Annual Unit Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness Self-Study Supportive Feedback
Based on self-study data from 35 academic departments and 18 administrative units at Montana State University submitted in Spring 2013 and self-study data from 35 academic departments and 38 administrative units submitted in Spring 2014, this feedback addresses general challenges, successes, and plans that arose as common themes across the Bozeman campus. The aim of the document is to provide specific feedback to assist in overcoming challenges by providing insight from other units, departments, and other institutions on how to address issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.
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- Compensation & Resources
- Partner Accommodations
- "We have no problem"
- Planning Ahead
Recruitment must be an active process, whereby time is taken to write a broad and inclusive advertisement, attention is given to making sure the advertisement is placed in key outlets, and the department commits to actively recruiting qualified people at conferences and via email/phone calls.
Low Number of Applicants (Especially Diversity Candidates)
In both 2013 and 2014, several respondents commented that diversity was stymied by the low number of diverse applicants. It may be true that it is difficult to recruit a diverse applicant pool for some positions; however, in some cases more can be done during the search process.
Meet with HR Before Beginning Search
MSU's Human Resources Department (HR) is a valuable resource to find ways to diversity your applicant pool. In addition to providing strategies, HR can assist your search by providing resources to help establish a salary range and other useful strategies. It is highly recommended that you meet with HR to before posting the position to discuss diversity in your search and establish a plan for your process.
You may find it helpful to review the Recruitment and Hiring Handbook before you start the process. It can be found here:http://www.montana.edu/hr/aa/handbook/Recruitment%20&%20Hiring%20Handbook.pdf
Advertise/Contact Professional Organizations
Often, professional/trade organizations specific to your industry or expertise exist for diversifying your pool. These would be great places to advertise your position. In addition, some publications that cater specifically to minorities should be considered. Some examples include:
- Women in Higher Education
- Insight into Diversity
- Diversity Inc.
- Society of Women Engineers
- Modern Language Association (MLA)
Another venue to promote your position might include professional conferences and job fairs. If you plan on using these venues, please consult with HR first. In addition, visit the HR website to reveiw valuable information and sources for advertising: http://www.montana.edu/hr/aa/advertise.htmlUse MSU Search Toolkit
The MSU Search Toolkit (at the link below) can be very helpful for search committees involved in hiring for any level of position (although the focus in the Toolkit is on faculty): MSU Search Toolkit:http://www.montana.edu/nsfadvance/PDFs/searchtoolkit.pdf
Search committees should keep in mind that unintended bias can often play a role in recruitment efforts, whereby the same vitae or resume is viewed differently depending on the gender/ethnicity/sexual orientation of the applicant. If a department's goal is to recruit a diverse unit group, it is important to take the time to carefully examine and evaluate all candidates, especially those who can add different faces and life perspectives to the unit.
Low Number of Applicants (Especially Diversity Candidates)
In 2013 this concern arose often, but was mitigated in the 2014 round of self-studies.
Project TRACS and HR can assist in many ways with your recruitment needs, and the
earlier in the process the better. Keep in mind that unintended bias can often play
a role in recruitment efforts, whereby the same vitae or resume are viewed differently
depending on the gender/ethnicity/sexual orientation of the applicant. If a department's
goal is to recruit a diverse faculty, it is important to take the time to carefully
examine and evaluate all candidates, especially those that can add different faces
and life perspectives to your department.
Below are links to tips and strategies for recruiting a broad diverse pool of applicants.
Please refer to the ADVANCE Project TRACS "Broadening Participation Search Tips" for
helpful information about increasing the diversity of candidates in your applicant
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has brochures providing tips on reviewing applicants:http://wiseli.engr.wisc.edu/docs/BiasBrochure_3rdEd.pdf
Pipeline (Very few women and/or minorities who have PhDs)
A particular recruitment challenge that emerged among many departments was the "pipeline" problem, which is a metaphor describing a phenomenon in which a proportionate number of men and women enter academia at the front end, but far fewer women emerge from the other end as full professors due to circumstances that "leak" women from the profession.
As one MSU Department Head wrote, "The biggest challenge is simply that only a third of all Ph.D.s in [our field] are earned by women, and only a small percentage of women who earn Ph.D.s choose to become tenure track professors. It is difficult for us to provide an appropriately diverse faculty when there are only a small number of women faculty members in the pipeline."
While the "pipeline issue" is certainly a challenge, highly qualified women and minorities are present in every field. According to Boushey (2005) the percentage of highly-educated women in the labor market is not in decline, despite popular opinion. But, yes, the percentage might be low. We can thus use the percentage information as a meter by which to assess the depth of an applicant pool. Have 15% women in the pipeline? Then aim for better than 15% in your applicant pool and finalist pool.
As Dr. Virginia Valian (2007) explains, pipelines (especially in science-related fields) tend to "leak" women at a higher rate than men for a variety of reasons, including childcare, values, and normative feedback. One way to combat the pipeline issue is to reflect on how to improve the climate in your department for undergraduate students and graduate students (if applicable), in ways that encourage women and minorities to continue in the pipeline. Studies show that students are more likely to persist and succeed when they can identify with similar role models and mentors. (e.g., Marx & Ko, 2012).
ADVANCE Project TRACS has established a mechanism by which departments can actively seek out candidates who support this aim by applying for Target of Opportunity or Diversity Depth Hires, which you can read about and apply for here: http://www.montana.edu/nsfadvance/attunement/index.html.
This concern was prevalent in 2013, but not mentioned in the 2014 departmental self-studies. In 2013, respondents identified the search process at the University as a barrier to their recruitment and hiring needs. The lack of clarity in the application process and the time consuming search and hiring process (search requirements, justifications, etc.) lend to losing competitive and qualified candidates. In conjunction with low salaries and restrictive pay scales this can be especially frustrating.
Hiring authorities and search committee chairs and should be especially attentive to the search process, ensuring unnecessary delays are avoided. Working closely with Human Resources at the beginning of the search process will set the stage for the search. Understanding the established parameters for the position ahead of time is critical.
For Professional searches, Human Resources has established the Recruiting and Hiring
For Classified searches, search Orientation videos and resources are provided by visiting: http://www.montana.edu/hr/Recruitment.htm
Having conversations with Human Resources regarding the wage parameters of the position
(pay scales and classification) in advance will provide a baseline for the offer conversation
and will reduce conversations with Human Resources later.
Established pay bands for classified positions can be requested from Human Resources by calling 406-994-3651.
In both 2013 and 2014, staff compensation arose as a barrier to successful support of diversity and inclusiveness in administrative units. Several of the units commented that low salaries are a barrier in attracting, hiring, and retaining qualified and diverse employees. In one unit that is staffed predominantly by women, the comment was that diversifying with male employees was difficult because of low pay.
Although units do not have a great deal of control over salaries, there are some approaches that can be effective in minimizing the effects of low pay.
For example, it is imperative that only the candidate decides whether he or she is satisfied with the offered salary. Search committees and hiring authorities should not preemptively rule someone out because of a potentially inaccurate perception. High salaries are not always the deciding factor for where promising candidates choose employment. As Ferriman, Lubinski, and Benbow (2009) found, women value more than salary when searching for employment, including many things MSU can offer, such as work-life integration.
Also, if the position is a classified position, hiring authorities should consider talking to candidates about the possibility of longevity bonuses, which are available for some employees after a certain number of years.
In some cases, diversity could be enhanced by offering candidates perks other than salary; for example: flex time, telecommuting (when possible), and other quality of life issues could mean more than additional salary to some candidates. Flexibility is key
The MSU benefits package, coupled with the MSU Wellness and care.com
It is also important that, once a woman or minority is made an offer, everyone involved works hard to negotiate as high a salary as possible for that candidate. There is a robust gender gap in negotiation-willingness, likely because many women are aware that assertiveness can often provoke backlash and social disapproval (Amanatullah & Morris, 2010; Kray & Thompson, 2005). Concerns about inversion are very real, but we need to fight that battle separately and do not compress the salary of new hires. The only way this salary challenge will be overcome is to offer the best starting salary possible.
Finally, some may be concerned that outstanding diverse staff will be recruited away from MSU for higher salary. This may be. After all, as Dr. Virginia Valian points out, "even when men and women start out with equal salaries, as is more and more the case, they become unequal over time." As such, it is important for unit leaders to offer professional development and advancement opportunities for staff.
Salary and start up packages are too low at MSU
Another common recruitment related challenge was salary and start up packages.
As one Department Head wrote, 'Our biggest challenge is lack of funds to recruit and retain diverse students and faculty.'
This is a concern so often echoed at MSU that it appears on the "Broadening Participation Search Tips" worksheet:
"'There are no women in our field, and those who are available are in high demand
and MSU can't compete given our low salaries."
Though women and minorities are scarce in some fields, it is rarely the case that there are none. In a study by Turner (in Diversifying the Faculty) the majority - 54% - of prestigious Ford Fellowship recipients (all of whom are minorities) were not aggressively pursued for faculty positions despite holding postdoctoral research appointments for up to six years. Only 11% of women/minority scholars were recruited by several institutions, thus the remaining 89% were not involved in any 'competitive bidding war.'"
It is imperative that only the candidate decides whether he or she is satisfied with the offered salary. Do not preemptively rule someone out because of a potentially inaccurate perception. High salaries are not always the deciding factor for where promising candidates choose employment. As Ferriman, Lubinski, and Benbow (2009) found, women value more than salary when searching for employment, including many things MSU can offer, such as work-life integration.
It is also important that, once a woman or minority is made an offer, everyone (faculty and administrators) works hard to negotiate as high a salary as possible for that candidate. There is a robust gender gap in negotiation-willingness, likely because many women are aware that assertiveness can often provoke backlash and social disapproval (Amanatullah & Morris, 2010; Kray & Thompson, 2005). Concerns about inversion are very real, but we need to fight that battle separately and do not compress the salary of new hires. The only way this salary challenge will be overcome is to offer the best starting salary possible.
Finally, some may be concerned that outstanding diverse faculty will be recruited away from MSU for higher salary and start-up. This may be. After all, as Dr. Virginia Valian points out, "even when men and women start out with equal salaries, as is more and more the case, they become unequal over time." As such, it is important for faculty and administrators to constantly evaluate and push for merit and other raise opportunities.back to topics
Faculty lines are hard to come by
As one Department Head explained, their department, "is also challenged by the inertia of our campus administration in providing new faculty lines specifically to increase diversity."
Additional faculty lines within departments are hard to come by. One thing departments can do is to think about how to make themselves look appealing to women and minority graduate and undergraduate students with the faculty they already have. In terms of recruitment, how does a department develop a culture of inclusivity so that, when they do search, they are very attractive to diverse candidates? Ideas include updating departmental websites to make sure they showcase women and minorities in the department; bringing in underrepresented minority speakers for colloquia; and celebrating the achievements of all faculty equally. Women are often less inclined to self-promote accomplishments (Moss-Racusin & Rudman, 2010), thus it is important that departments have a process to solicit "good news" from all faculty and to ensure that faculty are fairly considered for award nominations.
Several respondents commented that lack of partner accommodations has been a challenge in recruiting staff. Human Resources and Project TRACS have worked hard to hire a Dual Career Community Placement Liaison, Tricia Wimbish, who has worked with MSU to establish the Dual Career Assistance Program through the office of Human Resources. This means that there is now support provided through MSU for both faculty and staff to work on finding their partner work in the Bozeman area. The following link has information on the resources available through this new program, and provides details on the process through which eligible candidates can receive assistance:
Dual Career Resources: http://www.montana.edu/hr/dualcareer/
As one Department Head states, a major challenge is the, "relative paucity of spousal job opportunities in Bozeman. We know we have lost excellent male and female candidates in the past because of these two issues. We have twice successfully negotiated NTT positions for spouses in other departments but these have both been temporary arrangements for 1-2 years for part-time positions and thus do not adequately meet the needs of full-time working spouses. Working spouses who are not interested in teaching as an NTT at MSU often have a very difficult time finding jobs in Bozeman."
ADVANCE Project TRACS has been working with the Provost's Office and departments around
campus to accommodate partners of new faculty members with employment both on-campus
and off-campus. Read more about it here: http://www.montana.edu/nsfadvance/integration/index.html
Follow the link to be directed to the on-campus request form: http://www.montana.edu/nsfadvance/integration/index.html
In addition to the sources provided in the bullet points below, the ADVANCE Project TRACS website has a number of other useful resources available, concerning recruitment and the hiring process: http://www.montana.edu/nsfadvance/resources.html
Overburdening women and minority faculty members with service assignments
As one Department Head states, "The biggest challenge is faculty workload, including the high teaching load, a high service load for the female department faculty on campus. The service + teaching load can damage research productivity."
This is certainly an important consideration and a reason that the College of Business, for example, recognizes that even with the necessity for diverse committees, they "take care not to over-burden female faculty with service assignments in the pursuit of female representation." To offer another example, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology works hard, "to make sure that we support the decision of female faculty when they need to say no to service commitments and help them balance these commitments in a way that meets both their needs and the needs of the department. We need to protect all junior faculty, but especially women and minority faculty, from being involved in too much service."
This problem is so well known, that the AAUP recently called it "the ivory ceiling of service work." Mentor junior faculty to outline a protected "research day" and, as a department leader, help coordinate that day within your department (e.g., being mindful of when faculty meetings are set, advising hours, etc). Keep track of the service obligations (and the prestige and workload associated with each obligation) so that department members are aware of an appreciative of each other's service load.
Know that ADVANCE Project TRACS, in conjunction with the PCOSUW, has started an Equity Advocate Program. In situations where a minority or woman faculty member is overburdened (or simply not available), but an important search committee/P&T committee is in need of representation, one option is to request an Equity Advocate for that committee. Although not every request can be granted, this is at least one pathway to consider.
Email ADVANCE@montana.edu or see http://www.montana.edu/president/universitywomen/equity.php for more information.
Retaining and promoting women and minorities
As one Department Head noted, one of their biggest challenges is, "continuing to support women faculty members so that they can maintain a high quality of life -- i.e., we cannot just focus on recruiting women faculty, we also must support them throughout their careers.
Indeed, it is very important to mentor women and minority faculty who may not have access to typical avenues of support networks. As the School of Film and Photography states, "The recent increase in the number of women among the faculty has already had an evident effect in the development of a more collegial community among faculty, and more empowerment among the women faculty through mutual support." The Department of Education writes, "Women play a host of critical roles throughout our Department. We provide mentoring for the pre-tenure faculty in the area of leadership development and provide numerous opportunities for women to participate in professional development."
There are gender disparities in rank, advancement, grant dispersion, and salaries, across all professions (Long, 2001; United States & United States, 1994; Wenneras & Wold, 1997). According to Dr. Virginia Valian, "Women have to meet a higher standard in order to receive the same recognition as men do." The following tutorials provide some data and tips on methods of support.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed helpful brochures on "Fostering Success for Women in Science and Engineering" and "Advancing Women in Science and Engineering: Advice to the Top"
"We don't have an issue with diversity -- our department treats everyone the same"
Just because a department has equal numbers of men and women or even has more women than men, this does not mean the department feels inclusive. Check in with faculty (and staff and students too!) to see how they are feeling and what, if anything, might improve even the best of departments. If everything really is great, perhaps it is time to focus efforts on reaching out to other underrepresented minorities to truly add depth and diversity to your department and college.
Keep in mind that "gender neutral" does not mean "gender equal." In fact, much research shows that a color-blind (or gender blind) approach makes talking about diversity feel taboo and can isolate people who are less socially privileged. Although well-meaning, the sentiment that one "doesn't see gender" can lead to overlooking systematic bias and make it difficult to see discrimination when it happens (e.g., press release on Apfelbaum et al., 2012). What can be done? Embrace difference and talk openly about diversity and gender. Realize that men and women may have unique gendered experiences and concerns and be ready to talk openly about these issues. Do not judge in advance what kind of diversity might be possible at MSU, or in a state like Montana.
McCabe (2011) suggests these three steps to multiculturalism:
Recognizing and valuing differences,
Teaching and learning about differences, and
Fostering personal friendships and organizational alliances
What are the short or long-term plans for providing a climate that can broaden the participation of women and minorities in the department?
One Department Head notes, "We would benefit from a more formal mentoring program."
A supportive network and role models provide relatedness, as well as facilitate career advancements for women and minorities in academia. The College of Engineering, for example, has set up an informal mentoring network for its female tenure-track faculty members, in which senior female faculty members provide resources and advice to junior female faculty members to aid in the advancement of their careers.
Some mentoring options are already available at MSU that you might consider announcing to your faculty and encouraging participation, including:
- Women's Faculty Caucus, contact the WFC chair Meta Newhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Faculty Excellence, contact interim director Marilyn Lockhart at email@example.com
- ADVANCE Grant Facilitator Network, contact Micaela Young at firstname.lastname@example.org
By developing a strategic plan to prioritize, set common goals, and establish agreement over desired outcomes, individuals in departments can clearly establish metrics and define successes.
We found that only a few departments (and even fewer units) noted that they had explicit short-term or long-term goals or plans related to diversity. Without strategic planning, an increased level of diversity will be difficult to achieve. In addition, progress toward a more diverse environment will be difficult to measure and track. It also could be that the departments or units do, indeed, have relevant strategic goals, but they have not been clearly communicated throughout the unit.
One department is working on a business plan that "includes both demand creation strategies and retention strategies that will benefit all students. With proper resources, we can improve courses that are barriers to success, offer key courses more frequently, improve the advising experience and provide a greater variety of faculty role models."
The American Library Association has developed guidelines and resources to help in the process of creating and building support for a diversity strategic plan: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/workplace/diversityplanning
A number of institutions have created strategic plans for diversity.
- MSU’s Strategic Plan encourages diversity in many forms through its goals: http://www.montana.edu/strategicplan/index.html
- U. C. Berkeley: http://diversity.berkeley.edu/uc-berkeley-strategic-plan-equity-inclusion-and-diversity,
- Virginia Tech: http://www.diversity.vt.edu/diversity-at-vatech/diversity-strategic-plan/diversity-strategic-plan.html
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a brochure to guide department heads in "Enhancing Department Climate": http://wiseli.engr.wisc.edu/docs/ClimateBrochure.pdf
One Dean noted, "The College would also like to develop a written policy for faculty leave for the birth or adoption of a child, but believes it must wait until MSU develops a policy to guide the College."
A Department Head wrote, "we have made arrangements for all of our faculty to take family leave when medical or family issues have arisen. We have also worked with them to provide coverage for their classes or alternative delivery methods to help all of our faculty during these types of challenging situations. One very positive quality of our department is the willingness that our faculty demonstrates -- jumping in to help with a faculty member's class when a situation arises."
Did you know we have a University Family Advocate? This person can help advocate, share resources, and be a compassionate listener for staff, students, and faculty navigating family issues at MSU. Contact Sara Rushing orADVANCE@montana.edu to set up a meeting or get more information. You can also learn more about the Family Advocate program here.
Last year, the Sick Leave Task Force and MSU's Human Resources adopted a new Donated Sick Leave policy. Learn more about it here. ADVANCE Project TRACS is now working to draft a policy for Modified Duties for Family Caregiving Leave, revising the policy for stopping the tenure clock, and has created a proposal form to make a Modified Duties Request. The Provost is forming a Work-Life Integration Task Force to review, adopt, and implement these types of policies. This year, ADVANCE is working on bringing Care.com to MSU, which can assist with "Family" (elder, partner, child, pet) Care needs. Read more about the steps being taken to improve work-life integration at MSU here.
- Boushey, H. (2005). Are women opting out? Debunking the myth. Center for Economic and Policy Research. Washington, DC, Center for Economic and Policy Research.
- Gannon, F., Quirk, S., & Guest, S. (2001). Are women treated fairly in the EMBO postdoctoral fellowship scheme? European Molecular Biology Organization Reports 2, 8, 655-657.
- Moss-Racusin, C. A., Dovidio, J. F., Brescoll, V. L., Graham, M. A., & Handelsman, J. (2012). Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(41). Retrieved from: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109
- Preston, A. E. (2004). Leaving science: Occupational exit from scientific careers. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- Steinpreis, R. E., Anders, K. A., & Ritzke, D. (1999). The impact of gender on the review of curricula vitae of job applicants and tenure candidates: A national empirical study. Sex Roles, 41, 7/8, 509-528.
- Valian, V. , (2007). Tutorials for change: Gender schemas and science careers. Retrieved from http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/gendertutorial/
SALARY AND START UP PACKAGES
- Amanatullah, E. T., & Morris, M. W. (2010). Negotiating gender roles: Gender differences in assertive negotiating are mediated by women's fear of backlash and attenuated when negotiating on behalf of others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 256-267. doi: 10.1037/a0017094
- Ferriman, K., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2009). Work preferences, life values, and personal views of top math/science graduate students and the profoundly gifted: Developmental changes and gender differences during emerging adulthood and parenthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(3), 517-532. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0016030
- Kray, L. J. and L. Thompson. (2005). Gender stereotypes and negotiation performance: A review of theory and research. Research in Organizational Behavior Series, 26, 103-182.
- Turner, C. S. V. (2002). Diversifying the faculty: A guidebook for search committees. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges & Universities.
- McNeil, L. E., & Sher, M. (1999). The dual-career-couple problem. Physics Today, 52(7), 32-37.
- Wolf-Wendel, L. E., Twombly, S. B., & Rice, S. (2000). Dual-career couples: Keeping them together. The Journal of Higher Education (Columbus, Ohio), 71(3), 291-321.
- Apfelbaum, E. P., Pauker, K., Sommers, S. R., Ambady, N. (2010). In blind pursuit of racial equality? Psychological Science, 21, 1587-1592.
- McCabe, J. (2011). Doing Multiculturalism: An Interactionist Analysis of the Practices of a Multicultural Sorority. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40 (5), 521-549.
- Norton, M. I., Sommers, S. R., et al. (2006). Color blindness and interracial interaction: Playing the Political Correctness Game. Psychological Science, 17, 949-953.
- Smithson, J. & Stokoe, E. H. (2005). Discourses of work-life balances: Negotiating genderblind terms in organizations. Gender, Work & Organization, 12, 147-168.
RETAINING/PROMOTING WOMEN AND MINORITIES
- Cole, J. R., & Singer, B. (1991). A theory of limited differences: Explaining the productivity puzzle in science. In H. Zuckerman, J. R. Cole, and J. T. Bruer, (Eds.), The outer circle: Women in the scientific community. (277-310). New York: W. W. Norton and Company.
- Heilman, M. E., Wallen, A. S., Fuchs, D., & Tamkins, M. M. (2004). Penalties for success: Reactions to women who succeed at male gender-typed tasks. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(3), 416-427.
- Long, J. Scott, ed. (2001). Executive Summary. From scarcity to visibility: Gender differences in the careers of doctoral scientists and engineers (pp.1-8). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
- United States., & United States. (1994). Peer review: Reforms needed to ensure fairness in federal agency grant selection: report to the Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate. Washington, D.C: The Office, 1-133.
- Wenneras, C. & Wold, A. (1997). Nepotism and sexism in peer-review. Nature, 387, 341-343.
WORK RELEASE/FMLA ACCOMMODATIONS
- Correll, S., Bernard, S., & Paik, I. (2001). Getting a job: Is there a motherhood penalty? American Journal of Sociology, 112(5), 1297-1338.
- Kerber, L. K. (2005, March 18). We must make the academic workplace more humane and equitable. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/We-Must-Make-the-Academic/28101/.
- Radcliffe Public Policy Center. (2000). Life's work: Generational attitudes toward work and life integration. Cambridge, MA: Radcliffe Public Policy Center, Harvard University.