L. Rafael Reif, Provost

Report of the Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity

Part I:
Executive Report and Recommendations

B. Brief Summary of Research Effort

The research undertaken, which was designed to provide key information needed to develop recommendations and plans for implementation in addressing recruitment and retention of URM faculty, consisted of four key elements:

1.  A quality of life survey was administered to the entire faculty in January 2008. As a part of the quality of life survey, the Initiative research team and the associate provost for faculty equity composed several additional questions meant to address race, ethnicity and gender issues, and more detailed questions were included regarding ethnic and national background. The survey responses were used to compare URM faculty perceptions and attitudes to those of the non-minority group on several issues such as overall satisfaction levels, teaching load, family work and life issues, etc. This survey had a high overall faculty response rate of 69% and a URM faculty response rate of 72%. This URM respondent group included a response rate of 80% among Black and 61% among Hispanic faculty.

2.  A cohort analysis of all faculty coming to MIT from 1991-2009 to compare promotion and tenure rates and timing of promotions; hiring data by department and school; and points of departure from MIT, where relevant. The cohort analysis enabled direct comparisons of progression and success rates for promotions, as well as hiring patterns over this time period by department and school.

3. Quantitative indicators were included to compare salaries with appropriate controls.

4. In-depth, extensive qualitative interviews of all URM faculty were conducted by the research team, including a sample of those who have left, to understand their experiences at MIT and the role of race/ethnicity in those experiences. These interviews provided critical content regarding both MIT practices around recruitment and promotion, as well as information about climate at MIT with regard to race. The interview participation rate among all of the URM faculty was high at 80%. A sampling of interviews with White and Asian faculty with similar field and rank was also conducted as a part of this study. Finally, a select sampling of URM faculty who had left MIT for a range of reasons and at different career points over the past 20 years (including promotion issues, new career opportunity, dissatisfaction and retirement) were interviewed to gain historical perspective and to understand some of the issues that may be persistent or institutional that impact faculty of color.

A. Background, Mission and
Objectives of Initiative

C. Engagement with MIT Faculty,
Administrative Leadership
and Advisory Board

L. Rafael Reif
Office of the Provost
Room 3-208
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

(617) 253-4500 phone
(617) 253-8812 fax