SEAS Now Requires Faculty to Submit Diversity Reports

Ruth A. Hailu and Amy L. Jia, Harvard Crimson, March 12, 2019

Incoming and current faculty members at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are now required to report their involvement in promoting diversity and inclusion, which could then affect the assignment of faculty bonuses, Dean of SEAS Francis J. Doyle III said in a February interview.

{snip} Prospective faculty members must now provide a “diversity, inclusion, and belonging statement” as a part of their application, according to Doyle.

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SEAS has also implemented a requirement that current faculty members report any efforts they are undertaking to promote diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Such efforts could range from modifying course curricula to mentoring student affinity groups. Doyle said that while he does factor other aspects of faculty members’ job performance when assigning bonuses, he considers this information a “priority” in his decision.

“This is the way, in the University setting, that I can indicate the importance of this and reward accordingly when our faculty are invested deeply in that area,” Doyle said.

{snip} Alexis J. Stokes, director of diversity, inclusion, and belonging at SEAS, said that requiring incoming and current faculty to report their commitment to diversity serves as a consistent means of monitoring their involvement in fostering an inclusive environment.

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Though other divisions within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences do not currently require a diversity statement, the school is currently looking to learn from SEAS’s example, according to FAS Dean Claudine Gay.

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Like Doyle, Gay said a number of considerations are taken into account when assigning faculty bonuses at the end of the year, and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion can intersect with each of those considerations.

“When we think about bonuses or acknowledging or rewarding faculty who have had an exceptional year, we look at the full complement of expectations we have for faculty,” Gay said. {snip}

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