Announcement of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
and Dr. Robert A. Brown, President

We write to announce the establishment of a University-wide Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. It is critically important to the impact and relevance of Boston University as a global research university that our faculty be composed of the highest quality educators, scholars, and researchers, and that our faculty reflect the rich diversity of our society as well as the diversity of our student body, both now and in the future.

Boston University must focus more attention on faculty diversity and increase the proportion of under-represented minorities on our faculty. To this end, the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion is part of a multi-faceted effort that will consider new approaches to faculty recruitment and retention and the fostering of a more inclusive community. The Task Force is charged with facilitating a set of University-wide discussions about how Boston University can become the diverse, inclusive community of faculty we envision, and developing recommendations that will help us achieve this goal.

The goals of the Task Force are as follows:

  1. Promote constructive awareness of the opportunities and challenges faced by Boston University in its efforts to recruit and retain an excellent and diverse faculty. This endeavor should include forums for discussions with faculty from across the University so that we may learn from their experiences about our current climate for faculty diversity and inclusion. It is our hope that, through these meetings, the efforts of the Task Force will be highly visible and will significantly increase the level of dialogue on our campuses about this important objective.
  1. Gather information about effective practices from other major research universities that are also seeking to recruit and retain an excellent and diverse faculty and assess the feasibility of these practices for adoption at Boston University. In this effort, it will be important to account for the differences in systems for faculty recruitment, mentoring, and evaluation at different research universities, as well as for different practices among Boston University’s schools and colleges.
  1. Suggest specific ways we can elevate the importance of faculty diversity and inclusiveness at Boston University, including recommending strategies to implement promising approaches toward diversifying our student body and faculty, with a goal of enhancing our culture of inclusiveness.

We realize that the efforts the Task Force will undertake are complex and will involve faculty from across the entire University. We would like to thank, in advance, the members of the Task Force for their service and give special acknowledgement to Professors Steve Brady and Gene Jarrett, who have agreed to serve as Co-chairs of the Task Force and provide leadership in shaping these discussions and recommendations.

It is our hope to have a set of interim recommendations from the Task Force by February 1, 2016, an update at the Faculty Assembly at its spring meeting in 2016, and a full report to the University Provost and the President by May 1, 2016. We look forward to working with the Task Force and want to thank you, as well, for your participation in this important effort and for your commitment to an inclusive community at Boston University.

2015-2016 Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion


Steve Brady, Chair of Faculty Council; and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

Gene Jarrett, Associate Dean of the Faculty, Humanities; and Professor, Department of English, College of Arts & Sciences


Yvette C. Cozier, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Kathe Darr, Professor, School of Theology

Walter Fluker, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, School of Theology

Roscoe Giles, Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

Hyeouk Chris Hahm, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Thea James, Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine; and Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer, Boston Medical Center

Timothy Longman, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science; and Director of the African Studies Center, College of Arts & Sciences

Wendy Mariner, Professor, School of Law; Edward R. Utley Professor, Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, School of Public Health; and Professor, Department of Socio-Medical Sciences and Community Medicine, School of Medicine

Francine Montemurro, University Ombuds

Rafael Ortega, Professor, Department of Anesthesiology; and Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, School of Medicine

Carrie Preston, Associate Professor, Department of English; and Director of the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, College of Arts & Sciences

André De Quadros, Professor, School of Music, College of Fine Arts

Susan Samuelson, Professor, Department of Markets, Public Policy & Law, Questrom School of Business

Julie Sandell, Professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, School of Medicine; and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs

Denis Wu, Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication, Advertising & Public Relations, College of Communication

Larry Ziegler, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Announcement of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion – 8.25.15