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REJOINDER TO THE NCATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS’ REPORT

 

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY

 

July 8, 2002

 

 

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Continuing Accreditation visit was held April 13 – 17, 2002.  All standards were met at the initial and advanced level.  The purpose of this rejoinder is to address the one area for improvement that was sited.

 

Standard 4:  Diversity (formerly Standard IIIB – Composition of the Faculty)

Area for Improvement:      Cultural diversity in the faculty is limited. 

Rationale:  The number of diverse faculty has increased by one but remained a small percentage of the total faculty.

 

In this rejoinder, it is critical to present the reorganization of the College of Education and Human Development and a brief history of the changes in key personnel that have taken us into 2002.  Effective in the 2000-2001 academic year, Southeastern Louisiana University reorganized it’s academic areas to strengthen collegiality and academic experiences and to enhance opportunities relating to technology, workforce development and collaborations both within and outside the university.  As a result, the College of Education was renamed the College of Education and Human Development, incorporating the university’s social work degree program from the College of Arts and Sciences and bringing the special education degree program (from what was previously the Department of Special Education) into the Department of Teaching and Learning.  In addition, the areas of educational technology and educational leadership were brought together to form a new department, the Department of Educational Leadership and Technology within the College.  In the reorganization, the previous College of Education lost the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies and the degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

 

Additionally, in 1999 the Dean of the College of Education left the institution and an Interim Dean was appointed.  With the reorganization of the academic areas in 2001-2002, the need for new department heads was identified.  Thus, Interim Department Heads were appointed for two of the new departments within the College of Education and Human Development.  The reorganization presented many challenges, one of which was an evaluation of the many organizational structures within the College.  This process was extensive and  included reviews of existing office and committee work.  These were completed and steps were taken to strengthen committees over a period of time in the College.  For example, the effectiveness of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Issues, with a single coordinator, was evaluated and the results indicated that the responsibilities and activities identified in the diversity plan were overwhelming assignments for one individual.  A decision was made by the Dean’s Administrative Council to replace the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Issues and create a new  Diversity Committee (Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council) comprised of faculty and community members.  The committee’s main goal was to develop and revise the existing diversity plan for the new college of Education and Human Development.  The BOE reviewed the Diversity Plan-Revised March 2002 (BOE Report, Pg. 80).

 

In reviewing the Profile Data on Ethnicity and Gender for Full-time Faculty by Department and College from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment from the last NCATE visit to present, it was discovered that there was an increase of diverse faculty from 6.1% in 1996 to 7.9% in 2001.  While this does reflect a small increase, it is important to note that the 6.1% was based on a total of 81 faculty members and the 7.9% represents the reduction of a total of 63 faculty members, reflective of the downsizing to the total faculty after the reorganization of the University.  The data, from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, was available to the NCATE BOE at the time of the visit.

 

While the number of faculty with diverse backgrounds in the new College of Education and Human Development has increased by one position, new efforts to recruit, hire, and maintain faculty with diverse background were finalized in March 2002.  In fall of 2000, the College of Education and Human Development established a Diversity and Multicultural Advisory Committee composed, not only of faculty, but other significant people in the community, including the mayor of the city of Hammond.  The charge of this committee was to assist in the review and implementation of the College’s Diversity Plan and provide the College with activities that would broaden the diversity base for our candidates.  This committee was instrumental in bringing highly acclaimed exhibits that contributed to the further diversification of ideas for our candidates.  However, the committee members decided that the charge should be expanded.

 

In the fall of 2001, the membership of the Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council was revisited and additional faculty and community members were added.  This committee made suggestions that were adopted in the spring of 2002.  One suggestion was to have the Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention of Diverse Faculty Plan monitored by the College of Education and Human Development instead of by the Council for Teacher Education.  It was felt that this administrative change would increase the success of the design and implementation of the plan.  Thus, in March 2002 as revised plan was submitted to and accepted by the Diversity and Multicultural Advisory Council.

 

The revised plan contained major changes in the efforts to recruit diverse faculty members.  The plan shifted the benchmarks from mail outs, memos and reminders from the Department Heads to the Human Resources Department.  The activities for recruiting became part of standard advertising procedures in the Human Resources Department.  This was to ensure more systematic and consistent recruitment efforts in the College of Education and Human Development.  The revised 2002 Plan for the Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention of Diverse Faculty had three objectives with a different number of activities under each.  (The BOE reviewed the Diversity Plan – revised March 2002).

 

OBJECTIVE 1:  The College of Education and Human Development will increase efforts to recruit a diverse faculty.

 

ACTIVITY 1: The Human Resources Department will include, as standard advertising, all faculty positions in Black Issues in Higher Education instead of relying on a memo and a reminder from a Department Head.

ACTIVITY 2: The Human Resources Department will mail advertisements directly to Department Heads at minority institutions as standard advertising, as well as , register all positions with the Minority Directory.

ACTIVITY 3: Advertise all faculty positions encouraging minorities to apply.

ACTIVITY 4: Have the University Webmaster to include information about diversity in Southeast Louisiana on the Southeastern web site. 

All activities listed under this objective were implemented (100%) and will have continuous monitoring of successful efforts by the Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council.

 

OBJECTIVE 2:  The College of Education and Human Development will increase efforts to hire a diverse faculty.

 

ACTIVITY 1:  Address equitable salary, benefits, and personal adjustment matters in College of Education and Human Development search committees.  This information was given to all applicants.  In 2002, all faculty search committee chairs were provided this information in a packet form that went out to prospective applicants.  All activities listed under this objective were implemented (100%) and will have continuous monitoring of successful efforts by the Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council.

 

OBJECTIVE 3:  The College of Education and Human Development will increase efforts to retain a diverse faculty.

 

ACTIVITY 1:  Annually review and monitor the SLU Faculty Index to ensure that minority faculty remuneration differentials are fair and consistent.  This is a process that has been established and the information will be presented on an annual basis to the Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council.

ACTIVITY 2:  Make use of the New Faculty Forum (NFF) to provide support to new minority faculty members.  The NFF is for new minority and general faculty members who are assigned mentors, faculty members with years of experience.  These mentors become part of a support group to help new faculty members establish networks early in their tenure in the College.  Feedback data from the NFF members show that the forum has been successful and it will continue as a support to new faculty members.

ACTIVITY 3:  Activities involving minority faculty in non-academic settings will promote inclusion in the University community.  Before the revised plan, baby showers, Christmas parties, and end of the year parties were open to all faculty members, but not systematically planned. The new plan will provide a vehicle for 2 distinct social gatherings at the beginning and before the end of each academic year specifically to engage minority faculty.  Policies and procedures are in place and one social was held at the end of the spring semester in April of 2002.

ACTIVITY 4:  Exit interviews will be conducted with minority faculty who choose to leave.  This is part of the Human Resources exit process and is completed on a voluntary basis.  The results will be shared with the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development and with the Diversity and Multicultural Advisory Committee.  The policies and procedures are in place and will reveal important information for the College of Education and Human Development.  All activities are 100% in place and are successfully implemented.

 

OBJECTIVE 5:  The College of Education and Human Development will monitor the College of Education and Human Development Diversity Plan.

 

ACTIVITY 1:  Continue the Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council activities.  This activity is 100% operational.

 

It is felt that the College of Education and Human Development has a strong plan for the Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention of Diverse Faculty that was adopted in March 2002.  The plan will be modified and monitored by the Diversity and the Multicultural Advisory Council and changes will be made when and where appropriate.  The plan has provided for systematic steps to increase the efforts to recruit and to retain diverse faculty members in the College of Education and Human Development.  Changes will be made in the plan, as deemed necessary, to increase the pool of diverse faculty members in the College of Education and Human Development at Southeastern Louisiana University.

 

 

  

 


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