Princeton University President Appoints Group to Examine Staff Diversity Issues

Article excerpt

PRINCETON, N.J.

Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman has asked a group of university staff members to identify proactive strategies and potential barriers that affect the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of a diverse work force at Princeton.

The Diversity Working Group, formed by Tilghman late last fall, is chaired by Dr. Janet Dickerson, vice president for campus life, and Mark Burstein, vice president for administration. Terri Harris Reed, associate provost for institutional equity, is serving as executive secretary. The group will work in conjunction with the provost's office both to analyze problem areas and to develop strategies to address those concerns.

"Both Provost [Christopher] Eisgruber and I understand that these issues are complex," Tilghman wrote in a letter to group members. "The mechanisms that lead to what might be perceived as an unwelcoming work environment are often subtle, as are the informal policies and procedures that may create and sustain them. Overtime we expect the group to propose processes and procedures - at both the unit and organizational levels - that will promote change and increase accountability, in the near term as well as in the future."

According to the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, the group is focusing its efforts on people of color among non-faculty employees at all levels. The initial phase of its work, which is expected to take until August, involves gathering information and, when possible, forwarding recommendations to the relevant university officials for consideration. In the late summer or early fall, the group will set priorities based on the information gathered and decide how to best structure its work for the future. …