1. Undergraduate Program
Goal: To improve the recruitment and support for a more diverse group of undergraduate majors.
- The DUS will approach departments where there are students who might be interested in some of our courses to share and post flyers.
- The DUS will survey faculty to see which of our courses address issues of diversity and how those courses address them.
- The DUS will encourage and remind faculty to include bias reporting on their syllabi.
- The Chair will work with alumni and friends of the department in 2021-22 to establish and award an annual prize, along the lines of other topical undergraduate prizes, to honor and give visibility to research and writing on BIPOC history.
The recruitment and support of a more diverse group of undergraduate majors is embedded in and inseparable from the general project of increasing the number of our undergraduate majors and minors.
- The Director of Undergraduate Studies and one of the History Advisors have visited and will visit all the H270 classes each semester to recruit for the major and retain majors. They will visit other classes as allowed to acquaint students with the major and also the ways in which the History Department can assist students.
- The DUS will work with the Walter Center to hold an LAI: History Event at least once a year, but preferably twice a year. The DUS will work with the college and the Walter Center to do one this spring coordinated with visiting incoming students. The DUS will report back to the department after both events.
- The DUS will attend the November 1 ACP Field Trip to talk about the department and the major and will continue to attend these events as they occur.
- With the Undergraduate Affairs Committee, the DUS will compile a list of ways faculty can contribute to recruiting majors, apart from in-class recruiting.
- The DUS will remind the faculty at the end of each semester to contact their best/most enthusiastic students, to encourage them to consider majoring or minoring in history, and to acknowledge their accomplished students who are majors or minors. Our advisors will be able to tell us whether students who are not majors have declared a minor in history, so they can also be acknowledged.
- The DUS is working to better advertise our graduates and the work they are doing.
- The DUS will look at the institutional data (some already accessed) to see what the trends are and have been.
- The DUS will request numbers of majors at the beginning and end of each semester (since numbers fluctuate).
Goal: To increase the number of minority and marginalized students admitted to the Honors Program from the recent average of one a year out of ca. 11 students.
- Early Recruitment. The Honors Director will encourage faculty to identify promising students early on, in their first and second years, encourage them, and refer them to the directors and the History advisors.
Scheduling and Demographics
Goal: Increase Joint-Listing of Undergraduate Courses. To publicize and capitalize on the broad teaching offerings of joint-appointed colleagues, the Associate Chair will arrange the routine joint-listing of their undergraduate history courses in other units.
- Spring 2022. Associate Chair will ask our joint-appointed faculty what external classes they are teaching and ask to joint-list if appropriate
- 2022-23. Associate Chair will announce to all faculty that we are doing this, have them keep it in mind as they plan courses for 2023-24.
Goal: Collect data about the demographics of students in our classes.
- The Associate Chair will gather data about which of our classes consistently attract female and minoritized students, and expand these types of courses, so that we offer a curriculum that appeals to all of IU's diverse student body.
- Spring '22. Associate Chair will ask the College and/or the registrar to provide this data for the past 5 years.
- 2022-23. Associate Chair will analyze this data and discuss the results with the faculty.
2. Graduate Program
Initiatives for Current Students
- Last year’s GAC asked Dr. Carmen Henne-Ochoa, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the College, to facilitate a meeting in which graduate students could openly discuss their experiences, and then another meeting with faculty to convey what students had expressed and discuss how we can do better. The meeting with graduate students took place in May 2021, and the second meeting took place in October 2021. In the spring semester, the DGS will lead a faculty discussion about how to make the graduate classroom a more productive space for all students. The DGS will also hold a meeting with graduate students to explain some of the efforts that are taking place and solicit their opinions.
- In Fall 2020 and Fall 2021, the colleagues teaching H601, the class all incoming students must take, included readings on how certain intellectual and professional practices have created barriers to considering the perspectives of underrepresented groups. We expect to include similar materials in H601 moving forward.
- In Spring 2021 we offered a graduate class on Decolonizing Academia, and we will offer that class or a similar class every other year moving forward.
- The GAC has developed a document specifying mentoring practices and standards. This document explicitly establishes standards for how quickly faculty should provide feedback on dissertation chapters and papers and for how often students should report to their mentors about their progress and their problems. The faculty will discuss this document in the spring semester.
Goals for Current Students by the end of academic year 2021-2022 and 2022-2023:
- Make the graduate classroom a more satisfying experience for BIPOC, first generation, or other minoritized students, one in which they feel respected and heard. We will measure any progress we make toward that goal by administering another anonymous survey of student experiences in the graduate program during 2023.
- Use H601 to expose invite all graduate students to discuss how the structure of academia can place professional obstacles in the paths of students from underrepresented groups and intellectual obstacles in the path of considering the perspectives of underrepresented groups in historical scholarship.
- Improve graduate mentoring by establishing the expectation of frequent and timely communication between graduate students and their mentors. We will measure any progress we make toward that goal through the anonymous survey of student experiences in the graduate program we will administer during 2023.
Initiatives to Increase the Diversity of Future Incoming Classes
For several years, we had growing success in recruiting diverse incoming classes, especially for the doctoral program, culminating in 2020 in which ten entering doctoral students included one Black and two Latinx students, giving us 30% BIPOC students in that group. Unfortunately, we were unable to build upon or duplicate that success in 2021. We offered packages to one Black and two Latinx students, and they all turned us down. The number of BIPOC applicants was down and the percentage who accepted our offers was down. In 2020, we had a total of ten BIPOC applicants, offered packages to five, and matriculated three. In 2021 we had a total of seven BIPOC applicants, offered packages to three of them, and struck out. As we address this problem, we need to keep in mind that not all BIPOC students are interested in US, Latin American, African, or Asian history. We have at least one BIPOC PhD alumnus who specialized in Modern Europe, the only student currently in our Masters in Russian and East European history is Latinx, and one of the most promising doctoral applicants in Modern European history last year is also Latinx. (We did not make her an offer, but another excellent program did, and she is a student there now.)
- We will continue to participate in the University Graduate School’s GU2IU (Get You To IU) program, which brings BIPOC students each fall to develop contacts during an intense two-day visit. The Graduate School covers quite a lot of ground with these students in the two days, leaving us only a fraction of their time, but we will follow up with students interested in our department.
- With support from the College, we have a package for a Black student each year, and with support from the College and the OAH, one for an BIPOC student every three years. The Department also invests significant financial resources in each of these packages. The University Graduate School also provides some of the resources for a few packages for BIPOC students, and we will lobby them to conclude their deliberations more quickly, which would allow us to recruit more effectively.
- We no longer require students to submit the GRE.
- We will continue to give a boost to BIPOC candidates in the admission process. On the first-round evaluation sheets, we ask whether or not training the candidate would contribute to the diversity of the historical profession in order to make evaluators more conscious of the value of diversity when deciding whether to recommend admission. In the second round, we ask the members of the Admissions Committee how much training the applicant would contribute to the diversity of the historical profession, assigning 9% of the possible points to this question.
- We are piloting cluster admissions this coming year. Although one purpose of this move is to better ensure that we are able to offer the correct classes for all students in the program, another is to improve the recruitment and success of BIPOC students. Three parts of the plan contribute to this. First, in selecting cluster proposals, we will privilege those that will attract diverse applicants. Second, the faculty of the clusters will engage in significant outreach efforts to recruit new students, contacting colleagues at institutions with large BIPOC populations and IU alumni on their faculty. Third, any such group of new students will be together, providing mutual support as they move through the program. The first cluster, titled “Histories of Slavery, Freedom & (Un)freedom,” has already begun advertising. We will pay close attention to the number and type of applicants it attracts and make necessary changes moving into the future.
- Several faculty members have been researching the possibility of developing an MA program specifically designed to recruit, fund, and train BIPOC students, expanding the pipeline. We recognize that this program is in gestation, and ideas will change along the way. The Graduate Affairs Committee will discuss this idea, and if it decides the idea is worth trying it will bring the proposal to the faculty for discussion and a vote. If the faculty approve, the Department will seek some additional resources from the College or other parts of the University administration.
Goals in the Recruitment of Students:
- For the entering doctoral class of 2022, we would like to have at least 30% BIPOC students.
- For the entering doctoral class of 2023, we would like to have at least 40% BIPOC students.
The Chair and the Executive Committee will take the following actions to increase the diversity of the faculty, retain faculty, adopt more inclusive standards for tenure & promotion, award merit more equitably, decrease salary inequity, and enhance community.
- Chair will work more regularly with Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society.
- Chair will work to increase the role of History in the assessment, interviewing, and selection of CRRES fellows for Spring 2022.
- Chair will share CRRES applications with whole faculty, not just specialists in applicants’ field, Spring 2022.
- Department will accelerate consideration of current CRRES fellow from 2022-23 to 2021-22.
- Chair will initiate two-year speaker series, “New Directions in the History of Race & Ethnicity,” to bring potential strategic hires to Bloomington for multi-day visits. In 2021-22, appoint ad hoc oversight committee and invite first speakers. In 2022-23, invite second round of speakers.
- Chair will actively seek partnerships with other units for potential strategic hires.
The Executive Committee will ensure that diversity is a key consideration in framing hiring priorities for faculty vote, Spring 2022 & Spring 2023.
Based on current policy, Chair will continue to work with search committees to ensure that they make maximal efforts to diversify candidate pools and to report those efforts to the faculty.
Diversity Statements in Searches
In Spring ’22, the Chair will explore how better to evaluated and incorporate candidates’ diversity statements in future searches.
Chair will strongly support the faculty retention efforts of the Executive Dean.
- Chair will work with and strongly support individual faculty petitions to the College for salary equity.
- Chair will work with Executive Committee to create broader strategy to achieve equitable salaries in the department, Spring 2022.
Executive Committee will reevaluate annual merit review policy, with particular concern for recognition of public facing work, and submit revised review criteria for faculty vote, early Spring 2022.
Tenure & Promotion
Executive Committee will reassess tenure & promotion guidelines, consider ways to broaden criteria, including inclusion of public-facing work, and submit revised guidelines for faculty vote, Fall 2021.
To promote a greater sense of collective understanding and appreciation of one another’s intellectual and public labor, the Chair will work with the Committee of Historians for Intellectual Culture in 2022-23, to reimagine the committee’s purpose and activity. In spring 2022, committee will experiment with different kinds of gatherings to share work.
4. Public Space
Goal: To decorate the department’s public space to emphasize the diversity of our faculty, students, teaching, and research.
- In 2021-22, Chair will work with staff, DGS, and DUS to decorate hallways of the department on the 8th floor of Ballantine Hall in ways that celebrate the diversity of our students and their work.
- In 2022-23, the Chair will extend effort to include various rooms in the department.
The Indiana Magazine of History, the Journal of American History, and the American Historical Review are not part of the formal administrative structure of the Department of History. But these journals, fundamental to the identity of the department, are tightly woven into our community. The department’s faculty and students play key roles in all three journals, which are housed on the Bloomington campus.
The journals all share a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In coming years, these journals will aim to affirm that commitment in the following ways.
Hiring of Graduate Student Editorial Assistants
The employment of a diverse staff of graduate students not only strengthens our publications but also ensures the most equitable distribution of the educational and professional development opportunities inherent in editorial assistantships. The editors will continue to prioritize the hiring of diverse EA staffs and will collaborate with the DGS in pursuit of that goal.
Hiring of Senior Editors and Professional Staff
The employment of a diverse senior editorial and professional staff also strengthens our publications and ensures the most equitable distribution of career opportunities. It also signals the dedication of the IU Department of History and of the professional organizations that sponsor our journals to the appointment of underrepresented and/or minoritized faculty to positions of leadership within the discipline and profession. The journals will prioritize the hiring of diverse editorial and professional staffs and will collaborate with the Department of History and their sponsoring organizations in pursuit of that goal.
Consistent with best editorial practices, and as fully as labor and resource constraints will permit, the journal editors will strive to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in the publication of articles, in the review of books and other media, and in the solicitation of peer reviews.
6. Long-term Commitment: Diversity & Equity Committee
The Diversity & Equity Committee was founded in 2009. The Department commits to its value and role going forward. The main charge of the committee is to help move ahead the department’s commitments to diversity and equity in a way that is sustained and systematic. The Committee serves as the intellectual arm on these matters, ensuring we are informed by current best practices.
In 2020-1, the Committee wrote a Statement on Diversity and Inclusion which was approved by the Department. The Committee wrote a report on the 2010-20 state of diversity and equity which recommended better data gathering; the revision of merit review and P&T standards, including greater weight placed on work being done on behalf of diversity, equity, and inclusion; further self-examination of how we mentor and support graduate students of different stripes; and an effort to increase female, non-binary and ABLMNA students among other majors and minors. These initiatives have been dispersed into this plan for 2021-23.
Annually, the Committee selects a Book in Common for discussion among faculty and graduate students. In 2020, for example, was bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. The next report on the state of diversity and equity will be written in Spring 2023.
- Chair will hold faculty meeting on progress and challenges, Spring 2022
- Diversity Task Force will make adjustments into Fall 2022
- Chair will hold faculty meeting on progress and challenges, Spring 2023
- Revision of Plan, Fall 2024
Diversity Plan Task Force
Deborah Deliyannis, Associate Chair of Department
Peter Guardino, Director of Graduate Studies
Sarah Knott, Chair, Diversity and Equity Committee
Michael McGerr, Chair of Department
Eric Robinson, Chair, Executive Committee
Robert Schneider, Director of Honors
Leah Shopkow, Director of Undergraduate Studies