The College of Fine Arts has adopted a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Diversity that was the result of a two-year, intensive reflection on our community’s strengths and shortcomings as an inclusive community and curriculum. At every step along the way… the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement provided the steady guidance and facilitation that made that process possible. We’re a better, more inclusive college today because of it.
Dean, College of Fine Arts
By creating and supporting an inclusive campus that promotes diverse people and perspectives, academic colleges and schools contribute to a richer and more welcoming teaching, learning, research, and work environment. Without an inclusive campus culture, underrepresented faculty, students, and staff members may experience exclusion, isolation, minimal guidance or mentoring, discrimination, affecting recruitment and retention (see for example, Harper & Hurtado, 2007; Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, Arellano, 2012; Museus, Nichols, & Lambert, 2008; Rhee, 2008).
Benefits emerging from a more inclusive and diverse University community are well established in the research literature, including student success and the opportunity for a wider range of scholarly perspectives, pedagogical techniques, curricular offerings, and educational practices within a college or school (see for example, Chang, Milem, Antonio, 2010; Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, Arellano, 2012).
The toolkit has given us the resources we need to conduct more inclusive searches for faculty. The ideas are simple, easy to incorporate, and they work. In our first year using the toolkit, we increased the number of women and underrepresented minority candidates interviewed for positions.
Dr. Shelley Payne
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
College of Natural Sciences, and
Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences
Each OIE resource described below is designed to strengthen the academic and engagement missions of the university by fostering a culture of inclusive excellence that is grounded in research, best practices, and theoretical frameworks. OIE staff members will actively and intentionally engage individuals to tailor the resources to meet specific needs of the academic unit.
OIE can provide the following resources for academic colleges and schools:
- Individual/group consultations
- Inclusive Classrooms Leadership Seminar
- Faculty Recruitment Workshop
- Faculty Recruitment and Retention Toolkits
- Diversity Planning
- Selected References
OIE provides consulting services for academic deans, department chairs, and faculty on diversity and inclusion in academic contexts. Past consultations include developing a diversity plan for an academic unit, identifying and addressing departmental climate concerns, offering guidance on recruitment and retention efforts, transforming course content, and navigating difficult dialogues in classrooms. For more information on diversity planning, contact the Office for Inclusion and Equity at 512-471-1849.
Inclusive Classrooms Leadership Seminar
The Inclusive Classrooms leadership seminar engages faculty, teaching assistants, and assistant instructors in discussions about strategies for developing and sustaining an inclusive classroom climate where all members of our diverse community feel safe, supported, and encouraged. Drawing from the literature which continues to show that a discriminatory climate negatively impacts students’ transition to college, sense of belonging at the institution and academic success, this leadership certificate seminar provides tangible elements of course design, planning, and processes considered with an inclusive lens. By implementing the strategies learned during the seminar, participants can create a more inclusive classroom climate, which according to research has a demonstrated positive impact on student outcomes. To learn more, please click here.
Faculty Recruitment Workshop
The Faculty Excellence and Diversity: Recruitment Strategies for Search Committees Workshop will give participants the opportunity to learn more about the strategies included in OIE’s Inclusive Search and Recruitment Toolkit. During this interactive cross-campus workshop, participants will also learn from each other as they share successful best practices they have implemented in their own searches. Campus-wide workshops will be offered in both the fall and spring semesters. To learn more about the workshop and the workshop materials, please click here.
Faculty Recruitment and Retention Toolkits
These comprehensive toolkits for academic colleges and schools provide strategies and ideas on recruitment and retention. The toolkits are modeled after exemplars from comparable institutions, including but not limited to the University of California, Berkeley; University of Michigan; University of Wisconsin; The Ohio State University; the University of Washington; and other institutions, many of which have been awarded prestigious NSF ADVANCE grants. In addition, the toolkit recommendations and strategies stem from relevant research and best practices across UT Austin.
Faculty Search and Recruitment Toolkit
Faculty Search and Recruitment Toolkit provides strategies that academic leaders can pursue and implement before, during, and after a search to help ensure an inclusive recruitment process. Examples range from creating innovative programs and pathways for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members; examining and implementing best practices that address psychosocial and organizational barriers, and cognitive errors and biases that result in unfair evaluations; expanding the marketing of the job posting to enhance the diversity of the applicant pool; and reviewing past searches. For more information, please click here.
Faculty Retention Toolkit
Faculty Retention Toolkit presents recommendations and examples of ways that academic leaders can improve retention by fostering an inclusive climate and culture; offering opportunities for leadership and professional development tailored to the various stages and positions that faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and administrators move through within the institution; and developing a strong mentoring culture. For more information, please click here.
An essential part of OIE’s work in promoting academic excellence is to actively engage academic unit diversity committees in a diversity planning process to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic diversity plan. Grounded in a process based on theory and best practices, OIE staff assist committee members with mixed method data collection and analysis processes designed to address the needs of the specific unit and to support the committee’s mission. The planning process concludes with the development of strategic goals, objectives, and implementation proposals that advance a culture of inclusion where diverse people, ideas, and perspectives can thrive. To learn more, please click here.
Diversity Planning Tools for Diversity and Inclusion Committees
The OIE Diversity Planning Tools for Diversity and Inclusion Committees are based on the pilot diversity planning process facilitated with the College of Fine Arts as well as processes used at peer institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley. The stages, tools, and resources are customizable to meet the needs of different academic and administrative units. The tools contain checklists, templates, and other resources to guide your academic unit’s diversity planning process in areas such as creating a diversity and inclusion committee; establishing a diversity planning process tailored to your unit; collecting and analyzing relevant data; identifying ways to engage your unit in the planning and implementation process; setting goals, objectives, and priorities in developing the plan; and implementing your plan. To learn more, please click here.
Chang, M.J., Milem, J.F., and Antonio, A.L. (2010). Campus climate and diversity. In J. H. Schuh, S. R. Jones, and S. R. Harper (Eds.), Student Services: A Handbook For The Profession, (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Harper, S.R., & Hurtado, S. (2007). Nine themes in campus racial climates and implications for institutional transformation. New Directions for Student Services, 120, 7-24.
Hurtado, S., Alvarez, C.L, Guillermo-Wann, C., Cuellar, M., and Arellano, L. (2012). A model for diverse learning environments. In J.C. Smart and M.B. Paulsen (Eds.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research 27. Dordrecht: Springer. Museus, S.D.
Nichols, A.H., & Lambert, A.D. (2008). Racial differences in the effects of campus racial climate on degree completion: A structural equation model. Review of Higher Education, 32(1), 107-134.
Rhee, B.S. (2008). Institutional climate and student departure: A multinomial multilevel modeling approach. Review of Higher Education, 61(5), 485-511.