The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion on Wednesday presented to the Faculty Senate an overview of the office’s goals to increase the number of underrepresented minorities working and studying on campus as well as position Northeastern as a higher education leader in this area.
John Armendariz, vice provost for institutional diversity and inclusion, told the Senate that the core values of those goals include improving the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities and women in the university faculty, staff, and student body, and continuing to foster a sense of inclusion and community on campus.
“The demographics of Massachusetts and the Boston area are rapidly becoming more diverse,” Armendariz said. “I have set goals so our institution can mirror those changes.”
On a national level, underrepresented minorities in the workforce include African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders/Hawaiians, and Alaskan Natives, Armendariz said.
During a Q-and-A, Armendariz was asked what more could be done to improve minority representation on the Northeastern faculty. Armendariz said current faculty members can serve as ambassadors for the university and reach out to prospective candidates when faculty positions open.
“The biggest success we will have in terms of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities is to have the faculty more engaged and encourage those prospective candidates to apply to positions,” he said.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to establish a bachelor of fine arts in games degree in the College of Arts, Media and Design. The degree will focus on the artistic design aspect of game development.
The Senate also took up a resolution asking the university to continue contributing 70 percent to all employee health insurance plans for the next year, while discussions continue between the Senate and the university administration regarding changes to health insurance for faculty and staff. The resolution was defeated.