Executive Report and Recommendations
H. Follow-up on the Preliminary Report:
Short-Term Recommendations of the Initiative
During the course of the Initiative's work, there were also efforts to address any issues that might be readily resolved or improved over a short time frame. With this concept in mind, the Initiative team generated several short-term recommendations in its preliminary report of July 2007 that were intended to have impact on minority faculty recruiting and retention of our current faculty. These recommendations were addressed by the MIT Associate Provost for Faculty Equity Office as follows:
- The provost should mandate that in early fall the deans collect and review pre-search plans for all searches being conducted in their school, and then discuss them in Dean's Council, summarizing the specific recruiting efforts being used to identify underrepresented minority candidates.
Status: Implementation of discussion of search plans introduced for Dean's Council, along with discussions with associate provost among faculty recruiting chairs. New alignment with the schools on increased attention to minority faculty hiring efforts.
- Develop consistent Institute-wide templates for departments to use in tracking searches and URM faculty appointments (that can be submitted electronically to the school deans). The provost should mandate that the deans aggregate these data and bring it to Academic Council.
Status: New Institute-wide template for collecting information on recruiting efforts for minorities and women was implemented in Fall 2007 and remains in use. New requirements for reporting specific recruiting efforts have also been added to the reporting procedures for each school.
- Alert and inform visiting committees to ask about URM hiring and retention, including specific questions about the department's plan of action for recruiting URM faculty, to which they would be held accountable on the next visit.
Status: Discussions planned with Secretary of the MIT Corporation Kirk Kolenbrander to directly address the emphasis placed on the charge to visiting committees to enhance minority graduate student and faculty recruiting and the need to diversify visiting committee members. This item is currently reflected in the Recommendations, Section E.
- Create a name exchange with the MIT9 universities containing lists of URM graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for prospective faculty candidates.
Status: After discussion of some of the legal issues around sharing information about candidates, agreement has been reached to begin forming networks with MIT's peer schools. Further discussion was needed to determine the breadth of this network, means of implementation and ways of providing information on possible recruits, as well as resources to maintain the information network. Because this concept is a part of a larger peer network and recruiting concept in the final recommendations, elements of this idea are included in the Recruiting Recommendations Section.
- To heighten the awareness of mentorship needs, the provost or the associate provost for faculty equity should meet individually with the department heads of departments that have minority junior faculty members to review the members' current faculty personnel records, discuss their progress, as well as the department's means of advocacy and mentorship for them.
Status: The associate provosts for faculty equity have met with each department head to address the progress and status of mentorship for every junior faculty member in each department. They also ascertain if additional needs of the junior faculty must be addressed and have continued this practice annually.