Black Faculty Retention and Success Task Force Report Now Available
In October 2022, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden convened the Black Faculty Retention and Success Task Force, co-chaired by Vice Chancellor and Dean for the Division of Academic and Student Affairs Doneka Scott and Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement Jai Jackson. Provost Arden charged this task force to make recommendations that support the retention, success and well-being of Black faculty at NC State across all ranks and tracks.
The task force comprises esteemed members from various departments and units, each bringing unique perspectives and expertise, including Scott and Jackson, distinguished individuals committed to advancing the success of underrepresented faculty at NC State.
This task force reviewed and incorporated the shared experiences of Black faculty colleagues, available institutional data, recommendations from the 2013 Black Faculty Representation Working Group, and evidence-based innovative practices from higher education institutions around the country into their work.
In response to the provost’s charge, the task force issued a report recommending strategies the university can undertake at department, college and university levels to successfully recruit and retain Black faculty. That task force report is now available.
Black Faculty Retention and Success Task Force Recommendations
The comprehensive recommendations put forth by this task force will serve as a cornerstone in NC State’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Additionally, the report’s findings will greatly influence strategic planning at the university.
Recommendations from the task force include the following:
The task force emphasizes the importance of compensation equity, recommending the creation of a toolkit for department-level leadership. This toolkit will provide the necessary resources and opportunities to address compensation and resource disparities, ensuring that underrepresented faculty members are recognized and rewarded appropriately for their contributions.
Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Standards
In alignment with NC State’s strategic goals, the task force recommends regular service audits to assess faculty contributions and recognition. These audits, conducted every four years, will involve faculty and local administrators, ensuring transparency and accountability in reappointment, promotion, and tenure processes.
Equity for Tenured/Tenure-Track and Professional-Track Faculty
Acknowledging the overreliance on underrepresented faculty for DEI work, the task force calls for developing an institutional structure that ensures equitable outcomes and opportunities. This involves addressing the unique challenges underrepresented faculty members face to facilitate their professional growth and advancement within the institution.
Sense of Belonging
Recognizing the critical role of a sense of belonging in faculty retention, the task force proposes implementing a faculty affinity group program at the university level. This program will provide a platform for faculty to develop meaningful connections with peers who share similar interests, cultures and affinities, fostering an inclusive environment supporting underrepresented faculty’s success and well-being.
The task force emphasizes the importance of continuous data-tracking, particularly in analyzing underrepresented faculty’s time to progression in faculty designations. This data-driven approach enables the institution to identify patterns, trends and areas for improvement in faculty development strategies.
NC State is a charter member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science SEA Change initiative, signifying the university’s commitment to including diversity, equity and inclusion as a core component of its institutional mission. The university recently submitted an application for a SEA Change Institutional Bronze Award, and several of the task force recommendations were integrated into the SEA Change Action Plan. Upon receipt of the award, NC State will be accountable to SEA Change, reporting progress on its Action Plan.
Later this semester, the Provost’s Office will update the university community on the implementation of task force recommendations and progress with related activities and initiatives. All planned actions will also be incorporated into the next implementation phase of Wolfpack 2030: Powering the Extraordinary.
“We invite the NC State University community to join us in this transformative journey. Together, we are empowered to create an academic environment that values and supports the success of all faculty members, regardless of background or identity,” said Jai Jackson, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity. “This collaborative effort underscores our commitment to fostering excellence and inclusivity, ensuring every community member can thrive and contribute meaningfully to our shared academic mission.”