During the comment period for the initial working draft of Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University (shared with the Brown community on November 19, 2015), there were 65 submissions, edits comments, etc. in the category of faculty hiring (see the Proposals Received section below listing the input). Appendix D of the final DIAP summarizes how the University addressed this input in the final revisions to the DIAP.
Responses focusing on faculty hiring were mostly in reaction to the plans established in the current DIAP working draft. Respondents called for greater specificity regarding the nature of these hires and proposed ideas for faculty retention, cluster hiring, and accountability.
Numerous comments suggested a reduction in the proposed ten-year timeline for doubling the number of diversity hires, though none of the comments provided an alternative timetable. Others asked for specificity on whether the proposed timeline would focus on faculty of color, or would be based on a broader definition of diversity that accounts for race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
The most common category of response focused on hires in specific substantive areas or departments including Africana, Disability Studies, Environmental Studies, South Asian Studies, South West Asian and North African (SWANA) studies, Latinx studies, Urban Studies, Visual Arts, Indigenous and Native People studies, and Brown/Trinity Rep Programs in Acting and Directing.
Feedback also called for greater detail on the Target of Opportunity program, a University initiative, not specific to diversity concerns, which allows departments to hire particularly outstanding candidates even when they don’t have open faculty slots. Respondents asked for information on how the program works and suggested orientations for department chairs. Some responses suggested that the Target of Opportunity program might also focus on Associate and Assistant professor levels to build a pipeline for tenured minority faculty.
Several respondents placed significant emphasis on retention, calling for proposals to promote from within (including among research faculty) and to better understand the needs of existing junior faculty of color.
There were calls for greater clarity on who point people are for cluster hires, to facilitate better coordination between departments. Undergraduate and graduate students called for including representatives from each of these communities on hiring committees.
Proposals Received: Faculty Hiring
- Create a diversity hiring plan for Warren Alpert Medical School.
- Promote cluster hiring across non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) departments.
- Appoint a Dean/administrative head to oversee department cluster hires and match them up.
- Create three (3) endowed professorships in Africana Studies.
- Create an endowed chair in Asian American Studies.
- Create hiring lines for faculty in Disability Studies.
- Create two (2) hiring lines for Native and Indigenous Studies professorship.
- Create two (2) endowed chairs in U.S. Latinx Studies.
- Create one (1) hiring line in Pacific Islander Studies focused on scholarship with an intersectional framework.
- Create one (1) hiring line in South Asian Studies focused on scholarship with an intersectional framework.
- Create two (2) hiring lines for SWANA Studies professor positions.
- Create one (1) hiring line in Southeast Asian Studies focused in scholarship with an intersectional framework.
- Hire a full-time faculty member of color in the Brown/Trinity program.
- Create faculty appointments to ensure more diverse course offerings in Islam.
- Ensure that funds for diversity faculty hires also include funds for partner hires.
- Mandate that current undergraduates and graduate students of color serve in the hiring process for faculty, to ensure attention to diversity concerns.
- Allow Target of Opportunity hires at the Associate rank.
- Provide education about Target of Opportunity hiring to department chairs.