Jackson issues staff diversity directives

P resident Thomas Jackson has directed his central administrative staff to work toward increasing the diversity of their respective offices, in recognition of the fact that it is "philosophically and strategically important to the University that we work to ensure that our community is appropriately diverse in its makeup."

In a memo to the vice presidents and deans, he said that the "nature of a university is such that the task of ensuring a diverse environment must be a shared responsibility, one assumed in many offices across the institution." In the case of the central administrative staff, Jackson said that he will report periodically to administrators and trustees on the progress being made. Progress--or lack of it--will be a factor in the annual performance reviews of the vice presidents.

For appointments in positions Grade 57 and above in the central administration, it will be expected that one or more of the finalists will be a member of an underrepresented group. In cases where such an individual is not a finalist, the search committee will forward to the relevant vice president the resume of the highest-rated individual from an underrepresented group in the search's pool, together with a reason as to why that individual was not a finalist. Details demonstrating that the search "net" was cast appropriately broadly also will be required.

Vice presidents will be asked to make available appropriate funds for special staff development or educational opportunities for Grade 54-and-above employees who are members of underrepresented groups.

Jackson also said that he would be asking Director of Human Resources Albert Brault to develop enhanced channels for recruiting and identifying candidates from underrepresented groups for management positions, and to develop a module on diversity to be included in the new University Leadership Development Program.

Additionally, it will be expected that senior University officials who convene committees and task forces ensure that they are appropriately diverse in their makeup, Jackson said.

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