Faculty and Staff - February 18, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pleased to let you know that Winthrop is the top-ranked four-year S.C. university this year in meeting its affirmative action goals for recruiting, retaining and promoting minorities and women, according to the S.C. Human Affairs Commission. The commission ranked each of the 10 four-year universities in its latest report to the General Assembly.

You may recall from my State of the University addresses that we had been #2 in the state for the last two years….and that I wanted us to be #1. I’m proud that we did it!

This ranking is significant because it is further evidence of the important progress we are making in Winthrop Plan Goal 3: Attract and retain high quality and diverse faculty, staff and administrators.

As I mentioned last month, we have already exceeded the 2025 stretch target for the percentage of its faculty/managerial staff who are African American, Latin American, Native American, Asian or International. As I noted, the university started at a baseline of 14 percent with a 2025 target of 18.5 percent and a stretch target goal of 20 percent, and we are currently at 21 percent.

I also want to share that earlier this month I was proud to become the first S.C. university president to sign the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge. This diversity initiative by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) challenges CEOs and college presidents to 1) encourage conversations around diversity and inclusion in the workplace, 2) provide unconscious bias training to employees, and 3) share actions and initiatives with other CEOs/presidents in the network that have been implemented at their company/university. PwC will now list Winthrop on its website as a signatory for this pledge.

If anyone has heard me speak about increasing diversity, they know I emphasize that I have hired, and will always hire, the best person for the job. However, that only focuses on the last step. There are often biases throughout the recruitment process that reduce the diversity of the candidates. If you can eliminate or at least reduce those biases, then you will end up with more diverse employees at the end, while consistently hiring the best person for the job. That is the Winthrop story, and I am proud of all of those who have been involved in that effort!