How UM is increasing faculty diversity | READER COMMENTARY
For The Baltimore Sun•Published: Nov 02, 2023 at 9:34 am | Article courtesy of The Baltimore Sun
I write to underscore the important work to be done across higher education to increase the diversity of faculty who teach our students and prepare them for the workforce and future academic pursuits. We all stand to benefit from more faculty who reflect the diversity of our student body (”Black and Hispanic faculty underrepresented in Maryland public universities, data system shows,” Oct. 26).
One way we’re working to address this at the University of Maryland is through a $40 million investment to increase faculty diversity and add over 100 new tenured and tenure-track faculty across campus.
But this is not an issue that can be solved by recruitment alone. I agree with University of Pennsylvania Vice Provost Laura Perna that faculty of color often take on work that doesn’t fit into academia’s standard promotion metrics. At our institution and many across the country, our values around collaboration, diversity, equity and inclusion and public service are not always reflected in traditional promotion and reward systems.
In order to cultivate a more diverse faculty, we must better align measures of success with our shared goals and values. Broader measures of research and scholarship, teaching and mentoring and service activities are needed to capture the wide range of impactful contributions that our faculty make — especially when that work is supporting more equitable, healthy and resilient communities through research and the development of a diverse workforce.
As we embrace more inclusive measures of impact, we will forge a path to recruiting, supporting and retaining the diverse and talented faculty we all seek.
— Jennifer King Rice, College Park
Creating a Sense of Belonging at Inaugural TerrapinSTRONG Symposium
On November 1, the inaugural TerrapinSTRONG Symposium was held at Stamp Student Union. A unique symposium organized for both faculty and staff members, the event provided an opportunity for participants to learn from each other about diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging (DEIJB) topics. Focused on the theme of Belonging for 2023, presentations bridged the work of scholars, researchers, and practitioners to provide insights and encourage collaboration.
The event kicked off with opening remarks from Laura Rosenthal, Director for Faculty Leadership and Professor of English; Namrata Ram-Andriessens, Assistant Director, Staff Learning and Talent Development; Georgina Dodge, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; President Darryll Pines; and Leslie Krafft, Program Manager for TerrapinSTRONG, with each emphasizing the importance of belonging on campus.
Over 165 participants attended 25 presentations on a wide variety of topics related to belonging, from using the 4H’s “Thrive Model” to facilitate belonging to finding belonging for faculty & staff outside of the gender binary, from the experience of Muslim students to the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities through TerpsEXCEED.
TerrapinSTRONG, one of 12 initiatives identified by President Pines on his first day in office, was established to welcome new members into our community, enhance inclusion and sense of belonging, and act upon the University of Maryland's diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Its aim is to bring UMD together as a community, show what we value, and share our history and traditions.
With this in mind and recognizing the need for faculty and staff to connect, representatives from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Faculty Affairs, and University Human Resources, joined together to organize an event that embodied the vision, mission, and priorities of TerrapinSTRONG.
“We really wanted to create an opportunity where faculty and staff members could reach across the divide in order to learn from and with one another. Many attendees formed new relationships and discussed collaborative opportunities to continue beyond the Symposium. In that regard, the Symposium achieved its purpose and demonstrated how many of our community members are craving these connections,” said Leslie Krafft, Program Manager for TerrapinSTRONG.
Creating a sense of belonging is not only crucial for individual well-being but is also a cornerstone for creating a thriving, collaborative academic environment. Further, belonging provides a key buffer during challenging times. A diverse range of topics at the conference addressed pressing issues in academic communities, showcasing research, creativity, and practical solutions and advice. “I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to watch TTK faculty members, PTK faculty members, and members of our staff come together to build a stronger community and appreciate each others’ contributions,” Laura Rosenthal, Director for Faculty Leadership and Professor of English noted.
Ursula Gorham-Oscilowski, Associate Director for Faculty Initiatives, shared, “When we first started planning this event, I don’t think any of us had any idea how this event would be received by the campus community. But, once we put out the call for proposals and received such a good response, we realized that we were tapping into something – people are interested in the topic of belonging, they have something to say about it, and they want to share their experiences with others.”
"At the Symposium, witnessing faculty and staff coming together to network, learn, and share was truly heartwarming. It felt like a community united by the shared joy of uncovering and embracing their unique senses of belonging," said Namrata Ram-Andriessen, Assistant Director, Learning and Talent Development.
As the first symposium was a great success, the organizers hope this will become an annual event to continue fostering a sense of belonging at UMD for everyone.
2024 PTK Symposium Planning Underway
Co-Chairs and committees are actively organizing the 7th annual PTK symposium, a two-day, virtual and on-campus event next March 7-8 that provides information, support, and inspiration for our large community of PTK faculty members and those who work with and manage them.
The 2024 Symposium Co-Chairs, Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann, Communication; Monique Koppel, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Shevaun Lewis, Language Science Center; and Nathan Stevens, Journalism have created the theme Profession, Engagement, Promotion (PEP). Concurrent symposium sessions will provide technical/practical information and leadership; hard and soft skills development, and knowledge and inspiration in three corresponding tracks.
Speakers are needed for these and other topics including:
- How PTK faculty can blend their professional experience in their UMD academic settings
- How to foster stronger collaboration among PTK faculty and TTK faculty and staff
- How UMD managers can draw on PTK professional workplace experience to help with college, department and classroom efficiencies as well as other administrative matters
- Communication methods that work best with PTK faculty
- Creating safe spaces and healthy work environments for PTK faculty
- Creating collaboration among PTK faculty and TTK faculty and staff
- Best practices for PTK contracts, pay scales, bonuses and pay equity
- How to motivate PTK faculty to perform at their best
- Explaining and developing the PTK promotion track in your department
If you are interested in speaking, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also reach out if you would like to help with the planning--volunteers are welcome in a variety of roles.
New Updates to Faculty Success
The following updates and changes have been made to the Faculty Success system since Spring 2023:
Scopus now available for publication import: Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, including scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings. In addition to Web of Science, Crossref, ORCiD and PubMed, it is now possible to have Faculty Success search Scopus for citation information.
DOIs and arXiv Identifiers: A new arXiv field has been added to the Publications activity record; it is located near the DOI field. DOI and arXiv identifiers have been standardized in the existing publications activity data across all faculty accounts. The standardized format is explained in a popup help menu (see the ? next to the field name), providing the information shown below:
- Publication records updated to standardize representation of DOIs and now support arXiv identifiers
- The DOI format is 10.123/abcd1234 These will be included in citations as https://doi.org/10.123/abcd1234 Examples are: 10.1103/PHYSREVE.106.015305 or 10.1007/S13324-022-00682-W
- The arXiv format is arXiv:YYMM.NNNNv# [category] Examples are: arXiv:2302.04974 [math.NA] or arXiv:2203.02769 [physics.plasm-ph]
Clinical Trials: A new activity screen has been created to support documentation of clinical trials. Data from Academic Analytics automatically updates the Clinical Trial screen on a monthly basis. Faculty can enrich this data by adding a description, and also any information about its relation to Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Faculty can also create their own clinical trial activity records. This activity is reported in the Annual Activity Report and the Multi-Year Activity Report.
Endowed and Named Positions: Another new activity screen has been created to standardize representation of endowed and named chair- and professorships at the university. The Endowed or Named Positions activity screen is automatically updated yearly in December with information from University Relations. Please note that the information provided by University Relations is sometimes incomplete so faculty should edit their Endowed or Named Positions records with the appropriate information, particularly regarding dates, along with other information as they see fit. The Name of Endowed Position field on the Personal and Contact Information screen is also updated in the yearly run [if it did not previously contain anything.].
Prior to this standardization, endowed and named position information was documented in a number of different ways, either on the Other Appointments, Honors and Awards, Other Awards and Gifts, or University Service activity screens. Going forward, this information will be documented on the Endowed and Named Positions screen, making it easier to locate the information as well as include it in reports.
Course evaluations extend back to Fall 2007: Over the summer, the Office of Faculty Affairs was able to partner with DIT and IRPA to bring in student course evaluation (now Student Feedback on Course Experiences) data from the Fall 2007 term through Spring 2014 into Faculty Success. Course evaluation data now is available in the platform from Fall 2007 to the present.
Terminal Degrees Enriched in Educational Background: Using degree data from Academic Analytics, the Educational Background data for faculty has been enriched for those who did not previously have their terminal degree included in the platform. The Academic Analytics data includes Degree Type and marks it as Highest Degree Earned with completion year and Institution. Faculty can enhance this data by adding the start date, institution location info, major/minor, and dissertation/thesis title information.
New DEI Section in Annual Activity Report: A summary of all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion-related activities for the reporting period will be included in a new initial section to the Annual Activity Report and the Multi-Year Activity Report.
Learn More About Faculty Success: The Faculty Affairs Activities Data website is not only your starting point for logging in to Faculty Success; it is also a self-service resource with short how-to videos, extensive user guides, and contact information for the Faculty Success team. Platform support is available via email (email@example.com) and by phone (301.405.7681).