Faculty and Trainee Diversity - Printer-friendly

The Power of Partnership:

Meeting Today’s MCH Challenges through Partnerships

MCH Training Program


Faculty/Trainee Diversity Workgroup

October 5–6, 2004


MCHB Representative: M. Ann Drum, DDS, MPH

Facilitators: Jean Athey, PhD; Kay Payne, PhD; and Carolyn Richardson, EdD


Other Participants:


Cindy Capen

Noel Chávez

Vince Collins

Jeannine Coreil

Marlene Egger

Wendy Hellerstedt

Janet Isaacs

Ken Jaros

John Jensen

Barbara Leonard

Mary Markus

Myra Muramoto

Mary Jane Rapport

Diane Rule

Ashok Satpathy

Deb Stone

Steve Sulkes

Janet Townsend

Janet Willis

Celeste Wilson

Anthony Gibbs (Recorder)





Ann Drum welcomed the participants of the workgroup and stated her pleasure at seeing the interest in the topic of Faculty/Trainee Diversity. She stated her hope that the group’s discussions go beyond race and ethnic diversity, but also discuss gender and sexuality, as well as economic diversity. One fear is that too many programs are upper-middleclass people training upper-middleclass children.




Jean Athey briefed the participants on the goals of the workgroup. The group would address the second objective of the new national Maternal and Child Health strategic plan, generating ideas on how to implement this plan. The plan is of national scope and so far only lists the MCHB’s role in specific activities. The challenge is to have other entities look at the plan in the same manner, identifying their own activities.


The workgroup divided into two subgroups to address separate but related topics: faculty diversity and trainee diversity. The two groups were to identify challenges and recommendations.


Ms. Athey stressed that since the MCHB cannot implement the strategic plan alone, participants were to think globally and provide recommendations for other stakeholders as well. More resources are available in the logistics contract, and Ms. Athey stressed that if follow-up analysis or an ongoing workgroup is needed, there is funding.


Kaye Payne provided a summary of issues related to the topic. Dr. Payne noted that the topic is of particular interest to her as a minority faculty member teaching at a one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).  Her overview was designed to stimulate thinking for the discussions.


Dr. Payne mentioned two books of particular interest, pertaining to these two topics. The first one, Faculty of Color in Academe by Carol Turner and Samuel Myers, presents an overview of the issues. The other is of a more personal nature, Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia by Emily Thoth. Dr. Payne pulled together the common themes from both of the books.  Academic diversity has many facets involving academicians, the federal government, universities, faculty, and others.


Personal issues of minority faculty include isolation, lack of mentoring, occupational stress, token-hire misconceptions, and bias in recruitment, hiring, tenure, and promotion.  The program or department where the faculty is hired is important, in terms of institutional support, financial resources, and perceptions of commitment.   Exemplary programs include three components:  fellowships, hiring practices, and mentoring and networking programs.



Discussion Groups


Group 1—Developing recommendations related to strategies for increasing faculty diversity and advancement (corresponds with National MCH Training Plan, obj. 2.1, activity 1). Chair—Kay Payne


Noel Chávez

Vince Collins

Jeannine Coreil

Ann Drum

Ken Jaros

Barbara Leonard

Myra Muramoto

Kay Payne

Ashok Satpathy

Steve Sulkes

Janet Townsend


Day 1


Strategies That Have Had Success:

·   Internal/external mentoring programs are both needed;

·   Multidimensional mentoring across disciplines (not necessarily senior faculty);

·   Recommend supported mentoring activities and group mentoring;

·   Set of guidelines endorsed and supported by administrations to promote accountability for faculty diversity efforts;

·   Cross-fertilization;

·   Smaller institutions retaining faculty;

·   Showing data of who are in the pipeline to promote seriousness;

·   Showing performance measures/results to ensure a commitment from top administration.


Recommendations to MCHB:

·   Communicate these discussions to institutions and individuals—the MCHB should publish proceedings from this meeting, as well as a best practices manual;

·   Pursue Sister/Partnerships with HBCUs;

·   Make joint appointments;

·   Identify and recognize exemplars;

·   Promote gender/sexual identity and disability equity;

·   MCHB should help to reduce/offset the financial burden of hiring individuals with disabilities;

·   Faculty diversity and recruitment efforts should be part of the RFP and evaluation score of grant applications;

·   Minority supplements;

·   Loan repayment programs;

·   Require a sexual harassment statement similar to drug-free statement.


Day 2

(Note that some items duplicate above)


Recommendations for the MCHB:

·        Invest dollars into mentoring racially/ethnically diverse faculty to cope with the politics of the academic system;

·        Require a sexual harassment statement similar to the drug-free statement submitted by applicants for grant funding;

·        Provide funds to offset the costs for assistance to faculty with disabilities;

·        Financial support for mentoring and faculty development;

·        Financial “set asides” for a LEND grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI);

·        Provide assistance to groom HBCUs and MSIs for grant program participation;

·        Sponsor a follow-up workgroup to further develop the strategic plan to achieve 2010 objectives, to develop a resource guide, and to identify courses/workshops for mentoring;

·        Partner with professional associations, such as the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health, the Association of Schools of Public Health, etc.;

·        Require a self-assessment of results of diversity efforts for continuation/renewal of grants;

·        Implement a program of minority supplements similar to the National Institutes of Health;

·        Offer a loan repayment program for underrepresented faculty;

·        Encourage grantee partnerships with HBCUs and MSIs;

·        Develop a funding opportunity for Preparing Future Faculty to begin the mentoring process of student trainees about job issues.


Recommendations for MCHB grantees:

·        Outreach to increase the visibility of opportunities for training;

·        Faculty presentations at various venues;

·        Creating networking opportunities.



Recommendations for institution administrators:

·        Advertise in a way that attracts diversity;

·        Reflect diversity in recruitment materials;

·        Perform internal self-monitoring of diversity recruitment efforts.


Recommendations for training programs:

·        Self-assessment of statistical and programmatic goals (e.g., cultural competence);

·        Require faculty participation in diversity workshops;

·        Broaden the perspective and definition of what is considered faculty (include individuals with disabilities without a terminal degree and/or parents of individuals with disabilities, visiting professorships, cross-disciplinary appointments (joint appointments with HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions [MSIs]).


Recommendations for HBCUs and MSIs:

·        Apply for LEND grant funding.



Group 2—Developing innovative ways to recruit and retain trainees from culturally diverse backgrounds. Chair—Carolyn Richardson


Jean Athey

Cindy Capen

Marlene Egger

Wendy Hellerstead

Janet Isaacs

John Jensen

Mary Markus

Mary Jane Rapport

Carolyn Richardson

Diana Rule

Deb Stone

Janet Willis

Celeste Wilson


Day 1



·   Recruiting from a pool that is/is not there;

·   Identifying students (gifted) and providing dollars from early in their career (elementary school);

·   Providing mentoring early in the student’s career;

·   There is a lack of diverse senior faculty;

·   There is a need to identify the pool (diverse identification, including race/ethnicity, gender, economic status);

·   There is a need to get a diverse pool from which to draw in the first place;

·   Capturing the pool via interviews and other means (self-disclosure, identifying assumptions);

·   With current projects, funds are not allowed to go to undergraduate and high school identification and recruitment;

·   Lower income groups do not count in reporting on diverse populations (low-income families are not considered a “cultural group”);

·   Faculty, administrators, and health professionals are not paid to be creative and seek out diversity in younger age groups;

·   There is a need for extending campuses to make them accessible to youth from low income groups (and expose these youth to campus life to reduce intimidation);

·   Lack of mentoring/role models.


Possible Strategies:

·   Recruitment from camps for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN);

·   Linking with Area Health Education Centers (AHECs);

·   Linking with juvenile justice systems (Many kids are in the system due to truancy, which is often caused by a school system not providing for the child’s needs—providing mentoring/opportunities in health careers could give motivation/direction);

·   Integrating/linking with elders in the culture to identify and recruit youths;

·   Providing distance education for people who choose to stay close to home/culture;

·   Research which individuals select themselves to go out from a culture for education/careers;

·   Linking with community groups (e.g., Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, and other mentoring groups);

·   Linking with professional organizations;

·   Career day attendance (hospitals, schools, etc.);

·   Extending the personal influence of faculty, administrators, and health professionals to help recruit;

·   Linking with immigrant groups;

·   Getting the “right” people involved in recruitment;

·   Creating a safe environment amidst the competitive environment;

·   Recruiting faculty who are “team players” rather than primarily interested in personal research/advancement;

·   “Word of mouth” recruiting, utilizing existing networks within a community in environments that value diversity (from students);

·   Partnering with minority institutions;

·   Changing policies that govern where grantees can recruit from;

·   Minimizing time on campus to reduce intimidation and cost of room and board;

·   Assessment by MCHB about what institutions are currently doing to increase diversity among trainees/faculty;

·   Linking with the National Science Foundation, which has mentoring program targeting primary, secondary, and undergraduate students to encourage more women and minority students to enter science and mathematics fields;

·   Providing dollars for diversity identification, recruitment, and retention programs;

·   Work outside of the box in terms of student support (i.e., finding means of support other than traditional scholarships/grants/stipends).



Day 2


Recruitment strategies:

·        The MCHB should market its programs to national organizations;

·        Grantees should partner with national cultural/ethnic organizations to open doors;

·        Each institution needs to work with their local organizations;

·        The MCHB with an ongoing workgroup should compile a list of the strategies that other grantees are using to increase diversity (survey, shared practices, successes, problems seen). Perhaps MCHB could do the initial data piece (through a survey), and then it could be continued through listserv, message boards;

·        Compile a list of Corporations that offer minority scholarships.

·        Get partners/alternate funding mechanisms for discretionary spending for students.

·        MCHB could institutionalize that programs do education/pathway encouragement to young students (in primary or secondary education). Make it legal to use grant time for this activity.

·        Establish a referral system between grantees. National applicant matching (clearinghouse) so if someone’s interested they can be matched with a program. (Identify promising students, and if they’re settling in a different area, hook them up).

·        MCHB should call together a working group of deans, department chairs, and project directors. The MSIs should lead the working group.

·        Open the doors to the professional associations. (They’re trying to increase the pool in general, offer to them to serve as mentors, and to host career days.)

·        MCHB should require the use of an organizational self-assessment tool in cultural competency.


Retention strategies for training programs:

·        University departments should develop retention plans tailored to the local needs—need for a mentor and/or other support.



Final Recommendations


Strategies/recommendations to increase faculty diversity:


MCHB strategies to support faculty development:

1                    MCHB should provide financial support for mentoring and faculty development;

2                    Institutions should teach mentoring at the senior faculty level (this also includes institutional mentoring—grantees can provide technical assistance to other institutions, such as MSIs, groom them to become grantees);

3                    MCHB should make a statement requiring sexual harassment training across grantees

4                    MCHB could offset the costs of faculty with disabilities;

5                    MCHB should support cultural competency and diversity training among faculty;

6                    MCHB should sponsor a study of why underrepresented persons are not moving up into higher positions of faculty to identify which institutional changes are necessary;

7                    MCHB should encourage using a self-assessment tool on cultural competency.

8                    MCHB should serve as a clearinghouse for information on studies, tools that are available relating to diversity, mentoring, and cultural competency.

9                    MCHB should create a workgroup composed of grantees and staff at MCHB for how to implement these steps. A task would be to track down resources/identify exemplars on this issue.


Strategies/recommendations to increase trainee diversity:


1                    To create a better environment for underrepresented students, programs should look outside of the program, even the institution, for potential sources of mentors. Also there need to be mentors within the power structure to leverage resources for the students. Both of these are important.

2                    MCHB and grantees should develop partners. We need to look at who we can join hands with, perhaps other MCH programs or other MCH training grantees. Partners need to be found at the national/regional/local levels. MCHB can be useful in developing partnerships on the national level:

·        Other Federal Entities (HRSA, FDA, SAMHSA, NIH, CDC, NSF, DoED, EPA)

·        University Administrators

·        State and Local Administrators (Health, Child Medical, Human Services, HIS, BIA)

·        Minority-Serving Institutions

·        MCHB Grantees

·        Training Programs

·        Other Private/Public Entities (Pharmaceutical Companies, Foundations)

·        High Schools

·        Clubs

·        Churches

·        Community Leaders

·        Tribal School Systems

·        Disease Organizations

·        Professional Associations


3                    Grantees need a way to share strategies. It would be helpful to have a clearinghouse of what has been tried already.

4                    Research is needed on current retention numbers of underrepresented individuals in undergraduate and graduate programs.

5                    Universities should give credit for mentoring in terms of tenure/promotion discussion.

6                    MCHB should institute a broader recognition of diversity to include income status and sexual orientation.

7                    NIH and other agencies could give out undergraduate awards targeting diverse trainees. Diversity supplements are utilized in other programs, and this model could be adopted by the MCHB. If there were financial support for mentoring time would be good, from the MCHB, and also from the institutions—this would be a way for them to demonstrate commitment.

8                    MCHB could sponsor workshops on how to be effective mentors.



Priority Recommendations


Ann Drum indicated that it’s helpful when there are so many ideas if experts in the trenches can prioritize those ideas. A small workgroup could analyze the list of recommendations, assign priorities to the recommendations, and help with the most important tasks.


Suggestions for highest priorities:


  • Conduct a survey of the training centers of what we’re already doing to increase diversity in the recruitment of trainees.
  • Provide guidance, encouragement, and training to evaluate and improve cultural competency among our institutions.
  • Help promote our mentoring abilities in our programs.




Operational recommendation:


Establish an ongoing workgroup (perhaps this should include people with institutional authority for change). Ideally the workgroup would comprise:

·    Some representatives from the current workgroup;

·    MCHB staff who can negotiate in the agency and understand the legislative restrictions/leeway;

·    Faculty from the target groups, bringing in people who aren’t currently in the loop (from MSIs, etc.).


The workgroup would implement some recommendations itself (e.g., establishment of a strategy clearinghouse) and also plan longer-term implementation of others (e.g., planning a conference to provide mentoring training). MCHB should send back the proceedings of the meeting, then ask for volunteers from this group for the workgroup, and recommend others who are appropriate and want to serve.


Each member of the current workgroup should via email rate the priority and feasibility of ideas in the meeting proceedings. The workgroup may then use the aggregated data to set priorities.