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June 2007

Annual Report on Diversity

Message from President Seligman

I am delighted to provide the University of Rochester community the First Annual Report on Diversity. During the 2006-07 academic year, the University of Rochester began a new faculty diversity initiative and continued to make progress on an existing staff diversity program and various school-based efforts to increase the diversity of our student population. Because the faculty effort is the newest element of the University’s overall diversity and inclusion program, this report focuses primarily on that component.

This report includes detailed baseline data. They are not a cause for celebration. In comparison to our peers (see Table 1) and our aspirations to be a diverse and inclusive community, we have far to go. (In 2004-05, the most recent year for which comparative data are available, 3.7 percent of our non-medical faculty come from underrepresented groups, African American, Latino, or Native American, compared to 6.2 percent for our COFHE peers). The data are also not a surprise. It was because of facts like these that I began the faculty diversity initiative. I am pleased that the amplified Special Opportunities Fund appears to have had some impact. I am optimistic that the comprehensive efforts to address diversity and inclusiveness over time will make a difference. But the journey will be a long one in which persistent efforts, consistent with our value of academic excellence, must be unrelenting.

Let me especially thank Lynne Davidson, deputy to the president and vice provost for faculty development and diversity, who took the laboring oar in preparing this report. I also thank Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid, the College; Stan Byrd, human resources manager of multicultural affairs and inclusion; Maggie Cassie, special projects researcher and assistant provost for faculty development and diversity; Mary Dombeck, professor, School of Nursing; Vini Falciano, senior information analyst, Institutional Research; Laura Gavigan, associate director of academic advising, Simon School; Frederick Jefferson, professor emeritus, Warner; Joanne Larson, professor, Warner; Vivian Lewis, associate dean for faculty development – women and diversity, School of Medicine and Dentistry; Beth Olivares, director, McNair Program; Gladys PedrazaBurgos, co-director, The Center for Advocacy, Community Health, Education and Diversity, School of Medicine and Dentistry; Kathy Sweetland, University intercessor; and Mark Zupan, dean, Simon School, for their contributions.

Joel Seligman

Faculty Development and Diversity

The faculty diversity initiative is the newest of the diversity efforts at the University. The October 2006 Report of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness defined two primary goals: to increase the diversity of the faculty and to create a more welcoming community for the faculty. The Task Force considered diversity along with gender, race, and ethnicity lines. In their definition of diversity, the authors of the Task Force Report explained, “We do not mean to suggest that these are the only important measures of faculty diversity; however, an examination of our faculty data makes clear that diversity by gender, race, and ethnicity is a serious issue facing the University today. We expect that many of our recommendations will lead to greater diversity and further study across other dimensions, such as disability and sexual orientation, as well.” We proceed with the faculty diversity initiative with this understanding of what it means to pursue greater diversity.

In the 2006-07 academic year, 29.1 percent of our faculty was female, compared to 25.9 percent five years earlier, and 2.2 percent identified themselves as a member of an underrepresented minority group, essentially unchanged from five years earlier. Because new hires are now given the option to complete new hire paperwork without identifying race or ethnicity, the University has 174 faculty for whom no race or ethnicity is recorded in the Human Resources Management System (HRMS). Because 2007 marks the beginning of the new faculty diversity initiative, the data for the 2006-07 academic year is now the baseline against which our future progress will be measured.

The faculty diversity initiative is based on two fundamental beliefs. First, academic excellence requires that we provide an environment that holds the most promise for producing the widest range of new ideas, and a diversity of ideas is best provided by a diverse faculty. Second, we are preparing our students to enter an increasingly diverse and multicultural world, and we do that best by providing them with an opportunity to interact with a diverse faculty.

The initiative is based largely on the 31 recommendations of the Task Force Report. The first recommendation was that I hire a University faculty diversity officer who would report to the President and Provost, chair a committee of school-based faculty diversity officers, and have the authority and resources to carry out functions not best done at the school level. Lynne Davidson, deputy to the president, and now vice provost for faculty development and diversity, officially began in this role on January 1, 2007. This winter, each dean appointed a faculty diversity officer. In each case, the faculty diversity officer is a senior member of the faculty of her or his school. The faculty diversity officers began monthly meetings on November 29, 2006.

In January of this year, we formed the Faculty Diversity Panel of Advisors, chaired by Frederick Jefferson, professor emeritus of the Warner School of Education. This panel has 11 external members, seven of whom are members of the University Board of Trustees. To date, Lynne and Frederick have held individual meetings with nine of the 11-panel members, and meetings with the other two will be scheduled for summer 2007. This process has been valuable, providing Lynne and Frederick with access to decades of experience in employee diversity efforts that will help inform the University’s own implementation of best practices.

The primary purpose of the advisory panel is to provide the University with a better understanding of best practices in employment diversity and to support the University’s efforts to network with diverse individuals who are potential candidates for positions at the University.

To date, the members of this advisory panel have stressed the following major themes:

  • The faculty diversity effort must come from the top of the organization – the president and his cabinet.
  • The faculty diversity initiative needs to focus on three or four major themes or priorities, not 31 recommendations.
  • In order for the faculty diversity effort to succeed, inclusive behavior needs to be embedded into every part of the University, involving every constituency group. That is, an effort that focuses on faculty to the exclusion of staff and students will not meet with the same success.
  • Successful efforts in any part of the University must be celebrated and held up as examples for the rest of the University.

This faculty diversity initiative has four primary components: recruitment, retention and environment, celebration, and reporting and transparency. We have begun to put the leadership, organizational structures, and policies in place that will allow us to make progress with these four components over the next 12 months. The accomplishments of greatest significance to date include the selection of school-based faculty diversity officers, the launch of a new diversity website that links directly off of the University’s home page, the distribution of the first issue of Faculty Development News, improvement of applicant data collection techniques (progress so far in four of six schools), the establishment of spousal hire support for dual-career couples, distribution of new guidelines for the expanded Special Opportunities Fund, and implementation of new family-friendly policies.

Faculty Recruitment

A primary goal of the faculty diversity initiative is to build a more diverse faculty applicant pool and to increase our success rate for hiring those diverse candidates that we have identified.

Building the Applicant Pool

Building a diverse applicant pool requires focused networking. We have budgeted for recruitment trips during FY 2008 that will take us to conferences where we can meet large numbers of individuals who could potentially increase the diversity of our faculty.

The literature shows that job applicants will tend to look for job advertisements in publications that cater to populations for which they feel an affinity. While these academics may also see the job ads in their field-specific publications, if we fail to advertise in publications with high minority readership, it can be perceived as a lack of commitment to diversity. However, job ads are expensive, and it can be difficult to justify the cost of the additional job ad placements. To help with this, we are for the first time purchasing University-wide contracts for unlimited job ads in some of these widely read online publications. This allows our departments to place job ads without incurring any additional costs.

Disseminating Information

During the summer, each dean and department chair will receive a package of information that includes data on recent doctoral graduates in the relevant academic discipline by race and gender, a snapshot of that department by race and gender, a list of web-based journals, and mailing list servers that have high minority readership and are appropriate venues for job ad placements, some sample job ads that go beyond the standard “equal opportunity employer” statement, and a brief description of best practices in forming a diversity-friendly faculty search committee.

Special Opportunities

Fund Several of the Task Force recommendations are directed at the expanded use of what is now called the Special Opportunities Fund. The goal of this Fund is to assist deans and department chairs in the recruitment or retention of specific faculty candidates who will contribute to the diversity of the faculty and who might otherwise not be recruited successfully because of intense competition. There will be $400,000 available in the Fund for FY 2008 (compared to $200,000 in FY 2007). As of this writing, approximately $325,000 of that Fund has been committed. The Fund supported seven individuals in three schools of the University in FY 07. None of the seven individuals was new to the University in that year (all were salary support arrangements that were continued from the previous year). That is, the Fund was not used in FY 07 to hire any new faculty in the University. So far, for FY 08, we know that the Fund will support 12 faculty members in five schools. Of the 12, eight are new commitments for the coming year.

Dual Career Hires

The Office for Faculty Development and Diversity, with assistance from Carol Shuherk, senior associate provost, is committed to providing assistance to potential new hires whose acceptance of our job offer is contingent upon our ability to find a job for a spouse or partner. The University of Rochester recently joined a new consortium, the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium of Upstate New York. The HERCUNY website houses job listings for 23 higher education institutions in the region, providing easy access to job possibilities for the spouses and partners of our faculty candidates.

Best Practices

The Office for Faculty Development and Diversity is creating a library of best practices in successful diversity recruitment, including literature on forming search committees, interview “dos and don’ts,” and how to handle greater community issues for faculty recruits. We’ll make this information available on our website, have links to articles of interest in our newsletter, and may try to create a small pamphlet for best practices in faculty recruitment that we can distribute to department chairs every year.

Improving the Environment and Building Community/Faculty Retention

Our ability to retain faculty depends, in part, upon our ability to provide a warm and welcoming environment. This is the second component of the faculty diversity initiative.

Communicating with the Community

As of May 14, 2007, “Diversity” can be seen on the University of Rochester home Web page (by moving your cursor over “About Us”). This helps convey the message to the University community, and to prospective members of our community, that diversity truly is a fundamental value of the University. Further, the Web page indicates that the University’s president is the chief diversity officer, that University trustees have agreed to participate in a Faculty Diversity Advisory Panel, and that each dean of the University has named a faculty diversity officer – all additional signs of the weight that our community gives to this issue.

The Web page also brings together diversity efforts that address all segments of the University. The web page houses a University-wide diversity events calendar (coming soon), many pages of University diversity history dating from 1852 to the present, and links to diversity programs in each of our schools. We also have begun other initiatives that are designed to create a more welcoming environment for faculty, and build a community that is more appreciative of the value of diversity on campus. One initiative is Faculty Development News, a newsletter that is distributed to faculty University-wide, that highlights relevant changes in faculty policy, discusses faculty recruitment and retention support available to deans, department chairs, and search committees, and lists upcoming diversity events on campus.

Climate Studies

One method for learning more about the environment within the schools of the University is to conduct climate studies within the academic units. Faculty, staff, and doctoral students in the School of Nursing recently completed a climate survey. Another University leader has expressed an interest in assessing the climate within his 200- employee organization. We intend to use both experiences to inform our efforts within the other academic units.

In the Medical School, Vivian Lewis, associate dean for faculty development – women and diversity, has performed a different sort of needs assessment of underrepresented minority faculty by conducting structured interviews with full-time faculty who are African American or Hispanic. Faculty were asked to describe how they were recruited here (and suggestions for recruiting others) and their greatest challenges and rewards, and to provide suggestions for the areas of greatest priority for faculty development for underrepresented minorities. The School of Medicine is in the process of analyzing results. We will use that experience as well to develop our other school-based climate studies.

Family-Friendly Policies

The family-friendly policies that the Task Force recommended went through the approval process during the winter. These policies address tenure clock and family leave issues that are especially relevant to faculty who are starting families. The approval process included discussions with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee; the faculty councils of the College, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the School of Nursing; and the full faculty senate. The Board of Trustees approved new language for the Faculty Handbook on March 9, 2007


The celebration of diversity is the third major component of the faculty diversity initiative.

A number of University-wide celebratory events and educational activities that will highlight diversity are in the planning stages. These events are coordinated efforts of many groups throughout the University, helping to ensure that our efforts represent the needs of our various constituencies. For example, the University is a co-sponsor of the Frederick Douglass International Underground Railroad Conference, to be held in Rochester September 28-30, 2007. Also in the planning stages are a June visit by Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males. The visit is a collaboration between the Eastman Dental Center, the McNair Program, and the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity. The planning committee for a University-wide diversity forum for students and faculty, tentatively scheduled for November 2007, so far includes faculty and students from the College, the Warner School, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Simon School.

Other events target smaller audiences, such as those held at the School of Nursing and at the Warner School of Education

Staff Diversity

Stan Byrd joined the University of Rochester in January 2005 as the Human Resources Manager for Multicultural Affairs and Inclusion. His role is to consult with and support the University administration on issues of diversity and inclusion related to staff. Stan works directly with units and departments and also supports staff recruitment and retention efforts University-wide. In September 2005, Judie Myers-Gell, Multicultural Recruitment Specialist, was hired to develop a multicultural strategic recruitment program with the goal of increasing diversity among the Professional, Administrative, and Supervisory (PAS) Staff, Pay Grade 50 and above. Data shows the gender and race/ethnicity for all full-time and part-time employees, comparing fall 2006 to fall 2001 for employees at pay grades 50 and above. Of the total University’s grade 50 and above population in fall 2006, 5.1 percent were recorded as underrepresented minorities (African American, Hispanic, or Native American). This compares to 5.0 percent in 2001.


In the PAS Grade 50+ initiative, 30 individuals who contribute to the diversity of the workforce were hired in the 12-month period ending March 2007. Two individuals hired were the result of a military recruitment effort and one individual was hired as a result of recruitment through the Society of Hispanic Professionals. Three participants in the African American Network were promoted.

A Youth Apprenticeship program is being created in collaboration with the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) and the Rochester City School District. This program is being designed to provide career development opportunities for youth in scientific, technical, and health-related professions; projected implementation in summer 2007 with student placement in Strong Memorial Hospital departments in September 2007.

Affinity Groups

Members of the University community now have an opportunity to join one of three active affinity groups, the African American Network (AAN), the Pride Alliance at UR (PAUR), and the Latino Professional Alliance.

Career Development Program

The Office of Human Resources is creating a career development and counseling program that will be launched in summer 2007. The office is working with the Career Development Service of Rochester, which will provide training modules on career development for Human Resources staff who serve as internal consultants.

Mentor Program

In the effort to recruit a more diverse staff, we have noted the need for a mentoring program beyond the coaching and support that an individual may typically receive from her or his immediate supervisor. Plans are underway to provide this support to newly hired staff as well as others that feel they would benefit from such a program. This project is also expected to launch in summer 2007.

Student Diversity

At the University of Rochester, student diversity initiatives are school-based. Data shows student gender and race/ethnicity for the entire University and includes University-wide data for five-year intervals from 1991 to 2006. Reporting data school-specific data for 2001 and 2006. In the fall of 2006, 50.4 percent of our overall student population were women, 7.6 percent were underrepresented minorities (African American, Hispanic, or Native American), 7.3 percent were Asian, and 11.8 percent of our students were not identified by race or ethnicity. I describe here some of the efforts in three of our academic units. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all programs at the University for addressing student diversity.

The College

In the past year, the College Admissions Office added an admissions professional acting as both a Regional Director of Admissions in New York City and a Director of Diversity Enhancement. The Office also created and staffed a Community Relations Manager position and hired an Associate Director in Financial Aid whose emphasis is to increase outreach and diversity. Other staff members immerse themselves in supportive activities to create a larger and more diverse pool of applicants. Soon an Assistant Director of College/Community Programs will be hired to provide a focus for outreach activity in Monroe County and among youth in general. In addition, a staff Diversity Team has been assembled, consisting of members of the Enrollment Office who meet on diversity initiatives and provide an outlet for ideas, program sharing, and a forum for accountability as we move the Enrollment Office forward on this front. This Diversity Team has led two on-campus and one all-day off-campus diversity training event for all staff in three offices.

The College is now the source of a great number of fall, winter, and spring program offerings, all catering to a wide variety of prospective students, including inner-city, underrepresented, and local juniors and seniors in high school. Some of the programs that are new or expanded this year are listed below:

  • Explore Rochester is an orientation program held for seniors in high schools at YMCAs in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, and Chicago.
  • Research Rochester Overnight includes underrepresented students from cities across New York State. The program showcased current students as scholars and performers. Forty-three students participated last year.
  • NYC programming includes interviews, alumni interviewers, college fairs, visits to high schools, Dean Paul Burgett Graduate Panel Presentation, Admitted Student Celebration, Office of Minority Student Affairs NYC Higher Education Opportunity Program interviews, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and the College Access Consortium of New York.
  • Summer programs include the National Hispanic Institute and Washington Metropolitan Scholars. This is the second year for the National Hispanic Institute, except that this year we will be a host site for one of their summer programs which will bring over 200 Hispanic students (sophomores and juniors) to our campus in July for eight days.

Other continuing programs include program scholarships, such as the CollegeBound, Urban League, Lorenzo de Zavala, Wilson International Baccalaureate, Ahora, Hillside – Rochester, Knowledge is Power Program, Jackie Robinson, and the Program for Rochester to Interest Students in Science and Math (PRISM); Focus on Rochester, which invites Monroe County organizations to help the admissions office think of ways to create alliances for those who serve 4th through 12th graders; Instant Application Days, which brings admissions counselors to Rochester City Schools to discuss the candidacy of applicants; and the Multicultural Visitation Program, an overnight program for admitted underrepresented students (attendance increased 35% this year).

Simon School

The Simon School’s Early Leaders initiative, targeting candidates zero to three years out of college, aims to increase the diversity as well as the quality and size of the entering full-time MBA classes. This initiative runs counter to the norm that has prevailed at other leading business schools over the past twenty years of seeking older students (primarily 25- to 27-year olds) for admission. Diversity has suffered from the shift toward older students. In fact, the top 30 business schools are now slightly less gender diverse than they were a few decades ago (28.2 percent female currently versus 28.6 in 1985). The diversity of Simon’s incoming classes has improved markedly— the female percentage of Simon’s entering full-time MBA class has risen from 24% to 30%.

The Simon School has initiated a diversity recruiting event, which was held the first weekend of December, and is expected to be an annual event. The Admissions Office coordinates with the National Black MBA Association, the University of Rochester’s Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) as well as other areas of local college OMSA offices. The program promotes the Simon School’s longstanding membership as a founding partner in the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and also collaborates with Simon alumni in hiring positions.

School of Medicine and Dentistry

The School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Center for Advocacy, Community Health, Education, and Diversity (CACHED) has expanded its initiatives for attracting a diverse medical student population. This year, three additional students will have the opportunity to participate in SMD’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. The SURF Program is one of SMD’s pipeline programs designed to increase the number of candidates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and groups historically underrepresented in the sciences in the University’s MD and graduate programs. SURF is designed to strengthen students’ science and research skills and expose them to biomedical research and clinical medicine. Students are individually matched with preceptors (clinicians and scientists) and conduct biomedical and clinically focused research in Medical Center laboratories.

Since the 1980s 167 students have participated in the SURF program. SMD extended offers of admission to 46 of the 97 former participants who were offered admission to a medical or graduate school. To date, 21 SURF participants have graduated from SMD.

The College Admissions Office along with CACHED created new scholarships designed to increase the number of students from diverse and underrepresented groups. The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) scholarship, a New York State program, is valued at $10,000 per year for up to four years totaling $40,000. Shawniece James and Carolyn Gonzalez, class of 2011 are the first two recipients of the STEP award. STEP is an intensive academic and career development program designed to stimulate and maintain participants’ interest in medicine and the health care professions. It is for New York State residents in grades 8 through 12 who belong to groups historically underrepresented in scientific, technical, and health-related professions, or who are economically disadvantaged. They are exposed to a variety of academic and professional skill development opportunities to enhance their problem-solving, critical thinking, and test-taking skills.

The Ready, Set, Go to College initiative focuses on college preparation for students in the Rochester City School District (RCSD). As part of the program, the College and CACHED have worked with Guidance and English Department Directors to include sessions in English curricula for seniors to write a personal statement for college applications. In addition, SMD assistant dean Brenda Lee leads a number of workshops during the year targeted to students and counselors with topics including, How to Choose a College, How to Succeed in College, and for the counselors, How to Prepare Your Students for the College Application Process. Medical and Undergraduate students at the U of R, in one-on-one sessions, assist seniors in completing their college applications. We are piloting the program with Monroe High School. The community partners plan to expand the program each year to include another RCSD high school.

Goals for 2007-08

During 2007-08, we should see new activity in the faculty diversity initiative, which is still in its first year. At the University level, we will hold educational seminars and workshops, encourage recruitment through the expanded Special Opportunities Fund, observe how the new family-friendly policies are used, and improve our data collection. At the school level, the deans and faculty diversity officers have varied priorities for the coming year, depending upon current circumstances in the schools. In some academic units of the University, the priority will be on the training of faculty search committees, which is at the heart of many recruitments. In other divisions, the greatest priority is on retention. And in some parts of the University, we will see more programs to address the need to create a more welcoming environment for all members of the community.

I look forward to making progress in the coming year. I am committed to continuing those programs that are successful in addressing the diversity of the University community, and those that make our community a more welcoming one.

Report data and attachments

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