task Force believe Deans and Central Administration agree there is a need to increase the presence of faculty of Color at IUPUI. That agreement, the committee believes, should serve as the foundation for all IUPUI leaders to join forces to ensure the necessary resources become available.

    Committee Recommendations take the form actions, practices or behaviors in Recruiting, Retention and Climate with some overlap in tactics employed in two or all three of the categories.

  • Recruitment
    • To assist department chairs, deans and search committees in the search process the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with Academic Affairs, Office of Equal Opportunity and Human Resources Administration should develop an electronic packet that details various strategies, ideas and plans for identifying and recruiting faculty of Color.
    • Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and/or Office of Equal Opportunity should meet with faculty search committees to address any issues, concerns and serve as consultants throughout the search process.
    • To increase the diversity of tenure-track faculty, search committee training should be required with collaboration of multiple campus offices including Office of Equal Opportunity, Academic Affairs, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, etc. A multi-pronged approach, including completion of the Harvard Implicit Bias Test, distribution of the manual Diversifying the Professorate, etc. should be required for all units until they reach representative diversity as identified in the Annual Affirmative Action Plan. Creative approaches in administering these trainings is recommended including large sessions for committees representing multiple departments and schools, webinars, etc.
    • In addition to making use of the free online postings in the Insight Into Diversity job listings, provide resources for posting openings in other diverse publications (e.g., Hispanic Outlook, Diverse Issues, etc.). At the start of each semester, Central Administration should fund a full-page advertisement in Hispanic Outlook, Diverse and Indian Country Today with a listing of all expected tenure track and administrative openings at the university with links to each hiring department.
    • Although many departments try to have one “diverse” representative on each search committee, often that one person is not enough. S/he is ignored, silenced and outnumbered. Hence, it is important to include more than one vocal “diversity advocate” on search committees who will be heard. “Compensation” for the over-taxing of faculty of Color should be provided and could include summer research or conference travel support, etc.
    • Just as students of Color look for faculty of Color, junior faculty of Color need to seed senior faculty of Color who have been tenured and promoted. The creation of a Senior Scholar Recruiting Initiative which would bring in senior scholars of Color in multiple fields would signal to junior faculty that IUPUI is a place where they, too, can thrive and survive. Faculty serving in this capacity should be “compensated” with support for conference travel, summer research, etc.
    • Ensure that the IUPUI webpage celebrates faculty diversity and the work of faculty engaged in community research and teaching. Many diverse communities value community engagement and knowing that this is an IUPUI value will be attractive. But, IUPUI hides too many of the things that communities of Color value on its website. Perhaps share stories featuring campus diversity, history, recognitions of students, staff and faculty engaging the university’s urban-serving mission through teaching, service and research.
    • Each Dean’s Office should have a pool of funds for department chairs (or other administrative personnel) to attend key meetings to recruit diverse faculty.
    • The Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs should require that all applicant pools at the Dean-level and above be diverse before permitting on-campus interviews.
    • Departments should recruit and potentially hire diverse postdocs into tenure track positions.
    • Department chairs should make use of diversity groups within their discipline conferences for recruiting to tenure-track positions.
    • All faculty within hiring departments should be encouraged to cultivate senior-level referrals from peer institutions for potential new hires.
    • Department chairs and search committee chairs should be expected to and held accountable by Deans to submit detailed, step-by-step plans for diversifying the tenure-track candidate pool before the start of the search process. OEO should be consulted as these plans are created.
    • Prior to approving on campus interviews, OEO must certify that tenure-track candidate pools are representative of the diversity for each field and/or that the plan for diversifying the pool has been satisfied.
    • Broaden recruiting strategies to include meetings, websites and publications of diverse scholars including SACNAS, ABRCMS, SREB, etc., to identify potential faculty of Color.
    • Job postings should inspire faculty of Color to join the hiring department and university by explaining what sets IUPUI apart from the competition. Tell the IUPUI story. For example, if we want to attract more Latina/o faculty (and other faculty of Color, as well as progressive White faculty dedicated to the same urban-serving mission), all of our advertisements should include wording such as:

                              As one of only 18 universities nationwide to be recognized as the recipient of the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight Into Diversity (the nation’s oldest diversity higher education publication) for five consecutive years, IUPUI is an urban-serving institution with a mission and vision that include both diversity and community engagement. The Department of ________ in the __________School is looking for scholars who will contribute to our commitment to engage the city, state, nation and beyond through teaching, research and service that are inclusive of the rich diversity of our campus and city as we prepare our graduates to enter and lead in an increasingly complex world.

    Intended as an example, the preceding wording should be one of many signs of a campus commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  • Retention
    • Because mentoring is important for the retention of faculty, especially for Latina/o faculty, both the Empower and Next Generation Programs should be expanded to encourage applications from Latina/o faculty with Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor encouragement by including the participation of Latina/o faculty and staff in one of these programs as one of the components of annual reviews for their chairs/directors, supervisors.
    • Create a pipeline faculty administrative “internship” for Latina/o faculty and staff who have successfully completed Empower and Next Generation in the office of a Dean, Executive Vice Chancellor or Vice Chancellor to apply concepts learned, manage projects, attend meetings, etc.
    • Prior to allowing senior faculty to serve as mentors, articulate mentor expectations and provide service credit for senior faculty when they serve as mentors for junior faculty members.
    • Employ Cluster Hires as a means of diversifying the professorate. These can be done within a department or within a School and can reduce feelings of isolation.
    • Reward faculty of Color of multiple service requirements with support for summer research, conference travel, etc.
    • Establish a reasonable number of class preparations prior to tenure and ensure that all faculty remain under that number pre-tenure.
    • Department chairs should assume position of “time protector” for all junior faculty so they are never in the position of having to say “no.”
    • Each department chair must take ownership of the retention and eventual promotion of diverse faculty with a detailed plan.
    • Department chairs must protect faculty of Color from service requirements beyond what is expected for faculty at each rank (assistant, associate, professor).
    • Department colleagues, chairs and deans must acknowledge that some of the service performed by faculty of Color may differ from that done by their dominant culture colleagues; although different in form, the service of faculty of Color will be beneficial to the faculty member, university and diverse populations on and off campus; faculty of Color often contribute to the retention of diverse students, staff and faculty, while enhancing community relationships and views of the campus in ways other campus members cannot.
  • Climate
    • Re-evaluate current mentoring programs with an eye toward diversity. Ensure that all faculty of Color are enrolled in the university-sponsored electronic mentoring through the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development which provides a safe and anonymous support network. Consider securing mentors for faculty of Color in different Schools or other IU campuses. The university, School and department must be transparent about all that is available to support faculty toward tenure and promotion. Too many faculty report “being in the dark” about various practices that would have been helpful only to be told about them when it is too late.
    • Recognize that faculty are more than university employees. Make certain faculty of Color are connected to others across campus, other IU campuses and in the community. Engage IUPUI offices including External Affairs and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for support in identifying networks and connections for diverse faculty.
    • Develop a retention plan for each new faculty member that includes the entire department with multiple colleagues and leaders checking in frequently on junior faculty to ensure they are making appropriate contacts, included in gatherings, etc. Having a plan will ensure that it happens.
    • Is the department welcoming and inclusive? Or, are some faculty isolated and excluded? To what extent are departmental leaders ensuring that new members are making connections (professional and personal) to be successful. Don’t assume all faculty have plans for holiday breaks or learn everything from the New Faculty Orientation or know who to call or how to resolve issues.
    • Department chairs must ensure faculty feel appropriately valued to reduce their becoming vulnerable to outside offers.
    • Department chairs and Deans must dispel perceptions that outside offers are the only way to gain rewards.
    • Working with Deans and Central Administration, department chairs should make use of creative “Pre-Emptive Strikes” and “never let them get on the plane” when other institutions pursue key faculty. If we wait until s/he has an offer, we have often waited too late!
  • Recruitment, Retention and Climate
    • Develop a Spousal/Partner Hiring Pool to support the “trailing” partners of diverse faculty hires.
    • Weave diversity and inclusion throughout every aspect of the university—everything the university does—from recruitment to the hiring process to retention to promotion and tenure. If diversity is a value, it must be reflected in everything produced and “communicated” by and about IUPUI—website, position descriptions/advertisements, placement of job announcements, presence of recruitment fairs, recognitions, awards and rewards, evaluations, service, etc.
    • Tie Performance Evaluations of Department Chairs and Deans to the recruitment and retention of faculty of Color with concrete examples and areas of improvement required and tied to rewards.
    • Develop diversity training for Department Chairs and Deans.