Provost's Statement on Diversity
Universities excel when we attract talent and create an environment where that talent thrives. Universities create knowledge and ideas, and better ideas and decisions come from groups of people with different backgrounds and experiences. For these reasons, it is a key objective of higher education to attract and nurture students, staff and faculty that reflect the served populations and bring the different backgrounds needed to make the world more prosperous and equitable.
Washington University welcomes difference on our campus in the form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. We seek to bring these different backgrounds and perspectives to the great problems facing the world.
Our goals are for students and faculty members of all backgrounds to thrive, and for our community to reflect the demography of the nation and world. These are not just ideals, they are competitive advantages to universities who strive to achieve them.
Enhancing diversity at Washington University is the top strategic goal approved by the Board of Trustees, and a large part of the mandate of the Office of the Provost. While Vice Provost Adrienne Davis and I are focused on these goals, our success requires that our entire community embrace our objectives of equity and inclusion.
I hope you will take the time to learn about our programs and goals from this web site, and I look forward to working with you to create an inspiring future for Washington University.
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Professor of Chemistry and Medicine
Faculty Diversity Goals
- Increase the proportion of women and underrepresented faculty at all ranks through hiring, retention and promotion. (Gender Pay Equity)
- Increase the number of women and underrepresented faculty in leadership positions at WU.
- Ensure that we continue to pay all faculty equitably. The Provost will work closely with the Senate Council to evaluate faculty pay equity on a regular basis. (Gender Pay Equity)
- Foster an intellectual and administrative climate where all faculty have opportunities to contribute to the direction of the University.
Our Office regularly updates University leaders, Board members, and National Council members on progress and challenges and enlists their help and support in this effort. In particular, we are working with individual school deans to devise plans to:
- Develop initiatives to promote faculty leadership, with an express purpose of involving women and minorities more deeply in University life.
- Recognize women and underrepresented faculty through endowed chairs and internal awards and fellowships.
- Establish ombudspersons for both the Danforth and Medical Campuses who will provide confidential, independent, nonpolitical, and knowledgeable counsel and advocacy for faculty members. (Ombuds)
- Ensure accepted search procedures are followed, particularly those that encourage diversity as an important criterion in searches. This will include supporting annual workshops for search committees. (Diversity Initiatives)
- Develop target of opportunity recruitment policies (where they do not exist). (Target of Opportunity)
- Collect and report data on the representation of women and underrepresented groups in the applicant pools, finalist pools and offers made for all faculty searches. (Search Outcomes)
- Strengthen faculty retention through mentoring and other processes. (Diversity Initiative)
- Initiate third party exit interviews for faculty who leave Washington University.
- Create standards for accountability to evaluate progress within schools, departments or divisions.
Faculty Diversity Benchmarks
Washington University's own faculty diversity data will be benchmarked by school (and within Arts & Sciences, by division) against the proportion of women and underrepresented faculty members at peer private research universities. We will monitor our progress at regular intervals with the goal to be a leader among our peer group.
Financial resources to advance diversity goals will be made available through the Office of the Provost. The University has committed significant resources to enhance the strategic hiring of underrepresented faculty in the Danforth schools. In addition, the Vice Provost administers several programs and initiatives designed to support diversity in faculty hiring, retention, promotion, and development. The Medical School has a separate fund for recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty.
In order to encourage transparency and ownership of this issue we provide data to the Educational Policy committee of the Board of Trustees, to the Faculty Senate, and to the entire University community. These data include numbers of women and underrepresented faculty at Washington University as well as among our peer institutions. In addition, a separate website is dedicated to diversity and related initiatives. (Diversity Initiative)
Outlined above are actions that largely focus on faculty diversity. However, the Washington University plan must be an interdependent effort. We work with other administrators and faculty on diversity issues pertaining to staff and students, as well as faculty.