Enhancing our faculty’s diversity and excellence reflects our fundamental commitment to the liberal arts. It entails, among other things, embracing a broad view of identity, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and gender. It also requires that we examine and sometimes question our latent assumptions and biases. At its best, diversity is exercised in community, part of open and inclusive exchanges about how we are different, what we share in common, and how our institutional practices can grow stronger.
A commitment to faculty diversity does not end with hiring. We strengthen diversity by supporting the needs of the entire faculty, including the capacity to develop professionally and to balance work-life considerations. The very process of fostering a pluralistic faculty enriches our intellectual environment and sense of community. It also invigorates the curriculum, providing our students with deeper learning opportunities and preparing them to live and work in complex multicultural societies.
Trinity’s faculty has a longstanding commitment to enhancing diversity among its ranks. In 1982, the faculty passed an Affirmative Action policy statement, followed by a commitment to non-discrimination in education and a set of comprehensive guidelines for faculty hiring. By 1996, a Target of Opportunity Program was created, leading to several hires over the next few years. The Faculty Conference, building on the work of various ad hoc committees, then issued a report in December 2004, titled “Affirmative Action and Diversity at Trinity College,” which recommended that the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) consider diversity criteria in its evaluation of proposals for faculty positions, a charge that the EPC accepted. The EPC subsequently called for replacing TOP; and in May 2005, the faculty approved the creation of a Special Opportunity Hires Program. A discussion of this program and other mechanisms for diversifying the faculty is found in the Faculty Manual, sections 15.4 and 15.5
The position of faculty diversity officer has rotated over the years, sometimes led by a full-time faculty member and now staffed by a dean of academic affairs. The Diversity Officers for the faculty are currently Sonia Cardenas, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science, and Melanie Stein, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics. Please contact them with any ideas or questions about faculty diversity at Trinity. The chief diversity officer for the College is Dean Karla Spurlock-Evans, who also directs Trinity's Office of Multicultural Affairs and works closely with numerous campus diversity programs.