Thirty new faculty were hired including from prestigious research institutions such as MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and Columbia. Limited progress was made in increasing diversity among the faculty body, despite the implementation of various strategic initiatives. Stevens participated in The Chronicle of Higher Education “Great Colleges to Work For” survey, and a working group was formed to recommend actions to improve morale and community.
Faculty are the keystone of the institution. Stevens will be uncompromising in recruiting and retaining a faculty of the highest-quality from best-in-class institutions worldwide, in providing them with the environment to succeed, and in recognizing their achievements through promotion and competitive compensation. This will include faculty development programs, incentives, transparent teaching load and research buyout policies, junior and senior Chairs, faculty awards, junior faculty mentoring, etc. Stevens will strategically invest in growing the tenure-stream faculty, with the aim of transforming our performance and productivity in research and scholarship, graduate studies, and thus prestige and reputation.
OWNER: PROVOST CHRISTOPHE PIERRE
Thirty new faculty were hired in the last recruiting cycle, including from research institutions such as MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, and Columbia. They represent best-in-class teachers and researchers in the university’s strategic priority areas: artificial intelligence, data science, financial systems, complex systems, biomedical engineering, and sustainability as well as internationally-recognized scholars including the new Dean of the School of Systems and Enterprises, the Chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, and the Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
In addition, progress has been made along all dimensions of the Year 6 plan, including systematic efforts to improve the recruitment of top-quality faculty and providing faculty with an environment to succeed. Activities include:
Established and awarded two Endowed Junior Professorships, for the recruitment and retention of stellar junior faculty
Established an Endowed Chair in Business Leadership
Established and awarded the Provost Award for Research Excellence, following the prior year creation and award of the Provost Early Career Award for Research Excellence
Conducted a review of faculty hiring practices and presented a report on those findings to the Division of Human Resources. Findings included: participation of current faculty and students in the hiring process; candidate evaluation surveys; creation of an offer letter template; setting faculty expectations; distributing a checklist at the time of hiring; and faculty orientation modules
Worked with relevant offices to develop a comprehensive online New Faculty Orientation course designed to supplement the in-person orientation program
Established a Faculty Mentor Pool to aid junior faculty in identifying mentors
Continued to expand faculty development programs, including on-campus, online, and off-campus programs, including opportunities for leadership development
Conducted informational interviews and a benchmarking of peer institutions to identify best practices in Department Chair training and prepared a proposal of appropriate programs, services, and resources to be developed, including a handbook for department chairs and annual meetings
Stevens will develop and sustain a welcoming and supportive work environment that fosters a culture of excellence by applying best-in-class practices and services to advance the overall mission, goals, and strategies of the university through the acquisition, development, retention, recognition, and support of a diverse, inclusive, and engaged faculty and staff.
OWNER: VICE PRESIDENT WARREN PETTY
As a first step in gauging the community’s perception about work at Stevens, the Division of Human Resources reintroduced the faculty and staff engagement survey in partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education “Great Colleges to Work For” program in March 2018. The survey results prompted a series of conversations with various groups to gain additional insights on the themes that emerged from the survey results. Since then, a working group comprised of respected faculty and staff has been formed, whose charge is to develop a set of objectives, concrete action plans, and metrics to improve morale and instill a sense of pride in Stevens’ accomplishments. The working group expects to complete its work by December 2018 and will share its recommendations broadly to obtain buy-in prior to implementing.
Compared to our 2011 baseline, our faculty will increasingly reflect greater diversity from multiple perspectives, including gender and ethnicity. In particular, we will target that at least 30 percent of all new full-time faculty hires will be women in order to increase the percentage of full-time female faculty from the Fall 2016 baseline of 24.6 percent. In addition, we will aim to increase the number of underrepresented minority faculty in our full-time tenure and non-tenure stream faculty by at least two-thirds from the Fall 2016 baseline of nine. We will continue to diversify the administration and staff of Stevens. We will foster an inclusive institutional climate to ensure the retention of all faculty and staff, particularly female and underrepresented minority members.
OWNERS: PROVOST CHRISTOPHE PIERRE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SUSAN METZ
In AY17-18, 25% of new full-time faculty hires were women, compared to 35% in AY16-17. The overall percentage of women faculty remained at 25%, consistent with the figure for the prior year and against a target of 30% by 2022. The percentage of underrepresented minority faculty declined from 2.8% in AY16-17 to 2.5% in AY17-18.
The following initiatives were implemented in FY18 to help boost these results:
A second workplace satisfaction study was conducted in November 2017 as part of the Stevens National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant. An online survey was sent to all full-time faculty and interviews were conducted to understand faculty perceptions of the academic environment at Stevens, with a 63% response rate. The survey and focus group questions covered topics that enabled comparisons with the 2014 study including: faculty work attitudes; school/college environment; faculty mentoring; work-family integration; and dynamics between tenure-track (TT) and non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty. Results were discussed with the Academic Council and shared with the faculty. After reviewing results, the internal Stevens Advisory Board made two recommendations including: a focus on faculty mentoring for FY19 and addressing concerns about the relationship between TT and NTT faculty.
Diversity statistics for faculty and staff by gender and race/ethnicity were added to the Benchmarking Report to enable comparisons and track progress.
Faculty and staff from the ADVANCE team continued to work with Schools and departments to increase diversity within applicant pools and increase awareness of issues related to unconscious bias that impact hiring and promotion of underrepresented groups.
Based on findings from the 2015 Faculty Family Friendly Benefits Survey, the Office of Human Resources developed a much stronger onboarding process and more comprehensive website that describes employee benefits.
Exit interviews with faculty and staff who leave Stevens are being conducted more regularly, though not yet systematically.
All salaries (faculty at all levels and disciplines, administrative and staff positions) at Stevens will be benchmarked against an appropriate peer group to ensure quality and ability to attract the very best talent, taking into account the cost of living in the metropolitan area.
OWNER: VICE PRESIDENT WARREN PETTY
During Year 6, implementation of the staff compensation program was completed, including training and communication materials. In addition, all staff positions in Workday have been assigned to a grade according to the staff compensation structure. The staff compensation program is now used extensively to classify new and upgraded positions and to determine staff salary actions.
In collaboration with the Provost, the Division of HR has begun work on an updated faculty compensation study which is expected to be completed by December 31, 2018. In advance of the study, Sibson Consulting has reviewed and updated the Stevens peer group used for compensation comparisons. A slightly revised peer group was approved by the Board’s Human Resources Committee on September 10, 2018. Sibson’s faculty study findings will be reviewed by the appropriate stakeholders before final decisions about implementation are made.
By 2022, a significant percentage of Stevens faculty will be serving in prestigious and influential professional service positions, e.g., on national advisory boards, editorial boards, and in positions of leadership within academic and industry associations. By 2022, we will achieve a steady-state level of at least 3 percent of tenure-stream faculty in sabbatical positions of influence in academic, government, industry, and nonprofit sectors.
OWNER: PROVOST CHRISTOPHE PIERRE
While some progress has been achieved on this goal with faculty involved in prestigious and influential professional service positions, tracking of the data has not been systematic. Software solutions for faculty activity reports and profile data are currently being evaluated, which will assist in record keeping and reporting. It is anticipated that a new system will be in place by Summer 2019.