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Ruth Enid Zambrana Co-Authors ‘Equity and Inclusion’ Guidebook

September 15, 2020 The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

graphics from summit guidebook

The new guidebook for college and university leaders draws from the Distinguished University Professor’s book and a 2018 conference.

By Jessica Weiss ’05

College and university leaders who are committed to promoting equity, inclusion and success for underrepresented minority (URM) faculty in their institutions can now access "Equity and Inclusion: Effective Practices and Responsive Strategies," a guidebook co-authored by Distinguished University Professor Ruth Enid Zambrana, professor in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

Released in July 2020, the 30-page guidebook highlights practices that can be incorporated and instituted across research universities to make them more equitable and inclusive; includes a list of 50 essential readings on URM and gender equity; and offers recommendations on hiring and retention practices, mentoring practices, work-family-life balance and pathways to tenure and promotion. It concludes with specific recommendations and strategic actions for senior leadership to ensure institutional accountability. 

“This is a timely and critical resource for all college and university leaders,” Zambrana said. “Equity driven solutions to promote success for URM faculty will mean success for the institution as a whole.”  

The guidebook stems from Zambrana’s 2018 book “Toxic Ivory Towers: The Consequences of Work Stress on the Health of Underrepresented Minority Faculty” and a conference held at the University of Pennsylvania in September 2018, entitled “Changing the National Conversation: Inclusion and Equity,” which was convened in partnership with Swarthmore College and the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity (CRGE) at Maryland, of which Zambrana is the director. At the conference, more than 100 college and university chancellors, presidents, provosts and other senior colleagues discussed successful strategies and practices for producing, promoting and creating equity and inclusion on campuses with a focus on the recruitment, retention and promotion of traditionally and historically underrepresented minorities. 

Today URM groups constitute about one-third of the U.S. population, but URM faculty (Black, Latino and Native American) represent just 10.2 percent of all faculty in the more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S.

“URM faculty augment the excellence and innovative spirit of universities because they bring different life experiences and theoretical and methodological perspectives that shape their teaching, mentoring and research projects,” Zambrana said. “They indeed bring ‘diversity of thought’ that embraces values of equity, inclusion and social equality and provide a more robust, cogent, meaningful and comprehensive educational experience for all students.” 

health guidebook front cover

The guidebook is being made available by the University of Maryland’s Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, among other institutions; the American Council on Education will also disseminate sections. 

The guidebook’s other authors include Anita Allen, Eve Higginbotham, JoAnn Mitchell and Antonia Villarruel of the University of Pennsylvania and Debra J. Pérez of Simmons University. 

To access the guidebook, click here.