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Faculty Retention & Support Initiatives

Multiple efforts have been undertaken at the department level towards enhancing medical school identified diversity categories for faculty (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Female), related to retention efforts at COM.


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Annual Academic Expectations for Faculty

Targeted diversity categories: All faculty

Description: All faculty must discuss their commitment to diversity as part of their annual academic expectations meeting with their chair and/or supervisor. In completing the online template for the annual academic expectations agreement, faculty attest to reviewing Upstate’s College of Medicine Diversity Statement and agreeing to the following: Recognize and respect the diversity of the University community. Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, access, inclusion and equity.

Department Chair Diversity Plans and Reports

Targeted diversity categories: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Female

Description: The Departmental Chair Diversity Plans were described above under Faculty Recruitment. All chairs are required to submit an updated Department Diversity Recruitment Plan to the Dean’s office annually. Departments are asked to report on the following:

  • Department Diversity Committee
  • Diversity Advocate
  • Grand rounds or educational efforts that include minority representative speakers
  • Diversity training efforts
  • Departmental sponsorship to diversity and inclusion efforts by students, residents, faculty and staff

Multiple efforts have been undertaken at the department level towards enhancing medical school identified diversity categories for faculty. Each department has their own initiatives and programs to assist with diversity, inclusion, recruitment, and retention efforts. For example, several departments have established a representative Diversity Committee to evaluate all aspects of departmental commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and to recommend programs and policies to achieve these goals. A priority focus of these committees is to recruit and retain residents, faculty and staff from underrepresented groups.

Departmental Diversity Advocates

Targeted diversity categories: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Women

Description: The Departmental Diversity Advocates program is described above under Faculty Recruitment. Quarterly meetings of Department Diversity Advocates also contribute to retention efforts.

Faculty and Staff Association for Diversity (FSAD)

Targeted diversity categories: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Women

Description: Since organized in 1997, the FSAD has been committed to the goal of recruiting underrepresented faculty and staff and retaining the ones we have. FSAD believes that it is important to offer ongoing support to the underrepresented faculty and staff who are employed at COM and Upstate. FSAD offers this support through sharing information, providing opportunities for professional development, and socializing together.

Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development E-Mentoring Program

Targeted diversity categories: Female

Description: In 2019-20, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development began a new e-mentoring program to provide practical and real-time support for women faculty at Upstate, to supplement other face-to-face programming, and to reach those who are not able to find the time to participate in live programming. Program sessions were 30-45 minute web-based conferences where participants met with senior faculty mentors to discuss their CVs, portfolio development, project management, and other skill development. Three sessions were held during the academic year. The program is expanding its sessions and its reach among all faculty, residents, and students for the 2020-21 academic year. The office is also developing a promotion workshop specific for URM faculty this year.

Implicit/Unconscious Bias Professional Training & Development

Targeted diversity categories: All faculty and staff

Description: In 2019-20, leaders from the Upstate Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), Office of Institutional Equity, and the College of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion collaborated to create new campus-wide training programs on implicit/unconscious bias. The curriculum is based on research from higher education and the corporate sector and on results from university climate surveys. Modules are being beta-tested in the College of Medicine and will be offered to other sectors of the Upstate community after assessment. The training programs aim to assist the campus community in advancing its efforts to be a welcoming, inclusive environment for learning, leading and innovation. The modules include videos and an in-person briefing, and advance through three levels: Beginner–Overcome Unconscious Bias; Intermediate–Addressing Intersectionality; and Advanced–Sustaining an Inclusive Organization. Attendance at one or more training sessions is elective in 2020-21 for all College of Medicine students, faculty and staff.

Task Force on Diversity

Targeted diversity categories: All faculty

Description: In May 2020, Daryll C. Dykes, PhD, MD, JD, was named Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) for Upstate Medical University, including all four colleges and the clinical system. He succeeds a previous interim, part-time CDO. Dr. Dykes is a member of the College of Medicine Dean’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DI) and collaborates with the dean and Committee on DI. In summer 2020, Dr. Dykes charged a Diversity Task Force to review diversity efforts across the university and make recommendations for enhancing them. Their report is scheduled to be released in late August 2020.

Upstate Bias Checklist

Targeted diversity categories: All faculty

Description: All faculty will be required to use the Upstate Bias Checklist tool when developing and preparing any curricular content before being presented to students. The tool was developed by a faculty member in the Department of Bioethics and Humanities. The goal is to help faculty identify content that stigmatizes, shames, or promotes bias toward people belonging to a certain group and with certain medical conditions before sharing with students. Tracking of faculty use of the checklist will be part of the course and clerkship annual review process.

Women in Medicine & Science (WIMS)

Targeted diversity category: Female

Description: Women in Medicine & Science (WIMS) is an association of the entire female faculty of the College of Medicine, College of Health Professions and College of Nursing at SUNY Upstate Medical University. The overriding goal of WIMS is to enhance the status of women on the college’s faculty. Their task is enhancing the retention and development of existing female faculty and facilitating the recruitment of new female faculty. From time to time WIMS takes on issues that are important for the success of female faculty at the schools. The group provides networking between women in different departments and support for women at Upstate. WIMS meets monthly. There is a listserve that discusses issues of importance to women faculty at Upstate.