New College is currently hoping to host two scholars from historically under represented populations. These scholars would be selected through the Consortium for Faculty Diversity in Liberal Arts Colleges, a program that aligns small liberal arts colleges with minority faculty members.
The consortium is designed to benefit both scholars and colleges: Professor of Sociology Sarah Hernandez says that “it enhances diversity in the institution and provides support for the scholars.” The consortium gives scholars a fellowship to finish their dissertations or research in an area of their specialty as schools in the consortium pay scholars a salary and provide them with benefits. The institutions only demand in return that they teach one or two classes per year. This gives scholars support and lets them sample what it would be like to work at a small liberal arts school. It also lets small schools vary their course offerings and adds to the diversity of their communities.
Though NCF has belonged to the consortium since 2008, the faculty is particularly interested in hosting minority scholars because last year two African American professors resigned from their posts at the school. The faculty formed an Ad Hoc Faculty Diversity Committee to choose which fellowship candidates the college should host. The committee is made up of professors from each academic division and is co-chaired by President Gordon “Mike” Michalson and Professor of Economics Richard Coe. It is looking for candidates that are African American, Hispanic or Native American and would welcome a candidate into a permanent position at the school. Fellowship candidates are listed on the consortium’s website with a description of how they contribute to the diversity at their host college and their past academic endeavors.
The committee asked academic departments to propose candidates that they think would benefit their division and NCF. It asked asked members of academic departments to write a paper explaining why the candidate would be a good fit for NCF and to show how they would the support the candidate in adapting to New College’s unique academic structure and philosophy. These proposals were due this past Monday and now the committee is reviewing them to determine which candidates NCF should select. The committee will come to a consensus on the candidates it prefers within the next two weeks and then contact the consortium with its decision. It is important that the committee act quickly because the consortium is a fairly competitive program and the best candidates get snatched up early on in the process. With luck, next year two new scholars will be studying and teaching at NCF.
Hernandez said that the committee has a very focused goal of supporting and mentoring the scholars so that they might stay at NCF. “We of course want to keep our strong faculty regardless of their racial or ethnic identity but it is particularly difficult to keep scholars of color with us,” she noted. She elaborated that they would offer their knowledge of expertise and world views to the college — making New College a more dynamic and stimulating place for its students.