The Role of the Equity Administrators
For the past several decades, the University of Maryland has demonstrated a strong commitment to diversifying its student body and work force. Former President C.D. Mote, Jr., has expressed this commitment clearly:
"At the University of Maryland, we have made the diversity of our campus fundamental to our pursuit of excellence. We are proud of our nationally recognized record of achievements, but we also know that the effort to build a truly inclusive community is never-ending. Our students must learn to live productively in a world in which their lives will increasingly intersect - in the marketplace, in the political arena, in cultural activities, in the neighborhoods - with the lives of others whose perspectives and backgrounds differ remarkably from their own. And our democratic ideals have taught us the profound merit of a society that recognizes the inherent values and rights of each individual, a society we hope to realize in our country and throughout the world. Through a variety of campus-wide programs and activities, we have sought to engage faculty, staff, and students in the process of creating a diverse and inclusive community and have maintained this goal at the forefront of our attention."
The University of Maryland's approach to creating an institution committed to excellence through diversity and equity is to articulate a firm commitment, establish clear priorities, delineate responsibilities, insist upon results, and create positive incentives for progress.
We believe that our entire community is made stronger by the backgrounds and experiences that each individual brings to the campus. The University of Maryland is committed to insuring that every student benefits from our diverse educational community and upon graduation is prepared to lead and contribute to our increasingly global society. The institution is also committed to insuring that its faculty and staff work in a fair and equitable environment where opportunities are provided for professional growth and upward mobility.
As the chief administrative officer for the campus, the President is responsible for leading the campus in achieving these aspirations. The President has designated the vice presidents and the deans of the colleges and schools as responsible for pursuing equity and diversity goals in their units within the framework of university-wide policies and plans.
To assist them in implementing and monitoring these initiatives, each has designated an Equity Administrator. These Equity Administrators are responsible for advising the president, vice presidents, deans, and directors about:
- the recruitment and retention of a diverse work force;
- facilitation to resolve complaints by students and employees in the unit, in consultation with other appropriate campus personnel and offices;
- ways in which to foster respectful, professional, and equitable work environments.
While the major unit heads are ultimately responsible for campus-wide and unit equity and diversity efforts, Equity Administrators can be instrumental in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of these efforts. This assistance may include the following:
- Developing unit policies needed to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes in accordance with university-wide policies;
- Assisting in the development and review of diversity goals within units and across campus;
- Monitoring searches and hiring for all faculty and staff positions; making recommendations in these areas to the appropriate unit head;
- Conducting periodic reviews of progress and suggesting the need for re-evaluation and corrective action to the appropriate administrator and the Equity Council;
- Assisting faculty and staff in designing proposals to attract funds for implementing new programs to recruit and retain underrepresented students;
- Organizing workshops, seminars, and forums to provide equity training and guidance for faculty, staff, and students;
- Coordinating campus-wide affirmative action and diversity recruitment and search procedures for units;
- Working with other members of the staff in their areas to analyze tenure, promotion, and salary equity processes and policies, as well as other matters;
- Serving as a intermediary in the unit to resolve faculty, staff, and students complaints of unfair treatment by faculty, staff, and students. The Equity Administrator works with the Campus Compliance Officer, the Faculty Ombuds Officer, the Legal Office, the Staff Ombuds Officer, and the Department of University Human Resources to resolve these concerns;
- Serving as a member of the Equity Council, which reviews all policies and procedures in relation to equity matters and makes recommendations to the President in regard to equity, diversity, and affirmative action.