CSULB is a highly diverse university located in one of the most diverse regions of the U.S., in a location with a global outlook on the Pacific Rim and the world. Our diversity has multiple dimensions including race, ethnicity, language, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances, among other cultural identities and experiences. Our appreciation of diversity includes an awareness of the many issues and challenges that confront underrepresented groups. Given this awareness, it is important that all of our students, faculty, and staff perceive that the University is committed to creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment within which they learn and work.
As a campus we regard all of these principles as vitally important to the success of the institution. Making decisions that achieve optimal balance among these principles is complex, especially in the very difficult budgetary climate that we now face. Key to realizing our goal is the development and implementation of a campus plan for further diversifying CSULB's faculty and staff. This strategic plan articulates four action areas for augmenting current programs and implementing new ones:
With these principles in mind, it is imperative that we evaluate our current campus progress and the steps we must take in the future to ensure that we are not only meeting the needs of our students but also adjusting to the changing dynamics of a globally diverse society.
As the relevant offices prepare for new diversity initiatives that will be feasible to pursue in this fiscal environment, it is important to first gauge our progress during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Data provided by the CSULB Office of Institutional Research and Assessment reveals that the campus has made considerable gains. During this period, from fall 2001 to fall 2009, there has been a net increase in tenured & tenure track faculty of color from 189 to 276 or 23% to 31%. Our demographic representation among faculty of color exceeds the national average. However, our progress has been mitigated by challenges with faculty retention. The largest increase occurred among Asian and Asian American tenured & tenure track faculty, rising from 115 to 170 or 13.9% to 19.1% over that nine year period. Hispanic/Latino(a) tenured and tenured track faculty have increased from 38 to 63 or 4.6% to 7.1%.With these increases, there has been a corresponding decrease among white tenured and tenure track faculty, from 73% to 67%. With respect to other groups of color, net gains among American Indian and African American tenured and tenure track faculty have been limited. The former group has doubled from 3 to 6; but, the latter group reflects the least growth among groups of color, rising from 33 to 37 or 4.0% to 4.2%. Interestingly, 27 African Americans have been hired since 2000; the numbers suggest that, in addition to retirement, several African American faculty have departed for other reasons that include family concerns, a better offer, failure to achieve tenure, or department climate. Multiple factors have contributed to what, in effect, is a virtual replacement trend in relation to this group. This trend signals a need to focus on retention as much as recruitment in the years ahead.
Although there is a great deal of work to be done in relation to faculty diversity, staff diversity is equally important to the campus community. Among the staff, particularly the managers (MPPs), fewer opportunities exist given the limited number of positions which become available in the various categories. Despite these challenges, significant improvements have occurred during this decade. Cumulatively, managers of color have increased from 47 in 2001 to 73 in 2009, or 23% to 33%.In fact, the highest increase is evident among Latinos(as), who increased from 10 to 28 or 4.9% to 12.7% during this period. With clear strategic goals which assist search committees in their efforts to achieve highly qualified and diverse applicant pools, this positive trend should continue among both the management and the staff generally.
CSULB is located in a region in which student diversity has increased very rapidly in the past two decades. In relation to student diversity, our progress among faculty and staff has been gradual. The availability of doctorates among women and people of color in the respective disciplines, in part, affects the rate at which we are able to achieve diversity. With respect to faculty recruitment, the number of international applicants continues to rise fairly rapidly. Comparatively, the number of American Ph.D.s of color has increased more gradually; these potential applicants must be identified by employing well conceived recruitment strategies. In the short term, our budgetary constraints and the dismal state economy have adversely affected our recruitment efforts for new faculty and staff; for example, we have six faculty recruitments that have been conducted during AY 2009/10, as compared to approximately seventy-five recruitments that were conducted in AY 2007/08. Nonetheless, the proposed retention programs designed for faculty and staff will favorably impact our campus community and immediately benefit our highly diverse student body.
Central to CSULB's mission is the academic success of our students. The composition of the faculty and the staff is critical to fulfilling that mission. The University's graduation rates have been improving for more than a decade and it has focused on attracting and graduating students of color, with some notable successes.
Our highly accomplished and committed faculty and staff have been indispensable to these achievements. As our fiscal outlook improves, our energies will be directed toward implementing our staff and faculty recruitment initiatives and accelerating our transition to an even more diverse employee community. An increasingly diverse employee community will be critical to meeting the needs of our students in this competitive global economy. The four action areas, noted below, will be central to achieving greater faculty diversity. The core principles from this strategic plan will be applied to staff recruitment and incorporated in those protocols, across the divisions, as well.
When recruiting diverse faculty and staff, the definition of diversity must be advanced in its broadest terms to include: race, ethnicity, bi or multi-lingual knowledge, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and ability, among other cultural identities and experiences.
It will be critical to attract individual candidates who understand the value of diversity and possess experiences and subject matter interests which both enhance the University's curriculum and foster equal access to higher education.
The AVP for Faculty Affairs and the Director of the Office Equity and Diversity will meet with each dean and the corresponding search committees to discuss recruitment issues and challenges related to the discipline, further develop the Recruitment and Advertising Plan, and discuss additional ways to enrich the diversity of the applicant pool.
Take greater advantage of the CSULB allocation from the CSU (unfunded) of up to 11 Visiting Faculty positions each year. These positions have the potential to add diversity to the campus community by providing departments with the opportunity to bring high quality teacher/scholars to campus, creating a more favorable climate for underrepresented students and faculty on the campus. Goals for these one-year, non-renewable hires should include:
When more substantial hiring resumes, some academic positions may be authorized by the Provost that focus on thematic issues likely to generate highly diverse applicant pools .Positions will be authorized in departments where increased diversification is particularly desirable. These thematic recruitments will constitute a portion of each year's hires.
Additionally, important considerations will be given to those academic areas demonstrating increased student demand and where student enrollment has consistently grown. In consultation with the deans and chairs, the Provost will select broadly defined themes within each college that have a strong likelihood of garnering more diverse applicant pools.
The Office of Institutional Research will gather, annually, campus data specific to the strategic plan for further diversifying the faculty, including comparing campus data to national data from sources that provide information specific to faculty hiring and demography (e.g., National Opinion Research Center that records annual Ph.D.s granted per discipline, by race and gender and Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education that surveys PhD candidates and tenure-track faculty in the U.S.) . This data will be posted on the Office of Institutional Research website and can be used by various campus constituencies to assess and interpret our campus progress.
Despite the challenges confronting California public universities during this national fiscal crisis, the state economy still depends on these institutions to produce the skilled labor integral to our recovery. The demography of California continues to change rapidly and our workforce will naturally follow the trends that our student population reflects. However, this increase in employee diversity must occur intentionally, accompanied by the strategic and thoughtful framework of University practices and policies that are essential for timely progress. Our recruitment and retention successes will be measured not only by numbers but also by the cultural competency that our institution engenders. To that end, the campus leadership will make every effort to ensure that continued and perceptible improvement occurs.
As the University implements the provisions of this plan, it will seek to reinforce existing partnerships with the Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach City College, as well as other neighboring K-12 districts and community colleges in the region. Collectively, these stakeholders must assist the University in its development of a pipeline, extended to diverse, talented young students who may enter CSULB as undergraduates and return much later as attractive candidates for our faculty positions. Our faculty recruitment efforts remain international in scope. Nonetheless, our local and regional community exists as a resource for the development of highly qualified and diverse applicant pools. Without question, the pace of our progress will depend, in large measure, upon the state's and the nation's future investment in public education. Irrespective of these constraints, CSULB remains committed to access for academically qualified low income students and to creative approaches to faculty and staff recruitment and retention.