An Assessment of Progress in Enhancing Diversity
by the University of Montevallo
Assessment of Progress in Enhancing Diversity
by the University of Montevallo
In accordance with the 2011charge issued to the President’s Task Force on Diversity, “to review and make suggestions on hiring practices that will help the University recruit and retain minority employees,” new initiatives have been the forefront and diligent focus of the group. Of significant impact in recruitment and retention initiatives is the redesign of the University’s Diversity Educational Financial Assistance Programs. In spring 2013, the University will reinstate an educational assistance program targeted at growing diversity, with significantly improved terms. UM will offer its current employees an opportunity to apply for a Diversity Scholarship, awarding recipients up to $5,250 per calendar year for a maximum of four years for doctoral study, without requiring repayment of funds and without tax implications. For potential candidates who are not currently employed by the University, the Diversity Financial Assistance Loan program will remain an option. These candidates can earn loan forgiveness with Post-Doctoral Employment at UM, but tax implications will continue to apply by IRS regulations.
In another endeavor to enhance its diversity initiatives, the University will participate in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Diverse Issues in Higher Education spring diversity supplement “Convergence.” This is an extraordinary opportunity to promote Montevallo's diversity message in both journals in a professionally celebrated and influential manor. "Convergence" will reach more than 500,000 readers, the largest audience in higher education.
In addition to these forward-progress initiatives, the University continues to monitor and utilize its best practices. The University continues to announce opportunities for employment in venues specifically targeted to minority applicants. The University renewed its subscription to the Minority Faculty Applicant Database (MFAD) for faculty, administrative, and professional positions. Using its MFAD capabilities, the Academic Network, Inc., began providing a weekly service to its customers last summer that circulates the resumés of diverse candidates seeking faculty, staff or administrative positions within higher education. As a partner with the Academic Network, UM is a recipient of these resumés. Continuing other best practices, all faculty, administrative, and professional positions are posted in the renowned publication, Diverse Issues in Higher Education. The University also subscribed to an Affirmative Action list service through one of its regular advertising venues. Through this proprietary, opt-in medium, the University is able to send its career opportunities to more than 200,000 job seekers on a weekly basis.
During the reporting period, the University hired four African American adjunct instructors, and promoted one African American faculty member as a full-time department chair. The total number of full-time faculty increased by 15 over last year’s report, none of whom self-reported as African American.
One African-American Vice President accepted another position and resigned; the position was not refilled and the duties were reassigned. Due to external position offers, two African-American faculty resigned. During the reporting period, approximately 22 faculty, professional, and administrative positions were filled. Four were filled by African Americans; two through search and two through promotion. It remains the University’s position to pursue qualified minorities through searches and through advancement opportunities for all positions, including non EEO-1 positions.
While student enrollment increased overall, the percentage of minority students remained basically the same when compared to past years. The largest difference was in the number of students who reported race as unknown. That number increased by 74 students. The Office of Admissions is employing strategies to increase minority student enrollment with the goal of increasing the percentage of minority students enrollment. These strategies include increasing recruiting activities in counties with high minority student populations such as Mobile, Montgomery, and Jefferson counties. The other strategies involve expanding our relationships with Cappex.com and TWG Plus to increase the pool of African American prospective students by 20 percent.
Graduation rates among African-American students increased significantly. In comparison to last year’s numbers, 16 more African-American students earned their Bachelor’s degrees. African-American students earning Master’s degrees increased by 62 percent over last year’s numbers.
Under the direction of its committed leaders, the University will continue to explore alternatives to enhance its diversity initiatives.