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Diversity Action Plan Goal 2

Diversity Action Plan Goal 2

Establish holistic, inclusive, and equitable hiring, recruitment and retention practices.

Graduate students working together in lab.

How to read what follows

We set out an ambitious agenda for embedding equity, access, and inclusion in all that we do in the College of Science. Recognizing that actions must be prioritized, we indicate those actions that will be taken first with a double asterisk **. We note that we will follow an adaptive implementation strategy in executing this DAP in which our prioritized actions marked by ** may adaptively evolve in an evidence-based approach. In what follows, “unit” refers to a department, center, or research facility in the college. In addition, for these purposes, the dean’s office is also a unit.

Holistic and inclusive admissions, recruitment and hiring use strategies that consider the whole person and touch all aspects of the admissions, recruitment and hiring processes.

In Goal 2, we propose actions to move the college towards holistic, inclusive and equitable processes in its admissions policies and in its educational and research missions so that recruitment, retention and overall outcomes for students, staff and faculty from minoritized communities are improved. We propose actions to interrupt and address biased processes in admissions, hiring, promotion, tenure and peer review. Actions under this goal will couple inclusive hiring to effective retention measures to foster individual success, well-being and work satisfaction of members from minoritized communities. These actions include enhanced mentoring for students and mentoring training for faculty to address issues around mental health and disability access for students.

Our college needs more diverse representation at the faculty level to support the educational needs of a diverse student body, as effective teaching and mentoring strategies for underrepresented students in science are affected by diverse representation in the communities. At the same time, faculty with minoritized identities cannot bear the entire burden of supporting the diverse student body. We expect all faculty to have responsibility in this regard.

Proposed actions:

2.1. Develop holistic admissions criteria** in all student programs in the college. Holistic admissions consider the whole student, their unique experiences and non-cognitive factors associated with success, along with traditional measures of academic achievement. The EAI Council will make recommendations to the dean for adoption of policies, that result from the following actions:

  • Addressing inclusion of minoritized students. The council will work with unit level EAI committees to develop evidence-based strategies to improve and expand unit level admissions processes equalizing criteria and metrics for admission across units in the college for the inclusion and fair representation of minoritized communities of students.
  • Addressing attrition** by working with the EDCC to quantify and address attrition and retention rates, equity and education gaps to inform the admissions processes.
  • Addressing inequities** by working with the unit EAI committees to analyze and identify unit and college policies resulting in inequitable outcomes in unit admissions processes, including outreach conducted for admissions that may exclude minoritized student communities.
  • Providing learning opportunities by partnering with the Graduate School to provide graduate admissions committee members learning opportunities around holistic admissions (such as training in implicit bias) to create a growth mindset for applying to the admissions process.

2.2. Address and increase representation among faculty and staff.** The EAI Council will analyze recruitment and hiring policies to provide recommendations to the dean to enable diversifying the college and broadening participation. This includes:

  • Creating collaborative networks nationwide and building relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to help in recruitment and hiring of faculty from minoritized communities. Working with unit EAI committees, the council will explore opportunities for engagement and outreach through disciplinary professional networks.
  • Ensuring equitable hiring and promotion processes** by working with unit level EAI committees to provide promotion and tenure committees and search committees with equity training such as provided by the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Training in the Hiring Process and to include a Search Advocate.
  • Creating a college level service equity policy** that is transparent and aligned with the recently developed college workload policy to set guidelines ensuring equitable service assignments for minoritized faculty and staff. Unit EAI committees will take the lead in the refinement and implementation of this policy at the unit level.
  • Improving promotion and merit processes by analyzing existing processes across units with an equity lens to identify systemic barriers for minoritized faculty. The EAI Council will partner with the PTIE Group at OSU to develop best practices and road maps for promotion and tenure

2.3. Expand support services to aid in student retention.** The EAI Council will use evidence-based strategies to continue and increase support services for students from minoritized communities and assess equity in access to these services. This includes:

  • Increasing need-based scholarships.** The EAI Council in collaboration with partners across campus, such as the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Educational Opportunities Program (EOP), Student Affairs (SA), Office of Financial Aid and the OSU Foundation, among others, will better align and identity avenues to increase equitable access to student support (scholarships) based on need in addition to metrics of academic merit. The EDCC will gather data, assess and report from an equity perspective how well we are serving Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other students of color in the college and, in collaboration with the GEC, how this access intersects with marginalized gender identities.
  • Creating paid tutoring opportunities to provide more equitable educational opportunities for underserved students from minoritized groups, the EAI Council will work with campus partners to offer paid one-on-one tutoring opportunities providing help for freshmen through seniors. Focus would be directed at courses with the highest DFWU rates.
  • Creating diversity based graduate fellowships.** To improve equitable access to educational resources in the first year of our graduate programs, the council will work with campus partners and the OSU Foundation to offer equity-based educational scholarships to graduate students from minoritized communities. An example of such support is the Prestigious Diversity Fellowship offered by the Graduate School.

2.4. Improve advising pathways and mentoring relationships** in all units in the college and in college level programs. The EAI Council will provide recommendations to the dean to create programs at the unit and college level by engaging in:

  • Improving student advising relationships** to improve student outcomes. The council will provide opportunities for professional development for all advisors by connecting to partners across campus. The goals are to help advisors develop strategies to better serve minoritized students identify a path that fits their needs, understand their lived experiences and find ways to ensure equitable treatment by reducing the asymmetrical power dynamic between and among faculty and students.
  • Providing enhanced student mentoring. The EAI Council and GEC will partner with the Graduate School, the Office of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, OID and other campus partners to provide opportunities for all faculty serving as major advisor to an undergraduate or graduate student to receive professional development in mentoring for enhanced understanding of the issues faced by minoritized groups. This includes issues around implicit bias, disability, microaggressions affecting the lived experiences and outcomes for students from minoritized communities, mental illness among others. Unit EAI committees will take the lead in scheduling learning opportunities at the unit level.
  • Creating equitable mentoring for junior and mid-career faculty.** The EAI Council will provide recommendations to the dean to create a college level policy on assigning mentors to junior and mid-career faculty from minoritized communities as service assignments to ensure equitable access to resources for these faculty.