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Boiler Plate: The University of Rochester is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for our faculty.  To accomplish this, we bring together faculty, students, and staff who have achieved excellence and who are dedicated to building an inclusive community that encourages all of its members to succeed and grow.  A diverse faculty has the greatest potential and power to transform the campus climate by providing a rich variety of perspectives that will enable students to be global thinkers and actors, to respect diverse values, and to attain a competitive edge as distinguished leaders in their fields. The University draws on the talents of a diverse faculty to build, sustain and enhance institutional excellence and capability through leading-edge research, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and scholarship that reflects a rich plurality of perspectives.

President Joel Seligman’s Message in the 2014 Diversity Report

In his eighth annual diversity report, President Joel Seligman discusses progress in the University’s diversity initiatives, including an increase in the proportion of faculty and staff who are women or who identify themselves as members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group, and the diversity strategic plan for the next five years.  “I am gratified to be associated with a University where a commitment to diversity is consistently reflected in the decisions of our Board and senior leadership.”  

To read more of the 2014 Diversity Report, click here.

Office of Faculty Development and Diversity

Vivian Lewis appointed July 1, 2010 to Vice Provost of Faculty Development and Diversity

Vision: The University strives to reflect, celebrate, and incorporate the richness of individual and group differences in all our pursuits.

The mission of the OFDD and Faculty Diversity Officer’s is to collaborate with academic leadership and faculty in the hiring, retention, and advancement of a diverse faculty.

The strategies to achieve this mission are to:

  •  Discover and encourage best practices for recruitment, retention, and promotion of underrepresented groups to the faculty.
  •  Empower underrepresented groups to prepare for and seek leadership opportunities.
  • Provide data and analysis to inform decision-making by leaders and other stakeholders in building the best possible faculty.
  • Establish and sustain frank conversation and awareness among faculty and others throughout the University about the current state of diversity and how it can be enhanced to foster a more inclusive culture.

Diversity related scholarly activity is another new direction for the OFDD. With Vivian Lewis as primary investigator, the University was awarded approximately two million dollars by the National Institutes of Health to help improve diversity in the scientific workforce. Vivian Lewis will study the effects of different mentoring interventions in promoting resilience among biomedical researchers and trainees from underrepresented groups. The study will be a collaborative effort including faculty and graduate students from the University at Buffalo and Upstate Medical College along with the University of Rochester.

Faculty Development Officers:  Each school has 2 faculty diversity officers, and many schools have diversity councils.

Special Opportunities Fund (SOF): SOF, created in the 2007-08 academic year, assists deans and department chairs by providing centrally available bridge funds for recruitment and retention of diverse faculty.  SOF is available on a competitive basis to departments and schools for the hiring of individual faculty, clusters of faculty in specified areas, visiting faculty, or postdoctoral candidates who offer special opportunities for the enhancement of faculty diversity.

Building the Applicant Pool: OFDD strives to help the University’s academic units expand their faculty applicant pools. For example, in FY 2009 OFDD launched a recruitment grant program to encourage faculty to attend academic conferences, symposia, and other professional association meetings that have large underrepresented faculty audiences; faculty request up to $1,500 to support travel and conference fees. The office has also created a new initiative to research and monitor faculty development and diversity related grants University-wide. In addition, we have created a new database to match potential underrepresented minority candidates with postdoctoral and faculty positions at the University.

Job Postings and Recruitment Packets: During FY 2011, OFDD assisted in academic searches by posting 13 positions in Inside Higher Education and the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium of Upstate New York. Our office provided more than 400 recruitment packets to various academic units in FY2011 (approximately 100 more packets from FY 2010). These faculty recruitment packets include materials to give prospective faculty an overview of cultural resources in the Rochester community, the University’s “family-friendly” policies, the UR Home Mortgage Program, the UR Year One Program, and more.

Web Resources: OFDD distributes the Faculty Development News electronically to all faculty three times per year. This popular publication includes news about upcoming faculty development events, awards, and newcomers to the University.

We also maintain a Diversity calendarthat includes more general University and local diversity events.

Building Community

5th Annual Diversity Conference, “Crossroads: An Opportunity for Progress”

Presidential Diversity Award

  • This award was created in 2009 to recognize faculty, staff, students, units, departments, or teams who have demonstrated leadership in recruitment and retention efforts, teaching, research, multicultural programming, cultural competency, community outreach activities, or other initiatives that promote diversity or inclusion. The 2014 awardees were Dr. John Cullen and the Office of Minority Student Affairs. All nominees were recognized at a reception at the Witmer House.

Research Conference

  • In September, 2013, OFDD hosted the second annual University-wide diversity-related research conference.  The theme of this year's conference was recruiting and preparing a diverse group of students for academic careers in science and healthcare.  Our speaker, Dr. Margarita Dubocovich, PhD shared best practices from her successful Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences (CLIMB) programs at the University at Buffalo which are devoted to helping students and junior scientists develop into leaders in the sciences.

University-wide Coordination of Celebrations of Diversity

  • Our success as a University in building a welcoming community depends, in part, upon everyone being aware of the work done to promote diversity. OFDD has begun to identify specific University offices to provide central coordination of selected month-long annual diversity and inclusion programs. We have expanded to celebrate Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBTQI Appreciation Month, Asian Heritage Month, and have plans underway to add Native American Heritage Month in the fall.

Access Rochester: The University of Rochester is a pluralistic community, one that values the contributions of our diverse population. People with disabilities are an essential part of the University community, bringing a broad spectrum of talent and achievement to our endeavors. We believe in and respect the capacity of individuals to learn, grow, and achieve in different ways. In recognition of this, the University has developed a variety of services and offices with responsibility for ensuring a system and a culture that fosters opportunity and achievement for individuals with disabilities.

Affinity Groups: The University has the following affinity and networking groups:

  • Latino Professional Alliance at UR (LPA)
  • Minority Male Leadership Association (MMLA)
  • Pride Alliance at UR
  • Sankofa
  • South Asian Professional Networking Association (SAPNA)
  • Veterans Alliance @ UR
  • Young Leaders @ UR

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Updated: May 28, 2013

We continue to make incremental progress in our diversity initiatives. At the start

of the 2011–12 academic year, 32.2 percent of our faculty were women, compared

to 28.6 percent in 2006. This represents an increase from 411 women faculty

members in fall 2006 to 613 in fall 2011. The proportion of faculty who identified

themselves as members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group

was 3.5 percent in fall 2011, compared to 2.6 percent in 2006. This represents an

increase from 37 underrepresented minority faculty members in fall 2006 to 66 in

fall 2011. Between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011, the University hired 96 new faculty,

of whom 38.5 percent were women and 4.2 percent were underrepresented

minorities. During that same period, 76 faculty left the University, of whom 32.9

percent were women and 9.2 percent were underrepresented minorities.