Situation at SUNY Upstate Medical University
Despite the increased diversity of the general population, minority faculty have decreased at Upstate Medical University since 1989. Minorities are also hired at a lower rate than whites in several professional and administrative areas. This lack of visibility makes recruitment of underrepresented minority students, faculty and staff more difficult.
The Benefits of Diversity
The marketplace has shown that the people we serve—be they students, patients or even our own employees—relate best to those who share cultural similarities. Without a diverse faculty and staff, we run the risk of discouraging patients, students, residents and future employees.
By having our workplace better reflect the community we serve, we benefit in many ways:
- Keep and expand market share;
- Enhance customer satisfaction;
- Attract a good mix of students, residents and employees;
- Circumvent work shortages;
- Benefit from a wider range of personal experiences;
- Promote a fair and equitable workplace;
- Contribute to the community's economic base.
A National Trend
Upstate Medical University's effort to recruit and support people of color reflects what is taking place among the vast majority of companies in the United States. Much of this effort stems from the reality of the workforce—according to a recent article in Forbes, 75% of new entrants in the workforce are racial/ethnic minorities or women.
The Diversity Training Program develops resource teams to offer prevention-oriented programs to deal with prejudice and intergroup tensions. The program aims to enhance diversity awareness and teach members of the Upstate community that treating individuals with dignity, respect and generosity brings about a positive change for all. The education consists of University Executives' briefing session and a three-day "train the trainers" session for resource teams, delivered by the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). The initial orientation was broght to our campus by FSAD in conjunction with the President's Affirmative Action Committee, the Office of Diversity & Affirmative Action, the Office of Multicultural Resources, United University Professions (UUP) and National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI).
Research shows that support for diversity programs combine both ethical arguments (what is fair) as well as economic ones (it's good for business.) The same is true here. For the initiatives of the FSAD to succeed, a partnership is being cultivated between members and those who make hiring decisions in each department.