A spotlight on diversity issues: We need to talk

by Nelson Nunez-Rodriguez
The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) is committed to nurture a welcoming environment for the faculty community. In this regard, the provost is committed to moving forward with the implementation of the 2013-2018 Hostos Faculty Diversity Plan. As a result I am working in conjunction with the Affirmative Action Committee of the Senate, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Grant Office and the Office of Diversity and Compliance. The Hostos Diversity Plan revolves around faculty recruitment, retention and climate.  Indeed, the grant office recently supported this initiative by holding a collegial conversation between faculty recipients of the CUNY diversity grant and faculty members who plan to apply for this grant opportunity in the future. Former recipients Profs. Sarah Hoiland (Behavioral and Social Sciences), Eunice Flemister (Education), Sandy Figueroa (Business) and Angel Morales (Humanities) graciously shared their past experiences with faculty members exploring this funding opportunity.
Furthermore, the OAA focus on diversity initiatives is currently exploring the results from the COACH Survey to better understand the need to bolster the support provided to adjunct instructors and improve the communication between the Office of Academic Affairs and the departments. The plan also seeks ways to enhance open dialogue and transparency regarding tenure, reappointment and promotion process. Additionally, the initiative aims to create safe venues to open necessary and sometimes difficult conversations revolving around distribution of work, gender equality and faculty engagement in the college and in departments.  These topics were raised in the COACH survey completed by Hostos faculty. The Office of Academic Affairs understands that all college constitutes need to talk about these important matters.
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