Gregory Washington, President en Adopting an Inclusive Excellence Framework for Hiring Will Deliver Best Candidates <span>Adopting an Inclusive Excellence Framework for Hiring Will Deliver Best Candidates</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kelly Hansen</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/12/2021 - 15:07</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="inline_block:call_to_action" data-inline-block-uuid="91950c08-392f-4055-b664-e5eff04e4580"> <div class="cta"> <a class="cta__link" href=""> <h4 class="cta__title">Visit the ARIE website for more information <i class="fas fa-arrow-circle-right"></i> </h4> <span class="cta__icon"></span> </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h2>Mason faculty and staff: </h2> <figure class="quote"> <blockquote> <p>We have now had two town halls since the release of the ARIE Task Force recommendations and I want to take some time to address some of the feedback and questions that we have received, several of which were represented in one particular question that was posed.  The question was presented as follows: <em>“I am concerned about what it really means to hire faculty and staff that ‘reflect the student population.’ The university's job as an R1 institution is to hire the best faculty and administrators, period. The type of target hiring of minorities proposed through ARIE is both prejudicial and illegal. I would like to have this addressed.</em>” </p> </blockquote> <figcaption> </figcaption> </figure> <p>I agree that we should be committed to hiring the best faculty and staff.  As a community, we need a more comprehensive framework for what constitutes “best.” Allow me to offer my input on this matter.  </p> <p>First and foremost, all organizations need a North Star – a vision of what their best can be. With respect to diversity and inclusion, Mason’s North Star is that this university should reflect the rich diversity of our students, the broader Commonwealth of Virginia (whose tax dollars support us all), and the nation. This is not code for establishing a quota system.  It is a recognition of the reality that our society’s future lies in multicultural inclusion. By mid-century, when today’s undergraduates approach mid-career, they will take leadership of a society in which, for the first time in the 400-plus year American experience, there will be no ethnic majority. They will be required to lead and live differently than we do, and so we must offer them a learning environment that looks like the world they will enter, not the one they will leave.  Our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative should also be aligned with the “One Virginia Plan,” now the law in Virginia.  </p> <p>The differences in ethnic diversity among our students as compared to our faculty are drastic. While a majority of our students are non-white and reflective of the nation’s expected ethnic make-up in the mid-21<sup>st</sup> century, just 30 percent of our faculty are from ethnic minority, multi-ethnic, or international communities, and the percentage from underrepresented groups is significantly lower than that. As so many leaders remind us, it’s hard to be what you do not see. </p> <p>Second, in order to achieve our vision, we first have to adopt a broader, shared understanding of what “best” means when recruiting faculty and staff at Mason.  Professional experiences will always be vital in recruiting our workforce, but so must lived experiences. Each quality prepares us in different ways to educate students for the demands of the world to come. If you have two candidates who are both “above the bar” in terms of requirements for a position, but one adds to your diversity and the other does not, then why couldn’t that candidate be better, even if that candidate may not have better credentials than the other candidate?  Study after study has proven that the most diverse organizations, which recognize the importance of maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment, are the best performing organizations. This is just as true in academia as it is in business, as studies by the Center for Talent Innovation, the Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey have shown. </p> <p>For a topic that is often labeled complicated, the essence is actually quite simple: We either believe that diversity and inclusion can improve our performance, or we don’t. If we do – and I do – then we must do two things: </p> <p>Our search processes must actively search for the types of candidates we need, and those needs go well beyond our disciplinary foci.  In essence, our mission of educating and preparing the future leaders of America’s economy and society demands that we recruit people with the full breadth of lived experiences as well as professional backgrounds that our students encounter. If we want to be truly diverse – and I do – then we must understand that our current processes will only get us what we have.</p> <h3>Here are a number of techniques and best practices to achieve diversity and inclusion that I know, from my own experience, work:  </h3> <ul> <li><strong>Include inclusive excellence in the criteria we use for hiring.</strong>  This does not mean just hiring anyone we can find from historically disenfranchised communities.  A better mechanism is to set cultural norms and expectations by requiring inclusive excellence statements alongside teaching and research statements in our hiring process and then using rubrics to evaluate candidates based on all three criteria.  Can we truly claim that inclusive excellence is important while not having it in the very criteria we use to recruit our workforce?</p> <p>  </li> <li><strong>Change our search processes to be more equitable. </strong> This begins with a recognition that intelligence and talent are universal, but that opportunity is not. Here we are confronted with another profound but simple choice of beliefs: Either we believe that we are all created equal, or we don’t. When the playing field of life is tilted systematically for entire populations, achieving equity is about providing everyone what they need for success, and that requires offering different things to different populations based on their own lived experiences. Treating everyone exactly the same may stop the advance of inequities, but it also perpetuates them by freezing them in place rather than correcting them. <ul> <li>Identify potential candidates in conferences and workshops. If you see a PhD candidate giving a great talk, reach out to them and invite them for a seminar at your institution. <br />  </li> <li>All departmental seminar series, whether an active search exists or not, should include strategies for targeting women (if they are underrepresented in your<br /> unit) and candidates from underrepresented groups in addition to those individuals who are normally targeted. There should be an active seminar roster with slots targeting individuals who are targets of opportunity even though they are not actively pursuing a job. There are a number of national lists and listservs of UR PhD students or post-docs in almost every area, so use them. <br />  </li> <li>Be flexible on your search criteria and don’t be afraid to broaden the search if it’s too narrow to obtain diverse candidates.  Facing a limited candidate pool, the search committee should ask themselves: Do we really need a candidate with a narrow focus?  Are there related areas that are in alignment to the specific search that could yield a broader cross-section of candidates? <br />  </li> <li>Place your ads in publications where diverse audiences are looking.  We will develop a comprehensive list if you don’t have one. </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Finally, we have to address the question of what is best for our campus and our state.  This begins with an honest reckoning of our history.  As difficult as it is to accept, the truth is that Mason’s history is rooted in pervasive structural racism, some of which is chronicled in a report conducted by the Virginia State Advisory Committee (VSAC) to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1971.  The <a href="" target="_blank">report concluded</a> that Mason had been “delinquent in its duty to attract and welcome minority students and faculty.” A half-century later, some of the ripple effects still remain with us. With regard to student recruitment, we have made significant progress, establishing a national reputation for ethnic and cultural diversity.  For faculty and staff, too many units remain at levels comparable or below the levels highlighted in VSAC’s 50-year-old report. If it was not our best in 1971, clearly it is not our best today.  </p> <p>The <a href="" title="AIRE Task Force">ARIE Task Force</a> is about getting Mason to our best. All in all, I am very pleased with our progress and our response relative to the Task Force, even when it leads to difficult discussions like the one we are having here.  The debate will lead us to a much better place and to outcomes that we can all rally behind.  </p> <p> </p> <p>Sincerely, </p> <p>Gregory Washington </p> <p>President </p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/186" hreflang="en">Office of the President</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/231" hreflang="en">President&#039;s Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/726" hreflang="en">Statement: Office of the President</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 12 May 2021 19:07:32 +0000 Kelly Hansen 621 at Call for unity <span>Call for unity</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/16" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kristin Heydt</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/05/2021 - 15:25</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><p><span class="intro-text">Fellow Patriots:</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">Tonight, more than ever we need to be Patriots with a capital P. It’s easy to feel helpless at the events that unfolded just east of our campuses today, but we can be of service to our communities and our nation. </span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">To be clear, we are living through a moment in our American history that we can scarcely comprehend as it unfolds. Network news outlets show our US Capitol building overtaken while our leaders exercise a cherished ritual of our democracy. They are using words such as “coup attempt” and “insurrection.” And they are reminding us that America has not experienced such a seizure of its Capitol building since the British sacked it in the War of 1812.</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">Many of us are also struggling to reconcile the dissonance of this response with that of protests that occurred in Washington last year. Those legal acts of civil disobedience provoked far more violent and forceful law enforcement actions. We are left with far more questions than answers tonight.</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">History in the moment rarely makes sense, and it can easily evoke intense emotions that invite reactions of raw passion. But the fact remains that today’s events are still a shared experience for all of us as Americans, even though we view them as a deeply divided nation. Through it all, we are all still in this American experience together.</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">What can we do as a university community? First, we must stay safe, take care of ourselves, and look out for each other in this moment of extreme volatility. Second, we have to remind ourselves and each other that we will make it through this and come out a better nation – because we always do. </span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">And finally, we are a university, which gives us both great privilege and a great responsibility to observe, learn, teach, and act as first interpreters of moments such as these, with all of their violence, complexity, contradictions, and ambiguities.</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">The nation is struggling to understand what is happening, how to react, and how to move beyond this. Academic communities like Mason’s are at their best when they step into moments like these to offer perspective, clarity, and when necessary, hard truths that force us to grow even as we seek to heal. </span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">So tonight, be safe and be well. And when this moment has passed, Patriots, let’s get back to work, doing what we do best.</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">Sincerely,</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">Gregory Washington</span></p> <p><span class="intro-text">President</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/726" hreflang="en">Statement: Office of the President</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 05 May 2021 19:25:09 +0000 Kristin Heydt 586 at President Washington Announces Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence <span>President Washington Announces Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melanie Balog</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/23/2020 - 06:00</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="inline_block:basic" data-inline-block-uuid="67bf6a56-8cf1-4485-8f55-74ea965a6345" class="block block-layout-builder block-inline-blockbasic"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="inline_block:basic" data-inline-block-uuid="f90b1e74-4438-455d-85b9-404ad2bfbd36" class="block block-layout-builder block-inline-blockbasic"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="inline_block:basic" data-inline-block-uuid="8bfe1f9f-0410-4482-a389-0fd6026d9ead" class="block block-layout-builder block-inline-blockbasic"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2>Hello, Fellow Patriots,</h2> <p>In the days that followed the murder of George Floyd, I sent you a message that promised action to address racial inequities that persist here at George Mason University.</p> <p>As I enter my fourth week as president, I want to share with you the actions we will begin to take, as a community of Patriots.</p> <p>George Mason University enters this national conversation with an admirable track record as a pace-setter of action for racial justice, and for truth-telling about our own past.</p> <h3>We are proud to draw upon the expertise of:</h3> <ul><li>The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center, one of the first of its kind in the nation</li> <li>The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, one of the nation’s few schools dedicated to social justice and peace, and one of the very best</li> <li>The Enslaved People of George Mason research and memorial project, the ground-breaking undertaking by our own faculty and students to tell the full truth of our university’s namesake so that we may learn and grow from it.</li> <li>And of course we take pride in hosting Virginia’s largest and most diverse university student body, with a majority of our students representing communities of color, and our Black student population in particular recognized as among the nation’s top academic performers</li> </ul><p>These are just some of the many examples of excellence and inclusion around racial justice that the Mason community has undertaken. They make us proud.</p> <p>But we have work to do if we are to ensure that every student, faculty, and staff member is welcomed and respected as a full equal in this community of learning.</p> <p>And the uncomfortable truth is not everyone at Mason feels equal, or is treated equally.</p> <p>So, today I am creating the President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence, and giving its members some big assignments.</p> <ul><li>We need to know where systems, practices, and traditions of racial bias exist at George Mason University so that we may eradicate them.</li> <li>We must build intentional systems and standards of anti-racism that will keep racial injustices from regenerating.</li> <li>I want George Mason University to emerge from this exercise as a local, regional, and national beacon for the advancement of anti-racism, reconciliation, and healing.</li> </ul><p>This task force will have a broad focus, with particular areas of emphasis including short-term and long-term improvements to how we approach:</p> <ul><li>Curriculum and Pedagogy</li> <li>Campus and Community Engagement</li> <li>University Policies and Practices</li> <li>Research</li> <li>Training and Development</li> </ul><p>The task force will comprise many of Mason’s luminaries in racial justice, who will be joined by national experts in this topic. Members will be announced over the course of the coming weeks, and they will represent the full diversity of George Mason University, including racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, and religious identity.</p> <p>The recommendations that we act upon will be incorporated into the university’s planning and budgeting process to ensure they have the priority and resources to take root and flourish. I am not interested in reports that sit on a shelf, only to collect dust.</p> <p>Many reforms at Mason will require thoughtful consideration over time by the task force and university leadership. Others are obvious, overdue, and simply require executive leadership.</p> <p>So, in keeping with my pledge to deliver actions and not just words, I am announcing immediate steps that we are taking to advance systemic and cultural anti-racism at George Mason University.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The many steps that we have identified are available in their entirety on my website,</a> The categories of immediate steps we are taking include:</p> <h3>Policing</h3> <p>In addition to state-mandated anti-racism training for all police personnel, we will convert the existing Community Police Council into a Police Advisory Board that actively monitors the nature of police activity and reports its findings to me.</p> <h3>University Policies</h3> <p>A number of university policies and practices that carry racist vestiges in their practices will be examined and/or curtailed, including:</p> <ul><li>Faculty salary equity – We will complete and act upon a faculty salary equity review and work with the schools and colleges toward correcting any issues over a three-year period.</li> <li>Inclusive excellence planning – At the college and school level, we will establish Inclusive Excellence Plans that articulate the vision and definition of anti-racism and inclusiveness for that unit. The task force will develop a metric-driven template for units to use.</li> <li>Implicit bias training – Mason will establish an Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program that certifies that the schools and colleges have completed Implicit Bias Training and have established Inclusive Excellence Plans.</li> <li>Implicit bias recognition in faculty promotion and tenure – We will develop specific recommendations for the renewal, promotion, and tenure processes that address implicit bias, discrimination, and other equity issues (e.g., invisible and uncredited labor) to support faculty of color and women in their professional work.</li> <li>Equity Advisors in every academic department – Equity Advisors are senior faculty members, appointed as Faculty Assistant to the Dean in their respective schools. Equity Advisors participate in faculty recruiting by approving search committee shortlists and strategies and raising awareness of best practices. Additionally, they organize faculty development programs, with both formal and informal mentoring, and address individual issues raised by women and faculty from underrepresented groups.</li> <li>Recognizing and rewarding adversity barriers in promotion and tenure – We will develop specific mechanisms in the promotion and tenure process that recognize the invisible and uncredited emotional labor that people of color expend to learn, teach, discover, and work on campus.</li> </ul><h3>Racial Trauma and Healing</h3> <ul><li>We will increase the support provided to students, faculty, and staff through Mason’s Counseling and Psychological Services for students, and Human Resources for faculty and staff.</li> </ul><h3>Curriculum/Pedagogy</h3> <ul><li>We will finalize development and implementation of required diversity, inclusion, and well-being coursework.</li> <li>We will require an anti-racism statement on all syllabi.</li> </ul><h3>Buildings and Grounds</h3> <ul><li>We will convene the University Naming Committee to evaluate names of university buildings and memorials to ensure they align with the university’s stated mission to serve as an “academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world.”</li> </ul><h3>Community Engagement</h3> <ul><li>We will grow our K-12 and community college partnerships by 50 percent, and become a true partner in the development of our region.</li> <li>We will establish a lecture series on anti-racism and inclusive excellence to establish a collective consciousness among the campus community.</li> </ul><h3>Resource Commitments</h3> <ul><li>We will identify associated budget to achieve above immediate actions, beginning with an initial $5 million commitment over three years to strengthen initiatives already underway and to fund critical priorities that need immediate attention.</li> <li>We will identify an Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center.</li> </ul><p>Leadership in an anti-racism environment demands that we recognize how our history has shaped our view of the world and how our own actions can reshape it.</p> <p>My vision is nothing short of establishing George Mason University as a national exemplar of anti-racism and inclusive excellence in action. Given the considerable head start we have on most of our sister institutions in the United States, this is a vision we can realize.</p> <p><strong>So, Patriots, let’s get to work.</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 23 Jul 2020 10:00:00 +0000 Melanie Balog 361 at