Department Program Spotlight: Office of the Director of Equity and Inclusion

The following departmental programs and initiatives have been submitted to APSA by representatives from each individual department. If you would like to submit a program for recognition, please send your information through this form. Visit APSA’s Program Spotlight: Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment and Retention page for more programs.

University of Chicago: Office of the Director of Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Political Science

The office of the Director of Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Political Science was created in 2015, prompted in part by a Report on the Status of Women Faculty in the Division of Social Sciences. The purpose of this office is to facilitate informed reflection by members of the Department, individually and collectively, about how our professional activities intersect with larger structures of social power, and to thereby to help the Department create and sustain the conditions under which each of us can pursue our work, as well as negotiate the competing requirements of professional and extra-professional life, free from the effects of illegitimate forms of inequality and privilege.

Learn more here:

Academic Population Served: undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty
Specific groups served: individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, first generation scholars, LGBT individuals, individuals with disabilities, women
Program Goals: Recruitment, Retention, Advancement
Number of staff or faculty involved with the program: 3
Which college or university unit is primarily responsible for this program? Department
Program time frame: Academic year
For how long has this program been in existence? Two years

Program Impact: The Committee has sponsored faculty meetings around inclusiveness in the classroom and a workshop inspired by the University’s recent Campus Climate Survey. It has sponsored mentoring events for female graduate students and students of color with successful female scholars and scholars of color, respectively. Additionally, the Committee has provided recommendations to the Department, on transparency and non-transparency in Department life, based on conversations with faculty and students about the extent to which they feel included in or excluded from information about activities, policies, and decisions that affect them. Finally, it has analyzed admissions, progression through the PhD program and graduation data with an eye to drawing conclusions about the department’s equity and inclusion efforts.

Is your department an APSA MSRP Recruiting Department? Yes

Additional comment: The department is an active participant in University of Chicago programs to promote diversity and inclusion such as postdoctoral programs, faculty recruitment and retention, and training for faculty search committees.

Contact: Dr. John Mark Hansen, ( Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Chicago