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May 2013

Annual Report on Diversity

Message from President Seligman

During my time as President, we have made great progress in having the conversations that will help create as welcoming, diverse, and inclusive a campus as possible. The expansion of the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity to include the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, the progress made in the Meliora Challenge—the Diversity Initiative, and evolution of our annual conference are clear examples of that progress. These developments showcase the next step in our deep commitment to diversity.

We continue to make incremental progress in the numeric markers of our diversity initiatives. At the start of the 2012–13 academic year, 32.6 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 617 in fall 2012. The proportion of faculty who identified themselves as members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group was 3.5 percent in fall 2012, compared to 2.6 percent in 2006. This represents an increase from 37 underrepresented minority faculty members in fall 2006 to 67 in fall 2012.

We also have seen progress with those in Staff Pay Grade 50 and above. Between 2006 and 2012, the percentage of underrepresented minority employees grew from 181 to 288 (5.1 to 6.4 percent). Each school is responsible for its own admissions programs. In aggregate, underrepresented minority enrollment has grown at the University from 7.6 to 9.2 percent between fall 2006 and fall 2012, simultaneous with improvements in relevant quality metrics.

The outcome of the current Fisher v. University of Texas Supreme Court case may profoundly affect universities and colleges as well as diversity more broadly in our nation. Regardless of the outcome, our University’s ultimate goal is to create as welcoming and inclusive a campus as possible, and we will continue to work toward this goal.

As valuable as this progress has been, the University still has far to go to achieve our full aspirations as a diverse and inclusive community. Our future as a University will increasingly be one of racial, gender, ethnic, and intellectual diversity. I am gratified to be associated with a University where a commitment to diversity is consistently reflected in the decisions of our Board and our senior leadership.

Joel Seligman

Welcome from Dr. Vivian Lewis

As our seventh Annual Report highlights, diversity continues to be a strategic priority at the University of Rochester. Our work is driven by a common core vision—a University that strives to reflect and celebrate the richness of diversity among individuals and groups. We strive to achieve this vision through promoting academic excellence, through inclusive community building, and through supporting professional development across schools and divisions.

The work of the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity is expanding, and our partnerships are growing and deepening. This report describes the accomplishments of our networks and collective work on diversity that has been achieved.

Within this report we provide a summative analysis of the Special Opportunities Fund impact and outcomes since 2008, discuss the reinvigorated Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, and highlight the important work by our office and partners across the University.

Vivian Lewis
Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity

Promoting Academic Excellence

The Special Opportunities Fund

The core mission of the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity (OFDD) is to collaborate with University leadership and faculty to develop strategies that foster the hiring and retention of underrepresented faculty. One of our most successful strategies has been to help with financial support through the Special Opportunities Fund (SOF). We know that academic excellence is critical to attract outstanding minority faculty to our University and to raise our national profile in terms of diversity. 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.

SOF has had a substantial impact on our University. All six schools have used SOF to recruit or retain individual faculty or to create or expand programs to promote faculty diversity. In total, 56 applications have been funded: 32 applications to directly supplement faculty recruitment or retention; 9 applications for programs to promote faculty diversity; and 15 applications for the recently added mechanism to supplement hiring of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. The majority of faculty (74 percent) funded through the SOF remain at the University of Rochester. Of the 8 faculty members hired with the help of SOF who have left the University of Rochester, 5 have joined other universities (University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Florida International University, SUNY Plattsburgh, and University of Miami).

Since 2008, SOF has supported the recruitment or retention of 21 faculty who belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in higher education, 9 who belong to other groups underrepresented based on gender or disability, and 2 who received partial salary support to help build programs important to their school’s diversity initiatives. Fourteen of the 21 underrepresented racial/ethnic group faculty members remain at the University. The substantial impact of SOF is clear when looking at the change in the overall number of underrepresented faculty (37 such individuals at the University in 2006 and 67 as of fall 2012). During the current academic year, SOF supports 6 faculty members in three schools in addition to fellows and visiting faculty.

Starting in 2011, part of SOF was allocated to supplement hiring of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars to promote building a pool of suitable faculty candidates and to help educate the University community about issues related to diversity. Four schools have used the fund in this way. There have been 5 short-term visiting scholars, 3 long-term visiting scholars, and 7 postdoctoral fellows funded with SOF. The postdoctoral fellows all have plans for academic careers and have been invited to take part in the Future Faculty Initiative. Two fellows have successfully acquired grant funding for their research. To promote their professional development and bonding to each other, OFDD brings the postdoctoral fellows together for quarterly meetings and invites them to all faculty development offerings.

The impact of each faculty, fellow, visiting scholar, or program has profound and multiplying effects within departments and schools. In addition to enhancing the faculty diversity, these scholars contribute to the research, teaching, and other academic missions at our University. Their work inspires students, raises our national profile in terms of diversity, and clearly advances the University’s priority of academic excellence. In some fields, research funding is a measure of academic success. Of the SOF faculty that remain at the University, they have in aggregate been awarded 28 grants as principal investigators and 9 as co-principal investigators. Many of the faculty hired through SOF have brought notoriety to the University through their compositions or publications. Since the start of the SOF, at least 126 articles, books, book chapters, or compact discs have been published by SOF faculty. While course loads vary drastically across schools, it is notable that more than 140 courses have been taught by SOF faculty. Two faculty members have been promoted since arriving at Rochester, and several others have assumed leadership roles as division chief and/or department chair. Each of these achievements is important for the impact within the faculty member’s own discipline as well as more broadly at our University by creating a more vibrant and inclusive academic community.

Recent interviews with two University leaders regarding the impact of the SOF on their department and work. These leaders illustrate how the power of a small investment can yield much greater gains. They inspire others to think and act in inclusive ways.

Jannick Rolland, PhD Professor of Optics

Professor Jannick Rolland always encourages her students to be creative researchers. “My students must be passionate about their research topics and motivated,” she says. Professor Rolland joined the University of Rochester in 2009 and was established as the Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering in addition to holding several joint appointments.

As an underrepresented minority in the engineering field, Professor Rolland has always had a diverse team in her lab: “A diverse group is very important for the health of a team and for the science.” Professor Rolland sees herself as a role model for women scientists. “As a mentor, I not only give opportunities to underrepresented minorities, but I get to know them as a person and am in it for the long term.” As an internationally known scholar, Professor Rolland has brought numerous international students to Rochester. She mentors a diverse group of 10 graduate students, currently, with women well represented. Of note, several of her current and recent protégés have been honored with prestigious teaching, optical, and other awards. Most recently, Christina Canavesi won first prize in the Simon Games (receiving a full-scholarship for an executive MBA program.) Canavesi stated, “I began working with Professor Rolland three years ago, and she has been incredibly supportive of my research. Professor Rolland has always encouraged me to grow and succeed, even in new endeavors like entrepreneurship that are outside the focus of her lab.” Professor Rolland utilized the Special Opportunities Fund herself when she arrived at Rochester and has plans to use the new mechanism to support a postdoctoral fellow in her lab. “We must have more underrepresented minority faculty here at Rochester, and the Special Opportunities Fund supporting postdocs is very helpful for that important bridge,” she says.

Regis O’Keefe, MD Chair of Orthopaedics

Diversity is an important aspect of the mission of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. “The communities we serve are diverse,” Chairman Dr. Regis O’Keefe states, “It is critical for our health care system to represent all communities. We must understand the needs of the populations we serve. A uniform population [of physicians] does not understand the social/cultural needs of all patients, and that affects care dramatically.” Through the leadership of Dr. O’Keefe, the Department of Orthopaedics has established itself as one that engages diverse perspectives and empowers its people to succeed in education, clinical care, and research. In this department, diversity in several forms has been effectively bolstered through a small investment from the SOF.

By using the SOF to supplement the recruitment of a portion of the faculty, Dr O’Keefe has been able to create a more inclusive climate over the past several years. In one of the least diverse medical specialties nationally, URMC’s Orthopaedic Surgery department can show a record of consistently recruiting women and minority faculty and of having begun to have more women among the department’s leaders. With each successful recruitment it becomes easier to attract a more diverse residency class. The presence of a welcoming and diverse faculty when potential residents interview has a clear influence on their choice in ranking programs.

Part of the success of the department can also be attributed to its support of faculty and trainees working to establish their careers in academic medicine. “Our department has a strong network and a critical mass of mentors; it is now known as a place for mentorship.” Several of the department’s faculty (including minorities) have successfully received National Institutes of Health mentored research career development awards. In March, the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research announced that the department ranked #1 in NIH funding for orthopaedic research. Dr. Edward Schwartz, director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, a research mentor himself, stated, “Our funding success is due in large part to a programmatic organizational design, a strong emphasis on collaboration across departments, and the diverse research interests of our faculty. It is clearly a case of the sum being greater than its parts.”

Visiting Scholars

The SOF also helps support visiting scholars who contribute directly to diversity through teaching, research, and creative ventures while here at Rochester. In addition, the visiting scholars help increase the visibility of our University in the wider academic community, facilitating our ability to recruit a more diverse faculty and student body.

Sandra Quinones, PhD, received a Visiting Scholar award to gain teaching experience at the Warner School of Education. During her year, Dr. Quinones assumed the role of interim director of the Urban Teaching and Leadership program, taught two courses while working on a journal manuscript about Latina/o education and family-community engagement issues. Her contributions to the greater Rochester community were recognized with the Young Person on the Move award for her work with the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Dr. Quinones secured a tenure-track faculty position at Duquesne University.

Mylène DubiauFeuillerac, a faculty member at the Université de Toulouse, spent the fall semester 2012 at the Eastman School of Music, where she taught a course on “French Poetry into Song,” participated in the Prismatic Debussy festival during October, and engaged in research at the Sibley Music Library. At the Prismatic Debussy festival, she presented her paper “Debussy’s first published song, Nuit d’étoiles: A first insight into his personal understanding of poetry in music” in Hatch Recital Hall. In addition, she worked closely with Professor Marie Rolf on Rolf’s critical edition of Debussy songs.

The Jazz and Contemporary Media Department at the Eastman School of Music had the honor and privilege of having Dennis Mackrel as a visiting artist and faculty member. An esteemed musician/composer and musical director of the Count Basie Orchestra, Mr. Mackrel taught numerous master classes and performed with several of Eastman’s ensembles. He also taught private lessons both as a drummer and as a composer/arranger while here. Eastman students and faculty reported that Mr. Mackrel’s visits enriched them through his talents as a player, composer, arranger, and teacher. He in turn expressed that he feels like part of the Eastman School of Music family from his experience through these visits.

Creating an Inclusive Academic Environment

On March 1, the School of Medicine and Dentistry hosted a conference: “Transgender HealthCARE: Transitioning, Transcending, and Teaching our Community.” This conference addressed the disparities specific to transgender individuals by educating students, staff, providers, and the health care community about their particular health care needs, the evidence-based treatments available for their needs, and the challenges encountered in health care settings. The conference improved the knowledge of our medical community and that of upstate New York and also provided culturally sensitive and evidence-based care to transgender individuals in our communities.

On January 25, the School of Medicine and Dentistry welcomed Dr. QuinonesHinojosa, (Dr. Q as he is known in his memoir, Becoming Dr. Q) to share the inspiring story of his journey as a migrant farm worker from Mexico to his current work as an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist at this year’s Tana Grady-Weliky Lecture on Women and Diversity in Medicine. Dr. Q led a discussion of disparities in access to health care and the challenges faced by a diverse country. Participants learned about the changing demographics in the United States and its effects on health care and possible mechanisms by which health care providers, including subspecialists, can contribute to a healthier and more beautiful America. As part of his visit, Dr. Q also addressed some 200 local high school and college students at URMC for the annual weekend conference organized for premed students by the Rochester Student National Medical Association.

If All of Rochester Read the Same Book

OFDD, with the help of several cosponsors, brought Luis Alberto Urrea to give a reading and book signing on campus in March. Urrea came to Rochester as part of Writers & Books’ annual “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book” initiative. This year’s book was Urrea’s 2009 novel, Into the Beautiful North. Leading up to his reading, OFDD helped promote the many discussion groups that formed to discuss the novel. This is the first time that our University has cosponsored a Writers & Books’ community reading event.

Inclusive Community Building

The work of the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity (OFDD) is guided by a vision to reflect and celebrate the richness of diversity among individuals and groups at our University. Building inclusive communities and creating dialogues increases the productivity of all faculty and is especially important for the advancement of minority faculty. OFDD accomplishes this through strategic partnerships as well as hosting and sponsoring diversityrelated events.

It has been strategically significant that the University’s Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership (SBAC) now reports to OFDD. Catherine Cerulli, an academic and legal leader with more than two decades of commitment to battling domestic violence and victimization, was named director of the center in September 2012. Immediately upon starting her position, Dr. Cerulli worked with staff to conduct a series of salons, using focus group methodology, to assess how the SBAC could be useful to students, alumni, and the community. To date, SBAC has conducted two salons with fraternity groups, one with the Women’s Causes, and one with the Frederick Douglass House. They have also conducted three with community members and one with University alumni in the Rochester area. The focus groups have provided an excellent opportunity to garner support for SBAC in terms of outreach and joint ventures moving forward.

SBAC has launched a four-tier scholarship program: high school scholarships and undergraduate, graduate, and faculty opportunities for funding linked to women’s leadership. The first faculty candidate is Jie Qiao, scientist in the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and founder of a new affinity group for women scientists (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship). As a result of SBAC funding, Dr. Qiao was able to attend the Science-EngineeringTechnology Working Group at the Congressional Visits Day in Washington, D.C. Dr. Cerulli provides guidance to the new affinity group, to facilitate women’s careers in the sciences.

The High School Scholarship Program is being launched in partnership with UR Teen Health and Success Partnership. SBAC anticipates awarding four $1,000 scholarships to area high school students.

The ultimate goal of the first year under new leadership was to create a strategic plan. To that end, the SBAC three-year strategic plan will be released at the June 20 “Celebrating Rochester’s Maker, Nan Johnson” event named in honor of the center’s founder, who has acted as a mentor during this year of renewal.

The annual University-wide diversity conference is OFDD’s centerpiece event of the year, bringing together faculty, staff, students, community members, and local alumni. Our keynote speaker was Lani Guinier, civil rights attorney and the first tenured African-American woman professor at Harvard Law School. This year, the conference was preceded by an evening reception for 150 alumni and community members at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Alumni attending the reception were able to visit the RACE, Are We So Different? exhibit. Several workshop presenters from the conference on the following day mingled with the crowd to provide an informal preview of their work. There were 425 registrants for the conference itself, which included 15 peer-reviewed breakout sessions and a poster session featuring 19 posters. The range of topics and number and breadth of participants shows that diversity is important to many in our University, and that they value the opportunity for dialogue.

Building an inclusive community demands involvement of faculty, students, and staff at all levels. This year featured a new graduate student-driven affinity group, the Minority Male Leadership Association. The group’s mission is dedicated to exploring the characteristics of successful minority male leaders. The Minority Male Leadership Association will build a community of young, driven, minority men focused on success by providing mentorship and promoting excellence. A primary goal of the affinity group is to connect with the Rochester community as a whole to help improve the plight of young minority men.

Additionally, a second affinity group was formed to promote women’s leadership in science, technology, engineering, and entrepreneurship. The group’s mission is to bridge the gap between science and business and provide a forum to learn, connect, and lead. Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship (WiSTEE) is focusing on the advancement of junior- and midcareer women in science, technology, engineering, and entrepreneurship.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a committee which primarily includes staff on campus, underwent an internal review this year. The discussions were led by new co-chair Maggie Cassie, assistant provost, and co-chair Stanley Byrd. The purpose of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, founded in fall 2006, is to bring together members of the University community who are engaged in diversity outreach initiatives. The committee meets monthly to discuss ongoing and upcoming initiatives and events, and members of the committee continue to focus on enhancing the environment for diversity and inclusion across the University.

Professional Development

Critical to the retention and advancement of our faculty is a sustained commitment to professional development. Since 2010, most of the University-wide efforts to support professional development were based upon the recommendations from the Listening Tour Report, an internal qualitative study written after interviews with 94 faculty at different ranks from all six schools. Substantial support has since been provided through the Provost’s office and schools. Senior Associate Provost Carol Shuherk’s programs, UR Year One and Future Faculty, exemplify this commitment to the professional development of our incoming faculty and aspiring faculty from a University-wide initiative. OFDD provided additional professional development through the annual conference, the research conference, and support for individual faculty attending external leadership courses.

This year, OFDD is using the opportunity to learn more about the overall needs of the faculty for professional development through the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), a widely respected survey from Harvard University School of Education. Pretenure faculty in Arts, Sciences & Engineering completed COACHE in 2009, which led to expansion of the support for faculty teaching and a recognition of the need for improvements in mentoring. For this COACHE cycle, we included tenuretrack faculty in all of the schools except the School of Medicine and Dentistry, which recently completed a similar instrument, Faculty Forward. Fifty-five percent of faculty completed the COACHE survey, and the data will soon be available. This comprehensive study of faculty life will help us design and implement future programs for faculty development.

During this year, OFDD focused largely on building the leadership skills and capacity of diversity champions within each school, consistent with the decentralized nature of our University. The most notable structure and impact point of this is through our Faculty Diversity Officer (FDO) structure.

The FDO structure is truly unique and a real agent for change at our University. Consisting of faculty members from each school, the officers work to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty through advocacy, leadership, and by establishing diversity champions within each school. Over the past six years, the FDO group has become a vibrant learning community accustomed to sharing strategies for change and problem solving together. The collaboration of this cohesive group has brought about important changes both school-wide and University-wide.

This year, FDOs from the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Nursing successfully integrated diversity and inclusiveness language into each school’s strategic plan. Incorporating diversity and inclusion into strategic plans establishes the importance of these initiatives and assists in shaping the behavior of leadership, faculty, staff, and students. The School of Nursing also successfully secured a budget for their Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness to support diversity-related events.

The FDO group is a learning community, and OFDD facilitates the resourceful consultations and collaborations that exist in the group. This year featured an impressive array of collaborative efforts between FDOs on search committees and conference planning. Arts, Sciences & Engineering has been at the forefront of training and ensuring inclusive recruitment and search practices for all search committees in their schools. The FDOs from Arts, Sciences & Engineering met with other FDOs from the Eastman School of Music and School of Nursing to discuss their search process successes and lessons learned. All schools involved in this collaboration found the meetings quite helpful, and they resulted in new process development. The discussions at the monthly FDO meeting address best practices to increase diversity and achieve faculty development goals.

Conference coordination and cosponsorship is another intersection for collaboration between FDOs and an important feature of the FDO model because these intersections would not likely be formed without the group. The School of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Nursing collaborated in the planning and critical support of the Transgender Healthcare Conference in March. Additionally, the Frederick Douglass Institute sought the involvement of FDOs from the medical school to facilitate a panel discussion on the stigma of HIV/AIDS and mental illness in the African-American community.

Highlights of Other Community Building Projects

The University of Rochester has provided key volunteer support and in-kind services to the Facing Race, Embracing Equity (FR=EE) community initiative since its inception. The FR=EE initiative was formed in March 2012 to support the exhibit RACE: Are We So Different? and to develop an ongoing effort to educate the Greater Rochester community about the constructed nature of racial and ethnic concepts. FR=EE intends to engage residents and community leaders in a long-term commitment to eliminate social disparities that have become intertwined with these concepts.

Survivor to Thriver: Confronting Sexual Assault on Campus.

In early April, SBAC hosted a series of lectures, workshops, and panel discussions addressing the impact of gender violence and sexual assault on individuals and campus communities. The two-day conference began with a screening of the film Not My Life and featured a keynote address from Maggie Malloy, a former student-athlete and survivor of assault. There were more than 100 participants at the conference.

Through the leadership of FDOs, schools have enhanced their professional development programs. The Warner School supports scholarly activities and professional success through informal mentoring and writing retreats for junior faculty members. Time during faculty meetings is periodically devoted to collectively discussing ideas and approaches to negotiating the research process and supports for writing. The School of Medicine and Dentistry features several programming and networking events to improve the advancement of women faculty and increase the sense of community for underrepresented minority trainees, students, and faculty. The Eastman School of Music hosted a series of diversity-related discussions in the fall around the topic of religious diversity after the topic came to the attention of the FDOs through comments from various students and offices that it was a divisive issue on campus.

The Meliora Challenge–The Diversity Initiative

The Diversity Initiative is an integral part of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. The Diversity Initiative is a University-wide endeavor and has three specific goals: scholarship and fellowship support to ensure that the best and brightest can attend Rochester; attracting and retaining a diverse faculty who can teach on issues salient to a diversifying world; improving the culture and climate on campus by supporting outside speakers, panels, workshops, and conferences that address diversity.

To support the work of The Diversity Initiative, staff in our office, Alumni Relations, and Advancement have worked closely to develop additional outreach opportunities. Most notably, the offices collaborated on a wide array of events related to diversity during Meliora Weekend 2012 (see sidebar, page 17 ). Regional events for alumni of color were held in Rochester, New York and Washington, D.C. In addition, the newly formed New York Metro Women group has developed a wide range of activities to connect Rochester alumnae in New York City.

Trustees Lance Drummond ‘85S (MBA) and Kathy Waller ’80, 83S (MBA) serve as co-chairs of the Diversity Initiative and provide valued leadership to the campaign efforts. Additional volunteers are being recruited to support these important goals.

Meliora Weekend Diversity Events

  • The first-ever Celebration of Diversity luncheon highlighted the incredible work of the Kearns Center to prepare students from underrepresented populations for graduate study.
  • A networking reception for 150 alumni and students of color provided a venue to share insights about careers and job-search strategies.
  • A dedication ceremony and reception for the new Douglass Leadership House on the River Campus.

Screening of July ‘64

In November, Carvin Eison, filmmaker, and Darryl Porter, an assistant to Rochester Mayor Richards and 1964 president of the Matadors street club, spoke on campus after a screening of Eison’s film July ’64. The film tells the story of a historic three-day race riot that erupted in two African-American neighborhoods in Rochester.


We are encouraged by our strategies to foster the hiring and retention of underrepresented faculty. The work of promoting academic excellence, building inclusive communities, and fostering professional development move us closer to achieving a more diverse and inclusive University. As we look ahead to the upcoming year, the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity plans to undergo a strategic planning process to incorporate the priorities of the Susan B. Anthony Center and the University’s strategic plan. A comprehensive analysis of the COACHE data will also guide priorities for faculty professional development.

Report data and attachments

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