Climate

Domain 1: Climate

Goal 1a: SoE community members will work to foster a diverse and equitable climate through their teaching, research, creative works, volunteerism, service, and/or advocacy activities.

Goal 1a: SoE community members will cultivate an inclusive climate that welcomes diversity, particularly as it relates to race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, language, and national origin.

Strategic Actions/Initiatives2

  • Build informal social networks utilizing lunches and/or gatherings with rotating subgroups of faculty (e.g., faculty of color luncheon, women’s luncheon).
  • Create a faculty DEI Ambassador Program, where a dedicated group of faculty members serve as a welcoming committee to assist in community onboarding.
  • Develop and provide annual professional development for faculty focused on DEI.
  • Develop a structured mentoring program, which includes giving attention to concerns specific to faculty of color.
  • Implement an exit interview or survey process to ascertain feedback from faculty leaving the SoE.
  • Create an annual award and incentive program that acknowledges faculty members engaging in DEI work.
  • Evaluate the physical spaces within the building to determine:
    • Who/what is represented;
    • Who/what is not represented;
    • Who can/cannot access the various spaces;
    • How the physical spaces may be repurposed to facilitate ongoing a sense of community.
  • Partner with campus and university programs aimed at attracting and supporting diverse faculty (e.g., DEMA UNITS: NMBCC, LaCasa, LGBTQ+ Culture Center, Asian Culture Center, CRRES, Black Faculty & Staff association; Latino Council, Affinity Alumni Assoc. Safe).

Best Practices3

  • Ensure that all faculty have spaces to be heard. Provide opportunities for faculty to anonymously voice concerns and receive feedback.
  • Create opportunities that provide support and recognition to ensure that faculty doing DEI work feel valued.
  • Create monetary incentives and awards for faculty teaching, research, and service focused on DEI and social justice.
  • A diversity of mentoring activities beyond the one-on-one are encouraged, including peer groups, mentoring activities, including seminars and workshops.
  • Mentorship should continue beyond tenure for associate professors.
  • Mentoring tasks should include: discussion of professional goals, scientific leadership, access to professional opportunities for advancement, including funding and speaking opportunities, and ways to balance priorities and expectations in the academic environment.
  • Mentoring should addresses work-life balance issues and techniques for effective time management.
  • Build informal social networks such as: departmental social events, lunches with rotating subgroups of faculty.

Accountability Measures

Strategic Action/Initiative Metric Responsible Unit(s) Timeframe
Build informal social networks utilizing lunches and/or gatherings with rotating 5 subgroups of faculty (e.g., faculty of color luncheon, women’s luncheon).Program established.Executive Associate Dean Faculty DevelopmentOngoing
Create a faculty DEI Ambassador Program.Program established.Committee on DiversityMay 2021
Develop and provide annual professional development for faculty focused on DEI.Number of professional development session provided to SoE Faculty. Participant surveys.Faculty DevelopmentOngoing
Develop a structured mentoring program, which includes giving attention to concerns specific to faculty of color.Program established.Faculty Development in collaboration with the Executive Associate DeanMay 2021
Implement an exit interview or survey process to ascertain feedback from faculty leaving the SoE.Exit interview/survey process established.Executive Associate DeanOngoing
Create an annual award (e.g., Charlie & Jeanetta Nelms Award) to value and acknowledge faculty members engaged in DEI related research, teaching, and service.Award and incentive program developed.Dean’s OfficeMay 2020
Evaluate the physical spaces within the building.Evaluation completed and report produced with recommendations for how to repurpose the physical spaces within the SoE.Executive Associate Dean, the Space Committee, and a representative from the Committee on Diversity.May 2021
Partner with campus and university programs aimed at attracting diverse faculty (e.g., DEMA UNITS: NMBCC, LaCasa, GBLT, Asian Culture Center, CRRES, Black Faculty & Staff association; Latino Council, Affinity Alumni Assoc. Safe).The number of partnerships established and maintained as reported annually.All academic and student support unitsOngoing

Next: Communication


2 We seek to address climate challenges specifically related to recruiting and retaining faculty from historically underrepresented groups, specifically faculty of color. Research shows that historically many faculty of color feel that they work in isolation and are not part of an intellectual community that affirms and values their scholarship, particularly if their research is about issues of race and ethnicity. Additionally, research has shown that isolation is compounded, due to a lack of mentoring and knowledge on how to navigate university and cultural politics and/or support the challenges that arise due to racial and cultural dissonance in their teaching and research. This lack of mentoring might also restrict access to networks and resources, which can hamper opportunities to advance leadership levels with decision-making and influence. Further, because faculty from historically underrepresented groups are often in the minority, they often have a disproportionate amount of service and serve in a representational capacity without being allowed to have a substantive roll. The IU SoE is no stranger to the challenges highlighted in the literature. Our climate survey, faculty roundtables, and historical track record speak to the necessity for us to not only acknowledge how faculty from historically underrepresented groups might experience the SoE, but to create a plan that outlines how we might strategically address our challenges and monitor our progress.

3 Some of the best practices included were informed by the following: http://www.ems.psu.edu/faculty_staff/faculy_mentoring and https://diversity.umn.edu/idea/sites/diversity.umn.edu.idea/files/BestPracticesHandbook-v2016sm.pdf.

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