The University of Denver has joined 18 other universities in a three-year initiative aimed at increasing diversity within science, technology, engineering and math faculty.
“We face a critical shortfall of diversity in STEM fields nationally,” said Travis York, the assistant vice president of academic and student affairs for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, according to DU’s campus news service. “The institutions participating in the IChange Network are moving beyond statements into actions as they seek to enact inclusive organizational structures to increase diversity of their faculty and value the use of equity-minded practices by all faculty as we work to address a national challenge.”
Universities in the Institutional Change Network will first self-assess their current procedures and develop roadmaps for their STEM programs. This summer, DU created a diversity, equity and inclusion action plan. In it, the university acknowledged a deficiency in recruiting and retaining “minoritized” faculty.
DU also reported that assistant provost Lisa Martinez is working to develop a new hiring policy.
“One of the outstanding challenges for understanding the varying pathways to the STEM professoriate is a lack of data allowing us to better map the alternative routes, departure and re-entry points, and challenging barriers for underrepresented and underserved individuals,” APLU cautioned. “The United States federal government provides a limited number of data sets that give us information about the STEM pathways from undergraduate education to a faculty position.”