The Equity, Diversity and Excellence Initiative (EDEI) is the outcome of a continued collaboration between Georgia Tech’s ADVANCE Programs, Institute Diversity, faculty, and administration.
EDEI focuses on four areas—mentoring, transparency, bias awareness, and accountability—to help foster a diverse pool of talent, create an inclusive and equitable work climate, and support the career growth of existing faculty at all levels.
Accordingly, EDEI emphasizes institutional support through Leadership Training and Mentoring, Transparency, Bias Awareness and Promoting a Culture of Equity, and Data Collection and Analysis to aid in assessment and policy input.
I. Leadership Training and Mentoring
- Providing support for junior faculty to have productive, successful careers
Each ADVANCE Program professor will continue working with deans and chairs in their colleges to find an appropriate level of support for all junior faculty. This may include “launch committees,” consisting of mentors from within and across schools.
- Organizing ADVANCE workshops and town halls
ADVANCE Program professors have hosted successful workshops and town halls on topics relevant to the Georgia Tech community. We will continue to organize these once or twice a year.
- Promoting more women to positions of distinction and visibility
Some recommended policies include: prioritizing diversity in senior hires and in appointments to leadership and distinguished positions; exploring targeted fundraising; and creating leadership training programs.
- Junior faculty should all have a formal or informal support structure they can articulate
- An improved proportion of vacant endowed/term professorships/chairs to go to distinguished women faculty
- PPR reviews to institutionalize/emphasize collaborative senior faculty growth paths
- Institutionalize leadership skills training for tenured women faculty
- More women faculty leaders at Georgia Tech
- Requiring all colleges to have transparent, clear process guidelines for Reappointment, Promotion, and/or Tenure (RPT)
As recommended by Georgia Tech’s Promotion and Tenure ADVANCE Committee (PTAC), each college should have easily accessible guidelines for the RPT process. ADVANCE Program professors are working closely with their respective deans’ offices to make information readily available for all faculty (e.g., timelines, committee formation, letter writer selection, etc.). When appropriate, we also will work to supply samples of materials from successful cases and organize forums for communicating information on the process.
- Working with school chairs and deans toward increased transparency
ADVANCE Program professors will continue working with the deans and school chairs to provide open information about school operations, including committee assignments, buyout policies, leave policy (e.g., medical, faculty development leave, active service / modified duties).
- All faculty are aware of the RPT procedures in their units
- Guidelines within schools or colleges regarding professional / medical leaves articulated to faculty; information about committee assignments and rules for formation available
III. Bias Awareness and Promoting a Culture of Equity
- Designing a statement of our commitment to diversity and equity
We propose designing an equity statement to be presented by chairs and deans at the first faculty meeting of each year; by RPT and Hiring Committee Chairs to their committees each season; at annual staff and student meetings; and included in the ethics training module defining Institute values.
- Annual Dean’s Report on Equity and Diversity
In order to promote accountability in the colleges, we propose instituting a new annual Dean’s Report on Equity and Diversity addressing measures taken in each of the schools and across the college to address issues of diversity and fairness. Report on policies and data are to be obtained annually by the vice president of Institute Diversity and the provost from each dean.
- Reports from each Hiring and RPT Committee Chair
In order to highlight the Institute’s commitment to diversity and equity on these critical committees, we would like to ask each Hiring and RPT Committee Chair to fill in a short template each cycle. These reports will be returned to chairs (in some cases deans) to help with the Annual Dean’s Report, and will also be submitted to Institute Diversity. ADVANCE Program professors will work with Institute Diversity to provide guidance, including a short checklist of questions to address in the reports and a contact person for suggested best practices. We will work with Institute Diversity to provide centralized resources to provide guidance to committee members, chairs, and deans in this assessment process. Developing a repository of shared resources to facilitate these committees is a long-term objective.
- Diversity and equity awareness training
Developing a comprehensive equity training program is a long-term objective of the ADVANCE Program and is a central component of EDEI. We will be working closely with Institute Diversity to identify, develop, and evaluate resources.
- We will set up an interactive website to help increase individuals’ awareness of personal bias. Members of key committees will be encouraged to explore these resources.
- Sample statement of equity and diversity: “We will recruit, develop, retain, and engage a diverse cadre of students, faculty, and staff with a wide variety of background, perspectives, interests, and talents, creating a campus community that exemplifies the best in all of us—in our intellectual pursuits, our diversity of thought, our personal integrity, and our inclusive excellence.” —Georgia Tech Strategic Plan
- We will work with Institute Diversity to identify a faculty liaison for bias and inequity concerns (to provide a neutral resource to faculty). This liaison will also be available for committee members to ask questions regarding diversity and equity.
- We will promote within the units to invitation of representatives from Institute Diversity to join faculty meetings to deliver presentations and discuss bias and equity each year. Materials to foster discussion will be made available online.
- With Institute Diversity, we will tailor existing training materials to initiate a training and awareness program at Georgia Tech based on considerations of cost effectiveness. We will work closely with Institute Diversity over the next year to identify training materials and determine the appropriate level of investment in such a program.
- Institutionalize a norm of equity
- Obtain accountability through reporting mechanisms
- Establish a website with training tools, a faculty liaison, and an easily accessible repository of effective practices on committees and in schools
- Institutionalized equity training for all Hiring and RPT Committee members, school chairs, and deans
IV. Data Collection and Analysis
- Data collection and tracking
Provide advisement to help identify metrics and expanded data categories to track faculty retention, advancement, and satisfaction. Conduct surveys for faculty leaving Georgia Tech and potential hires who have turned down offers.
- Data driven recommendations
Based on the collected data, ADVANCE Program professors will work with and advise the provost, deans, and other members of the administration to identify issues, problems, and solutions.
- Maintain reliable statistics about faculty across units according to gender, rank, etc. over time
- Increased representation by women at all ranks
- Salary/space/policy adjustments, as appropriate
- Annual meetings with the ADVANCE Program, Institute Diversity, and Office of the Provost to discuss strategies for improving the climate and institute best practices regarding equity and diversity