State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced 72 new full-time faculty members on March 23 as a part of the second PRODiG class to increase diversity and inclusion on SUNY campuses.
PRODiG — a program that stands for Promoting, Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Growth — is now in its second year and has led to 149 faculty members being hired across 31 campuses.
The goal of the program is to increase faculty diversity by finding new opportunities and pathways for graduate students to enter the academic field.
To achieve this, SUNY is providing financial support through webinars, mentoring and grants to new academic hires and those entering the PRODiG programs.
“While SUNY’s students more broadly represent the diversity of New York State and a cross-section of our nation and the world, we acknowledge the need and importance to have a more diverse faculty,” Malatras said.
“We will continue to expand this program to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion remain not just the mission of SUNY, but that it is also followed up with real, sustainable change to close racial equity gaps, and eliminate cultural and racial discrimination across SUNY.”
This news follows the announcement of a 25-point Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan that was approved by SUNY back in February. This plan looks to close racial equity gaps and eliminate cultural and institutional racial discrimination across SUNY campuses.
The announcement of the second PRODiG class earlier this week was made at SUNY New Paltz, which has benefitted under the program.
As part of the campus’s PRODiG plan, under-represented minorities made up 41 percent of all new faculty hires, a historic high for the campus.
“My experience at SUNY New Paltz has been a transformative one,” said SUNY New Paltz Professor Martine Kei Green-Rogers at the press conference. “I have felt seen and heard by those in the Theatre Department, and I know I am not just here because of how I look and the diversity I represent, but because of the knowledge and skills I possess.”
There are plans to expand PRODiG to better serve community colleges. Currently, only nine community colleges are a part of the program.