Advancing the Success of Women & Underrepresented Minorities at Stevens

Advancing the Success of Women & Underrepresented Minorities at Stevens

To the Stevens Community,

Early in 2012, I charged a committee to develop recommendations for a set of policies, actions and programs to enhance the status of women across the university.  This committee returned its report and recommendations in May of this year.

In addition, the Strategic Plan, endorsed in late summer by the Board of Trustees, identifies strategic goals to increase diversity and opportunities for underrepresented groups (women, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as persons with disabilities) at Stevens. 

With this input from key members of the Stevens community and after further consultation with the President’s Cabinet and the Faculty Senate, I am pleased to share a number of initiatives we will pursue toward these goals:

  1. Establish the position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion, reporting to the President. This position will be a part-time position with a three-year appointment.  This position will be evaluated and considered for renewal after the end of the three-year period. The Director will be charged with developing and facilitating initiatives that support the diversity goals identified in the Strategic Plan and those recommendations adopted from the President’s Commission on the Advancement of Women at Stevens. The Director of Diversity and Inclusion will work with key members of the Stevens community to pursue three foci:

Student Focus

  • Develop and facilitate initiatives, in collaboration with academic and support units as well as with the admissions office, to increase participation of undergraduate women and under-represented minority students at Stevens, including recruiting, partnerships with campus and external collaborators, mentoring programs, and increased communication and outreach.

  • Develop and facilitate initiatives to improve retention of undergraduate women and underrepresented minority students, including by working with faculty to conceptualize and launch curricular options that will improve success and outcomes for women and underrepresented minorities.

Faculty Focus

  • Assess current programming, create new programming and recommend policies to foster a positive and inclusive culture that enhances success of women faculty including STEM faculty, resulting in improving the opportunity for success for all faculty throughout the university.

  • Initiate a faculty mentoring program for female faculty.

  • Facilitate recruitment and retention policies and practices to increase faculty diversity,including through policies to ensure diverse pools of applicants in the hiring process.

  • Through targeted mentoring, facilitate advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in academic rank promotions and tenure and in university leadership positions.

  • Initiate a seminar series to celebrate and showcase women and underrepresented minority faculty achievements.

  • Initiate a professional development program to educate faculty on issues related to different forms of bias.

Funding Focus

  • Work with the President, the Office of Development, and the faculty to identify and pursue external funding to increase the impact of institutional funding in the broad area of diversity, e.g., for scholarships, bridge programs, partnerships and mentoring initiatives.

  • Submit an ADVANCE proposal to the National Science Foundation.

  1. In addition, the Office of the President will work with key members of the Stevens community to implement other recommendations of the Commission on the Advancement of Women, including:
  • Conduct an appropriate faculty salary study as a guide to support transparency in the decision-making process for salary increases and incentives.

  • Work with the Faculty Senate and the Office of the General Counsel to identify other areas where data may be studied to further support diversity.

I look forward to working with all members of the Stevens community as we make our university a model for the productive participation of all members of our population.


Nariman Farvardin