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April 4, 2012

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Meeting Minutes for 4/4/2012

In attendance:

  • Jian Lin
  • Hauke Kite-Powell
  • Ellie Bors
  • Stephanie Murphy
  • Shawn Arellano
  • David Wang
  •  

Absent:

  • Wu‐Jung Lee
  • Alessandro Bocconcelli
  • Lonny Lippsett
  • Michelle McCafferty
  • Sandipa Singh
  • Ann Sweck
  • Joel Llopiz

 

  1.  Recap of committee head meetings with WHOI administration.  Hauke and Stephanie gave reports from meeting with Susan Avery, Larry Madin, and Jim Yoder.  The discussions centered on WHOI’s goals and objectives regarding diversity at the Institution in the student population, in the scientific staff, and in the supporting staff.  Some recent advances toward greater diversity include a more balanced gender ratio in the Joint Program and the successful PEP summer program.  The committee decided that discussions with HR will be useful to better understand the ways in which diversity and hiring could interact at the Institution.  The committee also decided that a clear and universally shared definition of diversity is needed to focus diversity discussions in the future.  Generally, we concluded that increasing diversity is not an explicit high-level goal of the Institution at this time, and that the Institution’s efforts are focused mainly on increasing over the long run the diversity of the oceanography student pool.
  2. Discussion of the role of leadership in creating a diverse environment.  The committee discussed the role of leadership in creating a diverse environment and the ways in which the committee could fill this leadership role.  Discussion highlighted the distinction between active and passive forms of leadership with regards to diversity.  We see our role as both fostering a more diverse Institution and bringing science to a more diverse audience. 
  3. Defining the role of the Diversity Committee in relation to other committees at WHOI.  The committee discussed ways in which there is real and perceived overlap with the International Committee and the Gender Equity Committee at WHOI.  National and ethnic background and gender are dimensions of diversity; and there may well be some degree of overlap in responsibilities of these committees.  We discussed possible ways to coordinate our activities with other committees; initial steps are for Hauke and Stephanie to meet with other committee chairs. 
  4. Commitment to producing a report on diversity at WHOI.  Discussions with WHOI administration and among committee members suggests that there is value in producing an internal assessment/report on diversity objectives, current status, and possible future projects at WHOI.  This should include an update of the WHOI population diversity analysis (see Diversity Com web site).  The Diversity Committee will make this assessment a priority for the next six months or so, and develop a work plan that will include (1) gathering statistical data about diversity at the Institution, (2) reaching out to MIT to see what WHOI can learn from diversity initiatives there, (3) conducting a literature review about the importance of diversity in science, (4) meeting with HR representatives and senior administrators. 
  5. Actions for the next meeting.  Ellie Bors and David Wang will connect with people at the MIT diversity office.  Hauke and Stephanie will coordinate with HR and possibly Jim Yoder to meet with the Diversity Committee in the near future, and will draft a workplan for the internal report/assessment.  Members of the committee committed to conducing the research required to formulate an assessment of the institution (need to formalize this).  We would like to create a survey or piggyback on institution-wide surveys to assess how WHOI staff and students feel about diversity at the Institution. We will follow up with Jim Yoder regarding a workshop at WHOI in June for graduate educators, and re-invigorating the Bridge Lecture Series.


Last updated: May 3, 2012
 


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