Summary: ACADEMIC AFFAIRS DIVERSITY FOCUS GROUPS FALL 2005
Over the years it has been suggested that the environment in the academic units is less
welcoming to people of color than the environment in other areas, such as administrative
departments. The implication of this is that fewer people of color apply for staff positions in
academic units because of the perceived negative environment. To explore this issue, SVC
sponsored a project to facilitate group conversations with a selection of staff from our units.
Process & Participants:
Four focus groups were conducted by an outside consultant who has experience working
with the campus. Thirty-three (33) staff employees from under-represented ethnic groups
who were randomly selected by the consultant participated. The consultant recorded the
conversations and took notes. He produced a report based on the discussions.
1) In what ways do the following exhibit a positive, welcoming atmosphere to diversity; or
a negative atmosphere?
a) The University b) The Faculty
c) My Department & my manager d) My Department & our staff
2) What do you think is the biggest barrier or gap to having more people of color apply for
positions in academic departments?