2016 Diversity Officers in Higher Education Conference

Abstract and slides below for our talk at the 10th annual conference of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE; March 15-16; San Francisco, CA).

Alberto I. Roca, Ph.D.
Executive Director, DiverseScholar
Overview of MinorityPostdoc.org and the DiverseScholar Doctoral Directory
Note, have now posted longer presentation from #KOF2016.

Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity: Pipeline to Tenure-Track

Finding Minority Postdocs to Diversify a Faculty Job Search

Postdocs are the actual talent pool for faculty recruitment particularly in the STEM disciplines at research-intensive institutions. However, faculty diversity efforts have overlooked this invisible talent pool resulting in a lack of knowledge about 1) effective strategies to support minority postdocs, and 2) outcomes of minority postdoc’s career paths.

Motivated by the goal of diversifying their faculty population, university senior leadership have created institutional postdoctoral fellowship programs. It is expected that home departments hire these postdocs for full-time tenure-track positions. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill established the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity in 1983. The program has prepared over 165 underrepresented racial and ethnic scholars for faculty careers at research universities. The program celebrated its 30th anniversary producing a retrospective review of the program’s outcomes allowing us to share the lessons learned.

The NSF estimates that there are only 3,000 African-, Hispanic-, and Native-American postdocs among the 62,000 postdocs training in the USA. Finding such a small number of minority faculty candidates is a challenge for diversity offices or search committees even though such outreach is expected from diversity action plans. We will describe our effort to create a centralized registry of minority postdocs to facilitate recruiting. Our opt-out email list has 1,300 individuals sourced from diversity intervention programs, conferences, networks, and painstaking online searches benefiting from our MinorityPostdoc.org website. We now have data on the career outcomes of the first cohort of DiverseScholar Doctoral Directory members. Almost 20% of the 2012 candidates are now in tenure-track faculty positions including at research-intensive universities. Thus, the Directory could be used to facilitate institutional diversity outreach efforts.

In summary, our session will describe both local and national faculty diversity models that draw from the minority postdoctoral talent pool. We plan to engage the audience in a discussion of how to implement and to use such interventions. It is time to move beyond just training faculty search committees about diversity and then having such a committee face the inertial barrier of not knowing where to find minority candidates.

See the Subscriptions page for accesss to the online and print versions of the Doctoral Directory recruiting database. Read summary demographic information about the Directory.

originally published 3-Mar-2016,
last updated 28-Apr-2016