Subcommittee on Faculty

The role of faculty in higher education is far reaching and permeates almost every aspect of university life. Faculty are the life blood of an institution. Faculty design the curriculum, contribute to student engagement, student advisement, governance, research, and community service as they work to advance knowledge.

As Kennesaw State University becomes increasingly diverse with underrepresented students comprising of approximately 41% of our student population, only 25% of our faculty come from underrepresented populations. While this is a persistent challenge within higher education, given KSU’s location in the greater Atlanta area, the quality of our programs and our designation as a Research II institution, recruiting and retaining diverse faculty should and must be an issue we address and resolve.

Additionally, faculty are acknowledged to play a valued part both in developing and creating dialogue about pivotal issues such as race in order to ensure our campus community is prepared to achieve its racial equity goals. Upon review of all relevant data, the Subcommittee emerged with three general themes related to issues and concerns of race among KSU faculty: recruitment and hiring, programs and initiatives, and faculty success.

Based on its research, the Subcommittee on Faculty submits the following recommendations.

Recruitment and hiring:

  • Follow national innovative hiring guidelines to recruit diverse faculty and engage high-impact equity, diversity, and inclusion practices to retain minority faculty.
  • Offer postdoctoral fellowships to attract and engage diverse pools of candidates as researchers and postdoctoral instructors.
  • Establish institutional protocols to uniformly advertise faculty positions in strategic external publications and venues (i.e., Southern Region Educational Board; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; or recruitment conferences).

Programs and initiatives:

  • Develop targeted programs through CETL to foster minority affinity groups and equity, diversity, and inclusion focused learning communities.
  • Identify a liaison for faculty equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives in the Office of the Provost (i.e., Associate Vice President of Faculty).
  • Develop mandatory online equity, diversity, and inclusion training for all search committees at KSU.
  • Engage the expertise of equity, diversity, and inclusion subject experts and researchers to help guide best practices at KSU.
  • Collaborate with any future institutes within the university dedicated to issues of race and diversity to engage equity, diversity, and inclusion guest scholars, artists, and leaders in special curricular and campus programming (i.e., equity, diversity, and inclusion lecture series).
  • Assign a development officer to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to solicit private funding for equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at KSU.
  • Develop an annual expectation that each College will submit one equity, diversity, and inclusion focused grant under the leadership of their respective Faculty Diversity Liaison.
  • Establish an annual KSU Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Conference to provide a venue to advance this work regionally and nationally.

Success:

  • Periodically review P&T data trends to evaluate the success of minority faculty and to provide support to ensure the success of minority faculty.
  • Increase collaboration between the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and CETL to support equity, diversity, and inclusion focused professional development opportunities for faculty.
  • Establish a peer mentoring program for minority faculty to support their retention and progression at KSU.
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