The latest editions of Johns Hopkins University's reports on the composition of its graduate students, faculty, and staff show that the critical commitments to advancing equity and creating a more inclusive Johns Hopkins outlined in the Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion are showing positive results: There has been growth over several years in the number of female affiliates and those that identify as a member of underrepresented racial minority groups.
The reports are a key part of the Roadmap's promise of transparency so the community can see where the university has achieved greater diversity and where work remains to be done.
"This kind of reporting is a critical part of the effort we established five years ago with the creation of the Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion," JHU President Ronald J. Daniels says. "Our commitment to rigorous reporting of data, down in many cases to the departmental level, makes us stand apart and allows the entire community to regularly track progress."
He added: "This fuels the oversight of leadership, including the board of trustees, around our collective objectives articulated in the Roadmap. We have much to do to ensure that this moment motivates us to do more, but we are able to build on a firm foundation of data generation and collection, reporting, and transparency that is the wellspring of progress."
Efforts to increase the number of affiliates from groups that are underrepresented in higher education (URM)—including Black or African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander—have led to steady progress. URM individuals were 16% of the total graduate student population in 2019, up from 13% in 2011. The percentage went from 8% to 10% of full-time professorial faculty between 2015 and 2019 (the same percentages as among all full-time faculty).
An increase in female graduate student representation, from 51% in 2011 to 53% in 2019, was driven by the enrollment of more women in master's programs and doctoral programs other than PhDs; the percentage of women in PhD programs decreased. Female representation among full-time professorial faculty increased from 37% to 41% between 2015 and 2019.
Because recruitment and retention depend upon efforts within schools, departments, and programs, the reports disaggregate the data to assess progress at a number of levels. The university community is encouraged to review all three reports online:
- 2020 Report on Graduate Student Composition
- 2020 Report on Faculty Composition
- 2020 Report on Staff Composition
The reports note that the use of male and female as the only gender categories reflect federal reporting guidelines and not the full scope of gender identities represented and supported in the Johns Hopkins community, an issue leaders hope to address in future reports. In addition, they add, the documents are not intended to examine how university students, staff, and faculty view the institutional climate—there are other tools and programs accomplish that goal, including the annual Gallup employee engagement survey, exit interviews, and the COACHE survey of faculty.
The university plans to continue to share composition data as its diversity efforts progress. In early July, Daniels announced several new diversity efforts that will begin this year, including a task force to assess the Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion and recommend next steps. The JHU community will be invited to listening sessions and a virtual town hall focused on the Roadmap 2020 Task Force launch. The discussions will be guided by the data and lessons learned from the latest composition reports.
The president also announced a scholarly initiative focused on discrimination in Johns Hopkins University's history, and a committee to create the criteria for reexamining the names of buildings and programs. Members of the university community can share their ideas and feedback on all of the diversity projects on the on the university's Diversity and Inclusion website.
Faculty Composition Report
The faculty composition report specifically helps the university track gains made through its Faculty Diversity Initiative, which was launched in 2015 with a $25 million funding commitment and a goal of developing a multifaceted approach to faculty recruitment and retention.
The report says, "It is clear that, through the life of the initiative, important gains have been made. During a period of faculty growth—14% growth in professorial faculty and 11% growth overall since fall 2015—female and underrepresented minority faculty representation grew faster, reducing historical imbalances in those two areas of faculty diversity." The proportions of female, Black, Hispanic, minority, and URM faculty at the university have all increased over that time period.
"Reporting on the composition of our faculty, students, and staff offers a regular opportunity to deliver on our promise of transparency and make sure our community can easily find the data that drives our efforts," says Sunil Kumar, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "The increases we see in the numbers reflect substantial efforts in every division to improve recruitment and hiring practices and support individuals from a variety of backgrounds."
Kumar adds that with the leadership of Katrina Caldwell as JHU's new chief diversity officer, the university will develop the next phase of the faculty diversity initiative. Areas that call for additional focus include increasing opportunities for advancement, improving the climate around diversity and inclusion, and creating more effective work-life balance, he says.
Staff Composition Report
The university uses the data compiled in the Report on Staff Composition to evaluate whether its recruitment, development, and compensation practices are resulting in gender equity and a broad representation of individuals who identify as a minority. The most recent report reflects statistics from 2015, 2017, and 2019; examines each school and several administrative divisions; and divides the data by employee groups.
Minority staff composition grew from 37% in 2015 to 41% in 2019. URM is not a category used in the staff composition report. The term minority encompasses all of the groups in the definition of URM (which aligns with the one used by the National Center for Educational Statistics) plus individuals who self-identify as Asian. Female representation remained steady among staff at 71% across those same years.
The employee groups with the highest minority composition in 2019 were Service (85%), Administrative Support (51%), and Tech/Paraprofessional (51%). The employee groups with the lowest minority composition in 2019 were Executive/Administrative (19%) and Managerial (27%).
"A number of strategic initiatives are underway to attract and retain a diverse workforce and promote a workplace climate where all employees feel included and engaged in our success," says Heidi Conway, vice president for human resources.
Recently, in conversations with the Hopkins Diaspora and Black Faculty and Staff Association, university leaders discussed plans for JHU to offer mandatory unconscious bias and anti-racist training to all managers, and said the university will look to sustain its internal review of salary equity as well as seek outside consultation on that topic.
Also, a universitywide advisory committee, led by the talent acquisition team in Human Resources, has developed recommendations to improve the process for promoting qualified internal candidates. The plan includes ways to increase transparency and address gaps that employees experience as they navigate their career growth.
"I am truly grateful to our colleagues in the BFSA, the Hopkins Diaspora, and the Diversity Leadership Council, our students in the Black Student Union and the Multicultural Leadership Council, and to all across Johns Hopkins who have worked to advance these priorities and embed transparency and accountability into the structures of our university," Daniels says. "At a watershed moment in our country, we are bringing new energy and urgency to this essential work."