I hope the first day of classes has gone well for you. The fall weather has arrived right on time for fall semester and it's great to see the campus full of students again.
As many of you know, the Faculty Assembly voted last March to add a Diversity Committee, comprised of two faculty and two staff members and a student representative, as an elected committee within the CDes governance structure. Barbara Martinson, chair of the assembly, has asked for a vote from the faculty by this Friday for the committee description and membership language for the Constitution and Bylaws.
Faculty may vote online at the UMSurvey website.
On the subject of diversity, the University's Office for Equity and Diversity met with the college leadership last week. They presented some comparative numbers that show both our accomplishments and our challenges as a college in this area. On the positive side, our percentage of faculty of color (21 percent) outmatches that of the University (17 percent). Yet we are below the University average for students of color (11 vs. 18 percent) and substantially below the University average for staff of color (4 percent vs. 16 percent).
Achieving a more diverse student body and staff will require work on the part of each of us. As the Office of Equity and Diversity observed, diversity involves not just active recruitment, but also creating a culture that welcomes and embraces a diverse population. Having an elected Diversity Committee is a good first step in that direction.
Update: Wednesday, September 8, 2010: Eligible faculty members received an email from Barbara Martinson last week with a unique URL to cast their vote. Each URL can only be used by you, and used only once. (This ensures that voting is anonymous, secure, and limited to one vote per eligible individual.) If you have already voted, thank you. If you have not yet voted, you should look for the email you received last week. Those who have not yet voted will also see a system-generated reminder tomorrow that will include your unique URL.
The URL in yesterday's email from me will not work, as it was specific to me. My apologies for any confusion.