Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Office of Diversity wraps up spring semester with bi-coastal conferences

Charu Thakral, PhD, interim vice chancellor for the UIC Office of Diversity, Equity and Engagement (ODEE), attended the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)’s 2024 Conference on Diversity, Equity and Student Success from March 21-23 in Philadelphia. She was joined by Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb, JD, director of the critical race and gender studies juris doctor concentration and professor in the UIC School of Law and Miquel Gonzalez-Meler, PhD, professor in the UIC Department of Biological Sciences.

Thakral, along with her colleagues, presented a poster on the Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate Program (IESCP). IESCP is a program for UIC instructors, designed to help them support student success and well-being by building an inclusive classroom. The UIC team also presented a panel about institutional change efforts at a workshop entitled “Resistance, Retrenchment and Resilience on the Journey to DEIB Institutional Change.”

On the other side of the country, the ODEE Bridge to Faculty program (B2F) team presented a session entitled “Recruiting, Supporting and Retaining Diverse Faculty: The Bridge to Faculty Program at UIC” at the 2024 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) annual conference held on March 15 in Seattle, WA. This team included Thakral along with Nadine Peacock, PhD, associate vice chancellor for equity and belonging, Mario Lucero, director of inclusion initiatives, and Jessica Joslin, PhD, assistant vice chancellor of diversity initiatives.

The session invited participants to explore the relationship between a diverse professoriate and student and faculty success. Participants learned about the development and success of B2F including the guiding framework for the program, the program’s history and record of success in diversifying the faculty and the program’s assessment practices. Additionally, session participants reflected on strategies to increase faculty diversity on their respective campuses and how the innovative B2F framework can serve as an aid in their efforts.

The session highlighted that the B2F program has made dramatic strides in diversifying UIC’s faculty. Since the program’s inception in 2019, UIC has welcomed over 50 B2F postdocs with 31 transitioning to faculty thus far.