Faculty Diversity Plan FAQ for Independent Colleges and Universities
(Bundy Aid Participants Only)
The New York State Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget (S8003/A9003) includes a provision that independent colleges and universities must submit a plan to improve faculty diversity to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to be eligible for a Bundy Aid payment in the 2022-2023 academic year. For the faculty diversity plan, institutions will submit faculty data from the previous academic year (2021-2022) and three measurable goals designed by the institution to improve faculty diversity at the institution. Institutions will submit the progress on their goals in two- and four-year intervals (e.g., Summer 2024, Summer 2026), with deadlines provided at a later date.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Faculty Diversity Plan
1. Do branch campuses need to submit a faculty diversity plan?
Response: No, only the main campus should complete the report, and it should include data from the branches.
2. What are the end goals? Just to increase or to get to a certain point?
Response: The statute states that institutions must submit a plan to improve faculty diversity that includes measurable goals. The end goal was not specified. Therefore, any measurable goals that are designed to improve faculty diversity at the institution would be acceptable.
3. How will our goals be evaluated? What happens if we submit something that is not judged adequate?
Response: While the NYSED will not approve or disapprove faculty diversity plans, staff will review each plan and may follow-up with institutions for clarification. For example, staff may contact an institution if it is not clear how a particular goal would improve faculty diversity at the institution. Institutions will be notified when their faculty diversity plan has been processed.
4. What will happen in the future? For example, do you expect this required reporting to evolve over time? Is there an expectation that this will be tied to funding in the future? What happens if you are not able to meet the goal you set out at the two-year mark?
Response: The statute requiring independent colleges and universities to submit a faculty diversity plan was developed by the legislature. NYSED does not have information about the implications of the statute for the future, but will communicate with institutions if it learns any new information.
Reporting Faculty Data in IDEx
5. Can we define “academic year” the way we would typically do so internally (prior summer, fall, and spring)?
Response: Academic year for this report is July 1-June 30.
6. Should we report on the entire academic year and not just the Fall semester?
Response: Yes, please provide the data on the institution’s faculty from the previous academic year (2021-2022).
7. Should we report numbers or percentages in the data table?
Response: Please report the number of faculty. NYSED can use counts and totals to calculate the percentage.
8. Will this report have the same number, or be the same group of faculty members, as the IPEDS HR report?
Response: IPEDS collects the count of faculty employed on one specific day (as of November 1 of each year). NYSED’s collection allows for the inclusion of faculty members employed at any point during the year (July 1-June 30), enabling institutions to capture more faculty who may have been employed at different times throughout the year.
9. Should the counts include staff who also teach as adjuncts or only those whose primary status is faculty? Additionally, can you clarify the definition of “faculty”?
Response: Individuals should be included if they meet the following definition of faculty from IPEDS:
- Persons identified by the institution as such and typically those whose initial assignments are made for the purpose of conducting instruction, research or public service as a principal activity (or activities). They may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer or the equivalent of any of those academic ranks. Faculty may also include the chancellor/president, provost, vice provosts, deans, directors or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads or the equivalent) if their principal activity is instruction combined with research and/or public service. The designation as "faculty" is separate from the activities to which they may be currently assigned. For example, a newly appointed president of an institution may also be appointed as a faculty member. Graduate, instruction, and research assistants are not included in this category.
- Please note: Casual employees (hired on an ad-hoc basis or occasional basis to meet short-term needs) and students in the College Work-Study Program (CWS) are not considered part-time staff.
10. Should we include faculty who are only here in one term (Fall or Spring) in addition to those who are here both terms?
Response: Yes, you would include faculty who were employed only one term and those that were employed for both terms. Only count each faculty member one time.
11. How should we include staff that were full-time status for part of the academic year and part-time status a different part of the year?
Response: Please count staff by their most recent status, counting the individual once, in either full-time or part-time. This will give your institution the most accurate baseline for comparison in the future, if needed.
12. Should we include faculty on sabbatical or medical/personal leave?
Response: Yes, include faculty who are on sabbatical or medical leave, but remain on the payroll.
13. IPEDS does not include a “non-binary” option. What is the best way to gather this data for the data table? How can we best address gender diversity, since asking questions related to gender identification during an interview is not permitted?
Response: NYSED is not requiring institutions to report this data, but is providing the option for those institutions who do collect non-binary data as a gender category. The non-binary option can be left blank in the data table if the institution does not, or chooses not, to collect this data.
14. Do we need to be concerned about privacy when there are small counts of faculty in certain race and ethnicity and/or gender categories? Additionally, we have a small faculty, and certain categories disappear or are combined into an “other” category when we avoid reporting small cells. Can we report small counts?
Response: Since no other personally identifiable information is being tied to aggregate counts of faculty by race and ethnicity, faculty will not be individually identifiable and therefore small counts can be reported in the appropriate category.
15. What will this data be used for? Where and with whom will it be shared?
Response: NYSED will review the data internally as part of the faculty diversity plan for Bundy aid eligibility purposes. There are no plans to share the data, unless requested through legal means.
16. Please provide more clarity on what “measurable goals” means.
Response: The faculty diversity plan must include three measurable goals designed by the institution to improve faculty diversity at the institution. A measurable goal includes specific criteria that enables the institution to track, or measure, its progress towards meeting the goal.
17. Do the goals have to be strictly numerical metrics, or can they be about creating partnerships for visiting faculty or outlining a plan for recruitment processes?
Response: The goals need to include criteria that allows the institution to show measurable change in the criteria over time, enabling the institution to measure its progress towards meeting the goals. A goal about partnerships or a recruitment process would need to include criteria that could show measurable change over time.
18. Can we measure our goals based on internal data reports, and not just what is reported to IPEDS or NYSED?
Response: Yes, institutions can base their goals on internally-generated data.
19. Could the goals be tied to other types of diversity, not only gender and race/ethnicity?
Response: The goals could address gender, race/ethnicity, and/or another category related to diversity. The New York State Board of Regents policy statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion for all schools and institutions of higher education in New York State includes the following definition of diversity, providing other categories of diversity for institutions to consider for their measurable goals:
- Diversity: Includes but is not limited to race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, veteran status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, genetic information, and learning styles.
20. The faculty at my institution reflect only some of the aspects listed in the definition of diversity in the New York State Board of Regents policy statement (please see FAQ #19). Some aspects don’t apply to faculty, such as education. How should we deal with this?
Response: Institutions are welcome to use any aspect of diversity that is relevant and important to their specific institution to create a goal.
21. We have been counseled against using measurable goals for protected categories. What should we do?
Response: The goals could address gender, race/ethnicity, and/or another category related to diversity. Institutions can use any aspect of diversity that is acceptable for their specific institution to create a measurable goal.
22. What about stating a goal along the lines of our applicant pools will represent the student body diversity metrics with no more than a 10% variance? How would a plan that reflects hiring a diverse faculty that does not align with the diversity in the student body be viewed/evaluated?
Response: Any measurable goals that are designed to improve faculty diversity at the institution would be acceptable. Please see FAQ #16 for a description of “measurable goals.” NYSED staff may contact an institution if it is not clear how a particular goal would improve faculty diversity at the institution.
23. Does “improve faculty diversity” include improving faculty understanding of it and how they practice it with colleagues and students; providing diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) education to faculty; or addressing issues of diversity climate for faculty?
Response: Any measurable goals that are designed to improve faculty diversity at the institution would be acceptable. Please see FAQ #16 for a description of “measurable goals.” Institutions would explain in the “Data/information informing the goal” section why the goal is needed and appropriate for the institution and make clear why achieving the goal would improve faculty diversity at the institution.
24. Representational diversity is one thing, but what about movement along the tenure-track? Do those complementary goals “count”? I'm thinking about a situation where we have demographic diversity, but there is a log-jam at the junior faculty level.
Response: The three measurable goals must be designed to improve faculty diversity at the institution. A goal solely on increasing the number of faculty who are promoted, and not related to improving faculty diversity, would not be acceptable.
25. Are these annual goals, or can they be long-term goals and in two years we report on progress? What if our goals change next year?
Response: Institutions will submit the progress on the goals listed in their faculty diversity plan in two- and four-year intervals to IDEx (e.g., Summer 2024, Summer 2026), with deadlines provided at a later date. The goals would not change annually for the purposes of the faculty diversity plan.
26. How much supporting data are you looking for in the “Data/information informing the goal” section?
Response: The three measurable goals would be grounded in data/information. In the “Data/information informing the goal” section, institutions will provide data/information that explains why the goal is needed and appropriate for the institution and makes clear why achieving the goal would improve faculty diversity at the institution.
 Unrestricted aid to independent colleges and universities, not withstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, aid otherwise due and payable in the 2022-23 fiscal year shall be limited to the amount appropriated herein; provided that no college or university shall be eligible for a payment in the 2022-23 academic year from this appropriation if the college or university has not submitted to the state education department a plan to improve faculty diversity, which shall include measurable goals and a schedule of reporting on progress toward meeting such goals.