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DEI Signature Initiatives

The following list contains initiatives in which the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI) is currently engaged. DDEI is developing leading practices to aid in increasing the recruitment and retention of underrepresented and/or underserved faculty at Kent State University.

Faculty Search Process Assessment and Training

Strategies were developed focused on improving recruitment and retention of faculty from historically underrepresented groups and clearly identifying lessons learned and best practice approaches to use during the faculty recruitment and selection process.  DEI staff will serve as initial trainers for faculty who serve or will serve on search committees to ensure search committees are well informed in how to diversity applicant pools.

Provost Faculty Associate, AALANA Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Coordinated efforts are underway to strategically recruit AALANA faculty and staff to Kent State University. Annually, diversity personnel, human resources and several deans and/or representatives attend a major recruitment conference each October. One of the three Provost Faculty Associates has been assigned to aid in AALANA faculty recruitment and retention initiatives.

Diversity Scorecard

The diversity scorecard approach represents a strategic method for achieving inclusive excellence. KSU diversity scorecard focuses on educational access, first and second year retention and degree completion for AALANA students as well as access and retention for AALANA faculty and staff. Indicators regarding faculty tenure and promotion will be added and tracked by the scorecard in future renditions.

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)

SREB works with 16 member states to improve public education at every level, from pre-K through graduate education. SREB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The flagship initiative, SREB Doctoral Scholars Program, provides financial support to doctoral students and aims to increase the number of minority PhD students entering the professoriate. The program, since its existence, has maintained a retention rate of almost 90 percent, and more than 70 percent of graduates have begun careers in the professoriate (or as researchers). DDEI attends the annual SREB recruitment conference, Compact for Faculty Diversity. To date, the conference has been instrumental in three AALANA hires with several in the pipeline. During the 2012-2013 academic year, five deans attended the conference to support
recruitment efforts for their colleges. DDEI is working to develop a pipeline of candidates for future faculty searches. Information Systems is working with DDEI to build a database of potential candidates. In addition to this, DDEI has worked closely to engage Human Resources in various efforts to increase the diversity of the hiring pool.

AALANA Faculty Learning Communities

DDEI offers the AALANA Faculty Learning Communities periodically throughout the academic year. The purpose of these workshops is to provide guidance for either new junior faculty (cohort approach) and/or tenure-track faculty aiming to make the transition from their previous institution to Kent State University or from one faculty rank to a higher rank. Each workshop has a specific focus, designed to help develop the skills needed to be effective in their creativity/scholarship/research, teaching and service as they make their way through the tenure process. The workshops focus on time management, mentoring, and reappointment, tenure and promotion.

New Hire Diversity Networking Luncheon

New Diverse Hire Networking Lunch is designed for new diverse hires, their supervisors and invited guests from the university community to network and get to know one another.  The lunch shares campus and community resources as well as information from various groups on campus to welcome new hires and support their success at Kent State University.  This year’s luncheon is planned for Friday, October 6, 11:30 to 1:00 p.m., Ballroom Balcony.  Formal invitations will be sent.

Women in STEM Task Force (Collaborative effort with College of Arts and Sciences IDEAL Faculty Group, Faculty, Administration and Staff)

The purpose of this effort is to assess action-oriented initiatives, policies, and procedures that promote and support women in STEM education and research. The task force will explore ways to encourage greater participation and success of women at all levels of STEM education and research, with a specific focus on AALANA women (students though senior faculty and administration). The task force submitted recommendations to senior leadership related to the experiences, inclusion, and promotion of faculty (and students) in STEM academic areas.  Implementation of the recommendations will begin in 2013-2014 Academic Year.

Annual AALANA Workshop

Since the creation of DDEI, an annual AALANA faculty workshop has been conducted that specifically focuses on reappointment, tenure and promotion. The workshop has included: a) focus groups with AALANA faculty centered on how the university can better serve them; b) invited speakers to share best practices in being promoted, tenured or reappointed; and c) a deans panel that features KSU deans describing expectations for research, service and teaching. This year, the workshop focused on structured mentoring. For the workshop, Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore, founder of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), provided a presentation centered on “Gaining tenure without losing your soul.” Currently, Kent State has a university membership with the NCFDD, which provides mentoring and support services for interested Kent State faculty, regardless of ethnicity.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) Membership

Found by Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore, NCFDD is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of over 11,000 graduate students, post-docs, and faculty members. NCFDD is dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their academic careers. The center offers on-campus workshops, professional development training, and intensive mentoring programs. Kent State is currently a member of the NCFDD. For more information, please contact the Office of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Other Efforts

Grant Assistance (Diversity Data/Input)

Currently, DDEI collaborates and/or provides support to various academic units with grant proposals. More recently, the proposal have ranged from STEM-related initiatives to others focused on diversifying various undergraduate and graduate academic areas that are regionally or nationally (ethically) underrepresented or underserved.

University Diversity Action Council (UDAC)

The members of UDAC consist of Kent State students, faculty and staff from a wide range of disciplines, job categories and divisional units. All eight Kent State campuses are represented, and the council meets monthly. Currently, the council is aiding in the development, initial implementation and assessment of the Equity Action Plan. The goals of UDAC are the following:

  • Provide support to the Vice President of DEI in implementing the diversity mission and action plan.
  • Ensure that divisional units represented by UDAC members are fully informed and engaged in diversity development across the university. 
  • Certify that the diversity initiatives within divisional units are aligned with university direction.
  • Serve as the highest leadership council for university-wide diversity matters.
  • Receive and review diversity progress updates from each unit’s Diversity Scorecard. 
Affirmative Action

DDEI works with Human Resources to ensure that all qualified applicants and employees receive equal opportunity in areas of recruitment, selection, advancement, compensation, training, development and other conditions of employment.

ADA Oversight Committee (Collaborative effort with Finance & Administration and Student Affairs)

The ADA Oversight Committee reviews ongoing initiatives to improve the campus culture for students, staff, faculty and visitors with disabilities. Through investigation, advocacy and action, the members of this committee will review the compliance with federal guidelines to be the minimal standard that must be maintained. Going beyond these guidelines, members will provide the moral conscience to be guided and convicted in identifying and doing what is right in ways that consistently and inclusively advocate for the equal treatment of people with disabilities. This committee will propose action to be taken to ensure accessibility for all.

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