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Division of Student Affairs

Diverse Faculty & Staff Working Group
Meeting Minutes

April 18, 2019


Attendees:  Katie Cooper, James Dalton, Jaime Diaz, Obie Ford, Renny Christopher, Fran Hermanson, Phyllis Erdman, Dan Records, Jason Abrams, James Petersen, Kate McAteer

4 Subgroup Initiatives

Implicit Bias Awareness Training

  • Need to build on these interim measures with H.R.S.
    • Jaime Phyllis, Theresa to connect with Renny & Obie on what the Vancouver in person training workshops look like, and continue to build infrastructure (train the trainers to be effective facilitators)
    • As we transition to Zoom, it may be more technically feasible to participate in trainings remotely. Connect with Dion Crommarty to solicit his expertise in this area.
    • “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That shapes What We See, Think, and Do” by Jennifer Eberhardt – book recommendation by Jaime Nolan
    • “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” by Mahzarin Banaji – book recommendation by Renny Christopher and Obie Ford.
    • Jaime Nolan has begun to lead multiple trainings across Pullman campus for search committees.
  • Contributions towards Equity statements from incoming candidates
    • Discuss how to operationalize this going forward
  • Interested members: Paul Strand, Jaime Nolan, Theresa Elliot-Cheslek, James Dalton, Chip Hunter; (Phyllis to check in on progress)
  • Next steps: think about how to better organize existing materials so that they are easier to navigate.

 Resource Guide

  • Need to draft and publish a guide that captures info about life/culture/resources and provides connection to affinity groups (especially for under-represented populations) and is tailored specifically to each specific WSU Campus (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-cities, Vancouver, Everett)
  • (connections to culture, health & wellness, communities of like-minded people, etc.).
  • Need to ensure ability to refresh and update is in place; this is a living document!
  • Could we call focus groups across all campuses for marginalized faculty & staff to address the needs for this resource guide.
  • Interested members: Jason Abrams; (Obie to check in on progress)

Equity Advisors

  • Neutral 3rd party individual (not affiliated with a search committee) to meet with incoming faculty/staff to answer questions related to “life/culture at WSU – specific to respective campus”. (connections to culture, health & wellness, communities of like-minded people, etc.).
  • Build relationships across the community and region.
  • Work in progress; initial conversation stages; working to articulate the following:
    • What we’re looking for in relation to Equity Fellow (and equity advisors)
    • Representation across Colleges/Departments
      • Selection of Equity advisors to be made as a part of a thoughtful process with Dean/Assoc. Dean and ensure we are not overworking new/under-represented faculty who may be working towards tenure; tap in to senior faculty members.
      • Develop clear description on roles/responsibilities for this role
    • Training (attendance at conferences i.e. NCORE)
    • TBD Stipend?
    • Connection to Affinity groups:
      • Black Faculty/Staff Association
      • Asian Pacific Islander Faculty/Staff Association
      • Native Faculty/Staff Association
      • Chicanx/Latinx Faculty/Staff Association
      • Disabled Faculty/Staff and Allies
      • LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Association (coming soon)
      • Association of Faculty Women?
      • Any others?
    • Concurrent development of these resources across all campuses
    • Networking with Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Centers in respective towns/cities (Pullman/Moscow, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Everett)
    • How to facilitate active searches and take an active approach in ensuring diversity within applicant pools - reports of searches in process to the Dean
  • Interested members: Katie Cooper, Courtney Benjamin; (Phyllis to check in on progress)
  • Next steps: Begin to outline description, roles, responsibilities for the Equity Advisor.   Look at other models from other campuses/institutions.

Retention Initiatives

  • Look at current retention data
  • Discuss and leverage current activities currently in place across all campuses (Obie Ford /Renny Christopher to advise)?
    • 4 C’s reception: event housed within Support and Empowerment of Employees of Color (S.E.E.K.) – brings together POC staff, faculty, community for connection, conversation, and celebration at Vancouver.  Ties directly to strategic plan for Equity and Diversity, and values of increased capacity for change and more welcome campus climate.
    • BACE program: Building a Community of Equity and Professional Development Program; program piloted in Spring 2017 and was officially unveiled last year; series of workshops on building equity: 1) looking at bias in the workplace 2) microaggressions 3) universal design and accessibility 4) implicit bias.  50% participation rate from community.   Also offered as a 12-hr certificate program.  Mini certificates offered as well for universal design.
    • Address retention beginning from the point of outreach and recruitment
  • Address what we need to do to enable community members to thrive, and new work that needs to be done to facilitate this across the system.
  • “Retaining our Faculties”: convene annual summit modeled after University of Minnesota;  also look at other institutions that may be doing similar
  • Interested members: Dan Records, Katie Cooper, Mary Rezac/James Petersen, Fran Hermanson, Lisa Gehring, Renny Christopher, Jaime Diaz (co-chair); (Obie to check in on progress)
  • Metric 11 data:
    • 2018-2019 data has been aggregated and is being submitted to the President & Provost
    • In depth analysis reviewed with working group
    • Chancellors, Deans, VPs, gets quarterly report for closed recruitments showing reports (self-disclosing) by race/gender.
    • Dan Records to connect with Obie Ford to share this in-depth analysis
    • Dan Records meeting with AG’s office today prior to distribution of this report to VP’s, Deans, Chancellors and to Diverse Fac/Staff Working Group via secure link.
    • Current reporting for current employees is based on self-identification; what can we do to get participation rates higher and can we re-survey current employees as a part of the Modernization Effort? FYI - last re-survey effort was done in 2016 but reporting rates were quite low.
    • Need publicity campaign about how collecting this data ties in to our equity efforts before a re-survey effort is done.

For Follow up:

  • All members confirmed by Monday Appoint sub-committee leaders to lead up each of the above initiatives 4/22/19.
  • Subcommittee chairs needed!
  • Sub committee meetings to begin after May commencement.