The Office of Health Sciences Diversity (OHSD) exists to actively recruit and retain faculty and students who are underrepresented in the health professions.
Our strategy targets the following:
- individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups
- individuals with disabilities
- individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in the health professions or health sciences research
Additionally, each school is encouraged to identify targeted audiences of underrepresented groups within its profession – benchmarked on an institutional or national basis.
In concordance with the University of Pittsburgh’s non-discrimination policy (which adheres to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990), the Schools of the Health Sciences prohibit and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability. Further, the Schools of the Health Sciences will take affirmative steps to create opportunities for and include individuals with disabilities in all levels of education and training for which they are prepared and for which they are able to meet the technical standards delineated by the faculty.
Any member of the student, staff or faculty bodies may request support and/or accommodation through the University’s Office of Disability Resources and Services.
OHSD approaches diversity recruitment using the following strategies:
- assisting the Schools of the Health Sciences to seek qualified, diverse candidates for opportunities in the academy
- collecting student diversity recruitment data from each school and preparing reports for the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor
- working with the Schools of the Health Sciences to compile diversity data and recruitment process statements for inclusion with grant applications
- seeking funding to support diversity initiatives, particularly pipeline program efforts
- utilizing minority alumni as ambassadors for programs and providing support for programming
- working with the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Medical and Health Sciences Foundation to identify funding opportunities that support diversity initiatives
A number of practices can assist with retaining productive faculty and students. OHSD pursues proactive, thoughtful measures that can have great impact on faculty and student satisfaction. Specific areas of focus include:
- transparency in operations - including fair and open promotion, tenure, and grading guidelines
- culture development - creating a welcoming and culturally sensitive climate where faculty and students thrive and feel supported
- developing effective mentoring programs for faculty and students
- providing faculty and student development programs, benefits, and resources
- recognizing important student achievements and faculty contributions in all areas, including performance, awards, teaching, research, service, and creative activities
- Gathering information from faculty and students through culture assessments, faculty and student focus groups, department chairs and deans, exit interviews, and informal contacts to identify solutions to barriers
Within five years, each school will have a consistent programs of diversity initiatives, including student recruitment, outreach and summer pipeline programs, and a comprehensive plan of retention. Each school will also have a formal program of faculty and trainee recruitment, development and retention (planned and implemented in partnership with the Office of Academic Career Development, alumni outreach, and school-based events celebrating diversity and inclusion. Initiatives will be dean-sanctioned and reported annually for purposes of accountability.