Georgia State University has the potential to become a nationally recognized model for leadership in building a diverse and inclusive faculty, given its diverse student body, geographic situation in the heart of Atlanta, and clearly stated goal to “Be a nationally recognized model for leadership in inclusion” (Strategic Plan Goal 4, Initiative 3). To reach such potential, the efforts to recruit, engage, and retain underrepresented minority (URM) faculty members at Georgia State must improve. Georgia State must bring its institutional spirit of innovative programming to design, implement, and evaluate strategies that build diversity and inclusion, thereby further enriching the academic environment and inspiring even more members of our diverse student body. The Commission on the Next Generation of Faculty was tasked with proposing how the university might best approach this opportunity and offers five Transformative Recommendations, which are high priority actions that should lead to greater success at recruiting, engaging, and retaining a diverse faculty, as well as three Best Practice Initiatives, which are essential for Georgia State to become nationally recognized in diversity and inclusion. Each recommendation and initiative is intended to be implemented across all campuses.
- Recommendation 1: Make faculty diversity and engagement a visible priority coming from the President and senior leadership, and infuse this commitment throughout the university with urgency to act and the resources to support it.
- Recommendation 2: Invest resources into deepening the sense of community and engagement for all faculty, and celebrate the diversity of Georgia State’s people, programs, and campus cultures.
- Recommendation 3: Create a Center for African-American and African Diaspora Scholarship and Outreach, which will serve as a research and resource center to foster intellectual community across the university and in collaboration with Atlanta partners.
- Recommendation 4: Implement new strategies for recruiting individuals from underrepresented minority groups to Georgia State faculty positions.
- Recommendation 5: Create best-in-class, data-informed analytics to examine and address trends, including tracking faculty hires and implementing regularly-scheduled climate surveys.
Best Practice Initiatives
- Initiative 1: Adopt and implement best practices for hiring faculty from diverse groups.
- Initiative 2: Create programming designed to promote the development and retention of faculty of all backgrounds.
- Initiative 3: Create a university-wide steering committee, reporting to the Provost or President, with authority and resources to carry out these recommendations and sustain the institution’s focus on diversity and inclusion.