Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has announced the launch of PRODiG (Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Growth), an initiative by the State University of New York to increase faculty diversity to better reflect the diversity of students across its 64 campuses. Through various campus hiring and retention programs, the program aims to hire 1,000 professors from underrepresented groups by 2030.
“New York’s strength comes from not only celebrating our rich cultures but working aggressively to expand opportunities to increase diversity in our SUNY faculty,” Governor Cuomo said. “This first of its kind initiative is at the heart of SUNY’s core values and reflects New York’s deep commitment to providing the highest quality and richly diverse education in the nation.”
In recent years, SUNY has been successful in increasing diversity among its students. As of Fall 2018, 28.5 percent of SUNY students are from underrepresented groups, up from 27.9 percent in 2017, and 15.4 percent in 2007. However, this progress has not been replicated among the university’s faculty. The PRODiG program aims to leverage SUNY’s wide range of campuses and degree programs to support student success and promote excellence through the representation of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Through PRODiG workshops, faculty and staff from all SUNY campuses will learn how to identify challenges and opportunities for increasing faculty diversity.
The PRODiG initiative will provide SUNY will three-year salary support grants for underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines, after which the positions will be fully funded by each campus. Additionally, SUNY will begin tracking talented students from the time they are in high school, creating a pipeline of students aspiring to careers in academia, encouraging the students through mentoring conferences and support. SUNY will also provide one-time graduate stipends of $5,000 each to support incoming doctoral students.