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Faculty: Opportunities and initiatives

Sep 14 2016

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The Faculty Incentive Fund, in existence for more than two decades, helps make it possible for Stanford departments and schools to recruit qualified individuals who would bring diversity, broadly defined, to the faculty. This support can be directed toward scholars from underrepresented communities, women scholars in disciplines in which they are underrepresented, and others who would bring additional dimensions of diversity to the university's research and teaching programs. More than 85 percent of those hired have remained at Stanford.

The Faculty Development Initiative was established in 2007 by the provost in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Its objective is to recruit and hire outstanding junior as well as senior scholars whose research focuses on the study of race and ethnicity in the United States and internationally. Since 2008, 14 such faculty have been appointed in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Graduate School of Education and School of Medicine.

Currently, more than $325 million of Stanford's endowment is committed to supporting the above two programs. The endowment supports $16 million in annual salaries for faculty hired through the two programs. Over the last 25 years, $160 million in salary funding has been provided to these programs, which continue to grow.

Following a university-wide faculty survey, Provost Etchemendy commissioned two reports, issued in 2013 and 2014, focusing specifically on enhancing the experience of underrepresented faculty at Stanford. The provost's Panel on Faculty Equity and Quality of Life provided oversight of the study. Faculty members across the campus from underrepresented groups were interviewed. The report recommended strategies for improving mentoring, encouraging greater participation in decision-making, increasing recognition and enhancing collegial opportunities.

Organizationally, Stanford has an Office of Faculty Development and Diversity devoted to building a diverse faculty and providing support for the success of all faculty. The Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, who oversees this office, reports directly to the provost. In addition, each of Stanford’s seven schools has a diversity officer who works to promote a more inclusive environment and support diversity efforts. A campus-wide Diversity Cabinet created by the provost also meets monthly and serves as a voice for raising awareness and impacting policy.

More broadly, the effort to recruit and develop a diverse professoriate is ingrained in many regular campus processes. For instance:

  • Faculty searches are obligated to make extra efforts to seek and evaluate qualified women and underrepresented candidates, and the campus provides resources to support these efforts.
  • The campus monitors and reports on the representation of women faculty and faculty of color, as well as their tenure and promotion rates, annually to the Faculty Senate.
  • The annual President's Awards for Excellence through Diversity honor individuals and programs that have made exceptional contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity at Stanford.

Stanford faculty also create and lead research centers that engage scholars in research and teaching on issues of diversity and inclusion. For instance, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research pursues research advancing gender equality and brings together scholars to provide new insights into barriers to the advancement of women. The Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity operates a research institute and undergraduate degree programs focused on understanding the complex factors of race and ethnicity and how they have shaped history and the social fabric of the contemporary world.

Among other initiatives, the Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) partners with colleges, schools and other organizations to improve student motivation and achievement and to reduce achievement gapsSocial Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions (SPARQ) works to create and share social psychological insights with people working to address a range of challenges in communitiesThe Stanford Center on Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) fosters research, policy and practice to advance high quality, equitable education systems.The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality develops science-based policy on poverty and inequality. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute supports a broad range of activities illuminating Dr. King's life and legacy, including the King Papers Project.