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Q: How will this change come about?
A: I have to make sure we search for new faculty hires as broadly
and inclusively as we can. When you look at all the doctorates that
are being awarded today, approximately 50 percent are going to women.
Unfortunately, racial and ethnic minorities make up a much smaller
percentage of new Ph.D.s. Also, the greatest number of women and
racial and ethnic minorities tend to be in the humanities and social
sciences, as opposed to science, engineering, mathematics and the
more technical fields. So the challenge for us is to increase the
applicant pool in those areas where the supply is larger, and to
pay even greater attention to what’s happening in fields where
women and minorities are underrepresented.
Q: How are you working with departments
to widen the scope of their searches?
A: It’s very easy for faculty to say, “I know the
best person for this position. Let’s grab him.” Doing
a broader search is hard work. To give the departments and divisions
some idea of the availability of women and minorities in their fields,
we’ve sent a monograph to every ladder-rank faculty member
that, for the first time, includes underutilization data. For each
department and division, the report lists the number of women, African
Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native
Americans on the faculty. We compare that number with the estimated
number of faculty available in that particular discipline nationwide.
The difference between those two percentages is what we call the
underutilization estimate for that academic unit. In addition, there
are charts that show how many women and minorities are assistant,
associate or full professors in every department and division, as
well as campuswide.
This report guides departments as to where they need to put more
effort when looking for applicants. The argument that the applicant
pool doesn’t include women or minorities because they’re
not graduating in a certain field isn’t based on reality in
some cases. I’m trying to let everyone know where we stand.
We’re not the best; we are not the worst. But I believe that,
with some more effort, we can be the best.