Office of Academic Initiatives releases first annual report on faculty diversity

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 1/7/16 3:40pm


The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives released its first annual report on faculty diversity today. The report summarizes the work of the newly established office in recruiting, retaining and supporting underrepresented minority faculty, with the goal of increasing URM faculty to 25 percent of tenure track faculty by 2020, up from the current 16 percent of Dartmouth faculty who are URM.

Based on current data, increasing URM faculty to 25 percent would mean hiring about 60 new faculty members with roughly 30 each across the College’s graduate schools and within the arts and sciences, Denise Anthony, vice provost for Academic Initiatives, said. Anthony’s position and the Academic Initiatives office was created in the fall of 2014.

Over the past year, the vice provost focused on strengthening recruitment and retention, fostering an inclusive community and helping build succesful careers for URM faculty, according to the report.

The College has set aside $22.5 million in endowment funds to support URM recruitment and retention efforts which will provide around $1 million in annual spending for the initiatives, Anthony said. The College has also received a one-year planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to pilot programs such as formal mentorship of assistant professors and active outreach to URM scholars.

The Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning will develop and implement a workshop to help faculty learn how to disrupt implicit bias in the classroom, the report stated.

The results of the Dartmouth Community Study, a survey sent to all students, faculty and staff for the first time in the fall, will be shared with the College community this spring, according to the report.

Anthony, a member of the sociology department faculty before her four-year appointment as vice provost, said that her office has placed an increased emphasis on looking at the faculty composition data.

“Recruiting people to come to northern New England whether they are students, faculty, or staff has challenges, but the thing to remember is that every university has recruiting challenges,” she said. “We can’t use those as an excuse to say that we shouldn’t try.”

In late November, over 150 faculty members signed a letter of support for student activists who called for more inclusivity at the College, including increased numbers of faculty of color. T

The report released today has been in the works for several months, Anthony said.

“This report is not a direct response to letter, but it comes from a similar concern to address diversity at Dartmouth,” she said.

While many groups at Dartmouth have been doing work to increase faculty diversity and campus inclusivity, the goal of the Office of Academic Initiatives is to assist these groups when possible, continue these efforts and consolidate them, Anthony said.

This is a developing story — it will be updated as more information is reported.