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Unit Contributions to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion AY17-18 6440

Department: 
Political Science
Division: 
Social Sciences
Academics
1. Faculty: 

We had a very active year with respect to diversity, with a new level of energy and excitement in the department. We took the following steps:

1. Hiring

We added two women of color to our faculty this year. Associate Professor Debra Thompson, previously in the Department of African-American Studies at Northwestern University, joined us as part of the Black Studies cluster hire. She is a specialist of the comparative politics of race, and will teach a new introductory course this year on the Black Lives Matter movement (as well as other related courses). Assistant Professor Yeling Tan is a specialist of Chinese and international political economy. She finished her PhD at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and will spend 2017-18 as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University before joining us in fall 2018.

Unfortunately we also lost a faculty member of color, Associate Professor Daniel HoSang (who had a .4 appointment with us, with the rest in Ethnic Studies). Still, the fact that he was recruited away to the American Studies program at Yale University speaks well of his professional development opportunities while at UO.

2. Organizational reforms

An ad hoc committee with broad participation successfully proposed the formation of a standing Equality and Inclusion Committee. It will begin operations in fall 2017. Many faculty also participated in the retention-focused May workshop for departments connected to the Black Studies cluster. At that workshop we proposed creating a system to track service burdens for faculty, such that we can pay attention to inequitable service. This tracking system is drafted and will be up and running for fall 2017.

3. Graduate Programs: 

We made very strong efforts to upgrade our identification and recruitment of underrepresented candidates this year for our PhD program. We extended advertising to new venues for female and minority students in political science, brought in a very diverse group of students for our recruitment weekend, and actively used UO resources (notably Promising Scholars funding) to recruit. We successfully corrected a run of years with low female enrollment, with an incoming class that is 66% female (4 of 6) and includes one student of color.

4. Undergraduate Programs: 

We proposed and passed at the department level a substantial reform of our undergraduate major. Among other changes, it upgrades the existing class PS 106 Power, Politics and Inequality to be one of three "core" classes. We also launched a new lower-division class that will substantially address diversity issues, PS 199 Ethics, Identity and Society.

Staff
1. University Service: 

Staff serve on search committees, where equity, diversity, and inclusion are high priority.

2. Departmental Contributions: 

Daily interaction with a diverse community of students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Recognizing diversity in a broad and inclusive manner, staff interact with each individual; assessing needs and offering service or direction to appropriate resources.

We serve faculty who are involved in research and teaching that are intrinsically immersed in questions of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our media resources are utilized to highlight a diversity of faculty and student research. We are also involved in bringing guest speakers to campus, to offer a variety of world perspectives; many of these guest speakers research equity and diversity.

Staff are encouraged to participate in conversations with other staff, faculty, and guests; recognizing that those moments can bring valuable perspective and will contribute to a strong sense of inclusion. We strive to provide an atmosphere that balances professionalism with the realities of being human; recognizing that different perspectives and experiences enrich our understanding of this growing community.

4. Professional Development and Training: 
Staff have been introduced to implicit bias and will participate in training and conversations as they become available on campus. Additionally, staff participate in conversations about diversity, inclusion, equity, and bias. We encourage staff to seek professional development opportunities and training.