Since 2016 the percentage of ALANA tenure-track faculty has increased from 12 percent to almost 18 percent. Continued diversification of the faculty remains a top priority. The faculty search process emphasizes building a deep and diverse applicant pool, bias awareness training for search committee members, equity and inclusiveness in the review of applicants, list of pre-finalists and finalists, and the interview process.
A new tenure-track faculty line has been approved in the Africana Studies program. Faculty staffing requests that prioritize diversifying the curriculum are favorably received and strongly encouraged.
A variety of departments and majors have added courses on race and ethnicity to their curriculum. A visiting faculty member in Africana Studies, will offer courses on Race, Policing and Social Justice; The Black Freedom Struggle; and Race, Ethnicity, and Urban Life.
Support for Black Students
A specific proposal is under review to recognize and compensate invisible labor by faculty and staff in support of BIPOC and underrepresented students.
A new Portlock Black Cultural Center, designed with student and alumni input to address programmatic needs, is slated to open in Fall 2021. Planning also continues for a multicultural center with a preliminary program developed for that building.
Increases to our financial aid budget in recent years have helped grow the socioeconomic diversity of our student body. In addition to partnerships with The Posse Foundation and Philadelphia Futures, Admissions is working with community-based organizations such as The Sutton Trust, Global Citizen Year, and Uplift Education.
Shaping Our Campus Community
Human Resources is developing a plan for increasing staff diversity through an emphasis on building diverse applicant pools, and developing other diversity-focused recruitment and retention procedures that will be announced in September.
All full-time counselors who have joined the Counseling Center since 2016 have enhanced the diversity of the Counseling Center in regard to identity, training, and expertise, so as to better serve first-generation and international students, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and students of color.
Human Resources is providing anti-bias training for all administrative search committees, developing a plan for increasing staff diversity, and expanding multicultural training.
Anti-bias and anti-racism training will be required of all faculty, staff and students, and each Division of the College must submit a plan for additional and ongoing training and education on racism.
In addition to the annual de-escalation training undertaken by all Public Safety officers, and the periodic anti-bias training offered in the past, training in unconscious bias and Safe Zone training for all Public Safety officers was completed in July 2020; that training will be updated annually.
Public Safety is continuing its ongoing education of staff on race, racism and anti-bias, and is providing opportunities for feedback from the community.
Public Safety Director Jeff Troxell and Chief of Police James Meyer, together or individually, regularly attend meetings of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. They also have attended campuswide conversations related to race; met with students, athletic teams and staff members to explore greater involvement in student programming; participated in listening sessions with the Northampton County district attorney; and attended an anti-bias program held by a national law enforcement organization.
Public Safety shared with the Chair of the Faculty Committee on Student Life and with the President of Student Government an analysis of budgets and expenses associated with Public Safety. Scheduled discussions by these groups will be held in the spring and be repeated annually.
All Public Safety staff are now required to complete training to improve awareness, knowledge and skills about mental health and suicide prevention.