Strategic Diversity Plan: Section III

Highlight Items

Faculty Highlights

Diversity Recruitment Plan

The College requires academic departments to develop hiring plans with very strong diversity components. Advertisements for these faculty positions are posted at outlets that specifically target minorities and underrepresented groups. The College’s intensive diversity recruitment process aims at increasing the proportion of traditionally underrepresented groups in the pools of candidates.

Diversity as a Cultural Value

Hiring is a department-wide effort and represents an effective channel from which to communicate the College’s commitment to diversity to all involved, both internally to current faculty members and externally to prospective faculty candidates. The College’s intensive diversity recruitment process is instilling the culture of diversity in the departments, enabling them to also value diversity in the evaluation of candidates.

Cafe@UA (Creating a Fantastic Experience at UA)

This College initiative matches job candidates with faculty outside the academic field or department for which they are interviewing. Candidates are paired at a mealtime with someone who shares their outside interests or needs and with whom they can speak freely.

Diversity Committee

The College has established a Diversity Committee whose specific mission is to promote and celebrate mutual understanding, dignity, respect, and cooperation among all ethnic, racial, religious, and social groups at The University of Alabama and to actively discourage and prevent discriminatory practices toward any group. The Committee is endowed with an annual budget of $15,000.

This Is How College Is Meant to Be

This award recognizes extraordinary effort by a faculty or staff member, including effort that directly impacts our diversity initiatives.

Faculty Meet and Greet

The College holds an annual meet and greet between the Dean and the African American faculty. This has been an incubator for some ideas (e.g., the two exhibitions “Migration” and “Freedom?”).

Direct Feedback

The Dean actively invites feedback from all faculty and staff.

New Faculty Mentorship

The College has a new initiative in which department chairs assign all junior faculty a mentor from among the senior faculty. This is intended to be a multi-faceted approach to help new faculty understand the many roles they play as teachers, advisors, and researchers. The initiative could be expanded to include co-mentors and mentorship across departments.

Grant Writing

Special grant writing seminars can be aimed at gaining external funding earmarked for minority applicants and/or minority-related goals.

Student Highlights

GREX

The College of Arts and Sciences organizes a Graduate Recruiting Expo (GREX) to boost its recruiting and retention efforts of underrepresented and minority students at the graduate level. The event brings prospective students to campus to that they can meet with faculty and current graduate students; learn first-hand from the Graduate School about academic resources, research opportunities, and financial assistance available in our graduate programs; and see how a graduate degree from The University of Alabama can launch them toward their career goals. It is open to all departments of the College, but a special focus is given to women and minorities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Over the last three years, out of a grand total of 63 students invited, 29 enrolled at UA (c.f. Table). In an effort to increase participation across departments outside natural sciences and mathematics, the College will split the cost 50/50 with departments in the social sciences and humanities and fine arts divisions with the requirement that advisors first sign to be paired with accepted invitees.

GREX Attendance by Department
2016 2015 2014
Invitees Enrollees Invitees Enrollees Invitees Enrollees
BSC 9 1 8 3 10 4
CH 1 1 1 1
GY 3 2 2 1 2 2
GSC 6 3 6 4 6 2
Math 1 1 2 1 3 1
PH/AY 5 2
Total 24 9 19 10 22 10

Diversity Merit Awards

Awarded to graduate students from underrepresented groups ($6000/year over three years).

Graduate Travel

The College offers support for graduate students who plan to present at conferences.

Emerging Scholars Program

One of its initial goals was to help with retention, and the College aims to revive the initial vision.

Mentoring of Graduate Students

The College reminds our students about the Graduate School’s Tide Together program.

Community Highlights

Diversity Day

The College will host a special Diversity Day annually, with the goal of elevating the College’s other diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the year. Activities on that day could involve highly renowned invited guests. This will be organized by the Diversity Committee.

Ad-hoc A&S Diversity Symposiums

The College will, from time to time, host major events that contribute to affirming its commitment.

UA WiSE Symposium 2017

The College will host, on behalf of UA, the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) symposium, which brings together researchers, academics, and industry members from the Southeast region to discuss topics related to women in STEM.

Cooperation

A&S will be represented at the CCIS Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium, which is a day-long event to showcase interdisciplinary scholarship and creative activity on all aspects of diversity.

ALAHEDO

The College will continue participation in the Alabama Association of Higher-Education Diversity Officers (www.alahedo.org).

BFSA

The College will continue to support BFSA by including more representatives from the Dean’s Office when invited at BFSA events.

Sponsorship

The College will also continue to help sponsor other UA entities that are not specifically A&S but are involved in a wide array of diversity initiatives (e.g., Crossroads, Women and Gender Resource Center, etc.). A&S faculty or students often assist in those initiatives.

Outreach

Meet the Capstone

The College organizes this annual event to help recruit high school students from Tuscaloosa County and the surrounding Black Belt. High school students are invited to visit UA for a day to experience the campus life and participate in inspiring activities, with the hope that they will not drop out of school, but instead consider pursuing a college degree.

Communicative Disorders

The Hear Here Bus ($500,000) was purchased to provide mobile hearing testing services to the Black Belt and other underserved areas in Alabama. It has the potential of significantly elevating the perception of UA within those populations, and it is also an effective conduit for providing experiential learning to our students who participate in related outreach activities.

Paul Jones Gallery

The College makes use of the gallery as a catalyst and vehicle for a variety of projects. For example, the K-12 Fellows Program pairs local teachers with UA students to bring the important collection of African American art in the gallery to community children. The gallery is also a venue for faculty-curated exhibitions such as “Migration” and “Freedom?” The “Migration” exhibition illustrated the effects of mass movements of people to different locations, particularly the movement of African Americans from the southern U.S. to northern regions in the 20th century. The “Freedom?” exhibit brings out artworks selected to explore the black freedom struggle in the United States.

Resources

  • Professional development: Opportunities for personal growth and continuing improvement of faculty.
  • Digital signs (within the College and across campus), pamphlets, brochures.
  • Social media.

More from the Strategic Diversity Plan

Download a PDF of this document.

I. Introduction

II. Data and Context

This page: III. Highlight Items

IV. Department Initiatives

V. Measurable Goals

Appendix: Assessment Matrix