University of Hawaii College of Education Diversity Committee Report

May 14, 2007

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Attached is the Report on Racial/Ethnic and Gender Inclusivity of the College of Education (COE) Faculty, Staff, and Students. The report was presented to The College of Education Congress from The College of Education Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Many of the contributors worked within the Center on Disability Studies (HI UCEDD). For any questions or comments about the report, please contact Steve Brown at sebrown@hawaii.edu. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Executive Summary

 

          Welcome to this Report on Racial/Ethnic and Gender Inclusivity of the College of Education (COE) Faculty, Staff, and Students at the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa. 

During the 2005-2006 academic year, a member of the COE Faculty Senate asked the Senate to investigate a charge of institutional racism and sexism within the COE. The COE Faculty Senate Executive Committee met several times during 2005-2006 to ask questions about the charge, to discuss the issues raised, and to recommend to the full Senate a course of action. On April 21, 2006, the Executive Committee recommended that the 2006-2007 Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity (more commonly known as the Diversity Committee) be “charged with the discovery, analyses, and recommendations for action regarding the impact of COE policies, rules, regulations, and practices on the racial/ethnic and gender inclusivity of our faculty, staff, and students.” The Faculty Senate approved the recommendation unanimously. This Report, made on behalf of the 2005-2006 COE Senate Executive Committee, by Senate Vice-Chair Darnell Cole, is in Appendix 1.

      During the summer of 2006, the COE Faculty Senate Chair, the Diversity Committee Chair and Vice Chair met several times to discuss the 2006-2007 work, including broadening membership of the Committee to enhance the diversity of the Diversity Committee itself, and recommendations for how to proceed with fulfilling the charge during the 2006-2007 academic year.  The resulting membership of the 2006-2007 Diversity Committee is listed at the beginning of this document.  Appendix 2 contains a PowerPoint presentation that Jean Johnson, COE Faculty Senate Chair, and ex-officio Diversity Committee member, made at the Diversity Committee’s first meeting of the year, outlining the background, data and resources, possible actions and outcomes, suggested timelines, and summary thoughts. The Diversity Committee website has links to Diversity Committee Minutes from the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 academic years. http://www.hawaii.edu/coe/units/coesenate/com_diversity.html.

            The Diversity Committee spent the bulk of the fall semester gathering resources, conducting individual research on agreed-upon topics, and, familiarizing ourselves with the issues.  During the spring semester, the Diversity Committee organized five subgroups addressing the following topics:

            1.  Current COE Student Demographics

            2.  Current COE Faculty and Staff Demographics

            3.  Student Articulation (Community Colleges to College of Education)

            4.  Student Recruitment, Admission, and Retention

            5.  Faculty Recruitment and Retention

 
            This report is a compilation of the work accomplished by each of these groups.  Each group provided a one-page summation, “Key Findings and Recommendations.”  These brief documents lead each section, followed by the full reports of each group.  Because each group worked independently, reporting styles differ.  Data collected by each group are also included whenever possible, either in the group report or available upon request as shown in Appendix 3.

The overall conclusion of the Diversity Committee in relation to the charge originally brought to the COE Senate is that a wide range of diversity does indeed currently exist within the COE. However, there are areas that need improvement if the COE is to fulfill to its maximum potential the desired COE Core Value of “diverse mix of faculty, staff, and students whose aims are to advance and generate knowledge in the fields of education, human development, counseling, administration, assessment, evaluation, research, technology, disabilities and other related disciplines.”

The subgroup on “Faculty Recruitment and Retention” quoted Conway-Jones and Cartwright (2003).

One of the core values in the University of Hawai‘i’s System Strategic Plan is described as diversity, fairness, and equity. This core value binds its faculty, staff, and students in the quest to realize the University’s vision and mission. As aptly described in the system strategic plan, “society is best served by ensuring that all populations are represented equitably throughout the University of Hawai‘i System. Diverse perspectives contribute to the University’s commitment to root out prejudice and injustice.”  The University’s identification of equity is appropriate yet at the same time striking considering that the institutional culture, to date, has not promoted positive experiences that demonstrate these core values among faculty from underrepresented groups in the College of Education.  (p.3)

            An example of the need to accentuate diversity within the COE faculty and administration is aptly demonstrated in Table 1. Despite a majority of female faculty and students, all six Deans of the COE have been male. Of those six, five have been Caucasian.

Table 1.  Gender and Race/Ethnicity of COE Administrators

 

Gender

 

Deans

Department

Chairs

Research

Unit Heads

     Male

3

5

1

     Female

0

5

   1*

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

 

    Caucasian

2

8

2

    Non-Caucasian

1

2

0

*Acting Capacity

Historically, the five top administrative positions in the college (Dean, Associate Deans and Research Unit Heads) have been almost exclusively males. Currently, the department chairs and directors of the two research units are evenly divided by gender. However, Caucasians continue to dominate the race/ethnicity distribution within the COE administration. All three non-Caucasians are of Japanese ancestry. To paraphrase a member of the Diversity Committee, the very existence of this Committee indicates there are problems with even perceiving underrepresented groups in such leadership roles.

The Diversity Committee has tried in this Report to promote knowledge and recommendations to increase equitable representation of all populations.  One conclusion we all arrived at in this process is that there is a long-range learning curve.  We have been informing one another of new information throughout the year, up to and including our final meeting.  One example of how important new information became to the Committee’s findings follows in the next paragraph.

One note of information and one note of caution that the Diversity Committee has learned in this process.   The note of information is that Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Affirmative Action (AA) regulations make it illegal to adjust faculty composition on the basis of student body composition. Instead, in complying with Executive Order 11246, the EEO/AA Office identifies recruitment/hiring goals by comparing incumbency to availability for women and minorities.  Placement goals are established when the percentage of minorities or women employed in a faculty job group (incumbency) is less than what would be reasonably expected given their availability for employment in a particular job.  When comparing incumbency to availability, the University of Hawai`i has a “clean bill of health” from the federal EEO department. Therefore, any diversity efforts conducted by the COE must not jeopardize that rating.

Despite our positive EEO campus rating, the racial/ethnic and gender profiles of our students and faculty clearly do not reflect the population of State of Hawai`i.  Our committee strongly felt, based on the data collected, that Native Hawaiians and Filipinos are significantly underrepresented as students and faculty in the COE, particularly when compared with the State’s population.  Also, according to the most current data at the time of this report, the EEO/AA Office indicated that our COE is substantially lacking African American/Black faculty.  This indication makes recruiting African Americans/Blacks our most pressing faculty recruitment goal, according to the EEO/AA Office.  Again, this indication is based on the comparison of incumbency with availability.  Since most African American/Black scholars who have their doctorates have earned their doctoral degrees in education, there is a sizeable pool of available African Americans/Blacks scholars with doctorates. So, for the COE, particularly because we are in education, in a comparison of our incumbency compared with the available pool, we demonstrate substantial underrepresentation in this area.  The EEO/AA Office also indicated that our recruitment goals for COE faculty continue to include recruiting females and minorities.

In light of these findings, and in our subsequent committee deliberations, we arrived at a working definition of underrepresentation that includes the following/

  1. According to federal standards, females and minorities are underrepresented at UH M?noa and in our college.
  2. According to our own analysis of available data, including State of Hawai`i population data, Native Hawaiians and Filipinos are underrepresented in the COE.
  3. When focus is expanded to include historically underrepresented groups nationally, African Americans/Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos are underrepresented at UH M?noa.  When comparing incumbency to national availability, African Americans/Blacks are very underrepresented at the COE.

With these specifics guiding us, the Diversity Committee recommends that COE prioritize the following items to continue to move toward fulfilling our maximum diversity potential:

  • The Dean’s office needs to collect ethnicity and gender inclusivity data and make the information available to all interested parties
  • The COE needs to increase efforts to recruit Filipino and Hawaiian/Part Hawaiian, and African American/Black students to the COE
  • The COE needs to collect race/ethnicity data that is consistent with the Hawai‘i State Data Book or U.S. Census Bureau to facilitate ease of comparing COE data with state/national data
  • The COE needs to collect and analyze data at the COE level for faculty, APTs and Civil Service personnel
  • The COE should be more flexible and offer a part-time undergraduate program for working students.
  • The COE needs to develop and implement a consistent admissions format for prospective students.
  • The COE needs to develop and implement a cohort data system to track students from initial enrollment to graduation.  Currently COE data is collected in fall and spring on the numbers of students entering and graduating, but the two data sets are not connected. A cohort data collection system will enable COE to track students through the program to graduation, and collect more reliable retention data.
  • The COE needs to create a “sense of place” for all students, faculty, and staff, where, for example, individuals could gather to talk story, eat, or network.  Currently no such “sense of place” seems to exist.
  • The COE needs to create the Targeted Opportunity Program (TOP) to assist departments in seeking faculty from under-represented populations.  The TOP will provide funds, administered through the Dean’s Office, to permit the appointment of a minimum of five such individuals, under a criteria set by the TOP.  Further details are in the Methodology section of the Faculty Recruitment and Retention Report.
  • The COE should consider Community College courses should as fulfilling COE requirements, rather than just transferring elective credits.

The Diversity Committee requests that the 2007-2008 Committee continue to focus, and even expand, on these areas of need with further research and guidance regarding the recommendations contained in this Report to the 2007-2008 COE Faculty Congress.  Areas of research and guidance may include the following.

    • Further pursuit of consistently applied demographic data.
    • Obtain and examine race/ethnic and gender demographic information among APTs and civil service personnel.
    • Examine how COE data fit within the UH M?noa and UH systemwide data.
    • Develop consistency for terms used for data collection.  For example, is data requested for “gender” or “sex”?  The Committee spent some time debating use of these two words and concluded that there is ambiguity and change in both their meanings.  This kind of discussion is part of what has made collecting consistent data so difficult.
    • Broaden the data to fit all underrepresented groups, for example, individuals with disabilities. 

            It is recommended that the 2007-2008 Committee on Diversity follow up this report with action early in the Fall Semester, requesting that each department, unit, and the Office of Student Academic Services review the report and respond to the findings and recommendations contained in the report.

            This report was submitted to the full COE Faculty Senate at its meeting on April 13, 2007.  At that time, the following motion was passed.

The Senate accepts the report with the stipulation that the recommended corrections are made and that a follow-up meeting would address the student articulation report. With these corrections, the report will be ready to send to Congress for review and approval. [Those corrections are included in this April 28, 2007 Draft.]

The Report is now being submitted for approval to the COE Congress at its meeting on May 11, 2007.

Submitted by the 2006-2007 COE Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity