June 27, 2019 — The Hechinger Report published an op-ed on how to close the gap in diversity between an institution’s student body and its faculty, co-authored by Interfolio CEO Andrew Rosen and Autumn Reed, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
The article is grounded in current demographic data of faculty from the National Center for Education Statistics. Rosen and Reed assert that academic leaders cannot simply blame the “pipeline” (defined as a lack of qualified candidates), but rather must make faculty diversity a key priority for their college or university.
In her current role, Reed focuses on faculty diversity initiatives, and she has been instrumental in putting into place practices and policies for hiring committees in particular. Additionally, UMBC implemented Interfolio’s Faculty Search to make the hiring processes consistent across campus. Interfolio also enables UMBC to “compare the diversity of a job applicant pool for a given opening to that job’s national diversity average.” She speaks to the importance of inclusive job advertisements, as well as the necessity for proactive recruitment.
As Reed and Rosen conclude: “Colleges and universities cannot allow such disparities to exist between the diversity of their student bodies and their faculty. Institutions must continue their efforts to widen access for minority students. But as they do so, they must also remember that providing equitable outcomes for those students requires that they are able to interact with, and learn from, a faculty that is similarly representative.”