Faculty Diversity Committee                                                                    Draft Recommendations 2/4/04


Committee Members: Bernard Curry, Brian Digre (chair), Steven House, Laurin Kier, Pamela Kiser, Byung Lee, Todd Lee, Monica Parson, Linda Poulson, Barbara Taylor (Academic Council liaison), and students, Cameron Davis, Melissa Jordan, and Adam Smith


Statement of Purpose

The Committee on Faculty Diversity believes that a diverse faculty benefits all Elon University students and faculty by introducing them to a variety of perspectives. This can help students and faculty better understand and respect our differences while acquiring a sense of our shared humanity. Equally important, a diverse faculty can provide important role models and mentors for minority students.

The Committee accepts a definition of diversity that includes people of color as well as people of varied nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. As an ideal, the Committee encourages the University to pursue the goal of increasing diversity in both the student body and the faculty such that the University community comes to reflect the diversity of the global society in which we live.  At the same time, Elon should continue to recognize and value the diversity of ideas among its constituents.

Within the context of these overarching goals, the Committee asserts that the University’s most immediate and pressing need in terms of faculty diversity is to employ and retain a faculty that at minimum reflects the diversity within the student body. Therefore the focus of the Committee’s efforts must include both the long-range goal of securing a diverse faculty that better represents the world in which we live and the short-term goal of securing a faculty that reflects the composition of the student body.



1.      Elon should place a high priority on recruiting and retaining African-American faculty.

2.      Elon should strive to attract an increasingly diverse applicant pool for advertised faculty positions.

3.      Elon should hire faculty with diverse backgrounds and create an environment in which diverse ideas can thrive.


Recommended Strategies

1.      Develop a dissertation/post-doctoral minority fellows program. This would provide promising young scholars with the opportunity to experience academic and community life at Elon for one to two years, while teaching a reduced course load and taking time to complete their dissertations or initial publications. It would benefit Elon by bringing minority teachers (and potential future hires) into our classrooms. It also would help address the shortage of minority faculty at the national level.

2.      To expand the diversity of applicant pools at Elon, we propose that the University:

·         Initiate recruitment trips to universities that prepare a significant number of minority Ph.D. graduates;

·         Directly contact graduate programs to encourage applicants;

·         Invite deans of institutions that prepare minority Ph.D. graduates to Elon’s campus;

·         Encourage search committees to consult diversity directories such as the recently purchased Minority and Women Doctoral Directory and Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees, both of which are available in Belk Library;

·         Conduct interviews at professional conferences that draw diverse attendees;

·         Have a minority advocate on search committees.

3.      Consider new strategies for supporting new hires /retention.

4.      Elon should offer workshops, classes or other activities that will emphasize the importance of diverse ideas in a democratic society.