Diversity Committee, Meeting of February 26,2001
Present: Dave McClure,Thura Mack, Sandra Leach, Tamara Miller, Tiffani
Conner, Anthony Smith, Becky Roller, Maribeth Manoff, Molly Royse, Jill
Absent: Joe Rader
Recorder: Jill Keally
Jennie Richter talked with the committee about the issue of diversity.
She is Interim Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, reporting
to Theotis Robinson.
The office has 4 primary responsibilities:
1. To monitor faculty searches at 3 stages of process to ensure that
univ. is meeting AA, state/federal guidelines
2. To meet compliance obligations, providing reports, information
3. To provide training
4. To investigate discrimination complaints. Jennie's experience with
this issue is that they rarely find there has been discrimination
because the person is a member of protected class. Instead, it is more
of a feeling or perception and is often result of problem with the
atmosphere in which individual works.
Jennie advises that it is difficult to achieve diversity training.
The committee needs to answer the following questions:
What is diversity?
What do we plan to cover? Employment, recruitment, retention, equity of
service, collections, resources are just a few.
What does the group want to accomplish?
What are the short and long term goals?
There is a renewed interest in the topic within academic libraries.
There is also an interest at the university as result of Geier consent
decree. There is a committee that has been formed recently, and a
federal mediator will review everything UT does (practices, admissions,
programs, employment) Gilley has made it a high priority by appointing
What are other units/colleges on campus doing?
There is a lot of training that goes on in residence halls. Jennie
advises we review the Desegregation Report for UT. It is published
annually and gives an excellent overview of everything UT is already
Thus far, the committee has established a webpage and the dean has
indicated there are funds to bring in a consultant. Jennie has observed
there are status issues in the library. We need to agree as a group,
plant seeds for next generation, not create more division as result of
The committee might want to do a cultural assessment of our
organization, perhaps using focus groups. How do we evaluate success?
There are other libraries which have had diversity committees for more
than a decade. Perhpas we could benefit from hearing from some of those.
They could tell us what they've done, talk about progress, etc.
Another idea is to set aside large gaps of time so that committee
members are comfortable with each other. Would probably need a
facilitator to get
us started.(Some possibilities: Izetta Slade, Joy Desensi, Jane Redmon,
Fran Ansley.) Jennie will try to think of others and e-mail Thura.
Tiffani thought there might be faculty in Ed. Psych.
There are no quick answers. The committee might need to be educated by
other groups. We could invite speakers. Jennie has a library of
materials she keeps at OED. She will send list to Thura. Perhaps some
of these are titles the library should also own.
Jennie indicated her willingness to meet with the committee at any time.
She is happy to assist.
The next meeting is at noon, March 6, room 605. Bring lunch and
calendars so that we can identify dates/times for future meetings.