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Senate 2007-2008
May 27, 2008, Volume 54, No. 34

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Report of the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity, and Equity (SCFDDE)

General Charges to the Committee
The Committee (i) identifies and promotes best practices for faculty development, mentoring, and work environment to facilitate faculty success at all career levels; (ii) evaluates and advocates processes for faculty recruitment, promotion, and retention that promote diversity, equity, and work/life balance for the faculty; (iii) monitors the status of faculty development, mentoring, diversity, and equity; and (iv) issues periodic reports on the activities and findings of the committee and makes recommendations for implementation.

2007-2008 Specific Charges
The Committee reviewed the specific charges referred to it by the Senate Executive Committee. These were to:

1. Follow up on sexual harassment recommendations

2. Follow up on mentoring recommendations

3. Evaluate Penn’s family-friendly policies and ensure that they are prominently displayed on Penn’s web page

4. Monitor minority equity and gender equity reports.

Report of Activities
By the end of the Spring Semester, the SCFDDE will have met in six regular meetings and nine special meetings to conduct its business.
With respect to its charges regarding sexual harassment, family friendly policies, and minority and gender equity reports:

a. The Committee communicated to Associate Provost Vincent Price its support of the plan to conduct train-the-trainer sessions on sexual harassment and also on bias in recruiting in each school. A progress report has been requested from the Office of the Associate Provost.

b. The Committee believes that accessible child care remains important for faculty and plans to take action on this issue in AY 2009.

c. The Minority Equity Report published in the December 4, 2007, Almanac will be reviewed at the May SCFDDE meeting. There has been no new Gender Equity Report.

The charge related to Mentoring of Junior Faculty consumed the majority of the SCFDDE efforts this year. Given that the Provost had requested every school to implement a mentoring program last year, and that each had complied with a written policy, the SCFDDE determined that follow up on implementation would be appropriate. 

Mentoring Meetings

a. The Committee met with the mentoring facilitators from each of the 12 schools in small groups in a series of seven special meetings in January and February.  Each facilitator was asked to bring the School’s current policy on mentoring and to share implementation status, current challenges, things that were going well, and how the SCFDDE might be of assistance to further implementation of the plan. These meetings were instructive, both for the SCFDDE and also for facilitators, who appeared to learn from one another processes that had not been previously considered.

b. A summary of general findings, concerns, and best practices was developed and discussed on March 28 in a meeting with Associate Provost Vincent Price and mentorship consultant Dr. Mary Croughan from UCSF. Questions regarding mentorship training, accountability, exit interviews regarding quality of mentoring, and evaluation of mentorship programs were addressed in the consultation visit with Dr. Croughan. Dr. Croughan shared specific suggestions in each of these areas, both during the meeting and also in a subsequent formal presentation to the SCFDDE and the mentoring facilitators. The Committee recommends that attention to mentor training be addressed in AY 2009.

c. The SCFDDE has scheduled a forum with mentoring facilitators for May 21, 2008, in which Best Practices at Penn will be shared followed by general discussion. An outline of common procedures and standard elements for Schools to track will be distributed and discussed at the forum.

Mentoring Recommendations

a. While recognizing differences among Penn’s 12 schools in size and needs, it is believed that all would benefit from a blueprint that establishes short and long term goals and a set of mentoring program evaluation metrics (including demographic data, mentee/mentor satisfaction measures, number of mentoring meetings) to be collected on an annual basis and monitored by the Deans and Provost.

b. The Committee recommends strongly that deans be required to report on faculty mentoring status [activities and outcomes] in their annual reports to the provost.

c. A description of best practices, reference materials, list of mentoring facilitators from each school, and other helpful information should be made available on the University Faculty Senate website or appropriate alternative.

d. The Committee had planned to query peer and second tier schools regarding their mentorship programs. The consultation with Dr. Croughan revealed her summary of the mentoring programs of several leading universities; thus, this work is not of primary importance at this time.

Recommended Activities for AY 2009
Provide input regarding mentorship into planned/ongoing University projects. The Committee should take advantage of opportunities to have input into several related projects under way in the Office of the Provost. These include: 

a. developing items regarding mentoring for insertion in the faculty exit interview surveys

b. recommending information regarding mentoring and similar areas for the planned New Faculty Orientation to the University

c. identifying mentoring evaluation data to be tracked as part of the evolving University database system, and

d. training department chairs and mentors in areas related to mentoring, sexual harassment, and family-friendly policies.

Support the wide dissemination of mentoring best practices & opportunities. Explore and support the development and maintenance of a dedicated website focused on faculty mentoring.  This website could include not only best practices within departments and schools at Penn, but also published references and other resources and venues for faculty development [e.g., NIH].

Support accessible quality child care. Lack of available and quality child care remains an important factor in faculty recruitment and retention. It is important that we strive to be a leader among our peer institutions in this regard. The Committee recommends continued collaboration with the administration to achieve this goal.

Follow up faculty recruitment pipeline issues. Successful recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities to Penn’s faculties remain important goals. Recognition of the importance of pipeline development and access through shared information (using a relevant Penn website) will be important in this regard and should be addressed by the Committee.

Monitoring implementation of sexual harassment and bias in recruitment training recommendations. The Committee should continue to monitor the implementation of training across and within schools on these important matters.

2007-2008 Committee Members
Lois Evans, School of Nursing, Chair
Stephanie Abbhul, School of Medicine
Helen Davies, School of Medicine
Cliff Deutschman, School of Medicine
Olena Jacenko, School of Vet Medicine
Susan Margulies, School of Engineering & Applied Science
John Jackson, Chair, University Council Committee on Diversity
Senate Chair, Larry Gladney, School of Arts and Sciences/Physics
Senate Chair-Elect Sherrill Adams, School of Dental Medicine



Almanac - May 27, 2008, Volume 54, No. 34