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Release: Immediate

UI is on track to meet several strategic goals for workforce diversity

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa is on track to meet four of five of its goals for minority and female representation among the UI faculty and staff, according to the annual UI Office of Affirmative Action report prepared for the Iowa State Board of Regents.

The Office of Affirmative Action's annual Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Report indicates the representation of minority merit staff reached 5.3 percent; minority professional and scientific staff reached 5.6 percent; female executive/administrative/managerial staff reached 31 percent; and female tenure track staff reached 25.3 percent.

The percentages indicate the UI may well meet its year 2000 strategic goals for hiring and promoting minority merit staff to 5.3 percent; minority professional and scientific staff to 5.5 percent; for female executive/administrative/managerial staff to 32 percent; and for female tenure track faculty to 25 percent.

Goal five, in a list of seven outlined in the UI's "Achieving Distinction 2000: A Strategic Plan for The University of Iowa," targets five areas of the workforce for increased female and minority representation.

While progress has been seen in these areas, reaching the strategic planning goal of 13 percent minority tenure track faculty by the year 2000 may be more difficult to achieve.

"The University of Iowa faces the same challenges other universities face in the hiring of minority faculty," says Susan Mask, assistant to the president and director of the office of affirmative action.

"We are working diligently to hire minority faculty, and we will need to reexamine the effectiveness of our retention efforts," Mask says.

As of Oct. 1, 1998, the representation of minority tenure track faculty increased by seven, increasing the percentage of minority tenure track faculty from 11.4 percent to 11.9 percent.

The report, which documents hiring that occurred between Oct. 1, 1997, and Sept. 30, 1998, shows that the UI workforce increased moderately during the year, increasing by 112 employees, bringing the total number of employees to 12,967, up from 12,855.

The number of female faculty and staff increased by 68, from 7,787 in 1997 to 7,855 in 1998. The total number of minorities increased by 59, from 823 in 1997 to 882 in 1998.

The university sets annual hiring goals in areas where there is underutilization of women and/or minorities and where hiring is expected. The report indicates that the university met or exceeded its hiring goals in all but one of the major primary occupational groups where goals were set; however, in some job categories within the major occupational groups, under-representation of women and minorities remains and some goals were not met.

"The university will continue to monitor those areas where under-representation of women and minorities remain. The office will continue to work creatively with departments to address areas of underutilization," Mask says.

The trend in hiring over a 10-year period indicates that significant progress has been made for female and minority tenure track faculty. From 1988 to 1998 the number of female tenure track faculty increased to 398 from 273; the number of minority tenure track faculty also increased to 187 from 136.

Other reported highlights include:
-- A net increase of 18 female tenure track faculty, increasing from 380 women (24 percent) last year to 25.3 percent this year.
-- A net increase of 7 minority tenure track faculty, increasing from 180 minorities (11.4 percent) last year to 11.9 percent this year.
-- Female faculty received 26 percent and minority faculty received 10 percent of the promotions among tenure track faculty, roughly consistent with their respective percentage among the faculty.
-- Some 23 percent of the faculty members granted tenure effective 1998/99 were women (slightly lower than their percentage among the faculty) and 15 percent were minorities (slightly higher than their percentage of the faculty).
-- Six female and one minority faculty members were appointed as department chairs in 1998; two women were appointed assistant deans; one woman was appointed associate provost; and one minority female was hired as a head coach.
-- Over a five-year period the percentage of women executive/administrative/managerial staff increased from 24.2 percent to 31 percent.

The statistical information in the UI's annual Affirmative Action report is prepared from workforce data compiled in accordance with Board of Regents guidelines. The annual report includes all permanent, full-time and part-time employees working 50 percent time or more during the period from Oct. 1, 1997 to Sept. 30, 1998.

In defining the term "minority," the UI follows federal guidelines. The term refers to Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans/Alaskan Natives.