Articles, Blog

Preparing Diverse, Talented Scholars for Faculty Careers: NYU Steinhardt Faculty First-Look

October 9, 2019

Ruben Blades: When people see a professor that represents their background, they not only feel more comfortable but they also feel that it is
possible for them to move forward. (Gleeful music playing ♫) Charlton: After 17 years of being, umm, here
at NYU obviously going through many many, uhh, searches looking for faculty of varying
kinds, uhh, one of the things I began to frequently see and recognize and hear from, you know,
my colleagues and other institutions of course is that often time when those jobs came up,
the number of candidates of color that were coming through that pipeline were few and
far between. And that’s where the idea for “Faculty
First Look” really came to be. Stella: So when we think about “Faculty
First Look,” we think about “What are the most critical and fundamental building
blocks to get talented people into applying for faculty positions but also leadership
in higher education?” Our faculty donate their time. They are generous with their wisdom. And many of our own faculty have faced a lot
of the barriers of underrepresentation these students come to the table with. Dean Brewer: By having the opportunity for those
new emerging scholars to meet with the more established senior scholars to understand
better the way in which hiring takes place, the way in which faculty work life unfolds
gives a unique set of tools that will be useful to those participants throughout their career. Kayla: I’m from a smaller regional comprehensive
university and I wanted the type of development that takes place here in terms of really understanding
the faculty job interview process, understanding how to prepare my materials, understanding
how to negotiate an offer. So this is exactly the type of professional
development I need to be competitive. Jorge: I knew we were going to get a workshop
on CV’s and cover letters but I certainly didn’t anticipate to get, uhh, personalized,
detailed feedback on both my cover letter and my CV, umm, with not only senior scholars
but, umm, administrators that are actually doing the hiring. Cheryl: You kind of have a small cohort of
people, about 30-ish and I felt like that was a more intimate environment to get a little
more personal attention to ask questions. Stella: It’s been important to get feedback and
we are just super excited to understand “What are the best ways to
keep developing this program?” Maurice: You only have so much
space in an application. You only have so many words
you can put on paper. And to really articulate that passion, that
drive, umm let, kind of let the world know that it’s on fire and you’re here to help
kind of put some of those flames out. It’s very hard to do. Umm, and this program
really covers all those bases. Keisha: The fact that I’m a postdoc is,
umm, something that came from the “Faculty First Look” program. It introduced the idea. I come from a field where that’s not very popular, so it
wasn’t something that I was thinking about. And so it really did introduce some ideas
to me that, umm, I just never considered before. Chalton: So I think that it is important to
do the same thing we’re doing here at NYU, same thing we’ve done at Steinhardt, at
other institutions to really create a kind of network that is a pathway for, uhh, preparing
diverse faculty members to know that they have a, uhh, an institutional network, a faculty
network that is invested in their success, invested in their, uhh, mentorship. Dean Brewer: So I kind of view “Faculty First
Look” as not so much a, uhh, as a program or as an event that happens, uhh, one time
or two times, but rather the beginning of a life long, uhh, process of
creating a powerful network. Stella: The future of education is diversity. For us to move forward as a nation, we need
to have better representation. And for that critical reason alone, we should
be investing in programs that certainly diversify the pipeline or at least the option for students
to become college teachers in universities and ultimately leaders in higher education. (Gleeful music playing ♫)

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