Thursday January 12, 2017

Faculty Equity Advisors

The University of Dayton has appointed Ellen Fleischmann and ‚ÄčErin Holscher Almazan as College of Arts and Sciences faculty equity advisors, who will help provide training and support to promote equity and inclusion in hiring, promotion and tenure.

Fleischmann is a professor of history who joined the faculty in 1998. ​Holscher Almazan is an associate professor of art and design who joined the faculty in 2004. They will start their new roles this semester.

“The College’s Committee on Equity and Leadership Development (CELD) provided valuable guidance last semester on structuring the equity advisors’ roles,” said Jason Pierce, College dean. “Ellen and Erin will continue the important department-level consultations and work, but also will develop College-wide resources and programming, coordinating with CELD and other individuals and offices on campus. Both are very capable and committed faculty. I appreciate the leadership they’ll bring and look forward to working with them.”

The advisors’ duties and responsibilities include conducting workshops and training on topics such as implicit bias in hiring or in promotion and tenure. They will serve as a resource for departments and programs by developing materials on equity for faculty searches, respond to interviewees’ questions and meet with interviewees when requested by the hiring supervisor.

In addition, the advisors will identify opportunities for actions that promote equity and meet with the committee on equity and leadership development for strategic planning on equity initiatives.

Staff equity advisor positions are currently in development.

Fleischmann, the current University Alumni Chair in Humanities, has pursued a program of promoting diversity and inclusivity by highlighting work and activities that engage and address intercultural issues and concerns. Her relevant experience includes working as a community organizer in North Carolina during the late 1970s and later co-founding the New Hampshire People’s Alliance. She taught at a Quaker girls’ school in Ramallah, Palestine, during the 1980s and then returned to Israel/Palestine in 1992 on a Fulbright grant to research the Palestinian women’s movement from 1920 to 1948.

“I hope to contribute to making the creation of an equitable campus environment one of the College and University’s main priorities, embraced by the entire community,” Fleischmann said.

She plans to use community organizing methods to solicit opinions and concerns via a series of intimate discussions among faculty. She also intends to make the work of the equity advisors and committee more visible and accessible to community members through outreach initiatives to departments and programs.

​Holscher Almazan has performed equity-related work as part of her ongoing duties as area coordinator of fine arts, which requires the ability to maintain open communication and encourage diplomacy and collegiality amongst area faculty. She also serves on the College tenure and promotion committee, having served for five years on a similar committee for the department of art and design. Her work on these committees has helped her develop awareness of how to equitably review a candidate’s portfolio, while being sensitive to issues of bias that may pertain to a particular candidate.

“I feel my experiences with faculty leave give me excellent insight as to how this may affect one’s tenure clock and faculty load,” said Holscher Almazan, whose tenure clock stopped during a maternity leave. “Based on this experience, I am also aware of how gender bias can affect others’ assumptions or notions about a faculty member in this situation. This particular issue is of utmost importance in supporting a thriving and diverse faculty population on campus.”

The College’s previous equity advisors, mathematics professor Wiebke Diestelkamp and philosophy professor Peggy DesAutels, were appointed in 2009 under a $2.5 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant awarded to the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Central State University and Air Force Institute of Technology to support the development of women faculty in the science, mathematics, engineering and technology fields.

“We are trying to institutionalize this role as part of the College structure,” said Jon Hess, College associate dean for faculty scholarship, internationalization and inclusive excellence. “The work that Drs. DesAutels and Diestelkamp did had an important impact in the College. It is essential that we build on that foundation.”

Hess chaired the search committee. Its members included Garry Crosson, Lee Dixon, Shannon Driskell, Karolyn Hansen, Michelle Hayford, Jeanne Holcomb, Michelle Pautz, Tereza Szeghi and Bill Trollinger.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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