School of Public Health-Bloomington
Report of Diversity Initiatives 2019
Diversity Initiatives and Investments
- What major initiatives has your unit undertaken in the area of diversity (i.e. programming, diversity officers, and diversity committees)?
Diversity Officers and Committees
The School of Public Health has been intentional in hiring and appointing professional staff and faculty to positions that help us facilitate our diversity initiatives. The Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion (OSDI) professionals includes a director (Rory James, MPH) and assistant director (Sachet Watson, MS). OSDI also employs a graduate assistant and student interns. OSDI works within School of Public Health to address issues of importance to underrepresented students, faculty, and staff. The staff creates and facilitates opportunities for current students to strengthen their personal and professional development. OSDI also support recruitment efforts to reach prospective students from underrepresented populations.
The Committee for Diversity and Inclusion is the subcommittee of the school's governing body, the School of Public Health Academic Council, and is charged with evaluating the school's efforts toward diversity objectives and for planning strategic initiatives to improve the school's performance in this area. The Faculty Chair of the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion (Virginia Githiri, PhD, MPH) is a current faculty and co-chairs directly with the Director of Student Diversity & Inclusion in order to advance the school's diversity agenda. The committee is comprised of faculty representatives from each School of Public Health department, professional staff, and current students.
Lastly, the Dean has appointed a faculty member—Maresa Murray, PhD—as Fellow for Culture & Climate.
Recruiting and Onboarding New Faculty
The purpose of creating these activities for new incoming faculty members is to cultivate an inclusive climate as each person makes the transition into the School of Public Health-Bloomington, helping the group become acclimated into the professional environment as well as getting to know one another. There are monthly business and social activities assigned to the 24 new faculty members, with two of whom serving as School of Public Health-Bloomington Department Chairs.
The business activities have been pre-assigned to individuals, along with the particular focal point for each 1½ hour meeting. The new faculty members are encouraged to plan the social event as a team. Depending on the decision of the social planning team, loved ones may be included in the social event such as partners, children, and pets. The idea is for folks to gather together and really have fun getting to know one another. The social planning team will also select the time and event location. The budget for each social activity is approximately $750, and will be managed by the Dean's Office. Again, all social events are planned by the pre-assigned new faculty teams, but for those who would like to browse a short list of possible events:
- Barbeque/Host at Faculty Member's Home
- IU Auditorium "A Merging of Musical Worlds Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer" October 5, 2019 at 8:00pm
- Night of Board Games in the School of Public Health
- Oliver Winery
- Night of Bowling and Billiards
- "Nutrition Science and the Art of Eating Well" in the School of Public Health Nutrition Laboratory
- Karaoke Family Fun Night
- "John Raymond Jazz Ensemble" March 30, 2020 at 8:00pm at the Buskirk Chumley Theater
- Wine and Painting at Wine and Canvas of Bloomington
Dr. Maresa Murray is responsible for coordinating this onboarding plan with assistance from the Dean's Office. You can click here to find the listed activities for new faculty hired in the School of Public Health-Bloomington hired during the academic year of 2019.
Cultural Competency Workshops for Faculty/Staff
More recently, OSDI has intentionally partnered with Human Resources and Workforce Development to offer professional development opportunities solely for School of Public Health staff (professional, support, and temporary/hourly staff). We ask that all supervisors and managers support and encourage participation in this event. The primary focus of these workshops were to (1) engage School of Public Health faculty, staff, and campus partners in thought-provoking dialogue around stereotypes, bias, discrimination, microaggressions, and utilizing inclusive language in academic spaces; and (2) increase cultural competency of health professionals and practitioners who work with diverse racial and ethnic populations. A sampling of key lectures the 2018-2019 academic year include:
- Thursday, October 4, 2018: Webinar: Overcome Unconscious Bias & Racial Tensions: Break Down Barriers To Equity & Inclusion
- Thursday, December 13, 2018: Microaggressions Workshop
- Wednesday, December 19, 2018: Introduction to Cultural Competency
- Thursday, January 31, 2019: Introduction to Cultural Competency Part 2
School of Public Health Distinguished Colloquium Series
The Distinguished Colloquium Series is a public health lecture series featuring topics that reflect the school's foundational and multidisciplinary strengths, new and emerging areas of research, and innovative practice. This past academic year the series featured many researchers and scholars whose work intersected varying topics on identity and health in specific communities. Those included:
- Dr. David Hayes-Bautista (UCLA School of Public Health) – "Voice and Research: Challenging the American Narrative on Diversity, Race, and Health"
- Dr. Judith A. Salerno (President, The New York Academy of Medicine) – "Healthy Aging in Place: The Role of Community-Wide Age-Friendly Policies"
- Dr. Karen Parker (Director, Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) National Institutes of Health) – "Sexual and Gender Minority Research at the National Institutes of Health: Past, Present and Future Directions"
- Dr. John Lowe (Florida State University) - "Understanding Health Equity among Native Americans within a Colonization Context"
Recruitment for Graduate Programs
Nationally, there are 437,395 students enrolled in a science graduate program; 65,680 of those students can be classified as URM (approximately 15%) (NSF, 2014). In the 2018-2019 academic year a little over 18% of School of Public Health graduate student enrollment was URM. Additionally, international students comprised 18.6% of our graduate student population. Similar to the undergraduate experience, increasing diversity in graduate disciplines is contingent upon funding. School of Public Health has some donor-based scholarships which can assist our masters/doctoral students. For example, the Roderick Paige Fellowship is specifically designated for URM and international graduate students in School of Public Health. Our plans to promote further outreach to URMs include actively working with the University Graduate School (UGS) to promote the "Getting You into IU" (GU2IU) program. GU2IU is a campus recruitment program for prospective underrepresented and minority students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.F.A. at Indiana University-Bloomington. Over the last three years five GU2IU students have successfully matriculated into our M.P.H. /Ph.D. programs (see chart below). School of Public Health staff meet regularly with UGS to inquire about additional ways we can expand our recruitment and retention efforts for students of color and other underrepresented populations. This includes educating the five School of Public Health departmental Directors of Graduate Studies and faculty about the distinct UGS Fellowships (i.e. Presidents Diversity Fellowship) so they can nominate admitted scholars.
- In general terms, what investments have these required?
Budgetary and personnel investments have been required to sustain our school's efforts. For example, each year funds are earmarked for the School of Public Health – Hudson & Holland Scholarship Program Partnership. Any HHSP student who is admitted to School of Public Health is eligible to apply for a partnership scholarship ($1,000 added to the $6,000 they receive from HHSP). This includes undergraduate Direct Admits (DA) and current/returning undergraduates who successfully certify into a School of Public Health major prior to the start of the corresponding fall semester. Currently, 28% of our students of color are in the HHSP; 30% of public health URMs are HHSP students. In the 2014-2015 academic year School of Public Health earmarked $60,000 to these partnership scholarships. Over time we have seen tremendous growth in the number of HHSP students declaring School of Public Health majors, and ultimately our school has committed more funding to these undergraduates. Increased numbers of HHSP students with School of Public Health Majors is indicative of successful recruiting efforts through our OSDI and their work with HHSP.
- Fall 2015 - 70 Hudson & Holland Scholars enrolled in School of Public Health
- Fall 2016 - 80 Hudson & Holland Scholars enrolled in School of Public Health
- Fall 2017 - 114 Hudson & Holland Scholars enrolled in School of Public Health
- Fall 2018 - 148 Hudson & Holland Scholars enrolled in School of Public Health
Moreover, personnel and staffing have been integral to sustaining these efforts. The OSDI assistant director position not only facilitates programming and outreach to the culture centers and community stakeholders, yet aids in recruitment. In July 2018 School of Public Health hired its first Director of Student Recruitment—who is responsible for a comprehensive recruitment program for undergraduate and graduate students School of Public Health—with the goal of increasing the number of students that School of Public Health attracts. The Assistant Director of Student Diversity & Inclusion works in consultation with both the Director of Student Recruitment and the OSDI Director to create, coordinate, implement, and evaluate recruitment strategies for student applicants from underrepresented populations (i.e. URM, veterans).
Challenges and Opportunities
- What challenges and opportunities does your unit have in the area of recruitment, retention, and climate?
In terms of challenges and opportunities, School of Public Health is focusing on three specific stakeholder groups: students, staff, and faculty.
Financial Aid / Funding Opportunities [ Students / Staff]
The majority of requests School of Public Health, and specifically the Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion, receives focus on what funding can School of Public Health provide for students. This funding is usually needed for students' emergencies and travel (i.e. to conferences, poster sessions, etc.). Many times these specific requests cannot be fulfilled via scholarships; however, many students are still requesting assistance with tuition. These requests come from both undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, non-resident graduate students and international students are very vocal about their financial concerns since they pay a higher tuition compared to Indiana residents. Thus, funding their education is a challenge.
Pay equity and retention for staff is another challenge. While achieving pay equity is a goal for the campus, we are sensitive to it internally. Competitive salaries and packages also allow us to recruit professional staff members from underrepresented populations.
Addressing Bias & School of Public Health Climate Concerns / Cultural Competency [ Students / Staff / Faculty]
One climate concern we are actively addressing is the lack of cultural competence among students' faculty and peers. This is exhibited in language used in the lecture hall around identity. For example, some transgender students have to constantly correct instructors on what proper pronouns to use in reference to their identity. In response two of our MPH students created Linguistic-Ally. Linguistic-Ally is a series of workshops geared toward educating faculty, associate instructors (AIs), and teaching assistants (TAs) on inclusive language relating to health behaviors and sexual/gender identities. The program also addresses the effects of inappropriate language usage in the academic setting. OSDI has supported these trainings.
International students who have English as a Second Language (ESL) are struggling with communicating with their professors/TAs, and some international students have noticed the frustration that instructors exhibit when communicating directly with them. As aforementioned, OSDI is actively hosting cultural competency workshops for School of Public Health instructors and staff. Instructors can request a workshop and OSDI staff will tailor the content for the instructors need. Additionally, Rory James has worked directly with Margi Lockhart (Director of Human Resources) and Alexander Purcell (Director of Workforce Development) to facilitate a series of trainings for School of Public Health staff at all levels.
An additional opportunity is for School of Public Health to revisit its climate survey in 2020 calendar year. In 2018 we administered our first survey, and within the next year we want to improve the assessment tool and collect more relevant data so we can implement change within the school. We will complement this information with focus groups and a "listening tour" with distinct populations in the school (i.e. people with disabilities, international student).
Recruitment [ Faculty]
School of Public Health currently requires all faculty search committee participants to participate in bias training and search protocol as outlined by the Guide for Search Committees and Administrators.
- How can the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion be of assistance to your unit? We currently do the following:
- Meet with prospective faculty candidates
- Consult with search committees
- Review/advise diversity plans
- Meet and advise about diversity plan reports
First, School of Public Health welcomes Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion (OVPDI) representatives to participate in our faculty searches. We have previously had candidates meet with VP John Nieto Philip. Some of our candidates—particularly those who are URM—have questions relating to campus and community relations, support for faculty of color, and other resources. Having a representative from OVPDI allows faculty candidates to get a perspective from someone not affiliated with School of Public Health.
Second, as School of Public Health moves forward with future climate assessment tools and focus groups we ask for recommendations for researchers/practitioners not affiliated with School of Public Health who can record information and/or facilitate the focus groups. It is in our best interest to not have internal professionals (i.e. Diversity Director, School of Public Health faculty) moderate focus groups as their personal experiences and feedback need to be recorded. We also want to ensure confidentiality of all participants and eliminate any bias. If OVPDI can highly recommend trusted professionals and facilitators this can help us move forward.
Measures and Accountability from your diversity plan
- Please report on the implementation of your diversity plan's accountability measures as listed below.
Public Health Implementation & Accountability
- Accountability regarding the diversity and inclusion policy is managed by the School of Public Health Academic Council (AC) and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (a subcommittee of the AC); workplace data are developed annually in response to monitoring and policy is updated on an annual basis as needed.
- Accountability regarding the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is to the School of Public Health Academic Council, as it is a subcommittee of the AC. The committee develops, implements, and reports on progress toward the school's objectives in all areas of diversity on an annual basis.
- The Executive Associate Dean and Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs work in concert with staff in the Dean's Office to track efforts toward achieving diversity objectives on an annual basis. Progress toward these objectives is reported to the school and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion develops annual plans/recommendations related to improvements on indicators needing improvement.
- The Executive Associate Dean, Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs, and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion are accountable for the annual report and work collaboratively each year to develop the report and strategies for improvements in response to areas of concern.
- The Assistant Dean for Student Academic Services is accountable for the assignment of duties and performance of the full-time staff in the Diversity and Inclusion office.
- Deans and/or department chairs responsible for appointing committees are accountable, on a search-by-search basis throughout the year, to be attentive to the inclusion of diversity in the makeup of the committee and within the applicant pool. The Executive Associate Dean is accountable for general fidelity to search and screen procedures, which incorporates diversity. The Director of Human Resources is accountable for maintaining correct documentation of searches.
- Accountability for the continuing education and faculty workshops is the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the Committee on Teaching & Learning, and dean's level liaisons to those committees. In addition, for those workshops that are specific to faculty, the Executive Associate Dean is also accountable for assuring that such workshops will occur on a regular basis.
- The Executive Associate Dean and the Director of Human Resources will be accountable for revising search and screen procedural checklists for greater awareness of the importance of seeking a diverse applicant pool. Chairs of search and screen committees will be accountable for their committee following the checklist.
- A copy of the IUB and School of Public Health recruitment guide (or link to the guide) will be provided to all search committee members as mandatory reading. This will be provided at the initial committee charge meeting. In addition the presider will establish that material efforts should be made to attract a diversified pool of applicants for the available position.
- The Director of Student Diversity & Inclusion and the Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs will annually seek to offer a workshop series or guest lecture presented by underrepresented scholars that will highlight the School of Public Health-Bloomington's commitment to an inclusive culture.
- The Director of Student Diversity & Inclusion, Assistant Director of Student Diversity & Inclusion, and Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs are available to all faculty, staff and students who have confidential concerns about climate, recruitment or retention.