underrepresented minority PhD

WWU President Randhawa has been engaged with diversity topics on campus and today shared an update. I don’t normally make suggestions in an open forum (I’m more of a “work from the inside” kinda person), but given my personal concern regarding retention of diverse faculty at WWU (ahem, I’m 1/2 of a dual career couple), thought I would share some thoughts more broadly. This is what I posted:

I’m happy that there are several new initiatives regarding diversity. I certainly think we can do more to attract and retain diverse faculty. To increase retention, especially among URM faculty, the following could also be considered:

Develop a fund to (1) pay for URM hires, essentially giving departments and additional faculty line, and (2) to pay for spousal hires of diverse faculty at any point in their careers (ie. an actual Hiring Initiative for Dual-Career Couples). Report yearly on successful/unsuccessful hires.

Provide monetary rewards for time spent advising diverse students or serving on committees in need of diverse representation; travel funds for mentoring and networking; and junior faculty meeting groups;

Provide central funds to enhance the salaries of outstanding underrepresented faculty whose salary is significantly below market;

Enhance recognition for URM faculty excellence at the college level, including appointments to endowed chair positions;

Provide a loan program to help URM faculty buy a home in Bellingham and establish community connections.

Monitoring and reporting on pay equity of URM faculty

I think these considerations, and certainly others, will help hire and retain URM faculty such as myself.

Feel free to comment on my thoughts, or better yet, add your own, at the original post on the President’s page: Moving Forward in 2019.

URM Faculty Retention @ WWU
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