Keeping Our Faculty of Color Symposium

Dear Colleagues,

In mid-April, scholars, researchers, administrators, and policymakers from across the country will convene at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for Keeping Our Faculty VI, a two-day symposium addressing one of the most critical challenges facing higher education—the development, recruitment, and retention of faculty of color.

I encourage all faculty and staff to review the program schedule for the symposium, which is sponsored by my office and the systemwide Office for Equity and Diversity, in co-sponsorship with the APLU, CIC, MnSCU, and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. The persistent underrepresentation of faculty of color in higher education imperils the quality of the education we are able to provide students in a globally diverse society and threatens ultimately to constrain the vitality of our disciplines and the relevance of our research and teaching.

The University of Minnesota is committed to a transformational framework for advancing equity and diversity, understanding these as core institutional values and as necessary conditions for excellence. Like our peer institutions across the country, we must undertake sustained work at many levels to address the many factors underlying lack of faculty diversity on our campuses—including social and institutional barriers, issues of historical legacy and racism, pipeline challenges, and issues of mentoring and climate.

The Keeping Our Faculty of Color symposium affords a critically important opportunity to further this essential work. With a theme of “Advancing Inclusive Excellence among Faculty in Higher Education,” the conference will explore research-based strategies, cross-disciplinary theories, and innovative practices to advance the diversity of classrooms, departments, and campuses.

Speakers and panelists from across the U.S. and representing many administrative and faculty levels will address topics including the development of pipelines and pathways, effective search committee approaches, models for generating change on institutional levels, assessments of discipline-based strategies such as in science-related fields, best practices for faculty-driven retention and mentoring programs, and the impact of the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action. Keynote speakers include Kimberlé Crenshaw (UCLA and Columbia) and Freeman A. Hrabowski III (University of Maryland Baltimore County); panelists and presenters include faculty and staff members from several colleges and programs at the University of Minnesota.

I encourage you to attend some or all of this important conference and to promote participation among your colleagues and students. The Keeping Our Faculty of Color VI symposium will take place April 14–16 at the Commons Hotel, 615 Washington Avenue S.E., next door to McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis. All University of Minnesota faculty and staff may attend for a discounted registration rate of $160, which can be paid by colleges, departments, or individuals. A discounted student rate is $80. All meals and conference materials are included.

Please visit for more details and to register online before the deadline of March 31. For more information, you may contact symposium co-chairs Louis Mendoza (, professor and chair of Chicano studies and associate vice provost, Office for Equity and Diversity, or Catherine Squires (, Cowles Professor of Journalism, Diversity and Equality, School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For registration or logistical information, please contact Ashley Knudson at or 612-624-4754.

We look forward to seeing you at this important symposium.


Karen Hanson signature.

Karen Hanson,
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

email sent March 6, 2013 to the Administrative Email Lists (AEL).