The WASC Commission noted that:
The challenges of achieving greater levels of diversity within the student body, faculty and staff, noted in the March 2002 Commission letter, continue today. Scripps has been successful in recruiting a diverse staff. However, student diversity has shown little change over the last four years, and faculty diversity remains a challenge. As the team noted “progress has been slower than it might be.” The Commission urges that this area continue to be a high priority, that plans and initiatives be formulated, implemented and evaluated in a timely fashion, and that progress in campus diversity is monitored on an ongoing basis.
Goal: Increase faculty representation from underrepresented groups
It is important to note that our faculty self-identify, and our understanding of our diversity is derived from these self-reports. In fall 2010, we provided our faculty the IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) Race/Ethnicity categories and allowed them to self identify from these groups:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Black, African American
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- Non-Resident Alien
- Decline to State
- Bi-racial or Multi-racial
We collect this data as we hire new faculty.
- Strategy 1: Use best practices to hire a more diverse faculty. Our data shows us that this is critically important and that more work is needed to diversify our faculty.
- Strategy 2: Utilize the Consortium of Faculty Diversity (CFD) Fellow Program. Hire a CFD Fellow for the Politics and IR Department for the 2014-15 academic year.
- Strategy 3: Support housing jointly funded hires in ethnic studies at Scripps. The faculty members in Africana Studies and Chicana/o, Latina/o Studies reside at Scripps and contribute to diversifying the faculty both in presence and in scholarship. The Asian American Studies hire is housed at Pitzer.
Goal: Maintain and increase diverse staff hiring at all levels
At first glance, Scripps appears to be fairly successful in recruiting a diverse staff. In fall 2012 data, women represented 75.7% (181) of our employees. Self-identified white employees comprise 47.7% (114) whereas non-white employees comprise 50.63% (121): African American 8.37% (20); Latino/a 35.98% (86); Asian 3.77% (9); Pacific Islander 2.51% (6); 3 employees did not report a category and one employee reported two or more categories.
Although these numbers appear positive, these data do not indicate the type of staff position held (e.g., senior staff, director level staff, non director staff) and how this is disaggregated by ethnicity. This data is still being calculated, however, we do have information about senior staff and Student Affairs staff.
For the purposes of this document, the senior staff includes the President, Chief of Staff, and the 6 Vice Presidents (Institutional Advancement, Student Affairs, Enrollment, Finances, Communications and Marketing, and Academic Affairs). In the past four years, we moved from one senior staff member of color to two (VP for Student Affairs is Asian American and VP for Enrollment is Latina/Chicana). Seven of the eight senior staff members are women.
Student Affairs staff is roughly 50% staff of color, including at the director level. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students is Asian American. Out of 6 directors, 2 are African American and 1 is Latina/Chicana. Out of a total of 21 members of the Student Affairs staff there are: 2 Asian Americans, 4 African American, 2 Latina/Chicana, and 2 multi-racial staff. Amongst the 21 staff members there are also first generation college graduates and individuals who identify as LBGTQ.
- Strategy 1: Hire a more diverse staff.
- Strategy 2: Provide resources and training for our staff.
Goal: Better understand the diversity needs of our alumnae
- Strategy 1: Develop and work with the Alumnae Leadership Council (ALC). The ALC currently includes an Alumnae/Student Diversity Chair (ASDC) and the alumna representative on the PACDI. The ASDC chair manages these liaisons. The goal is to have at least one alumna and student for each of the diversity groups (Wanawake Weusi, Cafe Con Leche, Family, Asian American Student Union) represented on the ALC.
- Strategy 2: The Alumnae Office has administered an alumnae survey and intends to disaggregate the data collected to better understand the experiences of our alumnae.
- Strategy 3: Reach out to alumnae to make sure they are knowledgeable about diversity at Scripps.
Goal: Improve communications about diversity on campus
Open and regular communication among the members of the Scripps community on issues of diversity is essential to developing and maintaining an inclusive environment. Individuals and groups need to know how, where, when, and to whom issues can be raised. There also needs to be communication about how these issues will be considered and addressed.
For example, students continue to notice the discrepancy between the Scripps represented on the website and the reality of lived experience at the College. The Office of Communications and Marketing has initiated several programs to provide a more authentic representation of our student body and general community.
- Strategy 1: Invest in and commit to comprehensive outreach to underrepresented communities and provide proactive, institutional support to diverse students on campus.
- Strategy 2: Provide regular communication about diversity progress to the community.
- Strategy 3: Work with the Office of Communications and Marketing to provide materials that represent Scripps more authentically in terms of diversity.
Goal: Use available metrics to evaluate our process
At the present time, data on admissions, student success, campus climate, faculty demographics, new hires, and administrator diversity are either available or being collected and can be monitored. Moving forward we must assess key metrics consistently and report findings so they can be used to assist in policy decision making where appropriate.
- Strategy 1: Provide regularized reports using the key metrics developed in this plan, in addition to other issues that are emerging, to continually monitor progress.
- Strategy 2: Identify the key survey or surveys to be used to monitor the experience of faculty, staff, students, and alumnae. Fewer surveys with more attention to response rates are critical. The surveys should be compiled in a timely manner with feedback to the community.
- Strategy 3: Responsibility for monitoring progress and implementing change should rest with senior staff, the relevant administrators, faculty and student governance groups, PACDI, and the Board of Trustees.
- Strategy 4: A climate of engaging difficult conversations should be developed so that the more qualitative elements of improving the climate for all groups can be attained.