WHOI Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes
Attending: Jian Lin (Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee), Beth Andrews, David Gaylord,Annette Hynes, Mary Lardie, Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Peggy Rose, Fiamma Straneo, Shona Vitelli, Joan Watring, Sheri White (all WHOI Diversity Committee).
Co-chair Shona Vitelli welcomed everyone present, gave a brief summary of our last meeting and introduced Fiamma Straneo to the committee. Beth Andrews gave a brief update on data regarding minority representation at WHOI. She indicated that HR had received advice on the kind of data that can be released and mentioned that this data will be made available before our next meeting.Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink and Fiamma Straneo volunteered to evaluate this data from the perspective of past and present representation of minorities at WHOI. Such baseline data is needed to evaluate the success of future attempts to enhance diversity at WHOI. The challenging aspect of evaluating and interpreting this data will be to decide what we do with it once we have it. Beth also suggested inviting an employment specialist/equal employment officer to evaluate whether additional statistical data could be made available, and to improve our understanding of present advertising and hiring practices with a special focus on attracting minority employees. Knowing where we advertise will be an important step in deciding how to use the statistical data we receive as an effective tool for change. Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink mentioned that he had not been successful, thus far, in contacting Dr. Ronald Mickens, one of the Black History Month speakers, for advice on action to improve minority representation in science. Jian Lin pointed out the success of the “Star” program NCAR has developed to improve minority student representation in atmospheric science. He pointed out his interest in editing a “History of Minorities in Oceanography”, possibly as a special issue of the Oceanography Journal, analogous to the influential special issue on “Women in Oceanography”. Private funding may be available to help edit such a volume.
Shona passed around the multi-page foldout brochure on Woods Hole that she had received as a pdf. file from Judy Fenwick. She suggested forming a working group within our committee to update this brochure with the interests of minorities in mind. Joan Watring and Annette Hynes volunteered to update the brochure with input from the committee. We discussed that our WHOI Diversity brochure would be much smaller and more along the lines of the one page Gender Equity brochure. On a related topic David Gaylord reported that the basic framework for the committee’s web site is in place. WHOI will release the new version of the “site builder” by the end of March.A working group consisting of David Gaylord and Mary Lardie will manage the committee’s web site and interact with Laurie Dolby who designed and maintains the web site of the Woods Hole Diversity Committee. All members of the committee will help with writing and editing of content for the website, and suggest a logo for the site. Sheri White suggested that the visibility of the web site be increased by linking it to other web sites at WHOI, such as the Directorate and Human Resources. She mentioned that Harvard’s website prominently features minority issues.
The “Diversity Movie” working group (Tim Verslyke, Sheri White) mentioned that online movie listings with focus on diversity issues are available and the Diversity Film Series needs to be coordinated with the JP student contacts. We’re thinking about having 3 or 4 showings a year.
We discussed that it was time to start having something tangible to show for our progress and work towards accomplishing goals. The working groups are a result of this drive. Beth Andrews, Peggy Rose and Shona Vitelli volunteered for the “Outreach” working group within our committee.Annette Hynes emphasized the upcoming MIT Multicultural Conference. Student involvement can be supported by MIT micro grants. Shona mentioned the Academic Programs Office efforts to arrange a meeting with MIT Dean Jones on joint diversity initiatives, such as inviting diversity students visiting MIT to spend a day at WHOI (i.e. the event planned by Regina Campbell-Malone this past summer- see last meeting minutes).Shona also suggested an interest in inviting George Spivey as a WHOI Diversity Speaker in the summer. She feels a “special event” would benefit the visibility and importance of diversity at WHOI. Peggy Rose offered her help to contact George Spivey and find out whether we would like to come to WHOI to speak to us about diversity issues.We are also interested in ideas for other possible speakers to be the main event at a WHOI sponsored Diversity Event at the end of the summer. Shona has asked Julia Westwater to ask for “local” speaker ideas from the WHDAC. Although our committee does not have an annual budget, we feel that reasonable requests for the financial support of special events will be approved by the Administration.
Finally, Shona pointed out the importance of keeping track of “in kind” contributions to the committee, such as hours spent on the committee and its various working groups.
The Committee agreed to have the next meeting on May 1 at 1:00 pm in the Carriage House.
Diversity Committee Working Groups:
Brochure: Annette, Joan
Movie Night: Tim, Sheri, All - for movie ideas
Website: All - for content, David, Mary
Statistics: Bernhard, Fiamma
Speakers/Workshops: Shona, Peggy, Beth