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A Contextual Perspective of Affirmative Action at UIC Patricia A. Gill July 17, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "A Contextual Perspective of Affirmative Action at UIC Patricia A. Gill July 17, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Contextual Perspective of Affirmative Action at UIC Patricia A. Gill July 17, 2007

2 Context of Faculty Employment What is the legal basis for affirmative action? the Diversity Pyramid What are the legal boundaries when pursuing of affirmative action and diversity? How is affirmative action practiced at UIC? How does UIC establish benchmarks or hiring targets? What are the challenges to practicing affirmative action at UIC

3 The Diversity Pyramid Constitutional Law 14 th Amendment Plus Fundamental Protection of Individual Rights Discrimination Law Statutory Laws (state & fed) Civil Right Act of 1964 Title VIIEmployment, defined group coverage Affirmative Action Executive Order 11246explicitly defined group reqs Diversity Institutional Commitment, Self-defined Inclusion

4 The purpose of affirmative action is to give our nation a way to finally address the systemic exclusion of individuals of talent on the basis of their gender or race from opportunities to develop, perform, achieve and contribute. Affirmative action is an effort to develop a systemic approach to open the doors of education, employment and business development opportunities to qualified individuals who happen to be members of groups that have experienced longstanding and persistent discrimination. President Clinton, speech on affirmative action at the National Archives, July 19,1995

5 Lexicon for Affirmative Action Essence of Affirmative Action is Opportunity Cast a wider net –to eliminate preferences –to level the playing field

6 Legal Basis for Affirmative Action Involuntary Remedial by court order pursuant to finding of systemic past discrimination Voluntary Recipient of federal funds or governmental benefits are required to address under representation in its workforce in prescribed manner. As a federal contractor with more than 50 employees, UIC must comply with Executive Order Identify barriers, action-oriented programs, set goals

7 UIC and EO Identify Barriers: analyze current workforce by racial/gender categories; compare who we employ to an estimated available pool with requisite skills Action-Oriented Programs: eliminated barriers through programs Set goals: where our workforce is less than the available pool. Demonstrate good faith to meet goals. Does UIC make an effort to recruit and hire women faculty in English? How are women represented in applicant pool? As finalists? As hires? Where UIC employs 25% women Assistant Professors in English and there is an estimated available pool of 35%, a hiring goal should be set. Illustration: determine the racial/gender composition of a potential candidate pool for an Assistant Professor in English. Faculty: tenured, tenure-track, non tenured track; by College and Department.

8 Determining Available Pool 1.Data from sources is gathered and weighted. Importance (weight) assigned to earned doctorates for different ranks. Weight assigned to current faculty in field in United States universities Any other relevant data assigned a weight –e.g. current representation of assistant professors is key in determining available pool for associate professors in the field. 2.Proposed weights and estimated availability sent to departments for input.

9 Available Pool with Requisite Skills External Faculty Sources for availability –National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, 10 years of earned doctorates –AAUP, reports data on faculty in United States by ranks and field; NSF –Association of America Medical Colleges (AAMC), faculty by specialty in US medical schools –Professional Organization Internal Current representation by rank Faculty hiring patterns for past 2 years.

10 Other Notes on Availability Faculty searches look to national pool, other groups may be local or regional Other employment groups may require use of different factors E.g., Unskilled laborers will have a weighted factor for unemployed in reasonable recruitment area Challenge: matching external data to internal configuration of our workforce. This is not a science. There is no absolutely correct answer.

11 Establishing Targets/Goals Numerical goals are based upon estimated availability A goal or target is not a quota under EO Compliance Standard: Good Faith Effort to meet goal Meeting goals cannot violate discrimination laws or constitutional protections

12 Legal Boundaries of Affirmative Action When can race, national origin or gender be a factor in planning or conducting a search? In soliciting candidates? When considering composition of a search committee Solicitation of candidates When charging a search committee or search firm enunciating expectations In developing minimum qualifications or criteria for evaluation of candidates Ensure candidates feel welcome Who is likely to tap sources for bringing in diverse pool of candidates? Do you know of any women or minority candidates we might be interested in? Given the representation of degrees awarded to women in this area, I expect to see a good pool with women among the finalists. Limiting viable department head candidates to a sub-specialty within the department may unnecessarily limit pool.

13 Legal Boundaries of Affirmative Action When can race, national origin or gender be a factor in evaluating or selecting candidates? Affirmative Action prevents discrimination; it does not cause it. Race, gender, national origin can be considered as one of several factors. Can never be the sole factor, or used as a basis for exclusion. As a plus factor, it should not be the dominant factor that outweighs any other factor.

14 What functions do we want to be performed? Can this candidate perform these functions? If yes, what factors beyond scholarly accomplishments will possibly contribute to successful performance of the position? In addition to general faculty duties, this position can be used to improve the graduate program in the department. This candidate has been able to improve the retention of students in his current position. References have noted that students find him approachable and utilize him as a resource and mentor. He has been particularly, but not solely, successful with under represented students who may see him as a role model. He has also been able to work with other faculty in brokering student concerns…

15 Crossing the Line… We will only consider this candidate for hire if we get salary supplement funds and start up funds under the Under Represented Faculty Recruitment Program. Or we want somebody we can get funded under URFP. We really do not need to seriously consider/hire this candidate. Our department already has reached its goal. Implies that race/gender/national origin is the dominant qualification for selection. Hiring goals are neither ceilings nor floors for the employment of particular group members.

16 Good Affirmative Action 1.A transparent and open process. 2.It is fair and does not trammel the rights of others. 3.It is not so exhaustingly rigorous that it deters viable candidates and stymies an organization. 4.It should be able to come to an end. Note contrast between affirmative action and diversity. 5.It should be monitored and adapted for improvement. 6.It should be linked to the institutional commitment to diversity.

17 Summary Legal BasisUIC Practices Constitutional Law Due process/Equal Protection14 th Amendment Plus Case law Individual right to enforce Policy Review Program Review Grievance Procedures Statutory Discrimination Laws Race, gender, national origin, color, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability. In Illinois, sexual orientation Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII Employment, state laws EEOC regulations and case law Individual right to enforce Policy, process, and practice review Grievance procedures Training Intervention, Dispute Resolution Search or hiring process review Affirmative Action Race/gender hiring goals Disability and veterans, no hiring goals but other affirmative obligations. No sexual orientation goals. Executive Order Enforced by Department of Labor No individual right to enforce Recruitment and Selection Process Notice of under representation Information on applicants and finalists for Disparate Impact (identi- fication of barriers) UFRP, p&t seminars Diversity Self-defined Social enforcement No individual right to enforce Status Committees WISEST Domestic Partner Benefits Day Care Centers Mentoring

18 Challenges to Affirmative Action Labor intensive compliance with EO regardless of outcome Lack of centralized academic applicant system requires OAE manual stand alone system (20,000 applicants; 600 hires p/yr) Campus leader ship sets the tone. But since hiring and recruiting are occurring in a decentralized manner, affirmative action is Unit dependent. Balance decentralization with accountability. Competing interests, i.e. time vs. expediency, with no common standards, i.e. visiting appointments The Pipeline Issue. Redistribution vs. progress. Raiding of faculty, the revolving door.


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