The A&S Diversity Council met Monday Nov. 17 to discuss the minority faculty retention rate at U of L.
A report about diversity at the university discussed a “robust commitment” to increasing the retention rate of minority faculty and students. Faculty members responded by stating that “too much of the university’s language is B.S.”
Multiple faculty members feel that they are not receiving the proper support when they express interest in advancing their career and as a result, turning to national conferences and causes to “make a name of themselves.”
One council member discussed how the university talks about how much diversity is at this campus, but there is not a very clear indication of inclusion at the university. The department is struggling to identify the main cause of departing faculty due to lack of access to exit interviews. They suggested the possibility of using surveys and hiring an outside firm to conduct the exit interviews so that the information becomes accessible and easier to analyze.
Council members also discussed how there was too much weight placed on course and professor evaluations. The evaluations students fill out at the end of a semester weight in heavily when decisions about promotions and tenure are to be decided.
Faculty members expressed concerns about the “unreliable” method due to the low response rate. Members want to be credited for their other work that is not being evaluated and recorded like aiding in undergraduate research and community engagement projects.