A Culture of Inclusion

Douglas Haynes began his career at UC Irvine 24 years ago as a history professor, after earning a doctorate at UC Berkeley. For the past two years, he has served as UCI’s vice provost for academic equity, diversity & inclusion, working from the Office of Inclusive Excellence.

He also directs UCI ADVANCE, which began in 2001 as an effort to hire more female faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It expanded over the years into the Office of Inclusive Excellence, which coordinates campuswide efforts to diversify faculty, graduate students and undergraduates.

Here, Haynes describes the program and its progress.

Q: How successful has UCI ADVANCE been in recruiting female faculty?

Haynes: We’ve seen steady improvement each year. Overall, 35 percent of faculty members are now women. It was 28 percent when I started. We’re raising awareness in our advertisements for open positions, engaging with professional organizations and making the recruitment process more transparent.

Q: How do you promote diversity and inclusion throughout the campus?

Haynes: Every step along the application process, we work to avoid many common recruitment errors. One mistake is defining the position very narrowly, reducing the chance of getting a large applicant pool.

Equity advisers are key. Housed within each school on campus, they advise admissions committees and deans. They help search committees generate diverse candidate pools that approximate national availability. Nearly 100 faculty members have served as advisers.

Q: Is the program succeeding with underrepresented minorities?

Haynes: Each year, we make progress. This year, we hired the first African American faculty members in The Paul Merage School of Business and the first African American woman in the physics department. She’s the only African American physicist in the University of California system. We’ve also boosted the number of Chicano/Latino and American Indian faculty.

Overall, 10 percent to 20 percent of our annual hires are underrepresented minorities. We always try to meet or exceed the previous year’s percentage. Female hires account for 40 percent to 50 percent annually. The campus has become a national leader, and several other UC campuses have adopted our equity adviser model.

Q: Does a diverse faculty help attract a more diverse student body?

Haynes: Yes, and we’re making significant headway. We have the highest number of African American students entering UCI as undergraduates this fall in 10 years. We’re very proud of that. In February, the U.S. Department of Education designated UCI as an Asian American- and Native American/Pacific Islander-serving institution. Also, we’re close to becoming a designated Hispanic-serving institution, which requires 25 percent of undergraduate enrollments to be Latino/a students. We’re at 24.8 percent.

It takes all hands on deck to create a culture of inclusion.