Senate Committee for Diversity completes Phase I of climate study
Syracuse University’s Senate Committee for Diversity is working to complete a climate study for faculty of color. Results of Phase I of the study interim report, which included the distribution of surveys to 470 faculty of color, both current and departed, were discussed at the University Senate Meeting on Oct. 12.
The study collected the experience and opinions of faculty of color on four key issues: the orientation and interview process, teaching, research and service. The committee, co-chaired by Linda Martin Alcoff, professor of philosophy and chair of the Women’s Studies Program, and Tej Bhatia, professor of linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, has worked for the past two years with help from the administration, campus groups and consultants in developing the study.
There has never previously been a study of the University’s ability to retain faculty of color or support their work. According to organizers, while SU has been making great strides in hiring excellent faculty from underrepresented groups, including 16 in The College of Arts and Sciences this year alone, many leave after a few years. This study is intended to assist in the University’s retention efforts.
“This study shows that the retention problems we have been experiencing in this cohort of faculty are not in all cases beyond the University’s control. What we hope is that the study will initiate a University-wide discussion about how to enhance our ability to retain excellent faculty from underrepresented groups,” Alcoff says. Once the study is complete, a summary of the data and related recommendations will be presented in a final report to the Chancellor and the University Senate.
Phase II of the climate study is in development and will include focus groups and telephone interviews. These will commence in late October and will continue through November. For more information, contact Bhatia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Alcoff at email@example.com . For more information, visit the Senate Committee for Diversity’s Website at http://universitysenate.syr.edu/diversity/diversity.html.