Media School Diversity Policy
1. Statement of Values and Vision
The Indiana University Media School believes the composition of its faculty should represent the broad array of intellectual, cultural, and demographic diversity of society as a whole. We embrace diversity of thought in faculty research, creative activities, and teaching, and we affirm the right of all to work and learn in The Media School, regardless of background, belief or status. This plan reflects our philosophy that a university should be a place for dynamic exchanges among a wide variety of people and ideas.
To that end, we will strive to increase racial, sexual, ethnic, class, and gender equity and diversity in our academic programs; we will ensure access to people of varying economic means; and we will encourage political, ideological, scientific, religious, and artistic variety in our media research and creative activities.
We endorse the concept of “inclusive excellence” as expressed in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Diversity Plan, which calls for “integrating the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the decision-making processes and practices of the organization.” In addition, we incorporate the following language from The Media School’s strategic plan:
The idea that a marketplace of ideas is the best way for societal solutions to surface also brings with it another task. Freedom to communicate implies that all sectors of society should have the ability to participate in this marketplace. Everyone should have a place at the table. This means that the Media School supports diversity in its programs as a way to maximize the number of voices that participate in vital debates. It means that we seek to encourage diversity in many ways: through encouraging gender, racial, sexual, ethnic, and class diversity of our students and faculty; through ensuring access to our programs to people of varying economic means; and encouraging as much political, ideological, scientific, religious, and artistic variety as possible in our School. We believe that vigorous debate requires many contending voices.
Our goal and our ultimate measure of diversity is that every qualified student be able to attend our School without regard to social background or economic means. Similarly, our goal in faculty and staffing should be to attain a diversity of ideas and approaches, representing the entire spectrum of media issues.
This plan outlines specific goals and actions The Media School will undertake to recruit and retain a diverse faculty as part of its commitment to Indiana University’s broader push to be a globally relevant institution of higher learning.
2. Action and Accountability Strategies
By the spring of 2019, the four Media School unit directors will appoint two members each to a standing diversity committee charged with advancing the goals described in this document. The Associate Dean will work with the units to establish a committee that includes both tenure track and non-tenure track faculty, with representation from various ranks, backgrounds, and perspectives. Language establishing this committee should be included in The Media School governance document as a new paragraph III.2.5.
- The Associate Dean will serve as an ex officio member of the committee and the senior administrator tasked with assisting the committee to carry out its activities. The Associate Dean should ensure sufficient administrative support to achieve the objectives listed below.
- The diversity committee will meet at least once per semester and report to The Media School faculty on at least an annual basis. The committee is charged with establishing both quantitative and qualitative measures that indicate the success of The Media School’s efforts. These will be developed in consultation with the relevant administrative support offices across campus, including the Office of the Vice President For Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA), the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion (OVPDI), and the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (OVPFAA). Those measures should be incorporated into the committee’s first annual report.
- The committee will serve as The Media School’s liaison for coordination with diversity committees and officers in other schools and units on the Bloomington campus.
- The establishment of the committee will be publicized and promoted among all Media School constituencies, and it will serve as a resource for faculty, staff, and students to offer suggestions or share concerns about diversity issues.
- The committee will, on at least an annual basis, take proactive steps to solicit input from faculty, staff, and students on diversity matters. In addition, the committee will work with The Media School administration and relevant campus offices to establish a process and platform for submission of sensitive and/or confidential concerns.
- During the first full academic year following its formation, the committee will work with The Media School administration and relevant campus offices to conduct a survey to assess perceptions among faculty, students, and staff about the School’s climate with regard to diversity and inclusion.
- Within a year after completion of the climate assessment (see previous), the committee will draft a plan that addresses diversity issues as they pertain to Media School staff and students.
3. Faculty Recruiting
The Media School will work to infuse values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the process of recruiting all faculty.
- In selecting members for search committees, The Media School Associate Dean, in consultation with the Hiring Committee, will consider diversity along with issues such as field of expertise, rank, and other factors.
- Job postings will be phrased in ways that do not unduly limit the size or intellectual breadth of applicant pools. Postings will also include a strong statement concerning the institution’s commitment to diversity and The Media School’s desire to encourage a broad array of candidates to apply.
- A copy of the IUB faculty recruitment guide will be provided to all search committee members before a search begins and as a reference during the remainder of the recruitment process. Search committees should explicitly discuss hiring expectations, assessment methodology, and diversity goals at their initial meetings. A campus official specializing in faculty diversity or HR matters may be invited to these meetings if the search chair anticipates questions that could best be addressed by these individuals.
- Search committees are expected to present a diverse list of possible candidates for consideration by The Media School faculty. Before recommending candidates for interviews, search committees must report to the Media School hiring committee, in writing, their proactive efforts to diversify the candidate pool. These reports will be provided to the School’s associate dean, who will provide a copy to the OVPFAA. As indicated by campus diversity policies, a lack of diversity in a candidate pool may trigger an inquiry from OVPFAA and potentially a delay in authorization for continuation of a search. Search committee chairs may request OVPFAA’s assistance in charting the diversity of candidate pools at every stage of the recruiting process.
- At least one representative of each search committee should attend (or have attended within the previous two years) an orientation for search committee chairs sponsored by OVPFAA each fall.
- Consistent with past practice, individual units in The Media School may continue to develop and maintain informal lists of strong prospective job candidates that include underrepresented individuals. Unit directors will provide these lists to search committee chairs to help ensure diversity in applicant pools.
- Search committees are encouraged to send job announcements directly to underrepresented candidates as well as institutions that serve large minority populations.
- Search committees should take full advantage of their own collegial contacts and networks to facilitate search objectives. Strategies could include contacting colleagues at other IU campuses to solicit nominations of candidates; sending job ads directly to women and minority candidates to encourage them to apply; sending job announcements to units and institutions that serve large minority populations; reaching out to qualified post-docs and faculty candidates who may be under-placed at lower-ranked institutions; and requesting that faculty, alumni, and graduate students of the recruiting unit distribute copies of job announcements to relevant conferences, professional meetings, and industry associations.
- Members of The Media School faculty at large will be encouraged to act as ambassadors by reaching out to potential hires at academic and industry/professional conferences as well as maintaining solid working relationships with the sponsoring organizations. Further, The Media School will encourage and assist faculty members to attend national events (conferences, workshops, etc.) that attract faculty from underrepresented groups.
4. Faculty Retention
The Media School acknowledges the importance of retention efforts that address the unique challenges faced by historically underrepresented faculty members once they are hired. The diversity committee will work with The Media School administration to establish initiatives designed to support and retain existing faculty from underrepresented backgrounds. Examples that will help foster a supportive atmosphere could include:
- Formal recognition and acknowledgement of the fact that diversity is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Establishment of a formal mentoring program for all new faculty.
- Formulation of a policy regarding service and leadership opportunities that acknowledges the unique burdens service can place on faculty who come from underrepresented backgrounds. All faculty should feel welcome to assume leadership roles within the school if desired, but unit directors should be on guard against overloading junior and NTT faculty, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. Further, while underrepresented faculty members should be encouraged to pursue leadership and service opportunities, such opportunities should not be limited to those involving diversity initiatives.
- Formulation of a policy regarding support and rewards for service and research and creative activities related to diversity.
- Dedicated assistance to fund or obtain funding for research, creative activities, and professional development opportunities related to diversity, in addition to supporting underrepresented faculty members in ways that will enhance their ability to achieve promotion and/or tenure at The Media School.
- Events, career development opportunities, lecture series and visitor presentations that consist of diverse speakers, scholars, and topics. These include established programs such as The Media School’s annual speaker series, M600 colloquium speakers, and invited guests. In addition, the diversity committee should, in concert with The Media School administration, work to develop additional programming.