By Marty Meehan
UMass Lowell is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all its faculty, staff and students. Our diverse community includes people of various cultures, languages, colors, religions, national origins, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, gender expressions, and life and military service experiences. I am extremely proud that mutual respect for our varied backgrounds and experiences serves as the foundation of our excellence as an institution.
Global Engagement & Inclusive Culture is one of the five Pillars of Excellence in our 2020 Strategic Plan
The goals include:
- Increasing the diversity of students, faculty and staff from underrepresented communities
- Developing and sustaining an inclusive campus culture
I am pleased to announce that we have shown excellent progress toward meeting these goals. Ahead of schedule, we surpassed or substantially attained our 2018 Report Card goals for employment of historically underrepresented ethnic/race groups at 23.3% for faculty, and 14.8% for staff
. Our initiatives in outreach have been fruitful: During the past year, while our overall workforce increased by 5.5%, our employees of historically underrepresented ethnicity/races increased by 13.2%.
Our diverse workforce growth is a direct reflection of the contributions each of us make, the way in which we interact with our colleagues, and the thoughtfulness with which we approach the hiring process. Thank you – keep up the great work.
Metrics and performance measures have helped us track our institutional and personal success.
- Our Annual Report Card sets goals and tracks success in diversity among our students and the workforce.
- Our Affirmative Action Plan identifies hiring goals based on the available workforce for each faculty department and staff job group. It also specifies and tracks progress toward our institutional attainment of concrete, measurable initiatives.
- Respect for all members of the community and their varying backgrounds is a performance factor in the evaluation of all employees. Employees are expected to work to understand the perspectives brought by all individuals; to handle issues with sensitivity; provide genuine assistance and confidentiality; and to pursue knowledge and awareness of issues related to diversity and inclusion.
- An additional performance factor for UMass Lowell managers is the proactive diversification of search committees and applicant pools. All managers are expected to model support for our equal opportunity policies and the Affirmative Action Plan and to be actively engaged in developing and achieving designated objectives and goals. For more information on the search committee training and responsibilities, please see the role of the Search Committee.
I commend the members of our search committees, and I urge all of you to continue to take steps toward increasing the diversity and excellence of our faculty and staff. Our recruitment efforts will continue to be carefully executed to ensure that people from all backgrounds hear about our opportunities and are interviewed, hired and encouraged to thrive at UMass Lowell. Please continue to relate your experiences, successes and challenges regarding our community’s diversity and inclusion goals to your supervisors and other University administrators.
I encourage all employees to take advantage of the many seminars and events on these topics, described at www.uml.edu/hr/WLD