Fostering an Anti-Racist Academic Community and Promoting Inclusive Excellence for Faculty at Duke

Our Goals and Plans

Introduction

In his message to the Duke community to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday, President Price acknowledged that we, at Duke, “aspire to be agents of progress in advancing racial equity and justice,” but that “we have often been slow to do the right things, the hard things, the transformative things.” These “hard things” are all encompassing and include both individual and collective levels of change. To mobilize efforts to confront structural racism and for Duke to become a collective agent of positive change, all members of our community need the courage, dedication and willingness to work on our own transformation and growth as individuals. We also need to sustain our commitment over the long term to address the historical structural barriers that support and perpetuate racism and inequities in our academic spaces, particularly anti-Black racism and inequities. Making anti-racism a part of Duke’s identity and values is not only a societal imperative, but it is also critical to the success of our academic mission. An anti-racist and equitable community requires the inclusion of and equity for diverse talent and voices to enrich our students’ academic experience, open additional research horizons, and ultimately deepen the reach of our societal impact.

The Office for Faculty Advancement (OFA) is committed to advancing anti-racism and equity efforts on Duke’s campus. Since its launch in 2017, OFA has made diversity, equity and inclusion the core values that drive its mission for the success of all faculty. Our approach to faculty advancement is inspired by the conviction that those values should guide our entire portfolio and serve all faculty equally. In fact, we do not consider anti-racism and equity work to be distinct from the rest of our faculty advancement efforts. Rather, this work weaves into all of our faculty advancement initiatives, because a truly anti-racist and equitable academic environment is a necessary prerequisite to the success of all Duke faculty and members of the Duke community.

OFA’s efforts are focused on three intersecting areas:

Three focus areas.

  • Hiring faculty from diverse backgrounds and ensuring that our hiring efforts and processes are equitable and consistent with our diversity and inclusion goals are essential. We need to continue to increase faculty diversity across Duke to reflect the diversity of the student body and the country. We also need to enrich the student experience and strengthen the research and service missions of the university. Since the creation of OFA three years ago, the number of regular rank Black faculty at the university has increased from 67 to over 80 (about 7% of regular rank faculty across the university). That is a modest positive development and a foundation on which we must build. In this regard, the Provost has recently secured a $16M grant from The Duke Endowment to further diversify the faculty. This encompasses both individual hiring and cluster hiring to build critical mass and expertise in areas where Duke does not have strong representation of underrepresented faculty. These resources will complement other investments from schools and academic programs.
  • Providing faculty and leadership development programs and resources that aim to support faculty throughout their careers at Duke. These programs are important for faculty retention, growth and success. Effective faculty development initiatives that encompass all areas critical to faculty success are crucial to retaining diverse faculty talent and developing future academic leaders. These programs intersect with our efforts to create an inclusive and anti-racist environment (for example, with support for faculty-led initiatives as described here).
  • Bolstering climate, culture and community programs and efforts that seek to foster an environment that is equitable, supportive, respectful, professional, and committed to confronting racism and biases within our academic programs. This work also seeks to address conduct that aims to diminish or exclude any group. Without a healthy academic ecosystem that is committed to anti-racism and embraces and celebrates academic diversity and excellence, our hiring efforts and faculty and leadership development initiatives will not be sustainable.

For our anti-racism and equity efforts to succeed, it is essential that they are evidence-based and that they are carried out with transparency and accountability. They also require the participation of and partnership with the faculty, academic units, students, and staff. Below we provide the specific action items that describe how we plan to implement this work and how we will measure its effectiveness. We commit to the following:

I. Advance Faculty Diversity in Academic Units

Strategies and Programs

  1. Build on the success of the Strategic Hiring for Faculty Excellence (SHFE) program (see p. 19 of Together Duke ) and extend it for the next five years as funds permit; work with University Development to raise additional funds for this endeavor.
  2. Continue to offer Inclusive Search Workshops to faculty search committees. Expand to include work for faculty to examine their own biases, and provide tools on how faculty can work to overcome them.
  3. Use departmental self-assessments to determine areas for improvement as faculty work towards increased equity in hiring practices.
  4. Work with academic units to make statements of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion part of candidates’ dossiers.
  5. Work with academic units to include an experiential component, such as a presentation on mentoring or working with students from different backgrounds, in faculty job interviews. These would also help to establish from the beginning that anti-racism is a value that all members of the Duke community should carry.
  6. Expand the Visiting Scholars Program to build cohort structures for all current visiting scholars. Work with departments to ensure that visiting scholars have access to mentoring opportunities, departmental and institutional networks, and professional development resources.
  7. Develop an Inclusive Searches Toolkit for search committees and chairs/deans to use during the search process.
  8. Bolster local faculty recruiting efforts, including exploring hosting a Duke-led conference to attract underrepresented scholars from across the nation.

Assessment and Metrics

  • Gather and review Institutional Research data on new faculty hires and departures to inform the actions of relevant academic units.
  • Gather and review data on applicants, short lists, and finalists to assess depth of the candidate pool, demographics, and educational background, and use the data to work with the academic units to improve the search process.
  • Keep records of the actions of search committees and programs to assess the processes and outcome of each faculty search, and use the data to inform units of areas where equity can be improved.
  • Develop rubrics for assessing diversity and equity statements in applications for faculty positions, and incorporate them into faculty search processes.

Implementation

  • OFA will oversee the Strategic Hiring for Excellence and Visiting Scholar program and will deliver Inclusive Searches workshops for search committees.
  • OFA will develop resources and toolkits on inclusive and equitable searches.
  • Departments will provide data and relevant information on their local climate, and develop clearly articulated plans for improving challenged aspects of their local climate, mentoring plans, and support of visiting scholars and potential underrepresented faculty candidates.
  • Departments will work with OFA, the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and their local leaders to improve their identified areas for improvement.
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II. Strengthen Faculty Development and Advancement Programs and Resources

Strategies and Programs

  1. Continue to offer the Faculty Advancement and Success (FAS) workshop series to provide learning opportunities, resources and networking for faculty peers, experts, and key campus leaders on issues relevant to the professional development and advancement of all faculty throughout their careers at Duke.
  2. Use approaches that are more consistently equitable and anti-racist in the topics, design and implementation of the FAS series.
  3. Provide extensions of the FAS workshops, including opportunities for in-depth sessions on how to expand the practical skills presented in the workshops (e.g., how to be anti-racist) to work towards behavioral changes.
  4. Provide workshops on change-agentry and systemic change, and provide increased opportunities to allow faculty to introspect, examine and expand their own behaviors, contributions and roles in the systems at Duke.
  5. Develop an anti-racism curriculum for faculty that combines historical background, primers on systematic racism, and tools and skills to promote equity and confront racism and bias in interactions with peers and colleagues and in classrooms and research groups.
  6. Work with the Ivy Plus consortium (Faculty Advancement Network) to offer programs and resources for faculty on topics related to diversity and equity.
  7. Work with schools, departments, centers, and institutes to develop programs tailored to their specific local needs and goals.

Assessment and Metrics

  • Design surveys to assess the effectiveness of OFA workshops and programs to determine impact on faculty experiences and to ensure that learning objectives are accomplished.
  • Use climate survey data as well as input from stakeholders and advisory groups to ensure that FAS workshop content is well aligned with unit level faculty development needs.
  • Collect workshop participation data and feedback from departments and schools to inform offerings from OFA.

Implementation

  • OFA will develop content and deliver the FAS workshops. Some workshops will include partners from the Ivy Plus consortium, the Graduate School, the Office of Undergraduate Education, OIE, Human Resources (HR), Personal Assistance Services (PAS), external speakers, and other appropriate collaborators to increase diversity of thought, skills and perspective.
  • OFA will develop resources and toolkits for faculty to continue to expand their knowledge and skills in areas related to anti-racist practices.
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III. Highlight Faculty Success and Contribution, Promote Visibility, and Improve Support Systems

Strategies and Programs

  1. Work with University Communications to publish pieces highlighting faculty research and impact, with a special focus on underrepresented faculty.
  2. Work with academic units to develop a culture of positioning faculty equitably to compete for prestigious awards and academic recognition.
  3. Collaborate with and support faculty who are interested in leading symposia and colloquia related to anti-racism, and provide increased opportunities to engage with faculty across disciplines to elevate the exposure and expertise of underrepresented faculty scholarship.
  4. Form a community of scholarship to highlight and connect the work and expand professional networks for underrepresented faculty.
  5. Examine practices around faculty mentoring, particularly for underrepresented faculty groups, and standardize levels of support across schools.

Assessment and Metrics

  • Gather and review data on faculty stories/profiles/interviews to ensure that we are reaching a broad and diverse segment of the faculty population, and use the data to inform future practices.
  • Gather and review data on faculty awards and academic recognition, and work with the academic units to develop a culture of award nominations and diversity among the pool of nominees.
  • Learn more about the work of faculty affinity groups and how to better engage their networks.
  • Gather data from departments on their equitable mentoring and equitable onboarding practices of departments during the faculty onboarding process, including processes for underrepresented faculty.     

Implementation

  • OFA will work with University Communications to highlight the work and scholarship of underrepresented faculty.
  • OFA will work with Institutional Research (IR)and academic units on faculty awards and recognition to identify faculty, including underrepresented faculty, to consider for award nominations.
  • OFA will partner with faculty and academic programs to support faculty-led conferences and symposia.
  • OFA will support faculty affinity groups to continue to highlight and support underrepresented faculty.
  • OFA will support units in developing equitable mentoring plans for faculty, with a focus on underrepresented faculty.
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IV. Support Academic Leaders and Develop Leadership Pipeline

Strategies and Programs

  1. Continue to offer the Leading an Academic Unit (LAUD) workshop series for academic leaders with increased equity in program development and anti-racism content.
  2. Use approaches that are more consistently equitable and anti-racist in the design and implementation of the LAUD series.
  3. Provide extensions of the LAUD workshops, including opportunities for in-depth sessions on how to expand the practical skills presented in workshops (e.g., how to be anti-racist) to work towards behavioral changes.
  4. Provide workshops for leaders on how to engage in and support change-agency and systemic change in their units, and provide increased opportunities to allow leaders to introspect, examine and expand their own behaviors, contributions and roles in the systems at Duke.
  5. Work with the Ivy Plus consortium (Faculty Advancement Network) to offer programs and resources for leaders on topics related to diversity and equity.
  6. Collaborate with the Office of the President on a Leadership Fellows Program to introduce faculty to academic leadership.
  7. Recruit a cohort of faculty to participate in the ACC Academic Leadership Network.

Assessment and Metrics

  • Design surveys to assess the effectiveness of each workshop towards meeting specified learning objectives and goals. Review assessment surveys after each workshop and program to inform future OFA offerings.
  • Collect workshop participation data and feedback from departments and schools, and use this data to inform the improvement and development of programs and resources. Use climate survey data as well as input from stakeholders and advisory groups to ensure that LAUD workshop content is well aligned with faculty leaders’ development and needs.
  • Develop protocols to ensure that equity is present in the selection processes for participants applying to local and national leadership initiatives.

Implementation

  • OFA will develop content and deliver the LAUD workshops. Some workshops will include partners from the Ivy Plus consortium, Graduate School, Undergraduate Education, OIE, HR, PAS, external speakers, and other appropriate collaborators to increase diversity of thought, skill and perspective.
  • OFA will work to develop resources and toolkits for academic leaders to continue to expand their knowledge and skills in areas related to anti-racist practices.
  • OFA will oversee the initiatives to develop leadership pipelines and will be the liaison with the Ivy Plus and ACC ALN.
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V. Improve Academic Climate and Culture

Strategies and Programs

  1. Focus the upcoming cycle of OFA Seed Grants on anti-racism intellectual topics and projects.
  2. Launch Faculty Commons virtual gathering space to develop communities of practice around faculty-centric issues (e.g., climate issues in departments, classrooms and labs), and provide educational and supportive spaces for faculty to discuss and learn of effective practices from colleagues and peers.
  3. Work with departments and programs for increased accountability for faculty involved in conflicts, including helping them to navigate through challenging departmental situations with anti-racist approaches and follow-through measures.
  4. Work towards implementing faculty training opportunities, such as the Cup of Coffee Program, for training individuals across all schools on aspects of professionalism and how they relate to our goals for diversity, equity, and belonging.
  5. Develop a toolkit on climate and culture to expand resources and strategies for equitable practices in hiring, teaching, professional advancement, and mentorship.

Assessment and Metrics

  • Work with partners at OIE and IR to develop templates for climate surveys that can be used in each academic unit.
  • Use surveys, advisory groups, and other forms of data collection to regularly assess the impact of the work of OFA on the overall faculty climate, and modify future programming accordingly.
  • Undertake regular exit interviews with faculty that include a focus on climate and culture.
  • Gather and review faculty retention, promotion and tenure data, and determine areas in need of systemic improvement.    

Implementation

  • OFA will partner with OIE and IR to develop climate survey templates for academic units.
  • OFA will work with IR and OIE to help distribute surveys, gather and review faculty climate data, and work with the academic units to review the results and develop next steps.
  • OFA will work with units to develop local interventions to improve climate and culture.
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VI. Information and Communication

Strategies and Programs

  1. Maintain current demographic and climate data for faculty on OFA website and link information to the Duke website.
  2. Publish a recurring OFA newsletter that includes updates on events and relevant institutional/unit level efforts and data highlighting climate work.
  3. Publish OFA annual reports on the OFA website.
  4. Meet regularly with the OFA Advisory Groups that include institutional and unit leaders, faculty, students, and academic staff.
  5. Provide regular updates to Deans, Academic Council, and key campus committees and stakeholders, including students and academic staff.

Assessment and Metrics

  • Collect OFA website analytics to determine frequency of usage, most frequently used resources, etc.
  • Survey relevant constituencies and stakeholders on the usefulness and quality of the data and information on the OFA website.

Implementation

  • OFA will work with OIE and IR to develop a comprehensive dashboard and website.
  • OFA will work with University Communications and academic units to highlight the diversity of our faculty, their work, accomplishments, and impact.
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VII. Accountability, Governance, and Policies

Strategies and Programs

  1. Collect academic unit bylaws and develop templates for equitable academic unit bylaws and policies, including promotion and tenure, annual reviews for Regular Rank (RR) and Non-Regular Rank (NRR) faculty, and program reviews.
  2. Work with academic units to standardize and clarify standards for promotion and career advancement for NRR and RR Non-Tenure Track faculty.
  3. Develop a toolkit for academic leaders on processes involved in equitable and transparent governance. 

Assessment and Metrics

  • Review climate survey data and work with academic units and leaders on action plans to address concerns.
  • Undertake regular exit interviews with academic leaders and faculty with a focus on governance and policies.

Implementation

  • OFA will work with academic leaders to develop review templates for departmental reviews that take into account diversity and equity.
  • OFA will partner with OIE, HR and academic units to enhance guidelines and policies to address conduct that violates policies and expected norms of professionalism.
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